People's hair grows at varying speeds. On average, it about half an inch a month.
You might want to speed things up? Maybe you feel the need for a boost in length, want to grow it out to restyle it, or just crave a little more volume and pazazz.
There are lots of things that damage hair. Products, styling, colouring, poor maintenance, a bad diet. What can you do to ensure your hair is healthy and growing as quickly as possible?
First, we should understand hair.
According to the U.S Center for Disease Control, hair grows at an average of 0.50 inches (1.25cm) per month. This equates to about six inches per year, which sounds a lot.
Genetics play a huge factor. Hair, ultimately, is uncontrollable. If you're going bald, say goodbye.
Those who aren't, read on.
Taking good hair of your hair, removing split ends and keeping good care of it, all help to see hair flourish.
Hair grows by protein feeding follicles. You need good, steady blood flow and plenty of nutrients. Like plants.
According to Expert Home Tips , these are the stages in which hair actually comes to life:
Anagen - The growth phase. The longer a hair remains in the Anagen phase the longer it will grow - this depends on genetics but it can last 2 - 6 years.
Catagen - This is a transitional phase that hair goes into once Anagen has ended. The hair follicle will shrink, the papilla detaches and the hair is no longer attached to it's 'life supply' of nutrients. Hair is no longer growing.
Telogen - Also known as the resting phase. The follicle remains dormant and the hair will be anchored in place. Depending on the strength of the follicle, it will eventually soften and the hair will eventually break free and shed.
(It's when these mix up that things go wrong. Again, if it's in your genes, you can't really stop baldness you can do things to slow it, or get a hair transplant, of course).
These are some suggestions for getting your hair to grow quicker.
There are numerous studies that suggest food has an impact. Diet does with all of our human functions, and hair is no exception.
We need to make sure we're getting the right vitamins and minerals to keep healthy.
Foods to make your hair grow faster include:
• Almonds, peanut, walnuts, pecans
• Milk and cheese
• Pork and cooked liver
• Salmon and sardines
Some beauty bloggers suggest trying the inversion method.
We don't know if this works, but if you want to read more and give it a go, it's your call, obviously.
The Love Thing recommends: "For one week per month, once a day, you wet your fingertips with some hair-appropriate oil, flip your head over and give your scalp a good 5-minute massage with your fingertips.
"The massage, paired with your head being upside down, MAJORLY increases blood flow to the scalp and triggers an increase in hair growth."
You have to ensure you do one week on, one week off, apparently.
Oils during the inversion method are also thought to be a good idea. But we've got a separate section on oils later.
According to various hair experts, hot water strips the hair of moisture and weakens strands. So it does no good for growth.
We should supposedly instead opt for lukewarm water when washing our hair, and cooling it in cold water afterwards for maximum results.
Of course, it's important to open up your pores with warm/hot water when cleaning – but not too hot. And limit the time you stand under the shower. Cold water closes the pores.
A lot of beauty experts seem to think avoiding too many hair washes is important. This is widely believed in the industry. At least not washing everyday.
Hair growth treatments
As well as all the natural bits and bobs, there are plenty of hair growth treatments about. It's best to be careful and speak to pharmacists about putting things like that on your head.
There are lots of products about. Boots has lots of Lee Stafford formulas.
And Superdrug says: "Try a specialist hair growth shampoo containing caffeine, which stimulates hair growth.
"Apply the product directly to the scalp and leave for 2 minutes, so it penetrates the hair follicle and encourages growth.
"Once a week , apply an intensive mask or hot oil treatment to hair to keep it smooth, nourished and supple – dry, brittle strands will end up snapping off. If your hair is fine or thinning, try a hair loss treatment that builds up the hair fibre with keratin protein."
Pharmacists also say wider combs are better for your hair. They talk about good diet and regular cuts too.
If you're applying heat to your hair everyday, it'll limit growth and affect its quality.
"If you must use heat, try to gently towel and air dry your hair until it's around 60 per cent dry then use the hairdyer on a medium setting and always use lots of hair protection spray," says Expert Home Tips .
Basically – don't straighten too much.
Hair cuts are good (in a way)
Yes, obviously, if you get your hair cut all the time it's not going to grow. But getting rid of split ends and damaged areas is a positive thing.
"Having your hair trimmed regularly – ideally every six weeks – will prevent split ends and breakage. Keep your hair healthy and strong from root to tip and it will grow more quickly," say Superdrug beauticians.