Having a hard time getting your hair to grow? The struggle is real, I know.
It isn't easy to get a straight answer when it comes to how hair grows.
In fact, the hair world is dominated by myths, quick fixes, damaging products and Insta hair hacks. It seems impossible to know what's legit and what you should quit.
Have you fallen victim to bad DIY hair home remedies? Or even worse, gotten clip-ins in the pursuit of longer locks?
Those hair growth vitamins from Instagram failing you?
Well, don't you worry your pretty little locks because hair school is in session. Here is everything you need to know about how hair grows and how to make it grow faster.
And, only the facts, I promise.
Read next: How to protect your hair while you sleep
@fakander wears the Medium Halo in Col. Cream Blonde #20C
The Hair Growth Cycle
Hair grows in a continuous 3 stage cycle.
Each strand enters different phases of the hair growth cycle at different times.
This prevents you from losing too many locks in one place and ending up with bald spots.
In fact, natural hair loss should not be noticeable at all, and bald spots are only visible when you have lost 50% of your hair.
Stage 1: Growth
The growth phase, known as Anagen to the science dudes and dudettes lasts between 2 and 7 years.
How long your hair stays in the growth phase controls how long it gets.
The length of Anagen is different for everyone and depends on genetics.
So, if you find that your hair can't grow past a certain point, you got it from ya mama.
Or, grandmama, or dad.
Fun (or not so fun) fact: this can even vary from sibling to sibling.
Hence why your bro or sis can have long luscious locks that seem to be ever-growing while you're still stuck growing out those awful DIY bangs from 2010.
Whoever is to thank for blame, your hair can only grow to a certain length.
The length your locks can get to depends on how long they stay in the Anagen phase.
So, you can't actually grow your hair any longer or thicker than it's full growth potential.
However, you can help your locks reach their full growth potential and prolong your growth phase... with a few tricks, of course, but more on that later.
@yasmine_minovski wears the Thick Halo in Col. Dark + Medium Brown #2/4
Stage 2: Transition
The transition phase of the hair growth cycle or 'the Catagen phase' is where the hair detaches itself from the blood supply.
This means the strands stop growing. During this time they are referred to as club hairs.
The Catagen phase goes for 2 to 3 weeks before your hair enters the final stage of the hair growth cycle.
@hairby.anette styles the Medium Halo in Col. Beige + Dark Blonde 613/10
Stage 3: Rest and Repeat
If you're wondering how hair grows you might be surprised to find out that hair loss is hugely important to growth.
Enter, the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle.
This is the resting phase where your strands aren't growing, falling or detaching themselves. They're merely hanging out, just being hair.
This lasts for around 3 months.
After this, the club hairs will begin to fall out, making room for new strands to grow as you reenter the Anagen phase.
And around and around and around we go.
As mentioned above, normal hair loss should go relatively unnoticed; however, there are lots of things that can cause your hair to get stuck in its resting phase.
Stress, poor nutrition, illness and even lack of sleep can send your hair growth cycle haywire, causing it to enter the resting phase sooner and stay there for longer.
This is why it's important to keep all systems go and take proper care of not just your hair, but your whole self.
@cassie_cameron wears the Medium Halo in Col. Cream Blond #20C
How to Make Hair Grow Faster In 5 Ways
While you can't grow your hair longer or thicker than your genetics will allow, you can help your hair reach its full growth potential... and stay there for longer.
Here a few handy hair growth hacks to help your hair grow faster.
@jordansimek wears the Medium Halo in Col. Beige + Dark Blonde #613/10
1. Use Your Head
Did you know that scalp health plays a huge part in how hair grows?
You'd be forgiven for not thinking with, or should I say, about your head.
But a healthy head means healthy hair.
Proper scalp care improves blood flow and allows the cuticles to get the nutrients they need.
This prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth simultaneously.
So how can you improve your scalp care regime?
Serums, masks and scalp oils with ingredients like peppermint, tea tree and citrus-based oils will boost circulation and help clean the scalp.
A coffee hair scrub also works wonders to clean dirt and grime, which can build up and clog the hair follicles.
Also, switch out your regular shampoo for a clarifying and hydrating duo.
@brookeleeofficial wears the Thick Halo in Col. Strawberry blonde #27
2. Get Dirty
Did you know washing your hair less can help it grow more?
Sounds like fake news I know, but it's true.
Well, shampooing your hair less that is.
It turns out lots of people actually skip the conditioner frequently and only opt for the shampoo.
But, that's one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to how to make your hair grow.
In reality, you want to load up on conditioner and cut down on the shampoo.
Well, as you probably know, shampoo is designed to clean away nasties and dirties that load up in your locks.
But, most shampoos are actually made with harsh soaps (sulphates) which strip away your hairs natural oils.
Which, your hair needs for long and healthy hair growth.
So, if you want to grow your hair faster, wash it less and always use a sulphate free formula.
Pro-tip, only scrub the crown of your head with shampoo and let the suds slide down the rest of your strands as the water rinses them away.
@makeupby.dani wears the Medium Halo in Col. Dark Blonde + light Brown #10/6
3. Steer Clear of Extensions
You might think hair extensions are a quick fix for longer locks, right?
Clip-in, micro-bead, tape, bonded and other permanent extensions can seriously hinder hair growth.
These kinds of extensions cause hair loss and even bald spots as they add extra weight and pressure to your hair.
This weight and constant tugging cause the hair to fall out of your head.
Clips and harmful adhesives also weaken your strands over time.
So are there any hair extensions that don't damage your natural hair?
Halo hair extensions are the safest way to get longer locks while you wait for your hair to grow.
4. Hair Growth Ingredients
What you eat is possibly the biggest influencing factor when it comes to how hair grows.
Your hair needs certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients to grow.
The recipe for hair growth should include plenty of leafy greens, beans and legumes, and a moderate to low protein intake.
Cut back on sugars and unrefined carbs as much as you can.
If your hair doesn't respond as fast as you'd like, you can use performance enhancers.
And by that, I mean supplements.
But keep in mind, these aren't miracle hair growth drugs.
But they can be great to get things going.
- Folic Acid
- Vitamins A, C, D and E
5. Hey Hot Stuff
Or should I say, bye?
The hottest tip I have for how hair grows is to ditch the hot styling tools.
** Cries over hair straightener.
But did you know your curler could be causing your hair growth woes?
Healthy hair is hair that grows.
And hair that is constantly exposed to heat is anything but healthy.
High heat actually breaks the molecular structure of your strands.
Which not only cause hair breakage but can permanently hinder hair growth.
So if you want to help your hair get to its full thickness potential, go au natural on occasion or at least always use heat protection spray before styling.
@livrah wears the Thick Halo in Col. Medium Brown #4