You just got a haircut which you were sure that you will love, but now you truly regret it and want your hair back longer again, as quickly as possible?
Most of us have been there, so don’t worry. It will grow back, but it may not be as quickly as you expect.
On average, hair grows at about ¼ – ½ inches per month.
Still, with the proper care, and some lifestyle and other daily changes, you can help your hair grow longer again faster.
So, if you want some tips on how to make hair grow faster, read on.
How hair grows
As mentioned earlier, human hair grows at a rate of about half an inch per month, which makes about six inches for a year.
But this is an average number, and you should know that hair growth is largely affected by genetics. You may have noticed that your colleague’s hair may seem to grow very quickly, and you may be right. He or she could have it in their genes to have their hair grow longer at a faster rate than average.
If you don’t have this in your gene pool, you can still do things that can help boost the hair growth or at least to avoid the growth to slow down or the hair to become weak and break as it becomes longer.
There are about 5 million hair follicles on the human body, of which about 100,000 are on the scalp. Each hair strand on your head growth through the following stages:
This is the phase during which the hair grows actively, and which can last from two to six years
This is the transition phase during which the hair stops growing, and it can last for 2-3 weeks
This is the hair’s resting stage during which the hair falls out, and it lasts from 2-3 months
These phases are the same for the rest of the hair on your body and face, but they are shorter, which is why your body and facial hair doesn’t grow as long as that on your scalp.
Apart from your heritage, the other main aspects which can affect how fast your hair grows include:
- Your diet
- Your age
- Your hair type
- Your hair care regimen
- Your stress levels
- Your overall health
- Any medications you are taking
So, what should you do to make your hair grow longer and stay healthy? Read on for our simple hair growth boosting tips.
Get it trimmed on a regular basis
No matter how counterintuitive it may sound for someone dreaming of long luscious locks, it is advisable that you get your hair ends trimmed every 8-12 weeks. If you are growing your hair long, all you will need your hairstylist to do is to cut off about 1/8th of an inch from the hair to keep it healthy.
This will help remove or completely prevent any split ends and will help thus keep the hair safe from breaking.
While it won’t actually make your hair grow long faster, it will help it look healthier and fuller, and will protect it from breaking at the ends
Think about it, if you fail to remove the split end and your hair breaks, it will not only look thinner, but it will actually be shorter than if you have its ends trimmed regularly.
Since everybody’s hair is different, make sure you examine your hair ends, especially if you color or bleach it, if it has a coarser texture, or if you use heat for styling it. When you see that the ends start splitting it is time for a baby trim or a dusting by your hairstylist.
Avoid bleaching your hair
Being a platinum blonde may be chic and sexy, but if you want to grow your hair long and healthy, you may want to avoid bleaching it. Bleach can actually damage the hair cuticle and may promote split ends and breakage.
This is especially true for those of you with darker hair.
In fact, the fewer chemical treatments like perms and hair straightening or dyeing of your hair – the better and healthier it will grow.
Help distribute the natural oils on your scalp and hair
Brushing your hair before going to bed may seem like a waste of time, but it is actually very good for improving the blood circulation on the scalp, and also will help distribute the natural and healthy oils on your hair and scalp.
So, before jumping into bed, make sure you use a boar bristle brush to gently massage the scalp and then to go on distributing the oils evenly to the hair, which will help it stay healthy and moisturized naturally.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is absolutely essential for our physical and mental health. You should aim for getting at least seven hours of sleep per night.
While you are sleeping, the growth hormones in your body speed up the reproduction of its cells, which also means that your hair will be growing faster too.
Try to reduce your stress levels
As you probably know, stress can have many negative effects on our bodies, which also includes our hair health.
Too much stress can actually disrupt the hair growth phase and may push more of the hair follicles on your scalp into a resting phase.
So, in order to ensure that your hair is growing at normal and healthy rates, try reducing the stress levels by exercising regularly, meditating, sleeping more, spending more time with your loved ones and on vacations, and enjoying your favorite hobbies. Not only will you feel better, but your hair will look better than ever too!
Drop the nasty habit of smoking
If you haven’t done it already for health reasons, then quit smoking because of your hair. Excessive smoking can lead to hair follicle damage and may lead to an imbalance and slowing down the hair growth cycle.
Once you quit smoking you will be amazed at the effect it has on your skin, hair and overall health!
Eat the right foods
In order to grow long, strong and beautiful hair, it is not only important to feed it on the outside but to feed yourself with the right foods as well.
Eating more proteins like fish, nuts, whole grains and beans will help feed your hair from the inside because hair is actually built of protein.
A high protein diet will help make the hair stronger and will prevent hair loss.
You should also add more foods which contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B, E and C, and D, and iron and zinc to your daily diet. Also, biotin and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids will do wonders for your hair making it healthier and shinier.
