We’ve all been there. You head to the salon confidently, ready to try out a chic new hairstyle, only to realize afterward that the bob or bangs you were so excited about aren’t what you thought they’d be. Whether you’re recovering from a bad cut or hoping for waist-length waves by your wedding day, waiting for your hair to grow can be a rather tedious process.
Fortunately, I have tresses that grow like a weed. (Here’s my hair last summer right after cutting it and just 11 months later.) I’ve been able to donate my hair to organizations like Locks of Love andPantene Beautiful Lengths a total of five times (which requires chopping off 8 to 10 inches at a time). And since I’m often asked what my secret is, today I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve come across.
The average person’s hair grows a quarter of an inch per month. And while there isn’t one miracle cure for faster hair growth, there are several steps you can take to help speed up the process. I can’t say for sure which one of these tricks is responsible for my quick-fire strands, but if you’re looking to add some length to your locks, trying them all can’t hurt…
Try prenatal vitamins.
Most prenatal vitamins contain biotin (along with iron and folic acid), which is said to promote healthy hair growth. Biotin will not only help your hair grow longer faster, but your skin and nails will reap the benefits too. Of course, it is best to consult your doctor before taking a new type of vitamin supplement.
Stick to healthy hair diet.
As you might remember this from Lauren’s Foods for Heavenly Hair post, whole grains, along with foods rich in calcium and the amino acid cysteine all promote hair growth. Cysteine is found in foods including poultry, eggs, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels spouts, yogurt, oatmeal, and broccoli. And if you prefer to stay away from supplements like the ones mentioned above, you can get your biotin from nuts (especially almonds and peanuts) egg yolks, soybeans, and fish.
Indulge in a scalp massage.
According to DailyGlow.com, giving yourself an at-home scalp massage increases blood flow to the scalp, which helps nutrients get to your follicles more quickly. So when you’re shampooing or rinsing your hair, try massaging your head with your fingertips to stimulate hair growth.
Time for a little myth busting…
I’ve always heard that frequent trims make your hair grow faster. But the research I did for this post (along with my own personal experience—I tend to go longer than recommended between trims) revealed that tip to be completely false. Since hair grows out of the scalp, trimming the ends will not affect its growth.
That said, split ends could lead to breakage, which makes maintaining your length difficult. To avoid split ends and breakage, keep heat styling and processing to a minimum, and use only non-damaging hair elastics. As I learned from Lauren’s Beauty book, if you tie your hair in the same place every day you will notice a line of breakage where the hair tie hits.