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Best Ways to Grow Hair Faster

For those of us not blessed with good hair genes, the struggle to grow your hair past a certain length is real. Long, strong, Rapunzel hair is the stuff our beauty dreams are made of. Pregnancy hormones are one of several things that can make your hair grow faster — my hair has grown down past my shoulders exactly two times in my life and both were when I was pregnant. Along with your genetic makeup, certain medical conditions, hormonal imbalances, your age, hair type, and overall health all contribute to how fast your hair grows. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck at your plateau length. There are things you can do to optimize your hair’s ability to grow longer and stronger. From ensuring your hair health from your root to tip; to nourishing it from the inside out and getting on the right hair care routine, these are the hair growth tips you need to achieve the long hair of your dreams.

The most reliable hair growth methods

The quest for faster-growing strands starts with a quick assessment of your current situation. So before we get into what will make your hair grow faster, let’s take a look at the reasons it’s not growing fast. 

Why isn’t your hair growing?

Any of the following can be the reason your hair isn’t growing and should be addressed first and foremost.

  • Hormonal Imbalances
    Hormonal imbalances like thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, cause hair loss, which, when occurring in small amounts, can make it seem like your hair isn't growing. 
  • Disease
    Normally, the hair follicle grows, then rests, then sheds to be replaced with new hair. But certain diseases can cause the hair to go through a stagnant period where the stress of the illness causes all the hair follicles to go into their resting phase, and hair growth temporarily stops.
  • Hair Miniaturization
    Everyone’s hair naturally thins as we age, but there's a hereditary trait that may make it happen faster than normal. Hair miniaturization occurs when the hair follicles shrink in size and are common among those who have a predisposition to androgenetic hair loss. Miniaturized hair follicles produce hair that is weaker, duller, and more prone to breakage.
  • Poor Diet
    The things you eat, more specifically the things you don’t eat, affect your hair's overall health and growth. A nutrient or vitamin deficiency can prevent your hair from growing long and strong. The bottom line- if you’re not eating a balanced diet, your hair won’t grow.
  • Physical and Emotional Stress
    Stress affects everything about your health, including your appearance. Emotional and physical stresses have been linked to hair loss and an overall decrease in the quality of hair. Stress essentially restricts the hair growth cycle.

Davines solu sea salt scrub scalp cleanser

photo by @karlibobarley

12 steps to make your hair grow faster

1. Start with a clean scalp

A healthy scalp is vital to healthy hair. Dead skin cells, sebum, sweat, bacteria, product, and pollution build up on the scalp. This can cause inflammation and flaking in the form of dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis. Once a week massage your scalp with a scalp scrub. Exfoliating acts as a nourishing scalp massage to stimulate blood flow. 

2. Get regular trims

It may seem counterproductive, but if you want long healthy hair you need to trim it regularly. Although this won’t make your hair actually grow faster, regular hair trims get rid of split ends. Eliminating the breakage also gives the appearance of hair that is growing faster. Time to book an appointment with your hair stylist!

3. Resist the urge to lighten your hair

Going from a darker to lighter shade causes chemical damage to your strands. Once the cuticle of the hair is damaged, you get breakage and split ends. If you’ve been trying to grow your bleached hair out to no avail- your lightening habit could be standing in the way. If you’re suffering from chemical damage, load up on the conditioner and check out our previous post How to Repair Damaged Hair.

4. Brush your hair before bed

Running a brush through your hair before bed helps to distribute your hair's natural oils. It also helps increase circulation, which helps make your scalp healthier. Another pro tip? Coat your ends with argan coconut oil before bed!

5. Avoid heat styling tools

The same way bleach can damage your strands, so can heat. If you’re trying to add length, lay off the hot tools. Rock air-dried hairstyles as much as possible. But if you must use heat, decrease the temperature, and always use a hair primer.

Davines MOMO and SOLU shampoo

photo by @karlibobarley

6. Skip the daily shampoo

Shampooing your hair every day strips it of its natural oils, drying it out. This can eventually lead to breakage, which is the opposite of what you want. Shampoo your hair two to three times a week to allow your hair to hydrate and repair itself.

7. Finish your shower with a cool rinse

A steamy hot shower isn't just bad for your skin, it's rough on your hair too. Try to keep the water temperature of your shower lukewarm, and turn it cooler for the last few seconds before turning the shower off. The cool water helps to seal the cuticle and strengthen your hair: stronger strands have a better chance of reaching their maximum length.

8. Be gentle with wet hair

Hair is especially susceptible to breakage when it's wet. Use a microfiber hair towel or old jersey cotton tee to gently ring out the excess water after washing and conditioning. And if you have any knots post-shower, make sure to use a wide-toothed comb or brush made specifically for use on wet strands. Brush from the ends down, and gradually work your way up. 

9. Tweak your hair care routine

It might be time to up the ante on your hair care game. For some people struggling with slowly growing strands, hair loss products can help tremendously. Add a hair growth serum into your hair care routine to reduce thinning and hair loss and improve its density. And if you’re not already using a weekly hair mask, it’s time to start!

Davines long hair redhead grow hair

10. Sleep on a silk pillowcase

Silk is easier on hair than traditional cotton pillowcases. Sleeping on silk causes less friction on your hair as you move around in your sleep. Investing in a silk pillowcase will help you avoid tangles and breakage, and the less breakage your hair experiences, the longer your hair will be. 

11. Eat the right foods

Foods high in protein as well as vitamins A, C, and E, minerals like zinc and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids all contribute to the health (and growing ability) of your hair. The following foods can help your hair grow faster:

  • Eggs are a great source of biotin and protein. Protein is important for hair growth because the follicle is made of mostly protein. Biotin is needed to produce keratin which is another hair protein.
  • Spinach is loaded with iron and vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps skin glands produce sebum which helps moisturize the scalp to keep your hair healthy.
  • Berries contain vitamins and antioxidants needed for hair growth. Antioxidants help to protect hair follicles from damage. Strawberries also contain Vitamin C which helps produce collagen, another protein that helps to strengthen and prevent it from breaking.
  • Avocados are a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E protects skin, like your scalp, from the stress and damage of oxidation.
  • Beans are a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, all of which are important for hair growth. 

12. Take supplements

If your diet isn't supplying you with enough nutrition, supplements can help. There are six key nutrients we need to help hair grow longer:

  • Iron: studies have found that iron is essential for healthy hair. Ferritin, which is stored iron, is needed to maintain a healthy growth phase of the hair cycle.
  • Biotin: helping our bodies to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, a biotin deficiency can result in hair loss.
  • Zinc and Vitamin B12: both zinc and vitamin B12 help produce and repair new hair cells. One study even found that a zinc deficiency plays a role in hair loss. A B12 supplement is especially important for vegans as it's only found in animal products 
  • Essential Amino Acids: amino acids are proteins that our bodies can't make on their own. Since our hair is made of protein, an amino acid supplement is a great hair growth booster.
  • Vitamin D: every one of the hair follicles on your head contains a Vitamin D receptor hormone. Because of this, taking a Vitamin D supplement will jumpstart your hair’s growth cycle.

The struggle to grow your hair out when you're waiting for it to grow is real. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speed up the process. If you want longer hair, our tips will help you achieve the long, strong healthy strands of your dreams. In the meantime, until you get your extra length, add some volume and read our previous post on How to Add Volume to Hair.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
cover photo by @hihoneysalon

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