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How to help your hair grow faster and stronger

How to help your hair grow faster and stronger

From haircuts and diet to gentle brushing and washing it less, here are some tips for how to help your hair grow 

Growing your hair can be a frustratingly slow process, and it only gets worse as we get older. It’s a fact of life that our hair growth slows down as we age. Normal, healthy human hair grows at a rate of 0.35mm a day, which equates to be around 15cm per year. However, there are a number of things that contribute to hair growth slowing down, including the ageing process, hormones, health and how well hair is looked after. 

Unfortunately there’s no one scientifically proven treatment that’s guaranteed to make hair grow faster, but there a lot of things that can be done in order to help it along the way

Avoid heat 

Many people are guilty of using heat on our hair whenever we style it. Over time repeated heat styling damages hair, leaving ends dry and weak.

Woman straightening her hair - how to help your hair grow faster and stronger

Give your hair breaks from heat

Allow hair to dry naturally from time to time, and try using a leave in conditioner to help it dry without frizz. Remember that when you do need to use heat, use a heat-protectant product first, and try to keep to cooler settings on your appliance.

Get regular trims 

Getting a hair cut in order to help it grow may seem counterproductive, but the thicker and fuller hair is towards the ends, the longer it will look and feel. 

"Aim for a trim around every six to eight weeks"

Straggly, unmaintained ends make hair appear shorter, while thick luscious hair will hang more heavily, creating the illusion of length. Aim for a trim around every six to eight weeks. 

Think about your diet

A healthy diet plays an important part in hair growth, and deficiencies can lead to hair loss, or lack of growth. Studies have shown that lack of vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and iron all contribute to hair health.  

Aim for a balanced diet that includes these key vitamins. There are numerous supplements available if you want to be sure you’ve got the vitamins covered. Try Viviscal, available in Boots. 

Wash less, but better

What you wash your hair with, and how often, really does matter. Avoid products containing harsh chemicals—such as sodium laurel sulphate—and try reducing the frequency of washing to two or three times a week. Dry shampoos are a great alternative to use in-between washes.

Woman washing her hair - how to help your hair grow faster and stronger

Try to wash your hair just once or twice a week

When you do wash your hair, remember to shampoo twice—the first application gets rid of dirt and grease, but it’s during the second that your hair will get the benefits of the shampoo ingredients. For advice on the best shampoo for your hair, ask your hairdresser for recommendations. 

Massage with oils

Massaging your scalp increases the blood circulation to hair follicles. Adding an oil can also be beneficial. 

"Massaging your scalp increases the blood circulation to hair follicles"

Coconut oil, jojoba oil and castor oil are all beneficial to hair, but the recent social media hype around rosemary oil is actually true, with a scientific study finding that rosemary oil is as effective as minoxidil, an over-the-counter hair loss treatment.

Be gentle when you brush

How you brush, and what you use to brush your hair with, is important. Be gentle when de-tangling and always choose a good quality brush.

Woman brushing her hair - how to help your hair grow faster and stronger

How you brush will affect the health of your hair

Paddle brushes with bristles, or specific de-tangling brushes, are the best option. Try to carefully get rid of knots and tangles before washing your hair, as it is weaker when wet. 

Choose the right style

Tying hair in tight ponytails or buns, or using accessories such as hair slides, can stress your hair and cause breakages. People who consistently wear tight ponytails often find they suffer from hair loss and thinning around the hair line. Try not to choose tightly pulled back styles too regularly.

"If you have long hair, think about protecting it while you sleep"

If you have long hair, think about protecting it while you sleep. Try loose braids, which will stop it tangling and help avoid friction as you move around in your sleep.

Visit a trichologist 

If nothing else helps it could be time to call in an expert. Trichologists have specialist training in hair and the scalp, and they’re a valuable source of advice and information.

Following an examination and medical questionnaire, they’ll recommend a treatment plan which could include topical products, nutritional advice, or a referral to a medical professional. You can find your nearest trichologist via the Institute of Trichologists.

We asked Lloyd Court, co-owner of Sean Hanna in Wimbledon, what advice he would give to anyone hoping to speed up hair growth. He told us: “Many clients are frustrated that their hair doesn’t grow as fast as they’d like. I always recommend they start with a healthy diet and use good quality products, including heat protection, on their hair.  

“For those in a hurry, extensions can be the answer, but only when applied by an experienced specialist, as poorly applied extensions can be counterproductive.” 

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