You’ve been going to the salon every 6-8 weeks just like your hairdresser told you to, and you’ve been spending $40 a pop on the most extravagantly hyped-up shampoo and conditioner money can buy. You’ve been doing this for months now, and still … your hair hasn’t grown an inch. What gives?
The truth is, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about growing hair. Odds are it isn’t just what you aren’t doing, but also what you are doing that is holding you back from serious hair growth!
Let’s take a look at 10 proven ways you can really make your hair grow faster.
1. Toss your expensive hair care products and replace them with something natural and healthy.
Did you know that most commercial shampoos contain sulfates? These shampoos actually dry out your hair and damage it. That’s why you then have to buy a commercial conditioner to repair the damage.
Toss out those over-hyped hair “care” products that do anything but care for your hair! Replace them with a sulfate-free shampoo or even consider going shampoo-free. You may not even need your conditioner anymore. Start using an apple cider vinegar rinse with healthy herbs that promote hair growth instead as a follow-up to your shampoo routine. You might also finish up with coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner.
2. Eat lots of protein, and drink water.
The hair shaft is made out of keratin, which is a type of protein. A diet high in protein and amino acids (the building blocks of protein) will give your body what it needs to produce new keratin. This should speed up the rate at which your hair grows! While you’re at it, stay hydrated. This will help keep your hair and scalp from drying out.
3. Be careful with your hair.
If you already have medium to long hair, watch what you’re doing with it. Do you sit on it or against it? Do you lie on top of it? Take a moment to sweep your hair out of the way when you sit down at the couch or in the car, and push it over your head when you lay down on your pillow. This will prevent split ends.
4. Stop washing your hair every day.
Washing your hair every day is guaranteed to dry it out very quickly. You also expose it to hard water more often (and even “soft” water has plenty of minerals in it), and that stuff builds up some serious gunk. If you just wash your hair a couple of times a week, you will find that it is soft, smoother, and stronger. Be warned, it may take your scalp a few weeks to adjust! So don’t be surprised if your hair seems a bit greasy at first. Fear not, it will return to normal when your scalp stops overcompensating for all the dryness you used to put it through.
5. Trim your hair when you need to.
Your hairdresser probably told you to come in for a trim every 6-8 weeks and take off half an inch to an inch, right? The notion that trimming your hair stimulates growth is a complete myth. Cutting the ends does not affect the follicles in any way, and growth happens at the scalp!
Hair grows at an average rate of around 4-6 inches per year. Think about it for a moment. If you actually take half an inch off every 6 weeks, you are getting your hair cut about 8 times a year. That means you are taking off 4 inches a year. Depending on your genetics and other factors, that could result in zero length added at the end of the year. If you get more off than that, you could actually notice your hair getting shorter.
Stop wondering why. You know now. While you can speed up hair growth, there is no way to suddenly add inches overnight, and if you are always getting them removed, your hair is not going to get any longer.
So stop going to the salon every 6-8 weeks, and stop looking up how to grow your hair overnight. Go to the salon only when you need to—when you are developing split ends. Get the split ends cut off, and don’t come back again until it is necessary!
6. Stay away from heat.
While blow dryers and flat irons and curling irons all have their uses, you want to keep away from the heat as much as you can. Save the styling tools for special occasions, and air dry your hair whenever possible. Heat is one of the fastest ways to damage your hair and destroy its texture. If you use heat-based products regularly right now and all you do is stop, you will see some great results. Thankfully, there are other ways to get stunning curls without the tools.
7. Massage your scalp.
Massaging your scalp a few minutes a day can help to stimulate blood flow, which brings important nutrients to your hair follicles. This in turn can stimulate growth.
8. Take healthy hair supplements.
There are numerous healthy herbs, minerals, and vitamins which promote hair growth, most famously biotin. Consider taking a biotin supplement or even a healthy hair multivitamin. Products like these provide your body with the building blocks needed for healthy hair! If you try this method, make sure you use your supplement for at least several months to get the full effect.
9. Brush your hair less.
Have you ever heard that brushing your hair with 100 strokes a day will help keep it healthy and shiny? The basis of this myth involves pulling oils down from your scalp to coat the rest of your hair. In reality, all that brushing just strains your hair. The more you brush, the more hair you break.
While you are at it, do you brush from the top or the bottom? Brushing from the top is a surefire way to make tangles worse instead of better. Always start with short strokes near the bottom, and then start higher and higher until you reach the top. This is the most efficient way to remove tangles without creating more.
As to shinier hair, if you are following the rest of this advice, that problem should just take care of itself. When you stop drying out your hair with excessive shampooing and washing, your natural oils will start to come back—without your hair getting greasy. If you need a little extra, just take a dollop of coconut oil and rub it into your hair (you only need a tiny bit even if you already have long hair)!
10. Get a filtered shower head.
If you can do something about your hard water, it will make a huge difference! This is one of the best tips for how to grow your hair out faster. The minerals in your water are responsible for that nasty gray buildup that you find on your brush or comb every day. If you have really hard water or really thick or long hair, you probably have found that stuff in your hair too. Tangles build around those deposits, and then you end up pulling out hair and breaking it just to get them out.
Filtering your water will help soften it, and a lot less of that gray stuff will deposit in your hair or on your comb. If there is chlorine in your water, filtering will take care of that as well (chlorine is really bad for hair).