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We’ve all been there—deciding to go for those “short hair, don’t care” vibes only to miss our long locks terribly just a few months later. Cue the endless Google searches on how to grow your hair faster. But with so much information to sift through, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a whirlwind of open tabs, myths, and scientific phrases you can barely pronounce. Want to cut to the chase? Below, we’re sharing the truth about how to grow hair faster, vitamins for hair growth and strength (are they the real deal?), and hair care tips to promote a long, healthy mane.
Let’s get to it—can you grow your hair faster? There’s been research—including a study from the National Center of Biotechnological Information (NCBI)—that certain herbs and vitamins (more on that later) can promote hair growth, though more research needs to be done to verify their effect. But just because you can’t reach for a supplement doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to help grow out your hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), your hair grows about six inches a year, meaning you have about half an inch of hair growth a month—not a bad start! Your best bet for fast hair growth is to follow a healthy hair care routine.
You’ve likely heard about vitamins for hair growth and strength, but do they really work? Biotin, a B vitamin, is one vitamin that’s no stranger to the beauty world. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biotin is an essential nutrient in our bodies, and biotin deficiency can actually be a cause of hair loss and hair thinning. This is why biotin supplements are often associated with promoting hair growth, though the NIH states that there are only a few small case reports and studies to support that claim. There are other vitamins your body may lack that may lead to hair loss. A study from the NCBI found that zinc and iron supplements in deficient patients can result in hair growth, though it’s important to keep in mind that too much of these vitamins can cause toxicity, which in some cases may actually cause hair loss. Long story short? If you have a biotin, zinc, or iron deficiency, taking these supplements might help support hair growth, but you’ll want to consult with a doctor to make sure you’re taking the right amount. If your vitamin levels are A-OK, stick to a hair care routine that will help maintain healthy-looking locks as they grow.
Now that we’ve covered whether or not you can grow your hair faster by incorporating vitamins into your daily routine, you may be wanting to know a little bit more about the whole hair growth process. Below, we’re giving you a lesson on four facts about hair growth. Take notes!
Seriously—according to the AAD, you’re born with all of the follicles you will ever have—about five million! Of course, these follicles are located all over your body, not just your head. On your scalp, you have about 100,000 follicles. Not too shabby!
The AAD states that you lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. Before you get to stressing about this fact, know that each scalp follicle grows hair for a few years and then takes a break. When a follicle is on a break, the hair in the follicle falls out. Since your hair follicles take breaks between growing, you likely won’t notice any hair balding happening from this (totally normal) daily hair loss.
OK, now you can panic just a little. As you get older, some follicles stop growing hair (and not just for a break), according to the AAD. This happens more in some people than in others, which is why some people go bald or experience thinning hair when they get older. (Here's What You Need to Know About Hair Shedding and Hair Loss.)
The AAD states that male hair grows faster than female hair. Don’t hate the messenger! While this may be true, on average your hair still grows about half an inch per month, regardless of gender.
Ready to take on some hair care tips to help support hair growth? We’ve got you covered. Put these tips to use!
Think it’s counter-productive to cut your strands if you’re trying to grow them out? Think again. In order to promote healthy hair growth, go for regular trims—a common recommendation is every eight to twelve weeks.
Protective hairstyles do just that—protect your strands from elements in your environment that could potentially damage your hair. Damaged hair can slow down your hair growth, so keep your locks protected by throwing your mane into a protective hairstyle some of the time. Take your pick from The 30 Best Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair.
Consider swapping your usual shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment for a system that promotes strong strands. The L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion have an anti-breakage formula that helps to strengthen the hair.
When in doubt, fake it till you make it! To fake long locks while you’re waiting for your hair to grow out, reach for some clip-in hair extensions.
Once you’re the proud owner of long locks, you’ll likely be wanting to rock a new style to show off your mane. Here are 15 Pretty Haircuts for Long Hair.