Have you ever met a woman content with the way her hair looked? Me neither. We all secretly yearn for those Rapunzel-like long and lustrous locks that grow fast. While there is no magic bullet, certain techniques may promote better hair growth in most people. You just need to tweak your day-to-day hair care routine. Here, we have listed 15 such simple tricks that may promote faster, thicker, and stronger hair growth. Read on!
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The Science Behind Hair Growth
Hair growth has three stages – anagen, catagen, and telogen. Each hair strand has its stage of development. The anagen stage is the growth stage and typically lasts between two to six years. The catagen phase comes after the anagen phase and involves the transition or renewal of the hair follicles, lasting four to six weeks. The telogen phase (the last stage) is the rest phase, where the hair stops growing. Human hair grows about six inches a year (1).
Interesting Fact: You are born with 5 million hair follicles, of which 100,000 follicles are on your scalp. Losing 50 to 100 hair follicles every day is normal, according to the American Academy Of Dermatology.
Now that you are aware of the different hair growth stages, let us look at what you can do to stimulate faster hair growth.
How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster?
1. Give Yourself A Scalp Massage
A scalp massage is the simplest way to stimulate hair growth. Not only does a scalp massage feel great, but it also boosts blood circulation and strengthens hair (2). A scalp massage also mobilizes the scalp oils that strengthen the roots and keep your hair moist.
A scalp massage offers relaxation and contributes to hair growth (3). Massaging with coconut oil boosts hair growth and strength. The oil is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients and acts as a natural hair conditioner (4). Massaging the hair gently with hot oils also nourishes, revitalizes, and soothes the scalp.
2. Trim Your Hair Regularly
Damaged hair or hair with split ends inhibits the growth of new hair. Regular hair trimming is essential. If left untreated, split ends can make your hair dull, dry, and tangled. Trimming also treats hair breakage.
However, remember not to overdo the trimming. The average time between each trim should be 3 to 4 months. Also, cut your hair half an inch to an inch while trimming your hair.
3. Have A Healthy, Balanced Diet
A healthy diet will ensure your hair gets all the sustenance it needs to grow long and strong. A healthy, balanced diet contains all the nutrients required for promoting hair growth (5). Foods rich in vitamins and minerals also promote hair growth (6).
4. Don’t Wash Hair Too Often
Keeping your hair clean is essential for hygiene and hair growth. But overdoing it can cause more harm than good. Shampooing your hair every day can dry your hair out and flush out the natural scalp oils. A good alternative would be chemical-free shampoos enriched with hair-lengthening ingredients. Shampooing every day can also dehydrate your hair. Also, hair roots are the weakest when wet. Hence, you must comb hair gently after every wash.
5. Avoid Heat Styling Tools
Excess use of styling tools like blow dryers and curling or flat irons can damage your hair and make it dry and brittle (7). You may use such tools sparingly, at low-heat settings. Use heat protectants to avoid hair breakage.
6. Try Natural Hair Packs
You could be aware of the benefits of natural hair packs. Hair masks provide vital nutrients that help nourish and strengthen your hair and help it grow faster. Use hair masks that moisturize the hair shaft.
From honey and lemon to avocado and olive oil, there are plenty of options that will moisturize your hair, make it silky smooth, and enable it to grow to its full potential. Natural remedies and hair packs containing herbal ingredients like gooseberries, shikakai (Acacia Concinna), onion juice, and coconut milk help nourish and boost hair growth. Egg and cinnamon masks also help stimulate blood circulation and nourish hair strands.
7. Condition Your Hair Regularly
A conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft and also seals the hair cuticle. Deep conditioning and reconstructing treatments help hydrate hair strands, repair damaged hair, and eliminate frizz.
8. Don’t Brush Your Hair Too Often
While hair brushing is essential, doing it too often can damage your hair strands. The constant friction from hair brushing can break your hair strands and keep them from growing faster. The key is to brush your hair gently, which stimulates the scalp, releases natural oils, and helps spread those oils down the length of the hair strands. Harsh brushing may cause traction alopecia (8).
