Let's grow some hair!!!
First let's take a look at how the hair growth cycle works so you have an understanding of what is happening.
1. Anagen phase: This is the phase where your hair grows and length is determined. It is different between each person, and can last between 2-7 years.
2. Catagen phase: This is the transition phase of the hair. It lasts about 7-10 days, the follicle shrinks and detaches from the hair papilla.
3. Telogen phase: This is the resting phase. The hair will be in this part of the cycle for about 3 months. Typically 10-15% of hairs are currently in this phase. While the old hair is resting, a new hair begins to grow.
4. Exogen phase: This is called the new hair phase, also part of the resting phase. Basically, the old hair is shed and the new one continues to grow. Humans shed about 50-150 hairs a day on average from their scalp, this is the normal rate of shedding.
A lot of people ask me "how can I get longer hair?" VERY often. Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I can share with you all!
1. STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR!
This may sound gross, but the less often you wash your hair, the healthier it will be. Healthy hair will always be the key to growing long hair! Less breakage, longer hair! Keeping the natural oils at the root will nourish the follicle promoting softer hair. HOWEVER, do not let build-up occur on the scalp. This will be counterproductive and possibly cause hair loss. This is mainly aimed at people who wash their hair way too much, every other day is ideal and will vary depending on your hair type.
Taking supplements over a long period of time will definitely improve hair growth results. The supplement I would recommend would be MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). There are many, many more that can aid in hair growth. Listed below are the two most common supplements and their benefits.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is required for keratin and collagen in the human body. Typically this is a supplement marketed for joints. It is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in foods like seafood, green vegetables, fruits, milk and grains. MSM lengthens the first phase of hair growth called the anagen phase (aka growing). The anagen phase of hair growth is genetically determined unless supplemented by MSM.
Biotin (Vitamin B7) is a very common supplement used in hair and nail growth blends. Biotin is claimed to help in speeding up keratin cell growth in hair and nails. There is very weak evidence supporting this vitamin for the growth of hair.
When you are trying to grow your hair, there are lots of enticing products out there with claims to expedite the growth process. A lot are false claims unless you use clinically proven treatments! The things you need to be aware of when buying product is the ingredient content and quality. Avoid sulfates and alcohols in products, these are very drying to the hair. Make sure you don't use too much keratin enriched product, this can make the hair very brittle. Using products with moisturizing ingredients will keep the hair super soft. Oil treatments are always a great way to keep the hair conditioned.
4. Hair Cuts
Many people will not cut their hair in their growth process, but it has to be done. If you do not get rid of split ends and breakage, it will slowly creep up the hair and eventually make it much shorter than you want! Keep the ends healthy on the hair will give you longer hair over time. Not to mention, scraggly looking ends are not pretty!
5. Healthy Diet
This is really a no-brainer. Keeping your insides healthy reflects on the outside. Maintaining a well-rounded, nutritious diet will help the hair grow properly. Too much protein can be detrimental to the body, so do not go overboard!
Massaging the scalp can increase blood flow to the hair, this will help growth as well.
Please add any questions or your own tips in the comments below!