For women of all ages fast healthy hair growth is like the holy grail of hair care.
At first sight the question seems a bit superficial. But for anyone who has ever experienced hair loss or thinning hair through illness, stress or hormonal change – you know it goes much deeper than that.
You may be desperate to regrow your hair quickly for your confidence and self esteem. If you are over 40 you may be trying to grow out your gray. Or you may be reeling from the effects of a bad hair cut or color.
How hair looks can deeply affect a woman’s sense of self worth so wanting to know how to make your hair grow faster is far from a silly question.
The first thing to understand is that we are all stuck with a standard hair growth cycle – scalp hair grows at around a half inch a month for the average person.
Some people may get a quicker rate of growth than this but even those with the quickest growing hair are going to be limited to a top hair growth rate for of around an inch a month and that is very unusual. Most of us by definition are stuck with the average of 1/2 inch.
Hair growth rates don’t differ much across the population as a whole and growth rates are largely fixed by three things – genetics, gender and age.
Genetics plays the largest part here – if your mother’s hair tended to grow quickly then yours probably will too. Age and gender also matter – unfortunately not in your favor if you are an older women. The rate of hair growth for scalp hair is lower for women than men and hair grows about 20% slower once you hit retirement age compared with your pre-puberty self.
The realistic answer to the question “how to make your hair grow faster” is straightforward: no matter what you do hair won’t grow a lot faster than your normal rate. A small improvement is the best you can expect. What you can do is boost hair health as it grows.
Hair growth is caused by cell division – just like any other growth (skin, nails,) in the human body. Cells divide around the root of the hair and push older hair up and out. Cells divide at a slower rate as you age – hence the decline in hair growth rates with age.
There isn’t much any of us can do about this decline in hair growth. There is one hair product – Minoxidil (Rogaine) – that may slightly increase the rate of cell division around the root but you should only use this specifically for thinning hair conditions. Whilst it is a very low level formulation (2%) – it probably isn’t wise to play around with cell division rates unless you need to.
Even though you won’t double the rate of hair growth – it is worthwhile taking steps to encourage hair to grow a little more quickly. When your hair does grow it will be healthier and in great condition if you follow these 5 practical steps:
1. Imrove your general diet and include all the right things for healthy hair. Good nutrition is essential for hair growth. Poor diet can lead to thinning hair or even total baldness. The key elements here are foods with the B vitamins, green leafy and yellow veggies for beta-catotene, vitamin E, fish and flax oils for essential fatty acids, and good proteins like soy (tofu), eggs and white meats.
2. Get enouth sleep – like the rest of your body hair needs adequate rest to regenerate and renew. Eight hours starting before midnight is the beauty sleep standard .
3. Try taking lecithin which some experts believe may help hair growth rates.
4. Take a hair health supplement to boost the essential supply of the right vitamin and minerals. You are looking for the B group vitamins as well as vitamin E, vitamin A and minerals like magnesium and zinc. Boost essential fatty acids (omega 3 or 6) which will help promote shinier and healthier hair growth.
5. Do no harm – where to begin? Modern hair takes a beating daily so here’s some things you can do to give your hair a better chance of growing at it’s quickest rate. Avoid stressing your hair with heavy handed treatment – pulling, stretching or over heating hair strands (hair driers and irons) will cause breakage and hair loss. Avoid bleach and amonia based hair colorants. Throw away heavy hair finishing treatments and hair sprays. Don’t put your head under the water at the pool and protect your hair from salt water and salt spray at the beach. Wear a hat or scarf or use a UV protection product when in the sun.
There is a lot you can do to make sure your hair grows as fast as it can and that growth is healthy. Results will be obvious over 2-3 months and your hair will get healthier the longer you carry on.
Just don’t expect miracles – after all a head of strong, healthy hair should be reward enough.