Whether you’re growing out a bad haircut, longing for mermaid-length hair, or recovering from a season of hair loss, you’re probably looking for ways to help make your hair grow. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re ready to coax forth a head full of luscious tresses, keep reading for some foolproof tips to help encourage healthy hair growth.
Don’t Neglect Shampoo – or Conditioner
The foremost function of shampoo is to cleanse the scalp of oil. And keeping the scalp free of excess oil is key to healthy hair growth. A buildup of oil can lead to clogged hair follicles and the development of a scalp condition called folliculitis – which is irritation of the hair follicle.1 Unfortunately, hair follicle irritation can actually lead to hair loss.2 So, to keep the scalp free or oil and irritation, shampoo regularly.
And to make sure your hair grows in smooth and shiny, don’t forget to condition every time you shampoo. Conditioner will help seal the outermost layer of your hair shaft – the cuticle – to protect it from any potential damage.3
Work Essential Oils Into Your Routine
Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, petals, stems, and bark of plants. The oil that results is highly concentrated and aromatic. Essential oils also contain properties that may help relieve irritation, lower stress, and – believe it or not – help hair grow.
The use of essential oils for healthy hair growth is backed up by science. A study found that when massaged into the scalp, essential oils, like thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood, can help boost healthy hair growth.4
Because essential oils are so concentrated, you want to avoid applying them directly to the scalp. Instead, dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, like grapeseed, sweet almond, or jojoba oil.
Here’s how to do an essential oil treatment:
Mix ½ cup carrier oil with six drops each of the following essential oils: thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood. Massage the mixture gently into your scalp.
If you like, you can take a little extra time with the massage portion of this treatment. A recent study found that after 24 weeks of daily scalp massages, subjects saw an increase in hair diameter. Yep – thicker hair.5
After massaging, cover your hair with a shower cap, and let the oils absorb for about 30 minutes. Rinse out, and follow up with shampoo and conditioner.
Eat For Hair Health
One of the best ways you can get faster hair growth is by eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help encourage scalp health and hair strength.
A big bonus of eating a diet rich in vitamins for hair health? You’ll also be eating for body health.
Here are some nutrients to load up on when you’re looking to grow long locks:
Not only will Vitamin A promote strong vision, it’ll also help promote strong hair!6 Vitamin A moisturizes and strengthens the hair, making it less likely to break.7
Good sources of Vitamin A: carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli
Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D are associated with hair loss.8 Vitamin D is also known to support bone health and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.9
Good sources of Vitamin D: milk, tuna, egg yolks, cheese
This mineral helps support the health of your immune, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It’s also great for your hair!10 If you’ve experienced some hair loss, zinc may be able to help speed up the amount of time it takes for your hair to grow in.11
Good sources of zinc: oysters, lobster, lean red meat, chicken, fortified breakfast cereals
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If your hair seems to be growing in on the thin side, try getting more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids may help boost hair thickness and decrease the appearance of thinning hair.12 They also help support heart health.13
Good sources of Omega-3: salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, sardines
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It’s thought to play a role in the development of hair loss.14 Low levels of iron are also associated with poor energy and reduced levels of oxygen in the blood.5 So, if you’re feeling tired and experiencing hair thinning or loss, check in with your doctor to get your iron levels checked.
Good sources of iron: Lentils, beef, spinach, dark chocolate
Ditch The Dye
It’s a well-known fact that hair dye isn’t exactly easy on the tresses.16 Hair that’s been colored tends to be dry and more prone to breakage.17 And breakage is one of hair’s biggest enemies when it comes to growth.
So. if you’re going for length, try to forego dying your hair for awhile. But if you are intent on coloring your hair, be sure to avoid other aggressive hair practices, like heat styling. And be sure to deep condition. Often.
Speaking of deep conditioning, here’s a super easy DIY hair mask that’ll help protect your mane while you’re growing it out. Honey has moisturizing properties that work to counteract hair dryness.18 And coconut oil can help reduce hair protein loss – encouraging strength and durability.19
A deep conditioning mask for healthy hair growth:
- Combine ½ cup honey with ¼ cup olive oil.
- Warm this mixture on the stove, then massage into hair, concentrating on the mid-lengths to the ends.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap, and leave the mixture on for 20 minutes.
- Follow up with shampoo and conditioner.
Keep A Standing Appointment With Your Stylist
When you’re growing your hair out, the last thing you want to do is take scissors to it – or so you might think …
But keeping hair well-trimmed will actually work in your favor. Trimming keeps split ends at bay. And split ends are not your friend when you’re growing your hair. They can contribute to the look of frizzy, thin hair. And there’s really no way to “repair” split ends. The only way to get rid of them is to cut them off.
But if you cut them off regularly, then they won’t have a chance to split further up the hair shaft – which would then require an even bigger chop to get rid of them.
Grow, Grow, Grow
The last tip? Be patient. Remember that growing hair takes time. So, if you feel like giving up and ditching the healthy diet and hair care routine – don’t. With time, effort, and perseverance, you’ll soon have a healthy head of lustrous locks.