Do you dream of having beautiful long hair and need help figuring out where to start? Healthy, long hair plays a vital role in improving your self-esteem. Some of the healthy ways of increasing your hair growth include eating proper diet, massaging your scalp, trimming your hair regularly, and using the right hair care products.
Adopting a healthy hair care routine will not only promote long hair but will also improve the overall health of your hair. Here are proven remedies that prevent excessive hair loss and make your hair grow faster.
The Hair Growth Cycle
To solve your hair problem, you must first understand the stages of your hair cycle. Human hair undergoes four stages: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen.
· The Anagen Phase
This is the most active phase of your hair growth. At this stage, your hair grows rapidly since the hair follicles form new hair cells continually. Here your hair grows at an average rate of 6 inches per year.
The stage lasts for about five years, so your hair should be at least 18 inches in length. Remember, this phase lasts longer among Asian descendants and can last up to 7 years. Also, your hair will grow faster during the summer season.
· The Catagen Phase
The catagen phase marks the end of the anagen phase, where the hair multiplies. During this phase, your hair follicle stops receiving blood supply and only lasts 2-3 weeks. There’s no noticeable growth in this phase, as there’s no formation of new hair follicles.
· The Telogen Phase
This is the third stage of the hair growth cycle, where your hair remains dormant. Also known as the resting phase, your hair stays in its follicles but doesn’t grow long since the follicles aren’t multiplying.
About 15% of your hair is in this stage at any given moment. A single hair strand can remain in this stage for approximately three months.
· The Exogen Phase
The exogen phase is the last stage of the cycle. At this point, your hair strands detach from their follicles, thus causing shedding. After this stage, you will start experiencing new hair growth, and the cycle continues.
It’s normal to shed at least 90-100 hair strands daily. However, some chemicals, illnesses, and unhealthy styling habits can disrupt your hair growth cycle and cause hair loss, hair thinning, or even transitional alopecia. Ensure you follow the proper hair care routine and good nutrition to prevent interrupted hair cycles.
The Importance of Taking Good Care of Your Hair
Did you know some people notice your hair when you first encounter them? Yes, that’s why it’s essential to carry healthy hair. Here are the benefits of having long, healthy hair.
· Boosts Self-Esteem
Beautiful, long hair has a significant impact on how others see you. Ensure you book an appointment with your hairstylist if you want to revive your self-esteem.
Your hair stylist will know the products to apply to the hair, depending on your hair type. They will also know which style suits you best, and you will always look confident regardless of the occasion.
· Improves Your Overall Health
Healthy hair means you’re taking care of your overall well-being. Having dry, frizzy hair with lots of split ends can not only interfere with your self-confidence but also damage the scalp.
Unhealthy hair can also signify that your body isn’t getting enough nutrients. Visit your doctor if your hair keeps falling even after observing the proper hair care routine and diet.
· Promotes the Growth of Long, Healthy Hair
Taking good care of your hair will make it grow long within a considerable period. You achieve your goals faster without spending too much money on hair products. Of course, you’ll have to buy hair shampoo, conditioner, and oils, but you won’t fall into the trap of fake hair products.
12 Ways to Increase Hair Growth
It can be challenging to grow longer, thicker hair, especially if it keeps breaking. If you feel your hair isn’t growing, there are different things you can add to your hair regime to boost its growth. Below are proven remedies you can adopt to stimulate hair growth.
1. Eat the Proper Diet
What you eat has a direct impact on your hair. Unhealthy eating habits can significantly contribute to hair loss. Unhealthy foods to avoid include:
- Simple carbohydrates like bread, wheat flour, biscuits, ice cream, and cakes.
- Sweet cereals because they’re known to spike blood sugar levels.
- Greasy food such as fries and pizzas.
Eating balanced meals will heal your body and promote healthy hair growth. Here are some foods you can incorporate to increase hair growth.
- Seeds, legumes, oysters, and nuts. These products are rich in zinc, which is known to boost hair growth
- Dairy, eggs, and lentils. They’re rich in biotin and protein, which play a vital role in hair growth.
- Fish. Sea foods like salmon are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that control hair shedding.
2. Massage the Scalp
Hair follicles are found in the scalp, where hair growth begins. Scalp massage increases blood flow to the scalp, thus strengthening your hair strands. Although it’s okay to massage dry hair, it’s advisable to add oils to double the benefits.
The methods you can use to massage the scalp include the inversion method and essential oil massage.
· Essential Oil Massage
Some essential oils you can use include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil. These oils stimulate hair growth by dilating blood vessels, thus stimulating hair follicles to produce new growth. Start by heating the oil until it gets warm enough.
Be careful not to overheat it, as you can burn your scalp. Apply the oil to your scalp and massage for about 20 minutes. You can cover it using a plastic shower cap for about 30 minutes and rinse it afterward.
· Inversion Scalp Massage
As its name suggests, the inversion method works by inverting your head, and it’s not necessary to use essential oils. Sit on a comfortable chair and flip the hair over when your face is facing upwards. Rub the scalp from the crown as you move outwards.
