You want to grow your hair fast.
You’re tired of looking at gimmicky products online and you want to go the natural route.
When I got my big chop after my hair got damaged with chemical straightening, I was desperate to make my hair grow faster.
In this post, I’ll talk about all the natural ways you can grow your way faster by nourishing your hair from the inside and outside.
But we need to know a couple of things about hair first.
This will help you understand how to maintain healthy hair and ensure that it is strong enough to grow fast.
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How quickly does hair grow?
Hair usually grows 6 inches per year or 1 inch every two months.
But you need to know a little bit about hair before you understand how you can improve its growth.
Each hair has a hair shaft and a hair root. The hair shaft is the visible part of the hair while the root is inside your skin.
Now the hair root is covered by the hair follicle (which is a sheath of skin and connective tissue)
At the base of the hair, is the hair bulb. Inside the hair bulb, new hair cells are being produced constantly. Refer to the image below.
How does hair grow?
According to the National Library of Medicine, hair cells are constantly produced in the hair bulb, the cells will harden and thicken.
These hardened cells keep attaching to the hair below which eventually pushes the hair out of the skin and this is how hair grows.
As new hair grows underneath the skin, it pushes the dead hair out of the skin – this means that when your hair comes out of the skin, it is dead.
When your hair grows out of the skin, it passes throw the oil gland which coats your hair with sebum – this is what makes your hair soft and smooth.
This allows your hair to grow about 1 cm every month (or half an inch).
Why is my hair growing so slowly?
There are a lot of factors that actually affect hair growth. These are a few of them:
- Sex: Hair grows faster in males than in females
- Age: Hair grows fastest between the ages of 15 and 30. As you grow older, some hair follicles will stop working and this is when most hair thinning happens or people go bald
- Hair texture: If your hair is textured (curly or kinky), it will grow slower.
- Stress factors: If you generally take a lot of stress, your hair growth will slow down or enter the final stage before falling out. This is why stress impedes hair growth
- Health: Depending on the health of your scalp and the overall wellbeing of your hair follicles, you can maximize hair growth quicker
Apart from this, even genetics and race play a huge role in determining how fast hair actually grows.
But there are ways you can improve hair growth efficiency. Let’s see how we can do that.
11 ways to make your hair grow faster and longer naturally
Now, this may come as a slight disappointment, but there are no hair care products that can actually speed up your hair growth.
However, if you can strengthen your hair follicle so that you can reduce breakage and minimize hair damage.
This will ensure that your hair is growing optimally and you won’t get split ends.
1. Eat rich foods that promote healthy hair
Your hair derives nutrients from the blood directly.
So, if you eat healthy foods that contain good fats and protein, you will actually help boost your hair growth and grow healthy and shiny hair. Let’s take a good look at some of these foods.
- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good for helping your hair become shinier. Our body doesn’t produce these, so you can eat these fish to help
- Vegan and vegetarian options that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are seaweed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds
- Greek yogurt to help you with vitamin B5. Greek yogurt also helps promote more blood flow to the hair
- Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale contain a lot of vitamin A to help both your scalp and your hair
Incorporating these healthy foods into your diet is the best way to strengthen and nourish your hair follicles from within. You will notice less breakage and this means your hair will grow healthily.
2. Avoid heating tools
Any heating tools like hair dryers, curling irons, or straighteners should be avoided.
According to Dyson, high heat changes the shape of your hair’s keratin strands. Temperatures over 300°F convert the ⍺-keratin to β-keratin, which leads to weaker hair strands that become more brittle and prone to damage.
If you want to grow your hair naturally, please avoid heat as much as possible. I haven’t used a hair tool in years and my hair has never looked better.
3. Don’t brush your hair when it’s wet
Wet hair is very prone to breakage and brushing your hair right after a shower can damage the hair follicle or break it.
If your hair is straight, then you don’t need to brush it when it’s wet. Let it air dry.
If you have curly hair, detangle it in the shower after applying a lot of conditioner by running a wide-toothed comb like this through your hair. Read this post to learn how to manage dry and messy curly hair.
4. Get enough sleep and rest
Stress and lack of sleep affect hair growth tremendously.
