Many of us have been there. You go to the hair salon for a trim and the stylist cuts off more than you really wanted. Or you decide to take the plunge and go for a short hair cut and then can’t wait for it to grow out so that you can have your long hair back. In both scenarios it can often seem as if you hair takes forever to grow! In addition sometimes, whether you have had a haircut or not recently your hair just does not seem to grow and you may even begin to lose hair that is then not replaced.
There are a number of reasons that your hair may not grow as fast as someone else. Environmental toxins, overuse of certain hair care products, a poor diet and even general ill health can all slow the growth of your hair. Another big culprit is general stress – the more stressed and anxious you are, the less healthy your hair.
There are however some things that you can do that will help your hair grow faster, stronger and healthier:
1. Eating the Right Foods
Everyone knows that what you eat not only affects your weight but your overall health and well being as well. What many people often do not realize is that what you eat can also affect the health of your hair and its ability to renew itself – in other words how long it takes to grow.
While there is no one “superfood” that you can eat that will boost your hair’s growth there are certain food types in general that can help you boost your hairs health and growth. Protein is very important for hair health so you should make sure an adequate amount is included in your everyday diet. Certain proteins naturally harden in the body to form keratin, a substance that is essential for healthy hair. Great (but still tasty) sources of this kind of protein include lean meats, fish, nuts and legumes. Dairy products of all kinds are also protein packed as well.
If you are trying to manage your weight there is a temptation to radically cut down on the fats you eat. . However this is not always great for hair health and hair growth, as your hair needs some good fats to help it assimilate some essential vitamins. Sources of these good fats include oily fish like salmon and haddock which, when cooked correctly, are also fairly low calorie foods as well!
2. Getting the Right Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins that are most important to get enough of if you want your hair to grow faster and healthier are vitamins A, B and C as well as a lesser known vitamin called vitamin K. Ideally we would all be able to get all the vitamins we need from the foods we eat every day but that can be hard to do. You can buy special “hair vitamin” supplements but a generalized multi vitamin can help as well. Hair vitamins though do tend to contain a much higher concentration of B vitamins as many of the B Vitamins have been found to be especially good for helping to promote healthier, shinier hair that grows faster and stronger.
In addition to getting the right vitamins to help your hair grow faster you also need enough of certain minerals – especially iron and zinc. Zinc can be harder to find in your daily diet than iron but some great sources include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and dark chocolate.
3. Massages and Scalp Stimulation
You may have heard before that a scalp massage can help both promote faster hair growth and help prevent hair loss and believe it or not this advice is for the most part quite correct. Simple scalp massage stimulates and increases blood circulation to the scalp which encourages the growth of hair by helping it better utilize nutrients that it is being provided with.
Scalp massage using certain oils can also help reduce flaking skin and dandruff, two things that also impede growth of hair because they can clog hair follicles. Such a massage can also help loosen and remove stubborn dirt and grime that a quick shampoo might miss. Here is a basic scalp massage technique that will not only help stimulate hair growth but provide stress relief and relaxation as well!
- Choose an essential oil. Certain oils are better for certain hair types than others. For example if you have dandruff, you should try using tea-tree or lavender oils. If your hair is very dry, you should try using rose oil or chamomile oil. If you have a problem with hair loss or breakage then rosemary oil can be very helpful. To make a massage oil you should mix a few drops of your chosen essential oil with a vegetable oil.
- Brush your hair before you begin your hair massage to help get rid of large loose flakes. Also brush your hair while your head is upside-down will improve circulation.
- To begin apply a small amount of oil directly onto your fingertips. You should then begin massaging in small circular motions near your temple then move your fingers out over the rest of your scalp. Add more oil to your fingers when you need it. After all your oil is used up wrap your hair in a warm towel and leave the oil on for approximately 10 minutes.
- Wash out the oil with your regular shampoo and conditioner. You may have to shampoo twice to remove all of the oil though. Repeat this procedure about once a week and you should begin to notice a difference in the condition of your hair in general.
4. Using Hair Masks and Special Products
There are a growing number of hair care products on the market that are designed to promote healthier hair and better hair growth. In addition to the many hair growth vitamin supplements that are available there are also shampoos and conditioners enhanced with substances like keratin and biotin, substances that are believed to encourage better hair growth.
Most of these products focus on providing more of the nutrients that hair needs to grow faster. None are designed to really change the hairs structure in any way, just to give it more of the “tools” it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Hair masks are also growing in popularity. These masks are designed to act very much like the face masks that you may be used to using. Certain masks are designed to solve different problems, some of which may be contributing to slow hair growth. There are hair masks designed to nourish and protect very dry or damaged hair while other are meant to help solve oily hair problems. There are even special hair masks designed to help restore life to color treated hair, which is usually damaged hair thanks to the harsh chemicals that are needed to change your hair color permanently, especially bleach if you like to go blonde.