You should also try to cut back on eating too many sugary foods or drinking sugary drinks which are rich in calories and yet add little value to the diet.
So, here are the food groups which you should be eating in order to make your hair grow faster:
- Protein-rich foods, like fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu
- Foods rich in iron, like green leafy veggies (spinach), legumes, lean beef, shellfish, eggs, red meat, liver or other organ meats, turkey, broccoli, quinoa, iron-fortified cereals
- Foods with a lot of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, like mackerel, salmon, oysters, sea bass, sardines, trout, shrimp, chia seeds, algae and seaweed, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, edamame, walnuts, and others
- Foods rich in zinc, like red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy foods, eggs, whole grains, dark chocolate and potatoes or kale
- Foods rich in biotins (vitamin B-7) like liver, meats, egg yolk, salmon, nuts, seeds, yeast, dairy, sweet potato, avocado, and others
You may need to take supplements if you have a deficiency of a particular vitamin or mineral, but it is important to discuss it as well as the reason for the deficiency with a doctor first.
Put away those hot hair styling tools
Yes, you want your hair to look absolutely perfect every day, but over-styling it with hot tools like curling wands, hair straighteners, chemical relaxers can cause actual damage to the hair.
If you really need to use a hot styling tool, make sure you lower its temperature and use hair heat protectant. This will help minimize the frizzing and breakage of the hair.
As we already said, it takes healthy hair to grow faster and longer. So, make sure you cut down on the use of such tools or use good quality hair heat protectant every time.
Don’t shampoo every day
A good quality shampoo will help your hair stay healthy and grow longer, but only when used appropriately. Try limiting the shampooing of your hair to 2-3 times a week, in order to allow the natural oils to penetrate and hydrate it, which will help repair any breakages, and will promote healthier growth.
For the best results, use a gentle and naturally-based shampoo cleanser. Stay away from products which contain silicones, parabens, dimethicones, SLES, and SLS. These ingredients can actually cause a buildup on your scalp, clog the hair follicles, and thus sabotage your hair growth plans.
You may also want to get a sulfate-free shampoo and use it to lather up your scalp while letting the cleanser slide down through the hair while you are rinsing it off.
Shampooing too often will actually strip the hair from its natural oils and can lead to brittleness and breakage.
While limiting the shampooing is advisable, you should use a conditioner for your hair when you take your daily shower or use a hair conditioning mask.
While shampoos are cleansers that are made to actually remove the dirt and product buildup from the hair, conditioners will help feed and hydrate the hair.
So, use conditioner every time you get your hair wet under the shower or when taking a bath.
Choose a conditioner which will help replace the proteins and lipids from your hair and which will seal the outer cuticle of the hair.
A deep conditioning mask is especially important if your hair is at shoulder length or longer.
You can buy a good quality hair conditioning mask, or you can easily make one at home by yourself by mixing unrefined coconut oil with some jojoba, almond and macadamia nut oils.
Apply the mixture to the hair when it is damp, and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off, or washing it off with shampoo and conditioner.
Give your hair a few seconds of cold water at the end of the shower
Cold showers do suck, but stylists and scientists claim that treating your hair with cold water at the end of the shower can help prevent the loss of moisture, as well as heat damage and breakage. The cold water will seal the hair cuticles and will strengthen it.
Plus, using water which is steamy hot can also be bad for your skin too.
Forget about those sexy towel turbans
It may feel great and be super convenient to twist your hair up with a towel after you are done with your shower or bath, but the truth is that all of the tension, twisting as well as the rubbing from the fabric can damage the hair and can stall its growth.
Instead of wrapping your hair in a regular super plush bath towel, use a gentle microfiber hair towel to blot away the water and dampness, instead of rubbing your hair.
If you have curly hair you may use the much gentler T-shirt plopping technique.
Use a cotton T-shirt, preferably with long sleeves to wrap your wet curls up gently. Twist the sleeves into two rolls, and tie them up or clip them together for the best curly hair drying results.
If you are adventurous enough, and if it is warm enough, you can let your hair air dry by itself, for the best results.
Be gentle with the brushing
Instead of using the famous 100 stroke brushing method, try to be more gentle on your hair. Use a gentle brush with rounded prongs and a cushioned and vented base. Start from the ends and gradually work your way up to the scalp to avoid breaking the hair.
Massage your scalp
Massaging the scalp will not only improve the blood flow to it, but will also help relieve your overall stress and improve your mood, and at the same time help promote faster and longer hair growth.
You can use either circular stroking motions (effleurage) or gentle kneading and lifting movements (petrissage).
Start from the front and work yourself to the back with consistent and firm pressure.
Avoid harsh scrubs, and look for gentle products for the scalp which contain salicylic acid to help remove the dead skin cells from it, just like you would for your face. Some natural ingredients to look for include: green tea, goji berries, mangosteen, lavender, and rosemary.
