If you’re tired of your current look and want to grow hair faster to change it up a bit, you know how painstakingly slow it can be. It is hard to get your hair to the desired length quickly without using any extensions, but if you prefer natural solutions, there are some tricks that can help.
How fast does hair grow?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair grows on average 6 inches (15 cm) per year. However, this rate can be influenced by how healthy the hair is, the overall health, age and ethnicity.
According to a 2005 study, Asian women grow the average of 6 inches per year, while Caucasian females only reach the 5 inches on average. African females have slower hair growth, researchers say, reaching only the 4 inches.
8 tricks to grow hair faster
There are a few things you can do to stimulate the follicles to grow hair faster. However, your main concern shouldn’t be the growth rate but rather to protect the stands to prevent breakage. It won’t matter how fast your hair grows unless you keep it healthy.
Readjust your diet
Your diet is one of the most important factors to hair grow faster. The follicles need a good supply of nutrients to provide them with energy and the nourishing instruments to make hair grow.
Focus particularly on increasing your intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and zinc as play an active role in preventing hair loss. There are also some indications that deficient levels of biotin, iron and vitamins C and D can also promote hair loss.
Just make sure to have a healthy and varied diet and to prefer fresh and natural foods. If you do so, these nutrients will balance out without you having to take any supplements.
Avoid clogging your follicles
In your attempt to nourish and protect your follicles you may end up harming them. Don’t apply vaseline to your scalp or any fat ointments. These will create a moist environment that can clog the follicles and soften the hair root, weakening it.
Likewise, try to reduce or avoid the use of styling products such as dry shampoo or other powders.
Massage your scalp
The inversion method isn’t as efficient as many believe, but its principle is correct. Increasing the blood flow on the scalp will promote a better oxygenation of the follicles and a better supply of nutrients, which is beneficial to grow hair faster.
You don’t need to turn your head around to do it do. A simple and gentle massage to the scalp is good enough to achieve your goal.
Trim the end often
Trimming the hair doesn’t do anything to promote hair growth, contrary to popular belief.
You should do it because of the split ends. The ends are the oldest part of the hair and they have been suffering external aggressions for years and once they start splitting it is impossible to revert their state.
Nevertheless, the splitting can expand up your strands. If you don’t trim your hair often to remove the first signs of split ends, your next visit to the hairdresser can be painful as you will have to chop your hair way more than you intended.
Nourish your hair
Every time you wash your hair you should apply conditioner to nourish it. Your locks will become thinner with time, particularly at the bottom, due to the constant aggression, the use of styling products, and heat. You need to remember that your hair doesn’t grow overnight, so the one you have right now has been with you for some years now, which means it already went through a lot.
Apply a moist-based hair mask or an oil treatment once a week too to reinforce this nutrition.
Be careful when brushing
Another popular myth to grow hair faster says you have to brush it frequently and do 100 stokes every time, to be precise. This is exactly what you should not be doing if want to have a long hair.
Frequent brushing creates friction and can lead to a frizzed effect, which in turn will increase the chances of breakage.
You should only do it when you need to, and that’s enough. If done only occasionally, brushing can actually be beneficial to distribute the oils through the strands and the soft pull can also stimulate the blood flood in the scalp.
Don’t pull your hair too often
Tight hairdos pull on the scalp and can damage the follicles. Likewise, the shafts can also break or become weak where you tie them.
If possible, avoid doing any of these hairdos while you’re waiting for your hair to grow. If you need to tie it up in a ponytail, for instance, don’t pull it too tight and try to change its position each time so it’s not the same follicles being pulled every time.
Switch to silk pillowcases
While you sleep, you’re constantly rubbing your hair in your pillowcase which can create friction and lead to more breakage. With silk pillowcases, the surface is soft enough that the hair can slide instead of rubbing, thus reducing friction.
Less friction also means less bed hair in the morning and less styling products to make it presentable again. It’s a win in every sense.
Why does your hair stop growing?
On average, humans have between 90 000 and 150 000 hair follicles, but they don’t all grow hair the same time. Hair growth implies three phases.
Hair growth phases
The anagen is a growing phase and it lasts anywhere between 2 to 7 years. Next comes the catagen phase, when the growth has ended and the hair papilla detaches from the nutrient supply. It lasts for approximately 10 days.
The last phase is the telogen when the hair is released from the follicles and falls down. It can take up to 3 months for the follicle to initiate the anagen phase again.
Genetics and affect the length of each hair phase and shorten it. Your anagen phase might be shorter than average and the hair won’t grow past a certain length no matter what you do.
The anagen phase can also be shortened as you grow older. Therefore, it can be progressively more difficult to grow it to your normal or desired length.
Moreover, age also leads to the decrease of oil production on the scalp. As the hair becomes drier and coarser it will be more at risk of breaking and not reaching its maximum length.
If your goal is to grow hair faster, less is more.
A complex hair routine with several products and loads of styling will eventually lead to its breakage and your hair won’t reach the desired length. The problem, in this case, is not that the hair has stopped growing, but rather that it keeps breaking.
It won’t achieve the length you wanted because it will use its resources to grow back the broken part instead.
The phases explained
Check the video below for an animated explanation of how hair growth and the most common causes of hair loss.