There are plenty of tales about how to increase hair growth, but is there really anything we can do to speed up the process? In reality, there isn’t a quick solution for anyone wanting to transform their short bob into a long mane – unless you use extensions or a wig, of course.
However, there are lots of useful tips on encouraging hair growth, so read on if you want to know fact from fiction when it comes to your locks.
Most people’s hair can grow a maximum of around 15cm each year and we have around 100,000 strands on our heads. It’s also worth remembering that your hair can’t renew itself once it starts growing from your scalp, it is essentially dead protein. If your locks reach your shoulders that means the ends are around two years old. Even if you take great care of your hair, if it is longer it will be subjected to considerable wear and tear and this can impact the growing cycle.
Vitamins are something to consider when you think about the health of your hair. Some nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair thinning or even baldness. Did you also know that frizzy or brittle hair may be a side effect of an underactive thyroid? While greasy locks could be down to an overactive thyroid.
Maximise your hair’s genetic growth cycle by taking B vitamins and amino acids. Folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc are also believed to give your locks a boost.
Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A and this helps to promote healthy hair, skin and nails. It is found in certain vegetables and fruit, so stock up on things like kale, spinach and cantaloupe melon.
There are plenty of other foods which also offer hair a helping hand. Protein-rich diets often trigger increased hair growth, with fish, eggs, beans and yogurt all recommended.
Lifestyle is also an important factor. Excessive stress and some medical conditions, along with certain medications, can harm growth. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and taking regular exercise if you want to boost your hair’s growth potential.
Cut back – or even better quit – smoking and caffeine. It’s also wise to follow a healthy diet and avoid foods high in sugar or fat.
While it might not do your hair much good to drink a lot of alcohol, washing your locks in beer can work wonders. Beer is rich in proteins and vitamins and contains nutrients which can encourage thicker, glossier hair. Just make sure you wash it out thoroughly so your hair isn’t left smelling like a bad hangover.
There are also lots of useful things to remember when it comes to your hair itself. Treat it well, avoid excessive brushing, combing and handling. It used to be claimed that brushing your hair 100 strokes a day would stimulate follicles, but actually brushing too often can cause breakage and split ends. When your hair is wet, try using a wide-tooth comb to detangle, while on dry hair a flat, boar bristle brush is best.
Don’t use very hot water when washing your hair. You may have heard the tale that daily shampooing increases hair loss, and while this isn’t true, shampooing too often can damage your hair shaft so it’s better to wash it every other day.
Whenever possible reduce the use of styling tools such as hairdryers, curling tongs and straightening irons as they can dry and damage strands.
Scalp massages are a great way to stimulate hair follicles, while hot oil treatments help to protect hair shafts. A regular trip to your hairdresser for a trim is also a good way to keep your mane strong and healthy by eliminating any split ends.
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