9. Switch Your Pillow Covers
Replace your regular cotton pillow covers with silk covers. Cotton pillow covers lift the outer cuticle layers of your hair and make it more prone to frizz, breakage, and damage. Silk is smoother and causes less friction. With a silk pillow cover, you will wake up with fewer tangles.
10. Use Supplements
Nutritional deficiencies can stunt hair growth too. In addition to real foods, you also can take supplements that will help boost hair growth (9). Biotin and multivitamin supplements may help promote faster hair growth. Getting plenty of omega-3s can also help.
11. Rinse Your Hair With Cold Water
Rinsing your hair with cold water allows the cuticles to smooth out and lie flat, making your hair soft and manageable. Avoid hot water rinses as they can damage your hair. Cold water rinses also seal the cuticles and strengthen hair.
12. Switch To Microfiber Towels
Wrapping your hair in a towel right after a wash seems logical. However, wet hair is fragile and prone to breakage. Hence, pat your hair dry with a towel. This will prevent hair damage. Also, replace your traditional towel with one made of microfibers. Traditional bath towels contain large woven fibers that may cause hair breakage. Microfiber towels are not as fluffy and absorb water quickly from your hair without causing any damage.
13. Reduce Stress
High stress is a common cause of hair fall (10). Practicing yoga, meditation, and other stress-relieving exercises can lower your stress levels. Get eight hours of sleep every night and cultivate relaxing hobbies.
14. Stay Away From Bleach
Hair bleaches open up the hair cuticles and may cause significant hair damage. Chemically-treated hair is more prone to breakage and split ends. The lesser the chemical or color treatments, the better and faster your hair growth.
15. Caffeine-Based Treatments
Caffeine stimulates the matrix cells in a healthy hair follicle and may promote hair growth (11). Caffeine’s antioxidants reduce water loss and increase the production of healthy hair cells (12). It also has growth-promoting effects on hair (13).
These are the various methods that can possibly promote faster hair growth. In the following section, we have discussed the factors that can slow down or even stop your hair growth.
What Factors Can Stop Your Hair Growth?
1. Hair Colors
Most hair colors contain ammonia, an industrial bleaching agent. Ammonia can dry your hair out. Hydrogen peroxide is another chemical that can cause hair breakage, split ends, and frizz; and may also suppress hair growth (14). Excess use of hair colors can lead to hair fall by damaging the hair follicles. You can instead try natural color options like henna. It colors and conditions your hair. You can also use coffee or cinnamon powder.
2. Hair Treatments
Most hair treatments use many harsh chemicals that lead to severe hair fall. Regular hair straightening also leads to split ends. Try avoiding or reducing the frequency of such hair treatments.
3. Brushing Wet Hair
Wet hair is fragile and susceptible to breakage. Never brush your hair while it is wet. Wait for your hair to dry naturally. You may then gently detangle it and comb softly.
4. Tight Hairstyles And Rubber Bands
Tight hairstyles like ponytails or braids pull hair from its roots. They can weaken hair and even cause permanent hair damage. Rubber bands also can do the same. Avoid such hairstyles as much as possible.
Everyone is looking for the secret to long, beautiful hair. But there isn’t one big secret. There are many factors that contribute to faster hair growth. Go ahead and try these techniques. See what works best for you. We are sure you will enjoy fuller, healthier hair.
- Anatomy, Hair
- Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue
- Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review
- Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use
- The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review
- Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer
- The effect of brushing on hair loss in women
- A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair
- Burden of hair loss: stress and the underestimated psychosocial impact of telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia
- An Open-Label Randomized Multicenter Study Assessing the Noninferiority of a Caffeine-Based Topical Liquid 0.2% versus Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia
- Caffeine improves barrier function in male skin
- Differential effects of caffeine on hair shaft elongation, matrix and outer root sheath keratinocyte proliferation, and transforming growth factor-β2/insulin-like growth factor-1-mediated regulation of the hair cycle in male and female human hair follicles in vitro