Several factors play a role in how fast hair grows, some of which a person cannot change. However, there are some steps a person can take to slow down hair loss and improve the appearance of their hair.
This article looks at some ways in which a person can boost their hair growth, from improving diet to exploring natural remedies.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) note that hair grows quickly and that a person can expect their hair to grow around 6 inches per year.
The Trichological Society, who are based in the United Kingdom, say that the average rate of growth is 0.5–1.7 centimeters per month. The rate of growth can depend on a person’s:
For the most part, these are things that people cannot control.
However, diet and nutrition can affect how healthy the hair is, and some deficiencies can cause hair growth to slow down.
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may help improve hair growth and hair appearance for some people.
It is important to note that hair products and vitamin supplements are unlikely to make any noticeable changes to the growth rate.
According to The Trichological Society, hair reflects the overall condition of the body.
For example, brittle hair or hair that has stopped growing may be a symptom of a nutritional deficiency.
The Trichological Society add that a person’s hair will typically grow back once they have addressed the nutritional deficiency.
Some sources of vitamin B2 include:
- organ meats
- green vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli
- fortified cereals and bread
Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that vitamin B7, or biotin, deficiencies can lead to thinning of the hair and hair loss all over the body.
Some sources of vitamin B7 include:
- sunflower seeds
- sweet potato
- dairy products, such as milk and plain yogurt
They also note that folate deficiencies can cause changes in the color of the hair. Folate is present naturally in foods, while manufacturers typically add folic acid to foods.
Some sources of folate include:
- Brussels sprouts
- kidney beans
A person can find folic acid in:
- enriched bread
- fortified cereals
- fortified corn masa flour
According to one
Cysteine, which is an amino acid, is important in the rate of hair growth.
Some sources of amino acids include:
- cottage cheese
- broad beans
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- grain products, including buckwheat and brown rice
- promote cellular division
- promote hair shaft elongation
- increase the expression of the hair growth promoter insulin-like growth factor 1
It also noted that female hair follicles are more sensitive to caffeine.
In the review, research into caffeine shampoo indicated that it could reduce the amount of hairs that fall out during combing and slow down hair loss progression.
As a result, topical use of caffeine may help reduce hair loss. However, the studies are limited and have a lack of quantitative data.
It is important to point out that, according to The Trichological Society, hair products such as shampoos are unlikely to make a noticeable difference in hair growth.
In recent years, several studies have looked into which essential oils have properties that can encourage hair growth.
Although scalp massage can help relieve stress, the act of stimulating the scalp could also boost hair growth.
The researchers found that there was a significant improvement in hair thickness at the end of the study, suggesting that boosting circulation to the follicles by massage could help promote thicker, healthier looking hair.
More recent research from 2019 found that 68.9% of 340 participants reported “hair loss stabilization or regrowth” after performing scalp massages twice per day.
Smoking reduces circulation, which means that hair follicles are not getting the nutrients they need from the blood.
A 2020 study into early onset alopecia found that those who smoke were more than twice as likely to have thinning hair than those who do not smoke.
Smoking is also
The following tips may help prevent hair loss by reducing everyday damage:
- Choose a shampoo that is appropriate for one’s hair type.
- Gently massage the shampoo into the scalp.
- Use a conditioner after each shampoo, concentrating on the ends of the hair.
- Wrap the hair in a microfiber towel to absorb more water from the hair. Avoid rubbing the hair with a towel.
- Avoid using heated devices — such as curling tongs, straighteners, hot combs, and flat irons — on the hair.
- Avoid wearing hairstyles that pull tightly on the hair, such as tight ponytails or braids and tight cornrows. Alternatively, alternate these tighter hairstyles with looser braids or cornrows, if possible, to give the hair time to recover.
People with patches of visible hair loss or damage may wish to visit a dermatologist for advice and treatment.
Everyday care tips for Black hair
The AAD suggest the following for Black hair care:
- Wash the hair once per week or once every other week.
- Use a conditioner.
- Use a hot oil treatment twice each month to add moisture and elasticity.
- Use ceramic combs or irons.
- Ensure that braids, weaves, or cornrows are not too tight.
- Be cautious if using hair relaxers.
- Be sure to use heating products before styling.
Tips for weaves and extensions
Weaves and extensions can damage the hair follicles. To help prevent hair damage, a person can:
- Take steps to ensure that natural hair is healthy by following the above hair care tips.
- See a professional stylist and let them know if pain occurs.
- Wash the hair as often as needed for the hair type.
- Use water-based styling gels and conditioners to protect the fine hairs around the hairline.
- Change hairstyles every 2–3 months.
Hair growth passes through four distinct phases in its life cycle. The sections below will look at these phases in more detail.
This is when the hair follicles produce and push out hair.
This phase is transitional and marks the change between the growth phase and the resting phase.
This is when hair remains in its follicles but does not actively grow. Around
This is when the follicle releases the hair, and it falls out.
This phase allows the follicle to grow new hair unless it is damaged or affected by an underlying condition, such as alopecia.
The speed at which a person’s hair grows depends on genetics, sex, age, and hormones.
However, a person can maintain the health and growth rate of their hair. Maintaining a healthy diet and exploring natural remedies, such as scalp massage and essential oil use, may help improve the hair’s appearance.
A person can also maintain the health of their hair through everyday care.