- How fast does hair grow?
- How does hair grow?
- What stunts hair growth?
- How to make hair grow faster
- Natural home remedies for hair growth
- Hair loss treatments
Some people are vertically challenged, others are follically changed. If you're looking for ways to make your hair grow faster, you're in the right place!
Our rate of hair growth is influenced by a combination of things, including genetics, over-styling and a low iron count, and encouraging it can be tricky business.
Over the years we've experimented with loads of different hair products and home remedies in an attempt to get long locks, and after a lot of reading and heaps of testing, we've finally found a formula that really works.
We know it's hard to believe, but this article really can teach you how to grow your hair in one day, and up to one inch a week! It's time to get the hair you've always dreamed of...
Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in August 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in September 2018.
How fast does hair grow?
Before you start learning how to make hair grow faster, it's helpful to first figure out how quickly it naturally grows so we can understand what to expect.
According to the U.S Center for Disease Control, hair grows at an average of 0.50 inches (1.25cm) per month. This means the average person can expect to grow 6 inches of hair per year.
The speed at which your hair grows depends on both genetics and the shape of your follicles - Asian hair is on average the thickest and most coarse hair compared to Caucasian and African hair.
Hair grows at 0.50 inches on average per month which sounds like a lot, right? So why does it never feel like it? Well, things like over-styling,
This leads us to another important question...
How does hair grow?
Hairs grow from follicles on the scalp. Depending on your genetic makeup, your scalp can have between 90,000 and 150,000 follicles.
Follicles are a mammalian skin organ and along with stem cells, they produce and help to grow hair. Your hair begins to grow from the root of the follicle which is made up of cells of protein.
Blood from the blood vessels in your scalps feeds the root which creates more cells and makes hair grow. In this article, you will find tips to both increase production of protein cells and blood flow, resulting in faster hair growth.
The production of hair occurs in three different phases:
Anagen (The growth phase): The Anagen phase is the time during which the hair is actually growing - The longer it can stay in this phase, the better. the length of Anagen usually depends on genetics and can last anywhere from two to seven years.
Catagen (The transitional phase): Once Anagen has ended, the hair follicle will shrink, the papilla detach and the hair will no longer be attached to supply of nutrients. This normally lasts around 10 days.
Telogen (The resting phase): The final stage in hair growth isn't about growth at all - during Telogen, the hair is released and falls out. The follicle then 'rests' for around 3 months before the cycle is repeated.
The phases run simultaneously so some hairs on your head will be in the Anagen phase and others in Telogen. For each hair strand, the Anagen phase should start again once the Telogen phase is complete, but some people may experience longer Telogen phases meaning hair is shedding but no new hair is growing.
This may result in thinning of the hair. In this case, the goal is to, effectively, 'jump-start' the Anagen phase and encourage the growth phase to begin.
What stunts hair growth?
Hair doesn't just decide to stop growing - there are lots of things that can stunt hair growth. Try avoiding the following:
We all want gorgeous-looking hair, but it should never be at the expense of hair health.
If you're using heat tools every day - whether that be hot irons or the hair-dryer - try to cut down. Heat can weaken your hair so even just alternating or going an extra day without heat can dramatically improve the condition of your hair.
If you must use heat, try to gently towel and air dry your hair until it's around 60% dry then use the hairdryer on a medium setting.
TOP TIP: invest in a high-quality hair protection spray - they really do help to keep your hair healthy.
2. Poor diet
As with most things health and beauty, diet plays a massive role in not only the condition but your rate of hair growth.
A diet deficient in vitamins, minerals and protein will make it harder than ever to grow your hair fast.
3. Wrong products
When it comes to hair products, sometimes less is more. Whilst some creams really can benefit hair health and help make it grow, others cause more damage than good.
Don't just use anything on your hair - harsh chemicals will dry it out and may stunt hair growth.
4. Tight hairstyles
Tight ponytails and high buns might look nice, but they can cause serious damage to our hair health.
