Your hair is the fastest growing tissue in your body. On average, it grows about half an inch per month or about 6 inches a year. If your hair doesn’t seem like it’s growing, length retention may be a factor. Hair damage may be causing hair to break off, negating any apparent hair growth. And though there are no magic potions or lotions that will instantly make your hair grow faster overnight, there are hair treatments and good practices, such as a healthy diet, exercise and minimizing stress that will promote and stimulate healthy growth. So, take great care of your hair and treat it right.
Here are several key tips on how to get long hair faster plus products to encourage growth and help maximize length.
Detox Your Scalp
When you frequently cleanse and treat your scalp with healthy ingredients, you will produce healthy, beautiful, shiny, strong hair. “It’s important to clean the scalp of all impurities so that you’ll have an ideal environment for hair growth,” says Lucinda Ellery, a world-renowned hair loss and extensions expert and founder of Lucinda Ellery Consultancy New York. Be sure to use a mild, sulfate-free hair wash that won’t strip hair of its natural oils.
Energize Your Roots
Stimulate hair growth by massaging the scalp. When your scalp is being massaged, the increased blood flow oxygenates the area, which in turn stimulates follicles to increase hair growth and speed. Scalp massages can be even more beneficial by adding essential oils to help moisturize the scalp and nourish hair.
Be gentle to your hair. Rough handling will cause hair stress and damage. “For longer hair, it is wise to keep it up at night in a bun when you sleep. It’ll prevent unnecessary tangles and tugging in the morning,” says Ellery. And if you do get snarls, be sure to divide your hair into sections and use a seamless, wide-toothed comb that won’t snag on your hair or pull out your strands. Work you way up from the bottom and apply a little leave-in conditioner to ease the process. This step is especially important when your hair is wet and it’s at its most fragile state. (Get more tips on how to detangle hair here)
Stop Abusing Heat
We love how flat ironing makes our hair lie straight and feel silky smooth, but frequent heat styling breaks down your hair’s protein bonds causing irreparable damage. Blowdrying can also cause tress stress. “Be careful not to over-dry your hair and always use a nozzle. Remember to keep the nozzle moving, moving, moving. If you leave it in one spot for too long, the heat can easily cause harm,” advises Chaz Dean, founder of WEN. So, turn down the heat and use a heat protectant before any heat styling to minimize damage.
Poor diet can lead to iron deficiency, which in turn can cause hair loss and breakage. “Proteins are the building blocks of hair, so it always helps to have a balanced diet and eat protein-rich foods, such as organic chicken, beef and eggs or plant-based legumes, nuts, seeds and hemp daily. Avocados and even oysters are also rich in proteins and nutrients, which promote hair growth,” adds Ellery.
Nourish Your Scalp From Inside Out
Good nutrition is extremely important in achieving hair growth. But if your diet is lacking in colorful fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy legumes, be sure to supplement it with antioxidant-rich vitamins. “Vitamin A, which can help promote shiny, healthy hair. Vitamin E can nourish damaged hair and prevent breakage. Biotin is a supplement that encourages hair and scalp health,” says Ellery.
“Smoking restricts the blood vessels, which can drastically reduce the amount of fresh nutrients that reach your hair roots,” says Ellery.
Limit Chemical Processes
Avoid overprocessing your mane with strong chemicals, such as bleach, relaxers and perms. These chemical processes break the protein bonds of hair, which causes breakage and hinders healthy hair growth.
Protect Your Locks
A lightweight, moisturizing leave-in conditioner will help keep your strands soft and supple. Coating the cuticle seals in moisture, reduces breakage and promotes elasticity. Also, after a fresh cut, smooth on a split end repair treatment daily to prevent future tears, splays and frays. These protective measures will guard hair from styling and environmental damage and help maintain your hair’s strength and length.
Dust Off Your Splits
Unruly, broken strands can inhibit the growth and strength of healthy hair. Dusting your tresses is a great way to maximize length, while avoiding cutting off large amounts of damaged hair. When you dust your hair, you’re basically micro-trimming it to rid it of splayed ends. Simply twist a small section, then snip off the damaged sections that stick out. Repeat the procedure every eight weeks to keep your mane healthy and split ends at bay.