Everyone wants to have long, healthy, lustrous hair, don’t we? Well, I suppose length is subjective, but we can all agree that we want healthy and shiny hair, right?
On average, out hair grows at about half an inch a month, meaning it grows somewhere around six inches a year. The rate it grows at depends mostly on genetics as well as the condition it’s in – whether it’s healthy or not. And the health of our hair depends on a number of factors, including first and foremost the food that we eat. If our body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to nourish our hair it’s ultimately going to become dull, prone to breakage and overall unhealthy. And unhealthy hair is, of course, going to grow slower.
So, the first step if you’re on the path to growing out your hair but encountering difficulties it to look at the food you’re consuming. Are you taking in enough protein, biotin, vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, and essential fatty acids through foods like eggs, lean meat, fish, nuts, avocados, spinach, and berries? If not, tackle that first.
Then, there are also other steps you can take to ensure faster hair growth, like massaging your scalp to stimulate blood flow, using different types of hair masks or oils to both nourish your hair and keep a healthy scalp.
Additional things that affect the health of our hair, and subsequently the rate at which it grows, are whether it’s been damaged by using harsh chemicals and heat, losing its shine from over-washing, or breaking off from a certain hairstyle.
So, other than using oils, massages, hair masks and looking at the food we’re eating, here’s a number of changes you should start making to your hair care routine if you want your hair to grow faster and healthier that might not have crossed your mind.
1. Wash your hair less frequently
It may seem counterproductive to wash your hair less often if you want them to be healthier, but it’s true. Yes, you should wash it regularly, but that doesn’t mean it has to be done frequently. That will just strip your hair of its natural oils it needs which will cause your hair to dry up and become frizzy and damage-prone. But that doesn’t mean you should wash it too infrequently either as that will just make the oils to build up and clog your hair follicles.
There aren’t really any set rules as to how often you should wash your hair, but if you have hair that’s normal in weight and oiliness, then you could extend the time between washing it to a few days. Just embrace the dry shampoo.
2. Don’t wash it with water that’s too hot
Yes, you should wash your hair with hot water since it opens up your hair’s cuticles and allows for the shampoo and conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft better. But if you make it too hot, it’s just going to strip away too much of the hair’s moisture and lead it to become dry, frizzy and breakage prone.
Also, rinse it with cold water
Cold water, on the other hand, closes the hair cuticles and so rinsing your hair out with cold water after you’ve shampooed and conditioned it will seal the moisture in and make it less damage prone.
3. Do not use heat
Heat, along with the harsh chemicals in bleach or hair dye are your hair’s worst enemy. So, while curling your hair with an iron wand will give you bouncy waves in no time, and blow-drying it will give your hair more volume, it’s also going to ruin your hair in the long run. So, opt for air drying whenever possible, and as for curling your hair, there are endless no-heat curling methods you can try.
4. Change your towel
Towels can be too rough on the hair, especially wet hair, causing it to break and become frizzy. Wrapping the towel around the hair also pulls on the strands and may result in hair loss. So, there are two options you can opt for.
You could invest in a microfiber towel, which will be softer on your hair, reduce the frizz and soak up moisture quicker, or just use something softer, like an old shirt, and gently pat the hair dry.
5. Get a silk pillowcase
There are a number of reasons why a silk pillowcase is better for your hair than a normal cotton one, starting from the fact that it causes less friction and less breakage – this will stop your hair from thinning. Since we use our pillowcases every night, if it leads to breakage over time, it might be a good idea to switch it up. A silk pillowcase will also prevent from our hair tangling during the night and help keep our hairstyles for longer, so win-win.
6. Lose the ponytail
Something else that may be causing your hair to break is if you keep putting it up in a tight ponytail. While the style is both cute and efficient, the constant pulling it does on your scalp is causing it to become damaged and your hair to fall out. So, if you can’t stand keeping your hair down all the time, try opting for a loose bun or braid. Both of them still look cute while causing less damage to your hair.