I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty obsessed with growing my hair out. As someone who loves experimenting with different haircuts and styles, I’ve had my fair share of bad chops over the years that then required patience and care to restore length.
The question so many of us want answered – how fast does hair grow? I’ve heard a rainbow of responses over my decades of growing out hair from pixies to bobs and everything in between. From a quarter inch to even an entire foot per month (a bit unrealistic)! So what’s the real truth? Read on to
How Fast Does Hair Normally Grow?
First, let’s set a baseline for expectations when it comes to your mane’s natural growth rate. This depends on:
- Hair type – Thicker strands like Asian hair grow the fastest, while fine Caucasian hair is at the bottom.
- Ethnicity – Those of Asian descent see the quick rates at a full inch per month or higher! Caucasians average around a 1/2 inch.
- Age – No surprise, we see our fastest growth in our youth – teens and twenties. The late 30s/early 40s is generally the turning point as follicles begin to rest and decline with age.
But on average rate of hair growth is about 1/2 inch per month. Now some lucky folks see faster growth like 3/4 or even a full inch per month, while others hover at 1/3 inch or less. But roughly 6 inches per year is typical.
Intrigued? You should be! While genetics play a huge role, there are actually quite a few ways you can help optimize and even boost that rate based on your specific hair goals. Keep reading for insider facts and tips!
Which Factors Impact How Quickly Your Hair Grows?
If you’ve ever dealt with a stagnant period (or year! Talk about needing patience) in your hair length goals, one of these common culprits was likely to blame:
- Genetics – Yes, our DNA plays a huge role in determining the life cycle our follicles follow. Some folks simply have a shorter active growth phase (Anagen phase) than others allowing less length to accumulate before the hair falls out to begin anew.
- Nutrition – Ensuring we consume ample protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins B, C, D, and E gives our strands the best shot at reaching their full potential growth phases. When deprived of these nutrients, follicles essentially begin to starve and struggle.
- Hormones – Fluctuating estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone brought on by puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and certain medications throw our hair for a loop sometimes with excess shedding, loss, or shifting growth patterns.
- Health And Skin Conditions – Unfortunately conditions like thyroid disorders, autoimmune disorders, scalp psoriasis, and even stress/emotional trauma physically impair follicles’ ability to self-renew through their growth cycle resulting in stagnant length over time.
Phew, no wonder we all crave those elusive hair vitamins and magical growth formulas! But don’t fret – while you can’t alter your genetics or age, you absolutely can leverage key lifestyle choices and treatments to help maximize your potential hair growth.
9 Savvy Hacks to Make Your Hair Grow Faster
If your goal is optimizing growth for length, maintenance trims, minimizing damage, and taking advantage of boosting treatments is key. Here are my top 7 savvy tricks:
1. Choose the Right Shampoo & Conditioner
Last and most obvious tip- choose your products wisely, especially your shampoo and conditioner combo.
Overuse of harsh formula strips vital oils which leads to dry, thinning hair and limited growth. But nourishing, non-stripping cleansers amplify density and remove only excess buildup without disturbing the scalp’s microbiome keeping follicles healthy.
2. Get Those Trims!
I know it sounds counterintuitive when your end goal is length, length, length but trust me – regular trims every 8-12 weeks help remove brittle split ends threatening to crawl their way up the hair shaft and minimize knots. This protects integrity so growth isn’t stunted or broken off.
3. Massage And Exfoliate Your Scalp
This boosts blood flow delivering oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles so they operate at prime function. Just 5-10 minutes a few times a week helps growth factors circulate keeping hair actively renewed.
4. Take Hair Healthy Supplements
Consider targeted vitamins or multi-complex formulas with amino acids, biotin, and collagen boosters (with doctor approval based on medical conditions) that provide the fuel for follicles to churn out strands.
5. Use Growth-Promoting Essential Oils
Natural oils like rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and cedarwood have wonderful scalp-stimulating and circulation-boosting abilities when massaged in that wake-up follicles to spur growth.
I like to add a few drops to my usual coconut or olive oil before finger massaging for a few minutes letting it really penetrate. You catch whiffs of the light aromatic scent all day, which is a bonus!
You might wanna check out our top 10 recommended essential oils to maximize your scalp health while you’re at it.
6. Stay Hydrated
We all know our bodies function best well hydrated with ample H20. This is crucial for growing hair as every strand comprises ~20% water! So grab your water bottle and sip up for happy follicles.
7. Avoid Too Much Heat Styling
I confess I love my hot tools – nearly as much as coffee! But to maintain integrity and avoid unnecessary damage leading to split ends and breakage I limit use to once a week or so. Allow hair to air dry when possible for health.
8. Manage Stress
Chronic stress spikes cortisol levels which throws off all hormone activity – including the testosterone needed for robust hair growth. Your mindset and lifestyle choices carry over into luscious locks! I find yoga, meditation, and breathwork hugely restorative.
9. Get Those Protein Treatments
Fortifying weak, brittle strands with penetrating protein masks (collagen, keratin) fills in gaps in the hair cuticles that break apart with washing, styling, and environmental damage allowing moisture to then enter and bringing plump fullness back to each follicle. Fair warning, don’t go overboard with the protein treatments as they can lead to protein overload.
Are protein treatments too hard on your pockets? Try Rice Water Rinsing! The proteins and minerals in fermented rice water have proven time and again through modern science and old village tales to encourage length. This ancient beauty recipe stimulates growth while enhancing fullness.
Putting it All Together
Allow me to once again emphasize – hair growth is a slow, patience-testing process! But armed with realistic expectations around average monthly rates along with consistently supporting healthy habits and treatments, you absolutely can maximize your own hair’s potential growing capacity.
Be kind and gentle with your hair and scalp, speak positive affirmations to encourage new growth, and work thoughtfully with stylists should you opt for color or cuts taking care not to excessively compromise the integrity and fiber strength.
Above all, enjoy the journey! The yearning for length comes from a good place – our desire to creatively express our inner beauty outwardly through our hair. But don’t neglect self-love at the present state of your locks! Radiate confidence from the roots out…and the inches will come with time.