Almost everyone who is on the journey to grow their hair out thinks to themselves sooner or later: Man, this is taking a while! Isn’t there a way to make my hair grow faster?
And while you cannot expect any miracles (forget about those overnight hair growth masks!), there are a few ways in which you can optimize for faster hair growth.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
How fast can your hair grow?
Disclaimer ahead: First of all, you need to set your expectations right.
There is no way to grow your hair several inches within days. There simply isn’t. Anyone who promises you that can’t be trusted.
If you follow every step in this guide AND have great genes, you might get the maximum of about 14 inches (36 cm) in a year. That is a little more than one inch (3 cm) per month.
Patience is and will stay the most important ingredient in your “hair growth mix”. If you want long hair, you need to be in it for the long haul.
Being aware of how long it takes to grow your hair can also help you stay away from rash decisions. Like just chopping 5 inches off.
Let’s get started with the tips to optimise your hair growth!
For faster growth, minimize damage
You might be surprised to hear this, but the number one inhibitor of hair growth is breakage. Micro breakage, to be exact.
Most people aren’t even aware of it, but every day, mechanical damage chips away at your hair tips.
Over the course of a month, you can easily lose at the ends what grows out of your scalp, making it seem like your hair doesn’t grow at all. A null sum.
So, one of the most easy ways to make your hair grow faster, is, surprisingly, taking care that you’ll actually see the growth!
If you are serious about growing out your hair, you have countless options to protect your vulnerable hair tips from breaking off.
- Keep your hair tips well moisturized, because dry hair breaks more easily. Some ideas for this:
- Protect your hair in the night. No matter how calmly you sleep, your hair gets quite a bit of friction. You can do this by:
- If your hair deals well with protein, do regular Cassia treatments
- Get to know your hair porosity and take care of your hair accordingly
Related: The best high porosity hair products
Do you know what’s perfect for helping you keep track of your hair growth journey and keep you motivated? The hair planner! It contains quite a few printable pages helping you to grow healthy hair, and most importantly, regular reminders to do all the things that are good for
- Learn protective hairstyles. Letting your hair loose every day means tangling and your hair tips rubbing on your clothes.
- Use products that are healthy for your hair. I go more into detail about it in my post on healthy hair products, but just know that generally, you want to avoid harsh sulfates and silicones that can cause buildup.
- Consider investing in a comb instead of a brush. With a brush, it's pretty impossible to tell when you break your hair instead of detangling it. With a comb, you can stop when you hit a snag and detangle the knot with your fingers. I personally am a huge fan of wooden combs.
Support faster hair growth with your diet
Your body produces hair. Everyone knows that.
But are you aware that for your body, hair is a luxury product?
If your body thinks anything goes wrong, it will put all its resources towards the vital things: blood, organs et cetera. Hair is not one of these vital things. It won't get the "food" it needs.
So if you are ill, have imbalanced hormones or are lacking any vitamins, you'll often meet the worst enemy of hair growth: hair loss.
In those cases, simply eating a healthy diet won't do much. Then it's time to see your doctor and have her do the appropriate tests.
But if you are generally healthy, you can still support your body in having enough of the building blocks it needs to produce as much hair growth as possible.
(And don't worry, you won't suddenly get hair in new places with this. This will only optimize the speed and strength of already existing hair follicles.)
Which foods for faster hair growth?
So what is the best food for hair growth?
Other than a generally healthy and balanced diet, the most important thing your body needs to grow strong and healthy hair quickly is protein. I mean, a hair is literally a protein strand. Makes sense so far, right?
Obviously, meat has a lot of protein. But I am a vegetarian, so I had to research good plant-based sources of protein. (It's healthier anyway!)
A few examples of amazingly protein-packed foods are:
- Mungbeans (just make a simple mung bean hummus and slather on bread or veggies! Yummy!)
- Peanut butter (Pure! Definitely without sugar!)
