A person is born with the same number of hair follicles that he or she will ever have in their lifetime. Although there are about 5 million hair follicles on our bodies, our heads have about 100,000. Baldness and hair thinning occur when certain hair follicles stop producing hair with age.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair grows about 1/2 inch per month. Overall, you grow about 6 inches of hair per year on average.
Hair growth usually depends on age, hair type, health and lifestyle, and other medical conditions. However, every individual must learn the science behind hair growth in order to maintain healthier hair.
How does hair grow?
Hair grows from the root of a follicle under the skin. Your scalp’s blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the follicle, which helps your hair grow. As your hair grows, it passes through an oil gland on your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that your hair is shiny and soft because of the oil from this gland.
Steps to make your hair grow faster and stronger
Although genetics play an important role in hair growth, there is no other proven remedies to stimulate the growth of your hair. However, you can take certain steps to maintain a healthier hair that makes it to grow faster and stronger. Check out the 10 steps below, to maintain a health hair growth:
Vitamins and Nutrients
There are many companies that promote vitamins or supplements as hair growth supplements. However, they don’t always directly affect hair length. To grow your hair, your body needs a lot of energy. Eating an unbalanced diet can impede hair growth. Make sure you eat sources of zinc, omega-3 and 6, B-5 and biotin, vitamin C, iron and vitamin D.
Use essential oils
Put a few drops of jojoba oil into your shampoo before hair washing. Studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil can reduce hair loss. Directly applying essential oils to your skin is not recommended. Several drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil can be added to the oil to dilute it. Rosemary and peppermint may also be helpful. These oils may be beneficial to hair growth, based on the results of animal studies.
Tea tree oil is one such plant extract that has been in use since ancient times. Distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, tea tree oil is highly beneficial when it comes to hair care.Although there are no conclusive studies that suggest its direct application to hair growth, tea tree oildoes help in relieving other hair-related problems, thus making it conducive for hair growth.It helps remove excess chemicals, and it keeps your hair moist, thus reducing hair dryness and breakage. It also helps control dandruff.Mix tea tree oil with almond oil in a 1:10 ratio, apply it to your scalp and gently massage it for better results.
Research on protein, keratin, and vitamins for hair health isn’t very extensive. Researchers studied a product that had 500 milligrams of keratin and other vitamins and minerals. Results were as follows:
- 5 percent reduction in hair loss
- 9 percent improved in hair strength
- improved hair brightness and luster.
Use of proteins
Protein helps hair growth and protects hair from chemicals and environmental influences. If you style your hair frequently or apply heat to your hair, protein treatments can protect your hair. Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss before and after washing your hair. Too much protein can interfere with kidney function. In rare cases, it can also cause hair to become brittle. It is best to get protein from your diet rather than supplements. Make sure to have protein from vegetables, nuts, yogurt, and other foods.
Try caffeine products
We all know caffeine can increase energy, but a 2014 study found that caffeine may also have a stimulating effect on the hair. Caffeine-infused products can promote new hair growth at the molecular, cellular and organ level in both men and women, according to research.
Treat yourself with a scalp massage
A scalp massage can help you relax and relieve stress. However, a 2016 study found it may also help improve hair health. The study looked at the effects of a 4-minute daily scalp massage. After 24 weeks, the researchers found that the nine men in the study had thicker hair than they did initially. Although there was no noticeable difference in hair growth in the study, it is believed that scalp massage helps dilate blood vessels under the skin. This in turn can lead to thicker, stronger hair that is less likely to break.
Check for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment
Research shows that using PRP therapy for patients with hair loss has shown proven and successful results. Although more controlled studies are needed, one study has shown that PRP may be an effective treatment option for hair loss.
“PRP is an innovative treatment that injects the patient’s own platelet concentrations to restore and accelerate hair growth,” says Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology. “Platelets are proteins that we get from our own bloodstream and DNA, and when they get back into the body they can act as stem cells,” Palep said. Injection of PRP into the scalp can damage dormant hair follicles and increase hair growth. Treatment is performed once a month for 3 months and then every 6 months as a follow up care.
Do not overheat
Heat from curling irons, hair dryers and straighteners can damage and cause breakage. You can’t completely eliminate thermal styling, but you can limit how often you use these tools. Lowering the temperature of heated styling tools also helps reduce hair damage. Also, a 2011 study found that applying a heat protectant prior to using heated styling tools can significantly reduce hair damage. Heat treatment creates a protective barrier that helps prevent moisture loss when using heated instruments.
Talk to your doctor about minoxidil
Some ingredients, such as minoxidil, have been clinically tested for hair growth and have shown positive results. Minoxidil, used to treat hereditary hair loss in the occipital region, is the active ingredient in Rogaine. Some products that contain minoxidil do not require a prescription as long as the minoxidil concentration is below a certain percentage. However, Rogaine may not work for everyone and it may take up to 4 months to see results.
Easy to color hair
When you dye your hair and change its texture with chemicals, the pressure on your hair can cause it to break. However, softening this process may make your hair appear less brittle and grow faster.
While genetics plays an important role in hair growth, many other factors also tend to show good results. There is no magic formula for instant hair growth, but there are steps you can take to improve the health and growth of your hair. A healthy diet with essential nutrients and adequate protein is the key. Certain products and procedures can promote hair growth, but avoiding heat and chemotherapy can also help. If you are concerned about hair loss or have problems with hair growth, you can discuss with your doctor right away.