The maximum rate at which your hair will grow may be genetically determined: For most people this is approximately half an inch a month – there is not much you can do to speed this up. But you can certainly take steps to ensure your strands are growing at their optimal rate and not falling out before they should.”
Despite the thousands of products on the market marketed specifically for this purpose, hair growth doesn’t happen overnight – rather, it can take months or even years to see a difference depending on your hair.
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According to research, hair grows an average of six inches per year. However, subsequent studies have found the number varies depending on various factors including race, genetics, diet, stress, and time of year.
Fortunately, while there is no way to gain inches of hair instantly unless you splurge on extensions, there are certain methods backed by science that will speed up the process and help you achieve thicker looking locks sans extensions.
From ensuring your hair is healthy from roots to ends to nourishing it from the inside out and caring for it properly, you can optimise your hair’s ability to grow longer and stronger at the fastest rate possible for you. Here some vital steps you need to take to regain a healthy and full head of hair.
Kickstart your Scalp Health
Hair growth starts on the inside – so taking care of your scalp and hair follicles is essential if you are on a mission to grow your hair long.
Hair growth is internal. For the hair to grow, you have to activate the follicle within.
Scalp massages are one way of doing so, as they promote blood flow to the hair follicles. “The scalp is the environment from which hair grows. As such, looking after your scalp is essential if you want to grow your hair long and strong,” advises Dr Chua Han Boon, aesthetics consultant at SW1 Clinic in Singapore, which offers a plethora of hair-saving in-clinic treatments.
To boost the circulation of the scalp, Dr Chua puts his patients on Keramax Scalp program which harnesses the powers of Revage 670, a low level hair laser and Revitascalp, a vitamin therapy to enhance scalp health. “While many people focus on their hair shaft which is actually dead, treating the scalp will generate more returns in terms of stronger and healthier hair, in the long run” he says.
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Treat hair loss at the scalp level
If you find that your hair isn’t growing or growing slower than half an inch a month, Dr Chua recommends trying minoxidil – the FDA-approved drug, which activates red blood cells. Even though most people are concerned with how fast their hair grows, all comes to naught if your hair is falling as fast as it is growing. One of the issues as we age is that our hair thins out, this can happen for both men and women. Having thick healthier hair, says Dr Chua, is even more important than having long hair in most cases.
For those who want quicker and more stunning results, awaken dormant hair follicles by recharging them with Kera-clone. This one hour procedure takes ‘baby’ follicular cells from areas of your scalp with healthy hair growth, multiplies them and uses it to stimulate hair growth in other areas of your scalp with thinning hair. While patients may go for 2-3 sessions, results are seen even after a single session, according to Dr Chua.
Supplement your diet
Ensuring healthy levels of certain minerals in particular will encourage hair growth and help prevent breakage.
According to research, hair grows an average of six inches per year. However, subsequent studies have found the number varies depending on various factors including race, genetics, diet, stress, and time of year. What you eat also affects hair growth – and certain foods are capable of helping the process along.
In addition to benefiting your body as a whole, Omega-3 fatty acids and foods with vitamin D can help your hair health as they nourish the hair follicles.
Foods such as salmon, soybeans and chia seeds are all high in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Taking daily biotin can also help.
If getting a bunch of various supplements sound too complicated, then opt for Viviscal. This hair growth supplement contains just the right ingredients to encourage healthy hair growth in one simple pill. “I often prescribe my patients Viviscal which is sold at the clinic” says Dr Chua. This hair and nail growth vitamin has been found to “effectively promote significant hair growth, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.
As with all oral supplements, you should consult a doctor before beginning any vitamin regimen, Dr Chua advises.
Don’t ignore hair products
Shampoos and conditioners, masks, and treatments such as Olaplex are all part of a “coordinated effort to keep hair healthy and growing, according leading hairstylists.
Although they do not directly affect hair growth, hair products can make a difference in keeping hair strong and keeping it from breaking – resulting in longer hair.
To ensure that hair does not split, which can occur from wearing your hair in a ponytail, brushing harshly, using heat tools, or bleaching, products aimed at maintaining the integrity of the hair shaft are essential.
If hair splits, it can damage the entire strand, which can contribute to the look of thin or damaged hair. Hair that touches your shoulders or beyond can be several years old and most likely needs more TLC than normal conditioner. Experts we spoke to advise using moisture-based masks and oils weekly. Because oils can leave a residue on hair, he says to apply it to damp hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition like normal. These oils are able to fill strands up with fatty acids and then, when rinsed out, using regular shampoo helps seal them inside hair. A other way to strengthen hair is to replace the keratin shaft with essential protein, a popular hair strengthening treatment employed by celebs whose tresses undergo severe damage each day from hair stylin, colouring and perming.