Anyone who has grown their hair out knows the struggle of waiting patiently for longer locks. Unfortunately, you can't will your hair to grow faster, but there are tips to ensure that your hair grows longer and healthier. The key to long hair is taking care of it properly so you don't have any damage or weak strands, so it's important to know the numerous things you can do to get the tresses you deserve.
"There are no real treatments to make hair grow in faster," says dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD over email. "The key is to have all of the building blocks that the hairs need to grow in a healthy way. It is important to have enough protein in the diet, vitamins, and minerals.
When it comes to hair, you should treat your hair like you treat your face. Use quality products, be gentle with it, and protect it from damage, whether it be sun, heat, or chemicals. Many people think their hair isn't actually growing, but in reality, it just appears that way because it's unhealthy and breaking. "In many women with dry or processed hair, they may not actually have slow hair growth or hair loss, but rather, hair breakage," says Shainhouse.
If you want longer, healthier hair, try these seven tips that can help you grow your hair out to the length you want it.
1. Take Supplemental Vitamins
"Some supplemental vitamins that can help thicken the hair include biotin, which is part of the B vitamin family," says Shainhouse. "Some women have reported that biotin does make their hair grow much faster. However, some also report that they noticed increased growth of hair on the face, including the beard area, especially when they take super high doses, so stick to 5000 mcg a day."
2. Get Some Sunshine
"If your vitamin D level is low, it can prevent hair from growing thick and quickly," says Shainhouse. A study in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine found that vitamin D maintains cells' ability to induce hair growth, suggesting that the vitamin is essential to create new follicles where hair can grow.
Believe it or not, stress can show on your hair, leading to slow hair growth and even hair loss, according to research from the American Academy of Dermatology. "Finding techniques to lower stress, like yoga and meditation will reflect positively on the hair growth cycle and maximize hair health in general," says Dr. Sophia Kogan, the doctor behind Nutrafol, over email.
4. Avoid Heat
Products such as flatirons and blow dryers cause damage to the hair, increasing your risk of breakage. "To reduce damage from high heat styling tools and blow-dryers, pick tools with ionic or ceramic technology and adjust settings to lowest heat possible," says Kogan. "Also, give your hair 'styling holidays' to prevent constant oxidative and heat damage."
"Cleansing hair too often can strip away the natural oils that keep it healthy, thus making hair more brittle and prone to breaking," says owner and lead stylist Nick Penna of SalonCapri over email. "I suggest reducing the number of times you shampoo your hair to 3 to 4 times a week. In between shampoos, soak up oil with a light coat of dry shampoo on your roots and use a boar bristle brush to distribute hair oils from root to tip for extra natural shine and conditioning."
6. Finish Your Shower With A Cold Rinse
"Condition every time you shampoo, and finish your conditioning in the shower with a cold rinse," says Paul Labrecque of Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa over email. Cold water closes the hair cuticle, which can help seal your hair and prevent it from damage.
According to the journal Collegium Antropologicum, UVB radiation is responsible for hair protein loss, so it's important to protect your hair like you would protect your skin. "To protect the scalp and hair from extra UV damage, try wearing hats during those really sunny scorching hot days," says Kogan.
Growing your hair is a process, but taking the right steps can help encourage healthy hair and speedier growth.
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