Looking to Grow Your Hair Naturally? Try These Tips
Hair, hair, it’s everywhere!
In the sink and on the stairs. On your brush and on your chair.
Dr. Seuss might not have had to deal with the woes of hair loss, but for many of us, it’s a regular battle. In fact, over 21 million American women experience some type of hair loss, and the numbers for men are even higher (1).
Healthy hair has been the crown of glory for men and women for thousands of years. For the ladies, thick and lustrous locks symbolized femininity. For the men, a dense and abundant beard was a mark of manhood.
Today’s cultural standards may have changed, but the association between hair, health, and beauty hasn’t.
Healthy hair boosts self-esteem and confidence, but many commercial treatments can be expensive and time-consuming. If you’re looking to grow your hair naturally, we have tips that can help.
Reasons for Hair Loss
It’s always disheartening to see clumps of hair falling out, and there are several common reasons this can happen.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (2), some of the main culprits behind chronic hair loss are:
- Hormones: When your estrogen, androgens levels are out of whack, it can contribute to hair loss. One of the biggest hormonal imbalances is PCOS, a condition that affects as many as 5 million women in America alone (3).
- Genetics: Certain genetics, like the AR gene, seem to have a strong association with thinning hair and baldness, especially in men (5).
- Age: The older you get, the longer it takes for cells to regenerate. The same concept is true for your hair cells. With slower regenerations comes an increased risk of thinning and hair loss.
- Cancer treatment: Treatments like chemotherapy can be particularly harsh on your body. This chemical cocktail destroys fast-growing cells, but it can also damage healthy cells. This includes hair follicles, leading to hair loss (6).
- Alopecia areata: This is a type of disease where your own immune system targets your hair follicles, disrupting the normal growth cycle (7).
- Hair care: Certain hair care products in shampoo and chemical straightener ingredients can irritate your scalp and encourage hair loss. Stress-induced pulling or tugging of the hair can also stress the hair follicles to the point that they release the hair (8).
- Medication: Certain medications, like blood thinners or anti-depressants, may cause hair loss as a potential side effect (4).
- Thyroid issues: Your thyroid performs a lot of roles, including the health of your hair. When your T3 and T4 hormones are disrupted, your hair-growing cycle can be altered, leading to hair falling out (9).
- Nutrient deficiencies: If you’re not getting enough protein, zinc, iron, or biotin in your diet, your body isn’t getting the nourishment it needs to produce healthy hair.
While aging and genetics are more permanent, hormone and nutrient issues can be addressed to help improve the look and feel of your hair.
Natural Hair Growth Tips
What makes hair grow? Like all things in life, your hair growth has a cycle. In this cycle are three stages (10):
- Anagen (or Growing Stage)
- Catagen (or Regressing Stage)
- Telogen (or Resting Stage)
Some argue the best way to grow longer, stronger hair is to stay in the growing stage for as long as possible. But how do you do that?
The truth is, there’s only so much you can do to influence your body’s natural cycles. You can give your cells (including your hair follicles) the best support you can so they can do their job well.
Here are some of the best tips for growing your hair naturally.
Start From Within
Health and beauty always begin within. That’s why the fundamental principles behind eating right, staying hydrated, exercising, and getting enough sleep can benefit your hair as well.
Eating foods rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein will not only nourish your hair follicles but the vitamins and minerals inside will keep the rest of your body and mind going too (11).
Hair-growing foods to keep on your grocery list include:
- Sweet potatoes
Drink plenty of water because every cell in your body depends on fluid movement in order to thrive.
Aim to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. This allows your body to rest and repair damaged cells, regulate hormones, lowers stress, and boost your immune system (12).
Slower hair growth can be tied to sluggish circulation, so be sure to keep your blood pumping by:
- Giving yourself scalp massages
- Moving your body for at least 30 minutes per day
- Deep breathing exercises
Mend Your Ends
The roots of your hair might be growing just fine, but the midshaft and ends of your hair need just as much care if not more. That’s because these areas are the most exposed to damage from UV rays, dyes, chlorine, dry air, and chemicals.
Ways to keep your ends looking healthy include:
- Regular deep conditioning
- Getting trims every 3-4 months
- Using leave-in conditioner
- Avoiding sulfates and drying ingredients in your shampoos and conditioners
- Wear protective styles
- Using silk or satin pillowcases to reduce breakage
How Long Will It Take to Grow My Hair?
Everyone is different, and the time it takes for hair to regrow (if it does at all) depends on why you’re losing hair in the first place.
The average person’s hair grows between 4-6 inches per year (12), depending on your diet, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors. Give yourself grace and patience as you learn to care for your hair from the inside out.
Hair comes in many colors and textures. It’s fascinating to see all the ways hair shapes our looks, as well as reflect our health.
If you’re concerned about your hair getting thin or falling out, you’re not alone. Before looking for ways to regrow your hair, work with a healthcare professional to find out why you’re losing it in the first place.
Once you have a clear picture of where you are, you and your healthcare provider can determine a safe and natural game plan to help you grow your hair naturally.
Some of the best tips are to eat wholesome foods, keep your stress levels low, and maintain proper care. These all work together to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Do you know someone who could use encouragement on their hair growth journey? Share this article with them today!
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author