Apply enough pressure as you rub the scalp in a circular motion to stimulate blood flow. Ensure your scalp and hands are clean to avoid product buildup and infections.
3. Trim Your Hair Regularly
Although it sounds absurd, trimming your hair after every few months can promote healthy hair growth. It’s normal for your hair to experience split ends, especially at the last hair growth stage.
If not trimmed, these split ends go up the hair shaft and damage your healthy hair. Split ends can also get entangled with other healthy hair, thus causing massive hair breakage.
Typically, your hair will grow at a rate of half an inch every month. So in three months, your hair will have grown about one and a half inches. At the end of three months, cut about ¼ inch of the hair but ensure you don’t overdo it.
4. Avoid Excessive Heat Styling
Your hair needs moisture for it to grow well. Using heat products such as blow-dryers and flat irons will strip your hair of its moisture, thus making it dry and brittle. If it’s a must you stretch and style your hair using heat, ensure you use the lowest setting and use a heat protectant product.
5. Use Egg Mask Treatment
Eggs are rich in protein and lecithin, which are known to nourish and strengthen hair strands. They are also rich in sulfur, preventing the formation of dead skin and dandruff. Eggs are good moisturizers and work best during the anagen phase since your hair grows faster at this stage.
To make egg masks at home, follow the procedure below.
- Step 1: Collect two eggs and whisk them into a clean bowl. Ensure you get a smooth consistency.
- Step 2: Add plain yogurt or essential oils to the mixture.
- Step 3: Section your hair and apply the mixture. Ensure your hair is damp.
- Step 4: Cover the hair with a plastic cap and leave it for about thirty minutes.
- Step 5: Rinse your hair with cool water. Don’t rinse using hot water to avoid cooking the eggs while still on your hair.
6. Do a Hot Oil Treatment
Plant-based oils like coconut, almond, olive, and castor are known to strengthen and nourish your hair. Hot oil treatment works by sealing your hair cuticles. This, in return, protects your hair strands from drying and breaking, thus making them longer and fuller.
Consult your dermatologist if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis because some oils can trigger these skin conditions. Some benefits of hot oil treatment include reduced dryness, fewer split ends, stronger hair, reduced dandruff, and increased blood flow in the scalp.
Ensure you have your preferred oil and plastic shower cap for a hot oil treatment at home. Start by sectioning your hair and then apply warm oil on the scalp and the strands.
Next, cover your hair with a plastic shower cap for about 30 minutes to steam the hair. Finish by washing the hair with a shampoo and an instant conditioner.
7. Use the Right Hair Care Products
Most shampoos and conditioners today contain harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens. These ingredients can cause scalp irritation or strip hair of its natural oils. If your target is to grow long, healthy hair, invest in products made of naturally derived ingredients because they clean the scalp without damaging it.
Ensure you read the hair products’ ingredients before buying them from the stores. You can also consult your stylist about healthy hair products that will strengthen and nourish your hair without damaging the scalp.
8. Take Your Time When Detangling Your Hair
You can be tempted to detangle your hair faster, especially when late. Doing this can slow your hair growth journey because it tends to break your hair strands.
When detangling knots, start by loosening them using your fingers. Next, gently detangle each knot and ensure you use a detangling brush, a wide-tooth comb, or a paddle brush.
In addition, going to bed with uncombed hair will affect your hair by making it tangle more. Combing your hair before going to bed will also help to distribute sebum evenly on your hair. Sebum is natural oil your scalp produces to keep your hair well moisturized.
9. Try Using Biotin and Minoxidil
Biotin plays a vital role in promoting hair growth. For example, you might experience hair thinning if you have a biotin deficiency. You can take biotin supplements or eat biotin-rich food, like soybeans and liver.
Minoxidil is also clinically proven to promote hair growth. It’s approved by the FDA to treat hereditary hair loss. Be sure to consult your doctor first when considering taking products containing minoxidil.
10. Avoid Stressing Your Hair
Your hair will grow better if you stop over-manipulating it. Stop holding your hair into tight buns or braids.
Moreover, avoid treatments such as chemical straightening, relaxing, and coloring. For example, coloring or bleaching your hair will cause frequent split ends and breakage. Also, avoid playing with or touching your hair because these habits can damage the hair.
11. Use a Silk or Satin Hair Bonnet and Pillowcase
Materials such as cotton and wool absorb moisture from the hair. A silk or satin pillowcase and bonnet won’t strip your hair of moisture, so your hair growth process won’t be interrupted. These materials also generate less friction, so your hair won’t tangle much.
12. Avoid Shampooing Your Hair Every Day
It is okay to want to clean your hair, but doing this daily can lead to dry, broken hair. The shampoo is known to strip off natural oils that keep your hair well moisturized. How often you clean your hair depends on your hair type.
For example, it’s advisable to wash low-porosity hair after every other day as it experiences more product buildup. However, those with thick, coarse hair can shampoo their hair twice or thrice a week.
Although genetics play a vital role in hair growth, there are other things you can do to stimulate its growth. Taking good care of your hair and eating the proper diet is important in promoting long, healthy hair.
Use the right hair products, trim your hair when necessary, and take supplements because this will treat many hair issues, including breakage.