Brush your wet hair carefully
Hair can become even more susceptible to breaking when it is wet, so avoid brushing it then, unless you really need to get rid of any knots.
If you have to brush your wet hair, make sure that you use a gentle brush suitable for wet brushing or tangle removal.
When detangling wet hair, start brushing the ends of the hair gently and gradually work your way up. Don’t just brush the outer layer of hair, but brush the one underneath as well.
If your hair isn’t suitable for brushes, use a wide-toothed comb instead.
It is important to be gentle. If you can hear the brush crunching through the hair, then you are doing it wrong, and are being too rough.
Avoid doing those trendy “cleanses”
Cleansing may be very fashionable and has been advertised as a life-changing experience for detoxifying the body and for losing weight. But the truth is, cleansing can cause a deprivation of nutrients, which can not only hurt your overall health but can slow down the growth of your hair and make it look less healthy and shiny.
The fact is that any extreme diet will have a negative effect on your hair.
Treat yourself with a silk pillowcase
As we already mentioned earlier, getting sufficient sleep is essential for the health and the growth of the hair.
But what type of pillowcase you have can also affect how your hair grows and looks.
By sleeping on a silk pillowcase, you can help keep your hair free from breakage and tangles.
This is especially true for those of you who wake up with tangles or matted hair.
By switching to a satin or silk pillowcase, you will provide your hair with a softer surface which causes less rubbing and friction than a regular one will.
Not only will your hair thank you for getting a silk pillowcase but you will feel much comfier, and your face will thank you too.
Stop using those tight hair ties
Using an inappropriate hair tie to wear your hair up on a ponytail or a topknot can cause it serious damage. In fact, it can cause the hair to break due to the tension from the strong elastic hair tie.
This is why, if you want to wear your hair up, use good quality larger pins, bobby pins or claw clips instead of elastics.
Also, try changing the position of your ponytail or bun every day. By wearing it higher up one day, and lower on the other, you will help reduce the damage and breakage which keeping your hair tied up can cause.
A low ponytail or bun causes less tension to the hair, plus it can make you look pretty cool and chic too.
Pay closer attention to your skin
Your hair care cleansing and conditioning products should not only make your hair look shiny and wonderful, but they also need to be beneficial for the skin of your scalp as well.
You should consider whether a hair care product is making your skin feel too dry or maybe too greasy or sticky, or whether it feels all heavy and waxy.
The right way your skin should feel after you have used the appropriate hair care product is hydrated, soft, supple and silky. With the proper care, you will avoid congestion and clogging of the follicles which can hinder the growth of the hair.
So, treat your hair like you would treat your skin, and treat your scalp like you would treat your face if you want to have healthy and good looking hair and skin.
Give your hair some rest
When trying to grow your hair longer, you may feel the urge to keep brushing it, conditioning it, pulling it and styling it.
But the truth is, you should leave it alone for as much as possible if you want it to grow healthy and strong faster.
This means, minimizing or avoiding any bleaching, dyeing, chemical straightening, curling, hair drying, flat-ironing, sun-baking and even crimping it.
The less you mess with your hair, the healthier and stronger it will be.
Even though this one can be a bit tricky for those of you used to having the perfect hair every day, it is actually a very sound piece of advice, which will help your hair recover from any damage, and allow it to rest and to grow healthily and at a good pace.
By freaking out about your hair too much, you will increase your stress levels, which as mentioned previously can hinder the growth of the hair as well.
So, just leave it alone for as much as possible, and you will be astonished by the results!
Consider other factors affecting your hair growth
If your hair doesn’t seem to be growing as fast and as much as it should even if you are taking all necessary steps and precautions, there could be other factors that are affecting its growth cycles and phases.
Some of these factors can be hormonal imbalances as a result of hyper or hypothyroidism, pregnancy, PCOS, menopause or other things like crash dieting, nutrient deficiencies, stress, shock, and others.
Some health issues or traumas can cause the essential nutrients from the food and supplements to be redirected to the healing parts of the body rather than to the other parts like the hair too.
Anxiety and boredom as well as being overworked can cause scalp scratching and other hair problems too.
As you can see, growing your hair longer faster is not really possible, but there are ways to help boost your hair to grow healthy, strong and good looking.
All you need to do is to take the proper care for your physical and psychological health, as well as for your hair and scalp health.
With the proper care, and without tormenting it with chemicals and treatments which are not good for it, your hair will grow longer looking better than ever!
- How to Grow Hair Faster – 13 Tips for Growing Longer Hair
- How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Longer,
- 5 Ways The Effects Of Stress Are Damaging Your Hair
- Here’s How To Plop Your Hair For The Best Curls Of Your Life
- 10 Foods for Healthy Hair in Pictures – WebMD
- The 14 Best Foods for Hair Growth – Healthline