Plus, the reasons why it’s taking so long
A lob may have edgy appeal, but there’s something so feminine and lustworthy about long hair. But no matter how many haircuts we skip in order to reach our long hair goals, like a watched pot, hair just never seems to grow as fast as you want it to. *Especially* after a bad haircut (Kim Kardashian feels your pain). Or maybe you’re growing out short hair because you’ve done the short thing and now it’s time to try something new. Yep, we all want to know how to grow hair quickly.
But we bet that at the same time you’ve wondered how to grow your hair fast, you’ve also questioned whether it’s even possible to impact your hair’s natural growth. Well, we have some good news and some bad news. While you can’t technically make your hair grow faster, there are steps you can take to ensure your hair grows to its full potential.
So how fast does hair grow? It all depends on a bunch of factors. “Hormone imbalances, stress, poor diet, medication and environmental factors can all affect the speed of hair growth,” says O&M founder, Jose Bryce Smith. Our hair-damaging habits like heat styling and tying our hair up too tight can all get in the way.
That’s where these tips on how to make your hair grow faster come in. Ok, not faster, but as fast as it naturally should.
#1 / Don’t break-up with your hairdresser
You know how you previously admitted to avoiding your hairdresser to hold onto every centimetre of hair you have? Well you’re going about things the wrong way. While getting your hair cut doesn’t boost hair growth (yep, that’s an old wives’ tale), cutting off those nasty ends will prevent split ends from hacking away at what length you actually have, which means you’ll have less hair that needs to be chopped off in the long run. How much should you be trimming off with each visit? If you’re free from split ends, less than a centimetre should be enough.
#2 / Get your scalp’s blood pumping
Increasing the blood flow in your scalp will help stimulate growth and improve the health of your hair. Head massages? Indulge away. Exercise? You should do that, too, as cardiovascular workouts get blood circulating throughout your whole body, including your all-important hair-growing home – your scalp
#3 / Adjust your diet
“Human hair is made up mostly of water, protein and sulfur, so by adding more of these elements to your daily diet, you may increase your hair growth rate,” says Bryce Smith. “Eat plenty of wholefoods including eggs (rich in sulfur), nuts, fruit and vegetables (organic when possible), and quality proteins (grass fed meats and poultry and wild-caught seafood). Avoid refined sugar and processed food.”
Supplements can also help fill in the gaps in your diet (although always consult your doctor first). Try BondiBoost™ Hair Growth Support, these multivitamin tablets contain active ingredients like biotin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to support hair growth.
#4 / Brush up on your hairbrushing skills
A good brush can benefit your hair more than simply detangling it. The massaging effect from the bristles (natural bristles are best) will give your scalp a daily massage (which as we mentioned earlier will increase blood flow), plus it can stimulate your hair follicles. Take care when brushing wet hair as it's vulnerable to breakage – read our hair brush guide to choose the perfect hairbrush for the job.
#5 / Keep your scalp and hair clean
Dirt, oils and product build-up can clog your follicles, hindering healthy hair growth (which occurs in the base of the bulb of the hair follicle). So what do you need to do? “Keep your scalp clean by using a deep cleansing shampoo. And use a protein mask weekly to treat damaged hair,” recommends Bryce Smith. Another step you should be doing weekly is hair exfoliating. “We often put so much focus on the hair and not the skin the hair is growing out of. If the skin on your scalp is healthy, it creates a better environment for healthy hair to grow,” shared Pure Hair Food’s brand ambassador, Jenny Kim, when we quizzed her on the vital haircare step so many of us are missing.
For a deep cleansing shampoo (also known as a clarifying shampoo), try Drybar On The Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo.
#6 / Treat your hair with the right ingredients
What you put on your hair is just as important as what you put in your body. Vitamin E can help ease oxidative stress on the scalp, which can hinder hair growth. While vitamin C is great for unclogging the hair follicles by removing product build-up. Bryce Smith also recommends rice protein, found in O&M’s The Power Base Protein Masque, as it is rich in amino acids, which form the building blocks of hair. “Rice protein helps strengthen your locks, providing resistance against splitting, breaking and hair loss. It adds volume to the hair shaft giving it increased tensile strength, which further helps battle the elements that might dry it out like sun and wind or cause other damage.”
The best way to get a potent concoction of all the best ingredients into your hair? With a hair mask. If a hair treatment isn’t in your weekly rotation yet, you must have missed the memo: we talked ALL about it here and shared our top 10 favourite hair masks. If you'd prefer to leave it to the pros, try Kérastase Extentioniste Protocole. It's a new 'training program' that consists of a few in-salon appointments and a set of at-home haircare products, with the goal of repairing and strengthening hair while stimulating the scalp to optimise your hair's growth. Our Beauty Editor, Iantha put the 12-week program to the test and has shared her full review of the treatment.
There are a lot of home remedies out there for hair masks that can help hair growth. One worth trying is simply applying olive oil to your hair (and massaging it good and proper into your scalp). Olive oil can help your hair in a couple of ways: it helps soothe the scalp and unclog follicles thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it strengthens strands by increasing hair’s elasticity (thus reducing risk of breakage), and it inhibits the production of dihydrotestosterone (DTH) hormones, which can attack the hair follicles and weaken them.
If the above advice on how to grow long hair has left you feeling a little deflated, you can always take a short cut: hair extensions. Here’s everything you need to know about hair extensions.
Have you tried any of these fast hair-growth tips? Do you use any hair products that you think have helped your hair to grow faster? Please share!
Main image: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.