Bobbles grip the hair, causing friction which may lead to fraying and split ends - we've all pulled one out before to find it covered in our precious hair. Tying your hair up every once in a while is no big deal, but having the same updo every day will cause damage over time.
Braids are another thing to do sparingly if you want to preserve your hair health - if done too tightly, they can physically pull the hair away from the roots and cause splitting, hair weakness and follicle damage.
When it comes to wet hair, putting it up should be avoided at all costs. Wet hair is more prone to splitting than dry, the evidence of which will be on your hair bobble should you ever try it.
5. Hormonal imbalance
Everything from thyroid-related disorders to stress, menstruation and puberty can cause a change in hormones that impact our hair.
Estrogen and progesterone are specific hormones that promote hair growth, whilst androgen and testosterone discourage it. When these hormones become imbalanced, it forces the hair into the telogen phase, causing hair loss and thinning.
How to make hair grow faster
1. Eat protein & Biotin-rich foods
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, forms a part of the B-complex group of vitamins that help turn food into fuel for energy. It also assists in the metabolism of fats, carbs and amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
As we discussed earlier, hair begins to grow from the root of the follicle which is made up of cells of protein. For faster hair growth, you need to eat a diet rich in both Biotin and protein in order to facilitate the building blocks of protein.
The daily recommended allowance of Biotin is 30 micrograms, which you can ensure you're achieving by taking in a supplement form. If you prefer, you can eat foods that are naturally high in Biotin. This has many many other body-boosting benefits too, such as stronger nails and eyelashes.
Here's a list of Biotin and protein-rich foods which will encourage hair growth:
- Almonds, Peanuts, Pecans and Walnuts
- Eggs (the yolk has one of the highest concentrations of Biotin)
- Milk and Cheese
- Pork and Cooked Liver
- Salmon and Sardines
- CauliflowerAlmonds are you new go-to snack.
Check out The World's Healthiest Foods for all you need to know about foods rich in Biotin, from what foods to eat to how to cook and prepare.
2. The ‘Inversion Method’ for hair growth
If you take just one thing from this article, make it The Inversion Method - yes, we capitalised it because it's that important!
The Inversion Method claims to achieve one inch of hair growth a week, and whilst it might not work for everyone it's definitely worth a try.
- Get your hair trimmed to remove and split ends which may affect results.
- Measure your hair so you can compare it to the end results.
- Sit on a chair, sofa or the end of your bed, and hang your head between your legs. Remember: 'Inversion' is when your heart is positioned higher than your head. Inversion poses and twists are commonly found in yoga practices and are safe to perform, but if you feel dizzy or light-headed stop immediately.
- Use your fingertips to massage your scalp for 5-10 minutes. Make sure you use a timer so you are continuously massaging.
- You can help boost the method and give your hair an intensive moisturising treatment using a natural oil like Coconut Oil, Olive Oil or Argan Oil whilst massaging. If you can, leave it in overnight in a shower cap. More on these oils later. You don’t have to use the oil, but it will help condition so your hair will feel stronger and shinier than ever.
- Repeat every day for seven consequetive days, then leave for a month before repeating.
If you're serious about hair growth, a wire scalp massager is a great tool to invest in. They're cheap, comfortable and will prevent your fingers and hands from becoming tired.
3. Rinse hair with cold water
Not many people know, but hot water strips the hair of moisture and weakens hair strands making it more perceptible to breakage. To prevent damage, make sure you're washing your hair with lukewarm water, and definitely not hot or scorching.
Warm water will cause follicles to open, enabling you to clean the scalp thoroughly. It's important, however, to finish off with a blast of cold water to close them again to reduce hair loss and frizz.
This one step alone can make a huge difference to your hair, helping it to grow faster and fall less.
4. Try grass-fed gelatin
Gelatin is more than an ingredient in jelly - it's derived from animal parts and extremely high in protein and other nutrients too.
