If you’re looking for ways to grow out your hair quicker, then you’re not alone. Many people have been in the same situation but unfortunately, it’s not possible to make hair grow faster. What’s possible, however, is to make sure your hair is growing at its maximum natural speed by caring for it properly. This can be achieved by adopting habits that promote healthy hair growth and minimizing factors that cause hair to glow slower.
Factors that Affect Rate of Hair Growth
It’s estimated that on average, hair grows half a millimeter per day, half an inch per month and six inches in one year. Some people are genetically blessed to grow hair at a faster rate.
While genes play a big role in determining the rate of hair growth, other factors such as nutrition, overall health status, medications, and the use of styling products all play a part too.
Natural Ways to Grow Hair Faster
If your hair is growing at a slower rate than the average half an inch per month, you may want to try one of the following natural methods to stimulate faster growth.
- Adopt a Healthy Diet that Promotes Hair Growth
Many people resort to using hair products that promise to stimulate faster growth. However, most of the time the issue behind slow hair growth is on the inside, especially if hair is not getting the nutrients it needs to grow.
Simply put, a healthy diet is essential to promoting hair growth. In fact, some mineral and vitamin deficiencies actually cause loss of hair or stunt growth. Therefore, it’s important to eat healthy meals and vary food choices to get all the nutrients your body needs to grow hair.
Here are some of the essential nutrients that your hair needs in order to grow at an optimal speed:
Our hair is composed of a protein called Keratin. As such, it’s important to get the right amount of protein in your diet to promote healthy hair growth. You should adopt a diet that involves eating protein rich foods such as lean meat, poultry products, low fat dairy products, and fish.
For vegetarians, excellent sources of protein include beans, soy, tofu, and nuts. Keep in mind that meeting your daily dietary intake of protein provides your body with the building blocks to construct new hair.
- Iron and Zinc
If you lack enough iron or zinc in your body, this will slow down the rate of hair growth. Both of these minerals play vital roles in promoting growth of healthy hair. For instance, iron carries oxygen to cells and tissues. So, having enough of this nutrient will ensure that hair follicles in the scalp are getting enough oxygen.
On the other hand, zinc helps the body to generate new tissues. Therefore, zinc is an essential nutrient that promotes new hair growth when dead strands shed. It also promotes optimal functioning of oil glands that lubricate hair.
Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, eggs, lentils, beans, tofu and soybeans. Zinc can be found in fortified bread, cereal and pasta, as well as chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, crab, oysters, poultry, or lean meats.
- Healthy Fats
Fats are an essential addition to your healthy hair diet. With the help of healthy fats, the body is able to absorb nutrients that are vital for hair growth such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. In addition, lipids help the body to maintain healthy hair follicles that allow long strands to grow without breaking at the base. To promote faster hair growth, opt for foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other sources of unsaturated fats.
- B Vitamins
Health experts often cite a lack of B12 Vitamins as one of the causes of hair loss. There’s still no decisive scientific evidence that shows increased consumption of B vitamins will accelerate the rate of hair growth. However, having enough of these nutrients in your diet will help to prevent hair loss.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important since it promotes easy assimilation of iron and helps to build collagen, a fiber that strengthens new hair cells.
Ensure to eat plenty of citrus fruits as well as guavas, pineapples, kale, broccoli and peppers to enrich your diet with Vitamin C. Not having enough of this nutrient can cause hair to become dry, dull, and weak. When hair is not healthy, hair growth will slow down.
- Use a Natural Hair Growth Supplement
While eating a healthy diet helps to promote hair growth, you may not be able to get all the hair-building nutrients from your meals alone. To bridge this nutritional gap, you can take herbal supplements that contain nutrients known to aid in faster growth of hair.
Supplements that contain B-complex vitamins like biotin and folic acid are great for augmenting hair growth. You can also nourish hair from the inside and help it reach its maximum growth rate by eating fish oil, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, primrose oil, or saw palmetto.
- Reduce Physical and Emotional Stress
Stress is one of the factors known to trigger hair loss. When your body experiences severe stress, this causes temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium. Usually, hair goes through a cycle starting with a growth phase followed by a rest and shedding phase.
It’s believed that stress disrupts this natural cycle by pronouncing the shedding phase, causing it to last anywhere between 3 to 6 months. So, it’s important to minimize or eliminate stress in your life if you want to boost hair growth rate.
Here are a few methods for reducing both emotional and physical stress when striving for faster hair growth:
- Exercise Regularly
Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can greatly reduce stress. Studies show that physical activity pumps up endorphins (your “feel good” neurotransmitters) and improves mood. As an added benefit, exercising will improve circulation, which in turn improves delivery of nutrients to the hair and scalp.
- Learn How to Deal with Emotional Stress
Intense emotional distress caused by anxiety at work, change of employment, divorce, loss of a loved one, or other reasons can shut down hair growth. To protect your body from emotional stress, take some time out to heal or get into a stable state of mind.
For instance, spare some “me time” at the end of every day to practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing. Talking to someone you can confide in can also help to reduce emotional stress. As the body and mind recovers from stress, so will your hair growth cycle.
- Identify and Deal with Physical Stressors
Certain physical stressors can shut down hair production. For example, some people experience zero hair growth for several months when going through the physical trauma of an accident. This happens because the body devotes available nutrients to tissue repair.
In such cases, it’s best to focus on recovery because once wounds have healed normal hair growth should return. Hyperactivity, lack of sleep, excessive supplementation, and excessive use of over-the-counter drugs are all forms of physical stressors that you should avoid when trying to promote faster hair growth.
- Massage the Scalp Every Day
Massaging the scalp helps blood circulate through hair follicles. Improved circulation means that follicles will get the nutrients they need to maintain existing hair or produce new strands.
With a hot oil scalp massage, you can promote circulation in the follicles and maintain flow of nutrients to hair. There are many natural essential oils to choose from, including coconut, castor, jojoba, olive, or rosemary oil. Palm oil is an excellent choice of Tocotrienols, which is an essential nutrient that tremendously aids in hair growth. This oil also provides an extra layer of protection against harmful sun rays or chlorine found in swimming pool water.
Whatever essential oil you choose to use, make sure to work it through your scalp thoroughly. After massaging, cover your head with a towel dipped in hot water so that the oil can spread evenly on the scalp pores.