Found the perfect hairstyle?
Great! But you’ll first have to grow your hair out.
A long, agonizing wait…what else can you do?
Any pill or product that helps?
Nope. The average person’s hair grows 1/2 an inch after a month.
Don’t bother with these “miracle substances” and their claims…complete waste of money.
Understand the things that slow down hair growth – and avoid them as much as possible.
Here are 7 natural ways to grow your hair faster.
What We Know About Hair Growth
- World-renowned trichologist Philip Kingsley (who’s been in the hair business for many decades) says that the human hair has “the second fastest-growing cells in your body – intestinal cells being the first.”
- The average scalp has approximately 120,000 hairs growing on it at any point.
There’s a lot of manpower involved in the way your hair is “dressed up.” But at the same time, hair is neither an essential tissue nor a vital organ. Your body never puts its nutritional needs ahead of the rest. So any nutritional “imbalance” would take a toll on your hair before anything else.
- There is currently NO proven way to make hair grow significantly faster than 0.5 inches per month on average.
But when it comes down to it, it IS possible to increase your growth to 1 inch per week. It’s mostly a question of genetics – aka the luck of the draw.
However, we know there are the certain things that encourage a bigger supply of healthy & normal-growing hair. These everyday lifestyle tips have benefits that go far beyond the “looks” department.
Hair Growth Tip #1 – Eat Healthy
Our hair reflects our overall health. So it’s no surprise that we need to eat the right things to look a certain way.
For well-nurtured hair – here are the must-haves for a regular diet:
Your scalp (like your skin) can get dry. You should drink about 1.5-2 liters of water every day – and a little more if you’re exercising or living in warmer conditions. Takamichi Saeki (who runs Takamichi Hair in New York) agrees it’s a good practice to regularly hydrate yourself.
Hair is protein-based, so taking in more protein is essential. A serving of 120g of meat protein (for breakfast and lunch) is recommended. For vegetarians – you’ll want to go over 120g of plant-based sources such as nuts, beans, legumes and tofu.
Hair cells (like all cells) are coated with a fatty membrane. NYC nutritionist Brooke Alpert says that for cells to grow and multiply, it’s about “keeping their fatty membranes healthy, which starts with having the right kind of fat in your diet.” That menu includes rich sources of Biotin: salmon, oysters, avocados and nuts.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C (a resource for producing collagen) is needed for healthy hair and skin. Alpert also mentions its role as a major antioxidant that “fights off all of the cellular damage we’re doing regularly.” Citrus fruits, sweet potatoes and red peppers are among the top sources of Vitamin C.
- A Good Breakfast
Never underestimate the importance of a nutritious breakfast. It’s the refueling point for most of your body – including your scalp and hair follicles. A meal that’s complete with all of the above provides much-needed energy to form hair cells.
Hair Growth Tip #2 – Avoid Very Cold Showers
Try not to shower with chilly water – or at least try not to use it on your scalp.
Kingsley explains that cooler temperatures may constrict the capillaries on your scalp that “carry nutrients and pick up waste products from the skin’s surface.” As much as possible – you want your blood vessels active to keep the hair cells in good condition.
To stay on the safe side – use lukewarm water when starting off. Get your head soaked without giving it the shock of a sudden change in temperature. When it’s time to rinse at the end, that’s when you can turn up the cold just a little bit.
Let’s make this clear: it’s NOT advisable to shampoo your hair every single day. Washing with shampoo can cause the hair to become drier and more brittle.
Rodney Cutler (a stylist who owns Cutler Salons) says it’s best to avoid “shampoos with high levels of detergents and sulfates, as they strip the hair and scalp of natural sebum and oils.”
That greasiness (which not everybody’s comfortable retaining) is exactly what keeps your hair soft and shiny. If you don’t want your hair at any form of risk – you shouldn’t strip the scalp of this oil.
What you really want is to use a good conditioner every day. This helps maintain the ends of the hairs. It minimizes the risk of tangles, split ends, and breakage. It’s meant to replace the natural oils that were washed away and keep the hair moist.
Note: Conditioners with waxes are not recommended – they can make your hair look thin and dull.
As for how often you should shampoo – that’s your call. Everyone has their own cycle of shampoo-less showers, and you decide whether your hair feels too greased up. But as a rule – try not to shampoo daily.
Hair Growth Tip #4 – Never Comb Your Hair While Dripping Wet
It’s best not to subject your hair to pulling or stretching whenever in its wettest state. That’s the time when it’s most vulnerable to split ends or breaking off.
I suggest you dry your hair with a towel before you gently use a comb or brush. Take your time doing this – there’s quite a bit of moisture to remove.
The drying part should be done gently as well – no quick rubbing back and forth. This is especially important for hair that’s already reached half the desired length.
Hair Growth Tip #5 – Exercise Often
Cells rely on oxygen to duplicate and stay healthy. Oxygen reaches every cell through a fully operational blood circulation.
So that’s what you want to maximize the supply of in order to gain more healthy cells (both in your scalp and in each hair follicle).
A half-hour cardio workout 3x a week (e.g. running or any sport that forces you to move around) is recommended.
Along with that, make it a habit to massage your scalp from time to time. This helps shake up the hair cells into a slightly more vigorous state.
Hair Growth Tip #6 – Sleep Well
Like your diet – your sleeping habits have a say in how well your hair grows.
About 7-8 hours of sleep every night is ideal. It’s during these hours when the body is in constant repair mode.
That’s the window for growth hormones to come out and speed up cell reproduction. More sleep = more active scalp cells = more hair.
Sleeping also increases blood circulation around your hair follicles. So think of exercise and hitting the sack as two activities that go hand-in-hand. A good workout pumps up the whole body, while sleep keeps the pumps going until the following day.
Hair Growth Tip #7 – Chill Out (Don’t Worry!)
Ever thought your brain might be affecting all the hair above it? You might be surprised.
A stressed state of mind is as big of a factor as the lack of physical health. The more you stress yourself out – the more it can burden your brain. It won’t get to function like it does when you’re relaxed.
Craig the Barber (a stylist based in Beverly Hills) talks about Telogen efflivium – which he says “is a physical or emotional stress related to severe weight loss, a death in the family, and, for many college students, exams.”
For those who go through those kinds of situations – the hair does get a chance to grow back once the ordeal has passed. But it can take as long as a few months for some people.
The goal is to worry less. Let go of minor concerns whenever you can. Remember that anxiety can physically weaken the body – including your hair cells.
Figure out a way to burn the stress. You can try going out for a run or watching a sketch comedy on TV. And make sure you have friends and family members to keep you company while you’re trying to recover from the recent situation.
The bottom line: healthy food, thoughts and actions can lead to hair that grows right – and grows the way you want it to. Embrace a healthy lifestyle and your scalp can work its magic. Be patient… and you’ll soon get the desired length (or even more).