There are 4 stages of hair growth and when you take a lot of stress or don’t sleep enough, your hair skips the growth stage and goes to the last stage where the hair falls.
This is why it is very important to eat healthy foods and get sufficient sleep daily to maintain healthy skin and hair.
If you are taking a lot of stress daily, then find ways to alleviate that stress by journaling or meditating.
I have the Headspace app and I do guided meditation. It’s a practice that takes time to get used to but you can start with as little as 5 minutes a day.
It really made a big difference to my personal life and I don’t stress as much as I used to.
5. Get regular trims
The ends of your hair are the weakest because they are also the oldest. New hair grows from the scalp.
That’s why the tips of your hair usually have split ends and look more brittle than the rest of the hair.
It is very important to get regular trims and just cut the tips of your hair every 4-6 months.
Otherwise, the split could move upwards and your hair strands will get damaged – leading to more breakage and stagnant growth.
If you’re experienced with cutting your own hair, you can do it at home. Alternatively, you can get trims once every 6 months.
6. Exfoliate your scalp
If you notice that you have dandruff or your scalp gets greasy way too quickly, then exfoliate your scalp gently once a week.
Dead skin accumulates on the scalp and this can prevent healthy hair growth.
Exfoliating the scalp once a week will remove excess oils and product buildup and massaging your head will help promote blood flow.
A healthy scalp will promote healthy hair growth.
7. Don’t over-shampoo (for curly and kinky hair)
If you have curly/kinky hair, over-shampooing will lead to dryness and breakage.
Please remember that curly/kinky hair is more prone to dryness. So over-shampooing will only stunt your hair growth.
If you have curly/kinky hair, shampoo your hair only once a week to get rid of product buildup. When shampooing your hair, don’t rub the shampoo on your hair. Just apply the shampoo to your scalp and when it’s frothing, let the foam wash over the rest of your hair.
Focus on clarifying the scalp as you don’t want too much product buildup there.
8. Oil your hair
Do this especially if you have textured hair.
I oil my hair once a week and I can honestly say that oiling my hair weekly has strengthened my hair and given it that healthy glow. It has also helped me reduce hair fall and keep my hair soft and shiny.
Here are the oils I recommend:
- Olive hair and honey mixture to soften your hair: Leave this for at least 1-2 hours before washing off with shampoo
- Coconut oil for healthy hair: Coconut hair adds shine and makes your hair stronger
- Jojoba oil for a healthy scalp: Use this at least once a month to help nourish your scalp
Of late, onion oil has become very popular and I am using it twice a month for the past few months because I can see the difference it’s making to my hair.
Onion oil has made my hair stronger and I’ve noticed far less hair fall after using it. This is the brand I am currently using:
This oil doesn’t have a harsh smell and it washes off very well after shampooing. I’ve even noticed little baby hairs growing in places where my hair was thinning. I highly recommend giving it a shot.
9. Massage your head
I massage my head for a minute or 2 before sleeping and it not only helps relax you but also stimulates blood flow to your scalp.
I highly recommend it if you have dry hair or your hair needs more nutrition.
10. Check for any vitamin deficiencies
If you have any vitamin deficiencies, that could lead to hair loss and slow hair growth.
Please go to a doctor and get yourself checked for any vitamin deficiencies. A lot of people have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
You can ask your Doctor if you can take Biotin supplements because these help with hair growth.
11. Use satin accessories
I tie my hair in high ponytails or buns throughout the day.
And switching from cotton bands to these satin scrunchies drastically improved the quality of my hair.
These scrunchies will prevent detangling and friction that cotton bands generally create which will result in less hair breakage and brittleness.
I highly recommend also getting some satin pillowcases. Cotton pillowcases have fibers that cause a lot of friction when we sleep – this constant rubbing leads to breakage.
Make sure that when you tie your hair up, you keep loose buns and ponytails. Tying your hair too tightly can result in breakage again.
If you feel that you are trying everything possible but your hair looks damaged and weak or it is just not growing, I highly recommend consulting a doctor to see if there are any problems with your health or any underlying deficiencies that are responsible.