We’ve all marveled at those posts on Pinterest and Instagram of long-haired glamazons who seem to have grown storybook-length hair overnight. Here they are, flaunting five more inches in their “Week 2” photos, taunting you with their almost incredulous progress. And then there’s you, with your months-old baby bang mistake that won’t seem to make it past your eyebrows, no matter how hard you try to grow hair faster. What gives?
Hair growth is, unfortunately, just one of those things that’s on a biological schedule for everyone—that is, no amount of prodding, praying or pulling can force it to sprout out of your head faster than nature intended. Hair growth varies slightly between ethnicities, but on average it grows around six inches a year, or ½ inch per month (Disclaimer: That is not a whole lot.). Lately, a lot of people are discovering ways to allegedly “speed up” this process and grow hair faster via supplements and cleanses, but there is really no evidence that supplements improve hair health, rather than simply help maintain healthy growth.
We can’t really attest to the amount of time they shave off—we have yet to do our own week two trials—but these have been proven to promote stronger, healthier, sturdier strands that are less prone to breakage. This is the main reason they are said to be effective, since hair doesn’t break off and retains a longer, shinier appearance. There are a few ways that you can help to grow hair faster. Read on:
How to Grow Hair Faster (and Better)
1. Maintain a healthy scalp.
Have you ever noticed that the longer you take between washes, the more hair fall there is in the shower drain? Unilever’s Leon Van Gorkom attributes this to the frequency of showering. “If you take fewer showers, then the natural shedding of hair (often seen in shower drains or as you brush your hair out) is that of several days.” This means that you shouldn’t panic, but you should still look after your scalp’s health. Oil can be good for your hair, but too much can weigh hair down and leave it looking flat and limp and bear down on finer strands. Keep your scalp hydrated and hair on an optimally cleansed level with a wash and care system that maintains your scalp’s optimal moisture level, like Clear 24/7 Total Care Shampoo and Clear 24/7 Total Care Conditioner.
2. Get regular trims.
Calm yourself, ’tis necessary for your hair health. Do so at least every six to eight weeks, or when you notice some visible fraying start to happen. Two things: First, trimming hair prevents the onslaught of split ends, leading to less tugging when combing or brushing hair, with then can prevent future breakage. Second, trimming hair on the regular gives the ends a fuller, neater, less scraggly appearance, which is always a great thing. Try to also invest in a good, moisturizing weekly treatment, like the Dove Nutritive Solutions Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Mask to nourish your dry, damaged strands.
3. Invest in that boar-bristled brush already.
It may cost you your food allowance for the week, but nothing comes quite close to how effective it is in distributing your hair oils. Sebum is nature’s own anti-brittleness lubricant, and coating hair from the root to tip via the right brush helps prevent breakage and gives strands a lot of vital moisture.
4. Get your grow, glow and go food in.
Eating a balanced diet might seem like a crunchy, new age solution to hair growth—thanks, Mom—but where else do you think hair gets all its juice from? Your body provides the fuel hair needs, so no harm in helping yourself to beneficial proteins and minerals that can help you maintain healthy hair growth. Fish, nuts (walnuts are awesome), olive oil, flaxseeds and beans give important omega-3 fatty acids. Studies also highlight salmon, dairy, fresh fruit and green veggies to help provide Vitamins A, B complex, C and E, iron, copper, selenium and magnesium, all of which can contribute to hair health.
5. If you’re really nutritionally deficient, a supplement can help.
Although not scientifically proven to speed things up, supplements like biotin (vitamin H) are said to help promote healthier hair, skin and nails by encouraging new growth and overall strength. Biotin is also said to prevent dryness.
6. Give heat a rest.
For at least one day more than usual, opt to air-dry or rock an updo. Heat tools like blowdryers and curling/flat irons are one of the major causes of chronic damage to the shaft, so use at a lower heat or further away. Furthermore, heat protectants (we like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray) are your friend! Between singeing off strands due to improper use of tools and the normal breakage caused by tugging and daily manipulation, we really don’t need to do much convincing of the abuse that goes on here. Give your locks a break and work some trendy loose styles for a change.
7. And stay cool instead.
Water swells up a cuticle, leaving it more vulnerable to damage. Rinse hair off with cool water to promote a pretty, silky shine. Cool water can also give a refreshing break during a hot summer!
8. Indulge in a scalp massage
Treat yourself to the occasional scalp massage. Some say this boosts blood flow and also gives you an extra jolt of stress relief.
9. Make a D.I.Y. hair mask.
If you’re feeling crafty, whip up a castor oil and flaxseed mask. Said to be full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, they can keep growing hair looking and feeling healthy, some moisturizing botanical infusions, like almond, coconut or olive oil, can be a great add-on to that scalp massage too.
Looking for more ways to grow hair faster? Check out our tips on how to grow hair.