10 Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster
For a lucky few, enviably long hair just happens. For the rest of us, it requires patience, effort and some very deliberate changes in our haircare routine. If went to short at your last salon appointment, or you’ve simply found yourself getting discouraged because your hair just isn’t growing as long or as quickly as you’d like, don’t reach for the hair extensions just yet.
Technically, on average, hair grows half an inch in a month—however, if monitoring the whereabouts of your ends has left you frustrated, then you’re in the right place.
Check out these pro tips to guide you (and your hair) in the right direction. And who better to counsel on how to grow your hair faster than a Columbus Ohio trichologist—that is someone who specializes in all matters of the scalp, including the science of the structure, function and diseases of the scalp and human hair? We spoke with Tiché Florence, PLEIJ Salon+Spa’s owner and the salon’s trichologist for her best tips on how to make your strands grow longer, faster, stronger.
Implement these recommendations and people will be calling your Rapunzel in no time.
1) Identify What’s Slowing Your Hair Growth
Technically, on average, hair grows half an inch in a month—however, if monitoring the whereabouts of your ends has left you frustrated, then there are three areas worth investigating. “Oftentimes, hair doesn’t grow at the rate it is capable of or, very commonly, it is falling out before it reaches its optimal length,” says Tiché. “This is often due to a poor diet and nutritional deficiencies. Stress is another factor to consider, as high stress levels can also impact your hair growth cycle. Breakage can also prevent hair from growing past a certain length. It is therefore important to treat your hair with TLC.”
Eating the right foods.
Having long, strong hair doesn’t just depend on which products you put on your hair; it also depends on what you put into your body. “To promote hair growth, you need to ‘feed’ the hair from the inside,” explains Tiché. “Try increasing your protein intake with foods like fish, beans, nuts and supplementing with collagen protein.” If you’re not a meat-lover, you should still aim to maintain a diet high in protein. Tiché warns that women who don’t get enough of it often experience “more shedding.” Nutritionist Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN adds that foods high in protein as well as vitamins A, B12, C, and E, minerals like zinc and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to healthier hair.
Protein is your friend—Tiché suggests you factor it into your breakfast and lunch. “Because hair is a non-essential tissue, it is not prioritized by the body,” she explains. “By adding these vital nutrients early and often, the message is there’s enough to go around.” She goes on to share that good examples of healthy proteins are eggs, lean meats, fish, and low-fat cottage cheese.
You’ll also want to cut the back-and-forth with your diet, says Dr. Lindsey Bordone, a dermatologist at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center.
“This can cause your body to think you are entering a period of famine and will ultimately lead to hair thinning,” she says, adding that stress and lack of sleep can also negatively affect hair growth.
Stop Overstyling & Don’t Overwash Your Hair.
Treat your hair a little more gently. “Use a low to medium heat setting, not a high one, when you style,” Tiché suggests. “Apply heat protectant products when you blow-dry and, in the summer, protect your strands from the sun with products containing UV filters.”
You’ve probably heard this one before but it’s one that bears repeating: You don’t need to wash your hair every day. In fact, Tiché says three times a week is ideal and it will help hair continue to grow healthfully. “Each time you shampoo you are stripping the natural scalp oils that nourish the hair growth process,” she says.
2) Care for Your Scalp
Treating your scalp is a little like tending to a garden’s soil: it helps the plants (a.k.a your hair) grow. Using a scalp scrub or mask will ensure that there is no product build-up that could impair growth, while a scalp massage can help relieve tension and boost circulation to the hair follicles.
“Scalp massage also helps active ingredients within topically applied products to penetrate,” says Tiché. “For instance, if you have a flaky or irritated scalp, it can be very beneficial to gently massage a targeted, soothing anti-microbial scalp mask into your scalp once to twice a week.”
To massage the scalp, Tiché shares this guidance:
Employing the use of both hands, start at the temples and gently but firmly massage the scalp in a circular motion. Avoid friction and intense rubbing back and forth, as this has the potential to roughen the cuticle and be too irritating to the skin, which is why this is best done with a mask on the scalp. Continue the motion through the hairline and move back towards the crown ending at the nape of your neck. Repeat twice!
3) Swerve Split Ends
Once split ends set in, the only way to get rid of them is with a trim. So if you have them, make sure to get them snipped off pronto. If you want to preserve the length, ask your hairdresser just to tackle the split ends; this technique is also known as “dusting,” because the ends that wind up on the salon floor look like dust.
