Trying to lengthen or thicken your hair can seem like a never-ending waiting game. According to the Trichological Society, hair grows at an average pace of 0.5 to 1.7 centimetres per month, or around two to eight inches per year, making it the fastest-growing tissue in the human body. It can seem like very little growth, especially while you wait for it to start.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), between 50 and 100 hairs fall out every day. However, if you believe your hair is growing too slowly, there are some adjustments you can make to your daily haircare routine.You can experiment with using a different hairbrush, reducing how frequently you use your hair drier to minimise damage, or including foods and oils that promote hair growth in your regimen to hasten hair growth.
According to renowned dermatologists, famous hairstylists, skincare specialists, and our own Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts, these are the tips and home treatments that grow hair quickly.
1. Get trims frequently
Although it may seem contradictory, regular trims are necessary if you want long, healthy hair. Michael Dueas, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist, says that haircuts don’t speed up hair growth but do remove split ends that can damage hair. Eliminating breakage makes it appear as though your hair is growing more quickly. Because split ends can break, your hair may lose length as well as shine, volume, and smoothness.
2. Consume a healthy diet.
Long, strong hair is influenced by more than just the products you use on it; it is also influenced by the foods you consume. According to dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D., you must “feed” the hair from the inside to encourage hair development. So what foods promote faster hair growth? meats and other sources that are high in protein, the substance that gives hair its structure. Try increasing your protein intake by eating more whole grains, seafood, beans, and nuts, she advises. Even if you’re not a big fan of meat, you should still try to eat a lot of protein to promote hair growth. According to Dr. Fusco, women who don’t get enough of it frequently experience “more hair shedding.”
And avoid popular “cleanses” for a variety of reasons. Dueas cautions that performing a cleanse is bad for your hair because it deprives your body of nutrients. “You’ll notice slower hair growth and dull locks after doing a cleanse even for a week.”
3. Include a vitamin for strong hair in your morning routine.
A supplement may help you significantly if your diet isn’t giving you enough nutrition. Dr. Fusco advises finding a multivitamin that is made and branded “for hair, skin, and nails.” “Those have vital vitamins like biotin, C, and B, which help encourage healthy hair.” Stefani Sassos, the deputy director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab, suggests the following vitamins and minerals to promote healthier hair – Omega e Fatty Acids, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
4. Moisturize more and shampoo less.
Your hair’s health is actually impacted by how frequently you shampoo. According to Ken Paves, a well-known celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles, “shampooing your hair [only] two to three times a week allows your natural oils to penetrate your hair, allowing it to hydrate and repair itself.” Pick a shampoo with the words “volumizing” or “thickening” on the label if you want thicker, fuller-looking hair quickly.
According to GH Beauty Lab experts, regularly coating your hair in a silky deep conditioner, hair mask, or detangler can also help to prevent damage while detangling strands. Apply a weekly hair mask from root to tip, either commercially or at home: According to Liana Zingarino, a free-lance hair stylist based in New York City, one with cinnamon can quickly increase blood circulation, promoting stronger, longer hair.
5. Avoid using bleach.
Even though platinum hair is stylish, transitioning from a deeper shade to light blonde may prevent you from having the longest hair possible. According to Elizabeth Hiserodt, a senior colorist at the Cutler Salon in New York City, “when the cuticle of the hair is damaged from bleach, you can have more breakage or split ends.” “The better your hair will grow, the fewer chemical treatments you will need.”
6. Refrain from overheating your hair.
Paves advises against over-styling your hair. In order to avoid damaging your hair and causing breakage and frizz, he advises lowering the temperature and always using a heat protectant.
7. Regularly brush your hair.
When you’re exhausted, it may be tempting to skip brushing your hair before bed, but doing so can be beneficial for the general health of your hair and scalp. Meri advises using a boar bristle brush to distribute the oils from your scalp evenly throughout your hair so that it remains naturally hydrated. Celebrity stylist and colorist Kate O’Connor works at Cooper in West Hollywood, California. Additionally, by taking this quick action every night, you’ll improve circulation, which will benefit the health of your scalp.
8. Keep shower temperatures cool and concentrate on scalp care.
Taking a hot shower might dry out your skin and damage your hair. Paves advises lowering the water’s temperature when washing and paying special attention to your scalp. While shampooing, massage the area with your fingertips to thoroughly degunk and promote blood flow.
9. Prevent physical harm to hair.
Instead, disentangle hair before showering because wet hair is more prone to breaking. “Water exposure swells and stretches the hair shaft, causing the shingle-like outer layer to lift, and adding stress from brushing in that state can cause it to break,” explains senior chemist Sabina Wizemann of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab.
If you must untangle damp hair, follow these instructions carefully: Wizemann suggests using a top-rated leave-in conditioner from roots to ends and using a softer wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to reduce friction. Work from the ends up in small sections to avoid tearing hair.
10. Use a silk pillowcase to sleep.
You can improve your hair overnight if you simply switch out your pillowcase and take advantage of silk’s benefits for healthy hair. According to Jesleen Ahluwalia, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City, “Silk is easier on hair — it helps avoid tangles and breakage.” Your hair will grow longer if it experiences less breakage. They’re so good, in fact, that the Good Housekeeping Institute even carried out a comprehensive study to identify the top silk pillowcases.
11. Consider trying minoxidil
Buy a bottle of Women’s Rogaine, advises April Franzino, the GH beauty director. With sustained usage in accordance with the directions on the box, the active component, minoxidil, has been shown to help reduce hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. Pick up Hers 2% Minoxidil Topical Solution and use the dropper applicator to target more specialised problem areas for a more focused treatment.
But be sceptical of shampoos that make hair-growing claims since, according to Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., principal scientist at Proctor & Gamble Beauty, “hair growth via shampoo has yet to be scientifically validated, at least in published studies or to FDA’s criteria.”
When to discuss hair loss with your doctor
Your hair’s poor (or nonexistent) growth may be a result of underlying hair loss reasons. According to Cleveland Clinic, more than 50% of women will have visible hair loss, and that doesn’t include those who are born with fine or scant hair. According to Joyce Davis, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, “Hair that’s naturally small in diameter [fine] or sparse is inherited.” Hair loss is frequently patchy hereditary (or androgenic) thinning. Telogen effluvium (TE), or all-over shedding brought on by hormones or medical conditions like thyroid or autoimmune disease and anemia, is another typical type of hair loss.
When TE is treated, hair usually grows back; consult a doctor for a diagnosis. The over-the-counter topical minoxidil indicated above has been shown to promote hair growth with continued treatment in cases of androgenic hair loss. According to Dr. Davis, the professional procedure PRP (platelet-rich plasma) stimulates growth by injecting growth factors from your blood into the scalp. Find out if it’s appropriate for you by speaking with a dermatologist.