Whether you’ve just had an unfortunate haircut, or are looking forward to your hair reaching dream lengths, waiting for your hair to grow can feel like forever. Today, we will be discussing how long it really takes for hair to grow, how much progress you can expect in a month, and if there are any ways to give the process a little boost.
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How long does it take for hair to grow?
Everyone’s hair grows at a specific rate, which is determined by a plethora of factors, such as age, genetics, diet, and lifestyle. The average person grows 0.5 inches, or 1.25 centimeters, of hair per month.
If you quickly do the math, you might be disappointed to find out that in a whole year, you can only depend on your hair to grow about 6 inches.
This is only the average rate of growth, and keeping in mind the fact that the average person is unfortunately not extremely knowledgeable about the best ingredients to use, or how to best care for their hair, it’s safe to assume that with the right hair care routine, that rate can be increased – although not drastically.
In conjunction with a great routine, it’s crucial to ensure that you are protecting your hair as best as possible, in order to maintain whatever lengths you do achieve without needing a haircut so often.
What influences hair growth?
It’s important to understand that we still don’t fully understand why exactly grows at different rates, or what determines it.
That being said, the factors that we do know are most influential when it comes to hair growth are, unfortunately, largely out of our control. These are:
Your genes are the primary factor that determines how fast your hair grows. Scientists have identified one of the genes that regulate hair growth back in 2010.
All of the hair follicles we will ever have are formed by the age of 22 weeks while we are still fetuses, and our growth phase lengths seem to be hugely influenced by the Lhx2 gene which, of course, we are born with. Hair loss, if inherited, comes from both the mother’s and the father’s sides.
Everyone knows that older people have a more difficult time growing their hair. The best years for hair growth are between the ages of 15 and 30, after which the process slows down. As we progress through life, other issues may arise, such as hair loss, hair thinning, and even badness.
Hair is made up of dead cells and keratin, which is a protein. People’s overall nutrition is hugely influential in hair growth, as for example a shortage of Biotin or dwindling collagen reserves can hinder it. Overall, it’s important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that supports hair growth.
High levels of stress (which could stem from COVID-19), a lack of sleep, poor physical activity that lead to suboptimal blood circulation can all put a stop to hair growth, and even cause hair thinning and balding.
Do men grow hair faster than women?
Quick answer: no – but it may appear that way. Considering the fact that men’s routines generally don’t require the use of as many products, they are more likely to avoid the bad ingredients in shampoos. As a result, their hair is less exposed to elements that might hinder growth.
They also generally keep it shorter, and that in conjunction with the fact that testosterone makes it appear thicker may have contributed to this urban myth.
How to grow hair faster?
Looking for some fast tips on what you can do to boost your hair growth? Here is our best, science-based advice to give you some inspiration:
Protect your hair from unnecessary damage
Unless you’re facing real hair issues such as balding or thinning hair, chances are your hair’s growth rate is about as fast as it can be. What you can do in order to maintain your length is ensure that you’re not causing more unnecessary damage to the hair that has grown.
For this, we recommend not using harsh hair products (such as cheap shampoos and conditioners, or hair styling products), combing and handling your hair gently, sleeping with a satin pillowcase, and not using heat on it in excess.
One extra tip is to not put your hair up in a towel – be careful with your hair especially when it is wet, and use a t-shirt or a microfibre towel to dry it instead.
Massage your scalp
The cheapest proven way to boost your hair growth is to give yourself a scalp massage once in a while. Other than the fact that it feels incredible and lowers your stress levels (which in itself can help your hair health), it also stimulates blood flow to the scalp.
This allows more nutrients and oxygen to reach your hair follicles, giving them the ingredients it needs to create healthy hairs.
Want to supercharge this?
Try to put your head lower than your heart to use gravity to your advantage and draw even more circulation to the area.
If you’d like to research this further, look into the ‘Inversion Method.’ Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet, it seems like a lot of people are getting solid results from this.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type
So many people put little thought into their shampoo and conditioner choice – but this is a huge missed opportunity to replenish your hair. Oftentimes, people will buy whatever hair products are on sale, without giving thought to the cheap formulations that may be very harmful to their hair.
Our best advice is to opt for a natural shampoo and conditioner that is made for your hair type and frequency of washing, that is ideally enhanced with the ingredients that have been proven to help your hair health.
Generally, we wouldn’t buy any shampoo under €10 – in order for the product to be that cheap, the brand would’ve had to cut corners either in the formulation stage or in the quality of the ingredients. Paying a little extra will make a world of difference for your hair.
Keep your hair moisturised
A great hair care routine doesn’t end with jumping out of the shower. Your hair needs to be protected throughout the day, especially if you’ve got long hair or are trying to grow it out.
The longer you can protect your ends from getting dry, the better. This is why we recommend using a few droplets of either special hair oil or simply argan oil and spreading it evenly throughout the hair.
A great deep treatment to do once in a while is to oil your hair before washing it. Warm-up some oil (careful to not get it too hot), lather your hair in it and leave it on for a few hours.
Once you wash it off with your regular shampoo and conditioner, you’ll notice your hair is softer, less dry, and shinier.
Incorporate biotin into your routine
Biotin, or Vitamin B7, can be easily absorbed by your scalp and aid it with hair growth. It’s a natural ingredient that, if applied regularly, will increase the levels of Biotin in your hair and help hydrate your scalp.
There are many ways in which you can use it, as there are various hair care products such as shampoo, conditioner, or serums that contain it.
Focus on protein
Everyone knows that hairs are essentially protein. Being made out of keratin, they require protein in order to grow.
There are different ways in which you can support your hair by providing it with these essential building blocks (called amino acids) either by eating the right foods/supplements or by applying masks topically on your scalp.
A hair mask that can really help in this regard is a mix of egg and milk or yogurt, which left on your hair for a few minutes (minimum 30) will help it grow. If this point got you thinking about collagen, don’t – there’s a reason why we never even mentioned it.
Hair grows at an average rate of 0.5 inches, or 1.25 centimeters a month. If you would like to speed up the process, make sure that you are taking a holistic approach.
Virtually every aspect of how you live your life can affect your hair growth, from stress to your diet, from your level of physical activity to the more obvious factors such as how you care for your hair, it all takes a toll on the condition of your hair.