Wondering how to make your hair grow faster? Let the pros from Matrix reveal their top hair growth tips!
1. Set Realistic Hair Goals
You may think your hair grows slower than everyone else’s but the fact is that hair growth takes time. Scientists say the average rate of hair growth is about ½ inch per month, with slight variations for hair type. Curly, fragile hair grows a bit slower than straight, thick hair. Be sure to use strengthening masks like our Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Hair Mask to revitalize your fragile strands. So if you’re planning to grow out your pixie cut, don’t expect to grow waist-length hair overnight, but you can expect a short haircut to be shoulder length in about 14 months.
2. Keep Your Hair Healthy
To ensure that your hair grows in step with the healthy average rate, remember this: stronger hair = longer hair. If your hair is on the damaged side, use a reparative system like Biolage FiberStrong which fortifies fragile hair. You’ll tip the hair growth odds in your favor if the hair you have is as strong and healthy as possible. “This fact,” says Matrix Artistic Director Michael Albor, “is truly at the root of it all.”
3. Start With Proper Nutrition
You are what you eat, and that goes for your hair. Nutritional deficiencies are some of the biggest culprits behind weak, damaged hair with constant breakage that refuses to grow. If you’re really concerned that your hair simply won’t grow, check in with your doctor to see if everything is on target health-wise. If you have an iron deficiency, for example, it can cause your hair to be thin and dull. Many doctors recommend foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and vitamin E to provide the type of nourishment that enhances hair growth. And many women have found favorable results after several months as a result of taking hair supplements containing biotin, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
4. Trim Hair Regularly
It’s tempting to avoid scissors completely when you’re trying to grow your hair, but frequent hair trims are actually a wise strategy. Keeping your ends crisp and neat helps prevent split ends and fraying, which can lead to hair breakage and slow down the rate of hair growth. So keep up those regular, six-to-eight week haircut appointments, and let your hairstylist “dust” the ends, i.e. remove a fraction of an inch to keep each hair strong and intact.
5. Color Your Hair with Care
Frequent forays with hair color and lighteners can cause dryness, split ends, dull hair and breakage. That’s because with hair color, you’re ultimately disrupting the top, protective layer of hair to allow the hair color to penetrate. You don’t have to give up your hair color completely, just opt for a less drastic hair color shade change. This will allow your hair stylist to use formulas that don’t have to disrupt your hair too drastically. Also, talk to your stylist about the new bond repair additives that protect the bonds of your hair from damage during the hair color process, and will also prevent additional hair color damage from occurring.
6. Condition Hair Conscientiously
Conditioners are your hair’s best friend—they help you detangle, they keep your hair soft and shiny. “There are conditioners for every hair type,” says Albor, “and everyone should find the right formula and apply it after every shampoo. You can even skip a shampoo from time to time and go straight to the conditioner.” Leave-in treatments are great to help with detangling and protect the hair from heat. And a weekly hair mask or oil-based hair treatment will help take care of the older, more fragile ends that are susceptible to breaking off.
7. Avoid Heat Damage
High heat styling tools are surefire aids for creating and locking in beautiful hairstyles, but too much heat can have damaging long-term effects on your hair. If air-drying is an option for your hair, put your hair dryers and irons aside when possible. (A heatless hair styling crème will help put shape in your hair while controlling frizzy hair.) You can also explore alternative hair setting options, such as braids, twists and good old foam or Velcro hair rollers. When you do opt in for blow drying, set the temperature as low as you can in order to accomplish your desired hairstyle, and keep the blow dryer nozzle at least six inches from your scalp. A lower heat setting is also the best strategy when using flat irons and curling irons, and be sure to shield your hair from heat damage with heat protection products.
8. Don’t Forget Good Scalp Care
Healthy hair growth starts with a healthy scalp. Keeping the hair follicles on the scalp clean and clear from product or oil buildup will prevent the growth rate from slowing down. Try not to over-use your dry shampoos. While they’re an excellent way to absorb excess oil on the scalp, over-using them can cause buildup that clogs hair follicles. Treat yourself to frequent scalp massages—they’re not only sooooo relaxing, they also rev up the circulation in your scalp that will keep your hair nourished. Finally, consider a weekly scalp “scrub” treatment to remove product residue and excess oil. Consider it exfoliation for your hair and scalp.
9. Brush Hair Wisely
First off, never brush your hair when it’s wet. Use a wide tooth comb (or a brush specifically designed for wet hair) to detangle, and work slowly and carefully from the bottom up to avoid hair breakage. When your hair is dry, brush it with a cushioned brush with boar bristles, which are gentle on fragile hair. Use the brush to stimulate your scalp and enhance circulation and healthy hair growth. About 15 or 20 strokes a day will do the trick.
10. Avoid Mechanical Hair Damage
Environmental hair damage—too much sun or saltwater—and chemical hair damage from hair color, relaxers, straighteners or perms are two ways that hair becomes damaged when you’re trying to grow it. Mechanical hair damage is another way. That happens when you wring your hair too tightly with a coarse towel, bind it too firmly into a ponytail or sleep on a rough pillowcase. All of these bad hair habits can lead to hair breakage. So swap out the terry cloth for a soft micro-fiber towel or cotton t-shirt and blot your hair gently after shampooing. Use fabric-coated elastic hair bands to secure your ponytails and buns, and don’t put them in the same spot every day. Finally, treat yourself to a sateen or satin pillowcase that won’t cause the friction that leads to the hair tangles that can weaken your hair.