Now your hair is free of split ends, Tiché recommends these three tips to avoid them returning:
Choose a gentle hairbrush:
“Your brush, being a tool you use every day, is very important. Avoid boar bristle and metal pronged brushes, as these can tear into the hair cuticle and result in split ends. Regardless of hair texture, choose a brush with rounded plastic prongs and a vented, cushioned base. These are gentle on both your hair and scalp. You can cater the size of your brush to the length and thickness of your strands. For instance, if you have long and coarse hair, pick a brush with a larger surface area.”
Always brush correctly:
“Start at your ends and gradually and gently work your way up. Starting at the top can snap through tangles, splitting strands.”
Use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment:
“This will help to strengthen your ends and prevent splits from forming.”
4) Supplement for Length (and Strength)
Supplements are a great way to support hair growth, especially if your diet is sometimes lacking (no shame here, we’re all super busy).
Pure Encapsulations Nail / Skin / Nails Ultra contains an exceptional mix of vitamins and minerals, specifically selected with the unique needs of the hair and scalp,” says TTiché. “It promotes healthy hair growth and corrects nutritional deficiencies that can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to increased shedding and hair loss. It contains biotin which is a member of the Vitamin B family and known to promote healthy hair growth; PABA supports the appearance of healthy hair through its effects on melanin metabolism; L-Lysine an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the body; as well as Vitamin C, zinc, copper, manganese and silica which are integral collagen and keratin cofactors.” Optimal levels of these nutrients, as well as folate, have been associated with healthy hair.
Tiché recommends all her clients take a daily protein supplement, “as hardly anyone eats enough protein from a hair growth standpoint. Look for one containing all ‘essential’ amino acids (proteins your body cannot make on its own). She recommends Bulletproof Collagen Protein ($39.95).”
“In terms of multi-vitamins, most women of menstruating age will benefit from a daily iron and Vitamin B12 supplement – especially if your periods are heavy,” she adds.
5) Finish your Shower with a Cool Rinse
A super steamy shower isn’t just bad for your skin — it’s also rough on your hair. “Turn the water temperature down when cleansing,” recommends Tiché. “And rinse with cool water to help seal the cuticle and strengthen your hair before styling it.”
6) Be Careful When you Brush Wet Hair.
Hair is especially susceptible to breakage when it’s wet, but if you absolutely must get some knots out post-shower, make sure to use a brush that will go easy on your strands. Using a Tangle Teezer or Wet Brush is key. The technique is just as important as the tool. “Start gently brushing from the ends and gradually work your way up. And don’t just brush the top layer — brush the hair underneath as well.”
7) Don’t Pull Gray Hair.
You might have heard that plucking gray hairs can stimulate hair growth, but Tiché says that is not the case. “In fact, in some cases, such as postpartum hair regrowth, the hair will sometimes start gray and then darken in color,” she says. “Plucking them just means you have lost a hair.”
8) Get to the Root of the Problem.
Speaking of hair loss from pregnancy — or even as the result of a hair loss condition like alopecia areata — and how to treat it during the postpartum phase, Tiché, says you might want to consider a Red Light Therapy Treatment to stimulate hair growth.
Red Light Therapy or Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) is a medical grade laser therapy treatment that reverses the natural process of our hair thinning. This new laser therapy form brings options to those suffering from hair loss by getting to the root of the problem. It stimulates and energizes the cells within the hair follicle to promote thicker and healthier hair.
9) Sleep on a Silk or Satin Pillow.
Getting better hair in your sleep is possible — all you need is to switch up your pillowcase. “Silk and satin are both easier on hair — it helps avoid tangles and breakage,” says Tiché. The less breakage your hair experiences, the longer your hair will be. Satin Wonders Pillowcases are made with their superior satin that reduces hair breakage and protects hairstyles, maintains moisture balance, and is machine washable. It’s soft on the hair, yet strong enough not to deteriorate through repeated washings ($24 – $28).
10) See a Doctor
If you have tried all the above and nothing seems to be working, then it might be worth visiting your doctor.
“Don’t put off that physical any longer,” says Tiché. “I always advise women to prioritize themselves the way they do everyone else in the family. Have your doctor ensure that there are no underlying health factors at play. You want to eliminate any thyroid or other endocrine disturbances and discuss if there are any recent changes to your menstrual cycle.”
So there you have it. Get strategic, treat your hair with care from the inside-out, scalp to tips, and you’ll have stronger, longer hair in no time.
Health & Beauty Tips
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