It can help to nourish your entire body, but is especially beneficial to your hair, skin and nails. This is because gelatin increases the production of collagen in the skin - an amino acid that enhances the appearance of pretty much every body part.
Although many beauty products claim to encourage collagen production, it's important to boost collagen from the inside as well as the outside, especially as we age and production decreases.
You can get your gelatin fix from common foods like low-calorie jelly, but for an even bigger boost try Grass-fed gelatin. It comes from cows that graze on grass instead of grain. Healthier cows boast higher gelatin prowess according to the suppliers.
You can buy grass-fed gelatin as a supplement that can be added to hot and room temperature drinks. Great Lakes have an affordable range and can be bought from Amazon. Simply add a teaspoon to your morning tea or coffee.
Check out Butter Believer's Guide to Gelatin Powder for more information on all things gelatin.
5. Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment
If you enjoy experimenting with hair products, we have a recommendation you can really rely on. Lee Stafford's Hair Growth range includes a Hair Treatment, Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner.
All of the products contain a unique 'Pro-Growth' Complex which is high in protein. It helps to fertilise your hair follicles and encourage new growth as well as anchoring your existing hair to your scalp.
New hair growth and less hair loss = win, win.
You don't need to use all the products, but we highly recommend the leave-in conditioner and the treatment. The treatment can be used every time you massage your hair during the Inversion Method instead of a natural oil.
Some blogs may recommend natural products and the 'no-poo' method, which involves cutting out all haircare and relying on baking soda to clean your hair. Whilst we're a big fan of baking soda, we love using coconut oil and olive oil as both beauty and hair care products, and have also found the Lee Stafford range to really work.
6. Cut out the heat and let your hair loose
There's no escaping the fact that heat damages our hair. Just because we can't feel the heat, it doesn't mean it won't affect our hair - after all, you're essentially ironing it.
If you want to encourage your hair to grow faster, the best thing to do is leave it au natural. This means leaving it to air dry, avoiding styling, and leaving it loose or tying it in low hairstyles.
7. Get your vitamins & minerals
Diet is just as important for us on the outside as it is on the inside. Besides protein and Biotin-rich foods, it's also important to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
- Spinach is a particularly important vegetable for hair growth, as it's high in protein and Vitamins A and C which your body needs to produce sebum which moisturises your scalp. A deficiency in these vitamins can result in brittle hair or even hair loss so make sure you are eating plenty of spinach in your diet.
- Broccoli is another of the best greens you can eat for hair health. As well as Vitamin A and C it also contains essential B vitamins that are needed for strong hair. The antioxidants in broccoli, particularly vitamin C also prevent hair loss by eliminating the free radicals, contributing to healthier and thicker hair.
Both are reasonably priced so make sure you eat at least one portion of either once a day and you'll start to notice not only a healthier bowel, but your skin hair and nails should look better than ever too.
Natural home remedies for hair growth
Besides your diet and using specific hair products, there are also several home remedies for hair growth that can have a huge impact on hair health and encourage it to get long and strong.
1. Coconut Oil
We briefly touched on coconut oil in the Inversion Method section, and now it's time to look at this fabulous natural product in more detail.
Comprised mainly of smaller medium-chain fatty acids, coconut oil penetrates the hair more deeply and quickly than most other conditioners, and because it's 100% natural you can use it as much as you like without any damage.
There are numerous benefits of using Coconut Oil on your hair including:
- Stimulates hair growth by penetrating deep into the follicles.
- Provides amazing moisturisation for dry hair.
- Adds shine to hair.
- Reduces protein loss in your hair - the only oil to do this.
- Contains anti-bacterial properties to soothe an itchy or flaky scalp.
TRY IT: Use Coconut Oil while doing the Inversion Method or as a once a week overnight treatment to help your hair grow faster than ever.
A tub will last you a good few months, so we'd definitely recommend picking one up next time you're out. For best results, opt for one that's raw, organic and unrefined.
