There are a number of factors that can influence how fast your hair can grow and some of these include your diet, your state of health, any medication you're taking, hormonal influences, environmental influences and even your stress levels. Hair growth tends to slow down the older you get so age is also a consideration and of course your genetic blueprint plays a role too. Normal hair growth is therefore very difficult to define as it will vary considerably from person to person but on average, the hair on our head grows at a rate of around one centimetre a month.
All this said, there are some things you can do to maximise your hair growth potential and encourage it to grow faster but first it helps if you first have an understanding of the hair growth cycle and how the hair actually grows.
The hair growth cycle
On average, the human head contains around 100,000 hairs, 90% of which are actively growing at any one time. This growth phase is known as ‘Anagen' and is one of three stages in the hair growth cycle. It lasts anything from a couple of years to about six or even ten years in total before the hair enters the second stage, ‘Catagen'. This is where over the next few weeks the hair follicle is degraded and the hair stops growing. Finally, the hair enters into the resting phase or ‘Telogen' which lasts for several months and during this part of the cycle it is perfectly normal to shed a certain amount of hair, which can be as much as 100 hairs a day.
If we want to give our hair the best chance to grow faster and healthier then we need to take full advantage of the growth phase of the cycle and make sure that we are doing everything we can to minimise hair follicle damage and maximise hair growth potential.
Healthy hair growth relies on a number of nutrients to feed the hair follicle so in the first instance, faster hair growth starts from the inside and with your diet. Any nutritional deficiencies in your diet will show up as dull, lifeless looking hair, poor hair growth, thinning of the hair and even hair loss so making sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential. Fruit and vegetables contain important antioxidants which can help protect the hair and promote faster hair growth.
Hair is composed of a protein known as Keratin so not surprisingly, a diet lacking in protein can hinder hair health and growth. Many people are still unaware of the importance of getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet, a lack of which will show up in the health of your hair. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in oily fish or fish oil supplements and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and so can alleviate any inflammation in the scalp and as they help the blood flow more efficiently they also help to nourish the scalp.
Try to massage the scalp on a daily basis. Massage helps to stimulate the circulation of blood to the hair follicle and removes dead skin and helps to unclog pores all of which allow the hair to grow more freely. A good time to do massage your scalp is when washing your hair.
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