Unless you were born with hair like Rapunzel, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how does hair grow?” at some point. This was usually followed with another (arguably, more important query): how does hair grow faster?
Given the fast-paced world we live in, this makes sense. We want our instant coffees, our quick-dry manis and our hair to grow, like, yesterday. But getting there takes time. It also involves getting up to speed on hair biology 101. Thankfully, we’ve enlisted hair experts to answer everything there is to know about how hair grows.
How does your hair grow faster?
The process of waiting for your hair to grow can feel an awful lot like watching paint dry. In other words, painstakingly long and boring. Thankfully, there are many answers to “how does your hair grow faster?” – most of which can be done right at home!
Get rid of split ends
This may sound like counterproductive but getting a haircut can actually help it grow longer. “When split ends are cut regularly, you prevent hair fall and damage,” says Nikki Goddard, a certified hair stylist and makeup artist with an associate degree in cosmetology. “Thus, regular trimming improves health, preserves shine and volume of mane.”
Take care of the scalp
The ticket to longer hair starts with the scalp. First, Goddard says to start by washing your hair with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner since it’s less drying to the scalp. From there, cleanse the scalp with special products. For this, she recommends a peeling scrub: “It stimulates blood circulation and improves hair growth.
Avoid too much heat
“When using a hairdryer, don’t set a temperature higher than 230°C (446 F°),” says Goddard. “Apply thermal protection and make sure your hair gets dry by 60-70% in a natural way.”
But it’s not just heated styling tools you should look out for. You should also consider the temperature of your bath or shower water: “Hot water opens hair cuticles and removes nutrients (keratin, protein), while lukewarm water makes strands shiny and healthy,” says Goddard.
Give yourself a scalp massage
There’s a reason scalp massagers are suddenly everywhere: they’re backed by science to stimulate hair growth.
“A scalp massage is a good way to get oxygen and blood flowing to your scalp, which stimulates the hair growing process,” explains Maria Eliza, a beauty expert. But you don’t need a fancy gadget to accomplish this. Eliza says that you can massage your entire scalp using your fingertips for 10 minutes.
Use hair oils
Certain hair serums and oils are about the closest thing you’ll get to a magical hair potion. “You can accelerate and stimulate hair growth by applying hair growing oils regularly (once or twice a week),” says Eliza. She recommends mixing castor oil with either coconut, jojoba or argan oil.
Take your vitamins
This is a great way to feed your hair, says Sabit Hantal, Founder of SH Fifth Avenue Salon. He recommends biotin, one of the most popular hair-healthy vitamins there is (learn more about it here). Goddard also recommends vitamins B and E.
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How long does hair grow in a day?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your hair.Hair grows within 0.03 - 0.045 mm per day, according to Goddard, who adds that this differs from person to person, depending on various factors. This includes age, genetics, type of hair and nutrition.
What are the 4 stages of hair growth?
Get ready for a quick biology lesson: The four stages of hair growth are called the anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen phases. Starting with the anagen phase, Eliza says that it’s the “growth phase” since the hair follicles are actively growing a hair shaft. Gordon adds that this phase lasts the longest (about four to five years).
The second stage is the catagen phase, or the “transition” phase. “This stage only lasts for about two to four weeks where the hair root separates from the papilla and cuts off the blood supply,” says Eliza. About 3-4% of hair on the body stays in catagen, adds Goddard. “During the catagen period, the follicle shrinks, which leads to hair loss.”
All this work triggers the telogen stage, or the “resting” phase of the hair. “Once the blood supply is cut off, the hairs will turn into ‘club’ hairs or dead hairs that will eventually fall off of the scalp,” explains Eliza. This can last anywhere from six weeks to six months.
Finally, the exogen phase is what causes all of your hair shedding. Hantal says that it’s normal to lose about 50 to 150 strands of hair daily.
Does hair grow forever?
If you’re talking about your hair in general, then yes, your hair grows forever. But if you’re talking about individual strands, then the answer to “does hair grow forever?” is no.
It sounds complicated, but Gerdie René Gordon, President/Principal Stylist and Colorist atThe Beauty Boutique, Inc., explains that the hair strands go through the three stages of growth before they eventually reach the exogen stage and fall off.
When hair growth doesn’t last forever, certain factors are at play. “The speed of growth, though, can be slowed down by hormonal imbalance, serious stress, malnutrition and excessive use of styling products,” Goddard explains to Lively.
Body hair, on the other hand, stops growing when it enters the catagen phase. Eliza says that it has a much shorter anagen phase, meaning that it will only have only a cycle of 100 days or so.
At what age hair growth stops?
You might as well carve “you + hair growth = love” into a tree since, as mentioned above, it’s a forever process. But that’s not to say that hair growth doesn’t slow down with age. “With aging, the amount of active follicles reduces,” explains Goddard, who adds that this affects the volume and quantity of hairs.
“Genetically, hair is programmed to repeat the growth cycle every 7 years (some say, it repeats 24-25 times per life).”
Does women’s leg hair stop growing?
While you may wish the answer to this was a resounding “yes!” women’s leg hair doesn’t stop growing. And if it does, there could be more serious issues at play.
According to Goddard, this ranges from hormonal changes to alopecia to scalp infection to thyroid disorders all the way to chronic inflammations.
Gordon agrees, adding that another factor could be decreased blood circulation in the legs: “This leads to the hair falling out due to lack of adequate blood supply. This condition is known as PAD or peripheral artery disease.”
Finally, those laser hair treatments you got are not for naught. If you saw the process through, the leg hair shouldn’t return.