Whether you’re looking to outgrow your pixie cut and dread the in-between awkward stage, or are just looking to thicken your longer locks, we’ve got easier tips and tricks to help you grow your hair out faster. Keep in mind that hair can grow only about half an inch a month at most. But for this to happen your hair needs to be healthy and strong inside-out. Here’s how you can make that happen.
1. Eat Healthy
Your hair is mostly made up of protein. So, include more protein into your diet along with healthy fats like omega-3 to remain healthy and maintain that shine. Your hair also needs essential nutrients like vitamin B2, biotin, and zinc, all of which may help reduce hair loss. Of course, your hair also needs to be hydrated to prevent brittleness and drying. For your hair to be hydrated, you need to be hydrated. So, drink plenty of water. To keep your hair healthy eat more of:
- lean meats, tofu, beans and lentils which have plenty of protein.
- salmon and flax seeds which are both great sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese which contain vitamin B2, biotin, and zinc
2. Minimize Stress
Stress is known to be one of the most common causes of hair loss. Extended periods of stress can cause hair follicles to die out. This hair then gets pulled out while washing or brushing. The good news is that getting your stress under control can stop the hair fall and your hair may grow back. To minimize everyday stress try relaxing with these techniques.
- Choose an essential oil with a scent that you find pleasant. Popular examples of relaxing essential oils include lavender, bergamot, and chamomile.
- Diffuse the scent in your room by using a diffuser or if you don’t have one, a few drops in a bowl of hot water will do the same.
- You can use a few drops in your bath water for a spa-like experience.
- Alternatively, mix a couple of drops of the oil with water and lightly spray this on your bed linen and towels.
Meditation And Yoga
With its focus on breathing, yoga will help you relax and unwind after a long day. Here are some beginner poses to help you de-stress:
- Padmasana/Lotus pose: Sit on the floor or mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend the right knee and place on your left thigh, making sure your sole points upwards. Do the same with your other leg. Place your hands on your knees and breathe slowly, keeping your spine erect.
- Viparita Karani/Legs-Up-The-Wall pose: Start by sitting sideways against the wall. Gently bring your legs up onto the wall, using your hands to balance yourself. Rest your shoulders and back on the floor and hold this position for 5–10 minutes, focusing on your breathing.
- Savasana/Corpse pose: Recline on your mat or on the floor with your legs slightly apart and keep your palms, relaxed and facing up. Focus on your breathing as you maintain this pose.
3. Massage Your Scalp
Massaging your scalp (or getting someone else to do it for you) can help improve blood flow to the follicles. This allows them to absorb more nutrients, helping hair growth.1 For added benefit, use oils such as
- Coconut oil, which may help nourish your hair and remove build-up.
- Amla(Indian gooseberry) oil which is popular in Ayurvedic tradition for promoting hair growth.
- Peppermint oil, which has been proven to naturally promote hair growth as well.2 Make sure to dilute 2–3 drops of it in coconut oil or olive oil before using on your scalp.
4. Condition Regularly
Condition every time you wash your hair. Storebought conditioners can have chemicals like sulfates in them which can cause build-up and harm your hair in the long run. If you can’t do without them, switch them out occasionally for natural conditioners like eggs. Eggs contain an amino acid called L-cysteine which may improve hair growth.
Mayonnaise makes for a great hair mask because it contains eggs, oil, and either lemon or vinegar, all of which have long been used in hair treatments for their benefits. Store-bought mayonnaise can have preservatives that may cause more damage than good. We have a simple recipe for a homemade mayonnaise mask. Most traditional mayonnaise recipes call for mustard and other seasonings or herbs, but you can skip those unless you want your hair smelling like salad dressing.
Recipe For Mayonnaise Hair Mask
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar
- 1 cup of vegetable oil(approx.) such as olive oil or coconut oil (choose one depending on your hair type)
- Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and vinegar in a blender and pulse once to combine them.
- With the blender running, slowly drizzle the oil in until everything emulsifies together
Use your fingers to distribute the mixture evenly through clean, slightly damp hair. Cover with a shower cap or plastic bag. Let sit for 15–20 mins and rinse thoroughly. Do this once a week.
5. Rinse Hair With Cold Water
Warm water opens up the pores on your scalp and allows shampoo and conditioner to do their job, but it also allows moisture to escape from the scalp. Always end your shower with a cold rinse. This may seem like an impossible task during cold weather, but you can flip your head upside down and wet just your hair with the cold water. This closes up the pores and seals in moisture, preventing hair from going dry and brittle.
6. Trim Regularly
This might seem counterproductive, but it really helps to get a trim every 10–12 weeks. Removing about an eighth of an inch helps get rid of split ends. Split ends can progress up the shaft of the hair and cause breakage if not taken care of.
7. Stay Away From Heat
Direct heat from straightening irons and curlers can be your worst enemy. It intensely dehydrates your hair, making it prone to brittleness and breakage. Indirect heat from hooded dryers or blow dryers with a diffuser attachment can be less damaging but they should still be used on the lowest setting.
8. Recognize Underlying Problems
Several other problems like thyroid or hormone imbalances, or other chronic illnesses can cause hair loss. Some medications may also cause hair loss. If this is the case, you can speak to your doctor to see if there are any options like switching your medication or lowering the dosage. Hairfall caused by conditions such as anemia and other deficiencies may be fixed through supplements that your doctor might prescribe. If you notice any sudden hair loss, bring it to your physician’s notice immediately.
Caution: There are plenty of supplements in the market, that claim to promote hair growth but there isn’t sufficient research to show that they have any significant effect. Before taking any supplements, consult your doctor.