- Lentil pasta (I personally don't like "normal" lentils, but the pasta version? Delicious! Plus, you can easily find it online.*)
- Quinoa (I eat it in my Quinoa porridge!)
- nuts & seeds in general
As with all things diet, balance is key. For vegetarians, this is even more important because different plants have different kinds of amino acids.
To get everything you need to grow your hair faster, you need to combine these for a complete source of protein.
You can get more in-depth information on the "healthy hair diet" here!
Faster hair growth with vitamins
Browsing around online, it can seem as if the fastest way to make your hair grow is to take a hair vitamin.
Taking pills and supplements seems like an easy enough way to speed up your hair growth, right
First, I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again: Have your doctor check if you need anything. Some hair vitamins can actually cause hair loss if you take more than your body needs!
So stay away from scammy "faster hair growth supplements", and make sure to do your research before putting things in your body.
Some vitamins that your body needs to be able to grow your hair fast are the following:
- Iron (lack leads to hair loss big time!)
- Vitamin C to help with iron absorption and protect hair follicles
- Vitamin D
- Biotin (almost no one benefits from supplementing this, though! Unless you have a medical condition, you're wasting money buying it.)
Again, you'll have enough of most of these through a balanced diet alone. The most common deficiencies are vitamin D, which you get through sun exposure, and iron. Both of these can be checked by a blood test easily.
Oh, and by the way: Many people ask if they can make their hair grow faster by taking prenatal vitamins.
If you are lacking any of these vitamins, then yes. Otherwise, the awesome pregnancy hair many ladies get is rather due to the boatload of hormones.
And unfortunately, most often that only lasts till the infamous post-partum hair loss...
Make your hair grow faster with oil
Oils are amazing for your hair care, and I absolutely recommend using them to keep your hair shiny, healthy and to protect it from damage.
Related: The 11 best oils for your hair
However, science hasn't actually proven that oils can stimulate faster hair growth.
The one oil I know of that actually made a measurable difference for me was castor oil. (You can get some here*!) I used it on my eyelashes and they did get significantly longer than they usually do.
Of course, that is in no way scientific evidence. And it could simply mean that castor oil made my lashes "live" longer, giving them more time to grow, instead of speeding up their growth.
So don't rely on a hair oil alone to speed up your hair growth. But by all means, massage your scalp with it.
The increased blood flow can help stimulate the hair follicles, and according to a Japanese study can even make your hair grow thicker. Pretty nice, huh?
Frequently asked questions about making your hair grow faster
By now you already know all the things you can do to make your hair grow faster. So now is the time to quickly look at some frequently asked questions about hair growth. You'll learn something interesting, I promise!
This is a super common hair myth, but it doesn't make any sense. You hair roots don't know what happens at the tips. Cutting something off at the end won't make the follicles do anything.
Getting rid of split ends can help with your general hair health, but it doesn't change the speed of your growth!
Yes, it does. Korean researchers found that white hair has a significantly higher growth rate than black hair.
Sadly, we don't really know yet why that happens. But how cool is that? Anyone who wants faster hair growth without effort just needs to wait for their hair to turn white!
It does! Well, the peak time is in spring, actually.
This study with male participants from the UK found an interesting seasonality in hair growth. During the warmer months, their hair grew about 10% faster than in winter.
There is no mention for the reasons of this faster hair growth. So we don't know yet if staying in a warm climate all year long will give you generally faster hair growth or if it averages out to the same.
Honestly, guys, exactly the same tips as for ladies apply. (Maybe minus all the protective hairstyles if your hair is short.)
Focus on a super healthy diet with a good amount of protein, check for any vitamin insufficiencies, and consider trying diluted castor oil. Keep the skin of your scalp healthy (no harsh sulfates!) and generally be conscious in your choice of hair products.
Related: The inversion method for hair growth
What will you try to make your hair grow faster?
So now you have the knowledge-toolkit to make your hair grow faster. Which of these things are you doing already, and which ones will you try?
Make sure to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board and share it with someone else!
*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.