Is there really a way to make your hair grow faster? We did the research so you don't have to
Maybe you’re dreaming of wearing your hair in long, bohemian braids, maybe you’re regretting those bangs you thought you’d love, or maybe you’re working on growing out that trendy bob. Whatever the reason, it’s not uncommon for us ladies to wonder: Is there a way to grow our hair longer, faster?
If you’re searching for ways to make your hair look as long and luscious as, say, Blake Lively’s, we have some tips for you. Of course, there is no quick solution to growing your hair faster—the process takes time—but there are some things you can do to make sure your hair follicles are as healthy as can be, which is helpful in the growth process.
Our expert, Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist and brand president of Philip Kingsley says this:
Here’s a few simple changes you can make to help your hair grow faster:
Understanding hair growth 101:
Your hair grows in three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is called the “active growth” phase, and each strand of hair will stay in the anagen phase anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen phase is the phase where hair stops growing, which lasts four to six weeks, and the telogen phase is the phase when your hair falls out (i.e. in the shower, in your hairbrush, all over your apartment, etc.).
The telogen phase accounts for the 100+ strands of hair the average person loses every single day, and it’s totally normal. In fact, don’t be mad about it: Hair in the telogen phase has stopped growing, so it’s not helping your hair get any longer anyway.
As of right now, there is no proven scientific remedy to “turn on” the anagen “active growth” phase, which would allow hair to grow faster. However, keeping your hair healthy while it’s in the anagen phase can extend the phase’s length, offering each strand more time to grow before it’s time to fall out.
How to make your hair grow faster:
1Eat plenty of protein.
A healthy diet is pivotal to long, healthy hair—because healthy strands grow from a healthy body.
“Your strands are mainly made of protein, making this nutrient a key hair-growth booster,” says Kingsely. She recommends adding at least a palm sized protein to your breakfast and lunch. This could be a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, whatever floats your boat.
For extra internal support, she says you can take a daily protein supplement, like this one, which is vegan and vegetarian friendly.
2Familiarize yourself with ferritin.
According to Kingsley, ferritin (a stored iron) is one of the most important nutrients for long, healthy hair growth.
“A low ferritin level is the most common cause of hair not growing past a certain length in the women we see in our New York and London Clinics,” she explains.
“The best way to support and maintain good ferritin levels is to include iron-rich foods in your diet. Great examples are red meat, beetroot, dried apricots, and dark, leafy greens. You can also take an iron supplement—just make sure it contains a good dose of L-lysine (which helps your body to store iron).”
“If your hair is breaking at the ends, it simply won’t reach the length you want it to,” says Kingsely. “My advice is to treat your hair like your favorite silk blouse—i.e. be exceptionally gentle with it.
She also says you should treat your strands to a deep conditioning mask once to twice a week. Philip Kingsley makes an amazing pre-shampoo conditioning treatment that adds elasticity and strength to your hair, but there are some pretty good drugstore picks, too. They key here is giving your strands an added dose of TLC through added moisture.
Another surefire way to rid your hair of dead, broken ends is to go in for a regular hair trim, according to celebrity stylist Jonathan Colombini. It’s usually recommended to go in for a quick cut every eight to 12 weeks to maintain optimal health and growth.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or shot you can take to double the rate at which your hair grows. The simple, slow answer is this: The healthier your hair and body are, the stronger your hair will be, meaning you’ll shed less hair and give it more time to grow. That means, if hair growth is a priority for you, you should do your best to sleep at least eight hours a night, avoid stress, stay hydrated, and eat a healthy diet. These are all great things to be doing anyway, so hair growth is just a nice side benefit.
And remember, no matter how fast (or slow) your hair grows, you look freaking fabulous.