If you don't have any coconut oil to hand, you can also use olive oil to nourish your dry and damaged locks.
A pot of vaseline is something everyone should have in their bathroom cupboard - not only is it great for treating dry skin and lips, but it can also benefit hair.
Remember, once hair has gone through the Anagen stage, it no longer has a supply of nutrients. This means it's even more important to provide it with extra nourishment.
TRY IT: You can apply Vaseline directly onto the ends of hair to keep them well moisturised and prevent splitting, or, for a more intense treatment, apply to the scalp, massage in and leave overnight whilst wearing a shower cap.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has both cooling and soothing properties that can be used for a variety of home remedies. As far as our hair's concerned, aloe vera can strengthen and repair, promote hair growth, deep clean and calm an itchy scalp, all of which will improve hair health and increase your chances of growing gorgeous locks.
TRY IT: Apply aloe vera to the scalp and massage through hair. Leave for an hour before washing as normal.
4. How to grow long hair with castor oil
Castor oil is another budget beauty product that can benefit our hair. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties are particularly helpful for the scalp, whilst the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids help hair to grow.
TRY IT: Apply castor oil to damp (not wet) hair and leave for several hours, or, ideally, overnight.
We all know eggs are good for our bodies, but did you know our hair and skin like them too?
Eggs are packed with a lot of nutrients, including biotin, vitamin A, D and folate - many of the same nutrients you'll find in healthy, glossy hair. An egg hair treatment can both encourage hair growth and prevent damage - a dream team of sorts!
TRY IT: Whisk 2 egg yolks with 2 tbsp olive oil and apply the mixture to damp hair, using more on the tips than the roots. Leave to sit for 20 minutes in a shower cap, then shampoo with cold water.
6. Super fast hair growth with apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can complement your existing hair care routine in many ways. It contains potassium, has antifungal and antibacterial qualities and a similar pH to that of hair meaning it promotes a healthy scalp, helps repair damaged hair and is also great for removing a build-up of chemicals.
TRY IT: Use apple cider vinegar as a nourishing hair rinse by mixing 1 part warm water and 1 part apple cider vinegar together and pour over hair post shampooing. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing clean.
7. Rice water
Although relatively unheard of in the UK, fermented rice water has been used for years by Yao women, which is what they claim to be the secret to their beautiful, long hair.
The water is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamin E and also inositol, which can both protect and prevent hair damage.
TRY IT: Rinse a cup of rice, then place in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to sit for 15 minutes. Pour into an air-tight bottle or jar and leave for a day until it turns sour. Boil the liquid in a pan, then leave to cool. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, then use as a replacement for shampoo by massaging through your hair. Rinse with cold water.
Honey is used in many beauty products, both shop-bought and homemade. Honey is an emollient, so helps to seal moisture in your hair and prevent it from becoming dry. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, cleans hair follicles, stimulates re-growth and has antioxidants which prevent damage.
TRY IT: To use honey as a home remedy for rapid hair growth, microwave 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup olive oil and apply to hair when cool, beginning at the roots and spreading evenly. Leave for 30 minutes under a shower cap, then rinse with cool water and shampoo.
9. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil has been proven to be effective for moisturising hair. It's included in many hair care products because of this, along with its ability to prevent breakages and strengthen your tresses.
Remember: healthier hair = longer, stronger hair!
TRY IT: Gently warm 1-2tbsp oil in the microwave. Start applying to the scalp before working it through the hair. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing. Alternatively, you can also add jojoba oil to your existing products to give them an extra boost of goodness.
Hair loss treatments
A proven solution to hair loss may seem too good to be true, but in fact, they do exist. Minoxidil (available over-the-counter) and Finasteride (available on prescription are both FDA approved to counteract hair loss, by reinvigorating shrunken hair follicles.
If you struggle with hair loss or alapecia, they may be worth giving a go.
Thanks for reading and good luck! We'd love to know how you get on - share your experiences with us in the comments below.