While it seems that for some women, enviably long hair just happens, for the rest of us, tweaking certain aspects of our day-to-day haircare regimen must be made. Whether that’s using a different hair brush, adjusting how often you use your hair dryer, adding foods to make hair grow quicker or a vitamin to the mix, or sleeping on a silk pillowcase (yes, really), there are fast hair growth secrets and home remedies that even grow hair thicker. Check out these pro tips for how to grow hair faster, naturally!
1. Pay attention to your skin.
It’s easy to see shiny hair initially and assume a hair product is working for you, but Dean recommends taking a closer look — at your scalp. “What the formula is doing to your skin is generally what it’s doing to your hair,” he says. “Does it make your skin feel dry, stripped, heavy, waxy, sticky, or greasy? Or does it feel soft, hydrated, silky, and supple?” Treat your hair the way you would treat your skin — after all, it’s another part of you! If your hair follicles are clogged and congested, there’s no way it can grow as efficiently.
2. Stop doing trendy “cleanses.”
Diet companies may try to convince you that a “cleanse” will turn your whole life around, but Dueñas strongly advises against them. “Doing a cleanse is terrible for your hair because you’re depriving your body of nutrients,” he warns. “After doing a cleanse even for a week, you’ll notice slower hair growth and lackluster locks.”
3. Avoid excessive heat styling.
“Stop over-styling your hair,” Paves says. If you must use heat, he recommends decreasing the temperature and always using a heat protectant — otherwise, you risk damaging your hair, leading to breakage and frizz.
4. Be careful when you brush wet hair.
Hair is especially susceptible to breakage when it’s wet. “Water exposure swells and stretches the hair’s shaft, which causes the shingle-like outer layer to lift, and adding stress from brushing in that state can cause it to break,” says Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann. Instead, brush hair before shampooing, and if you have to detangle it when wet, towel-dry first so it no longer drips, apply a leave-in conditioner from roots to ends, and use a gentler wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to reduce friction, working from the ends up in small sections to prevent tearing hair, she advises.
5. Keep your showers cooler and focus on scalp care.
A hot shower can dehydrate your skin — and it’s also rough on your hair. “Turn the water temperature down when cleansing,” recommends Paves. But give your scalp a little extra love: Give it a mini massage as you shampoo to deeply de-gunk and help boost circulation.
6. Skip the daily shampoo.
By now, you’ve likely heard all the testimonials attributing great hair to going “no ‘poo,” but do you know why it actually helps your hair? “Shampooing your hair two to three times a week allows your natural oils to penetrate your hair, allowing it to hydrate and repair itself,” explains Ken Paves, a celebrity hairstylist in LA. For thicker and fuller-looking hair fast, choose a formula labeled “volumizing” or “thickening.”
7. Eat the right foods.
Having long, strong hair doesn’t just depend on which products you put on your hair; it also depends on what you put into your body. “To promote hair growth, you need to ‘feed’ the hair from the inside,” explains Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in NYC. So what foods make hair grow quicker? Those high in protein, the building blocks of hair, including meats and other sources. “Try increasing your protein intake with foods like fish, beans, nuts, and whole grains,” she recommends.
Even if you’re not a meat lover, you should still aim to maintain a diet high in protein for hair growth. Women who don’t get enough of it often experience “more hair shedding,” Dr. Fusco says. In addition to foods high in protein, vitamins A, C, and E, minerals like zinc and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids can also contribute to healthier hair, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Nutrition Lab advises.
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