Forget Prince Charming— most of us are longing after hair like Rapunzel. Luscious, healthy and, most importantly, at a great length. This desire for long hair could come from regret over letting your hairdresser get a little too scissor-happy or maybe you’re just feeling up for a change. Either way, “how fast does hair grow?” is a question on a lot of people’s minds.
For the answer to this and other hair-related questions, keep reading to see what the hair experts had to say.
How fast does hair grow in a week?
No matter how much you wish for your hair to grow, it’s only reaching two to five millimeters per week, says Dawn Clemens, hairstylist and Founder of LarweHair. And this is on average.
Celebrity hair and makeup artist, Michaeline Becker, points out that hair growth can vary for everyone, depending on things like genetics, health, nutrition, age and hormones.
You may even notice faster hair growth during certain months of the year, as Nikki Goddard, certified hair stylist and makeup artist with an associate degree in cosmetology, says that the blood circulation gets stronger in body organs and weaker near the dermal layers during the winter months: “That’s why hair growth is more intense (about 15-20%) during summer.”
Vincent De Marco, a Los Angeles-based hair stylist and Owner of Vincent Hair Artistry, agrees, adding that the waxing of the moon might even come into play. “I've had clients ask me to trim their hair when there was no moon in order to catch the wave of growth, hence the wolfman theory getting hairy during a full moon,” he tells Lively.
At what age does your hair grow the fastest?
As if going through puberty isn’t difficult enough, it’s also when hair grows the fastest. Steven Waldman, Director of Technical Training of Hair Cuttery Family of Brands, says that your hair grows fastest at about age 15 and starts slowing down around 30.
But Taylor Portanova and Kasey Bertucci, Co-Founders and stylists at Salon 120 West in Boston raise an important point: Hair growth is up to you.
“Think of your hair like your skin when you eat poorly and don't use good skincare products,” they explain. “Your skin can break out, so if you’re taking care of your body and fueling it well, your hair should grow at a healthy rate no matter what your age is!”
Does hair grow overnight?
A lot happens when you get your beauty sleep at night— including hair growth.
This comes from it being in an active state of growth, explains Gerdie René Gordon, president/principal stylist, colorist at The Beauty Boutique, Inc., a salon, spa & laser hair rejuvenation clinic. “The hair grows in three stages, two of which are growing, one stage is the resting stage.”
In addition to this, your metabolism comes into play. “Your blood circulates and runs your body every second, so hair grows slowly in every moment,” says Marshall Lin, celebrity hairstylist. “When you're sleeping, your body is still functioning, so of course your hair also grows.”
But since your metabolism slows down at night, so does your hair growth, explains Waldman. Goddard adds that the primetime hair growing hours are between 10-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.
How long does your hair grow in 30 days?
Gina Rivera, Founder of Phenix Salon Suites & By Gina Products, says that the answer to “how long does your hair grow in 30 days?” is anywhere from ¼-inch to ½-inch per month. But just like with how fast hair grows in a week, there are different factors at play that might make it different for some people.
For one, she says that you’ll want to eat a well-balanced diet with appropriate amounts of healthy fats and proteins: “Receiving proper nutrients such as vitamins, biotin, collagen and amino acids is equally essential.” In other words, a lack of nutrients on all levels can negatively affect hair growth.
How can I speed up hair growth?
Since there’s no such thing as a magical hair fairy (at least, not yet), you’ll have to rely on these hair-boosting tricks.
- Maintain a healthy scalp. “Massaging the scalp is an excellent way to stimulate blood flow for this purpose,” Rivera tells Lively. Gordon even adds that your diet can provide great blood flow (circulation) to the scalp. This leads to the next tip...
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Since healthy hair starts from the inside-out, you’ll want to boost your roots with the good stuff. “Eating a balanced diet that includes leafy greens, fruits, proteins and a proper amount of healthy fats will help optimize hair growth,” explains Becker.
- Avoid scalp build-up. The products you use directly correlate with how fast your hair growth is. “Any build-up can clog the cuticle at the scalp, which inhibits growth,” says Lin. For a good scalp cleanser, he recommends Pai-Shau Replenishing Hair Cleanser.
- Avoid harsh treatments. This includes bleach and heated styling tools, such as using a blow dryer too often. If you want to foster hair growth, Goddard says that these in-salon treatments can actually help: mesotherapy, d'Arsonval, ozone therapy, plasma therapy and phototherapy. “Those are performed after having consulted with a specialist.”**
- Take vitamins. What you’ve heard of biotin is true: It’s incredible for boosting hair growth. “Biotin is a vitamin supplement that has been proven to help stimulate hair growth**,” says Tinamarie Possidoni, Owner and Stylist at Tinamarie Hair. Goddard also recommends vitamin E, B, A and omega fatty acids.
- Get a regular trim. Ironically, going to the salon more often can make your hair grow faster. “While getting a trim does not actually increase the rate of hair growth, it does remove split ends that contribute to breakage,” says Becker. “Minimizing breakage will contribute to longer and fuller hair.”
- Supplementing your diet with collagen. “Collagen helps support hair health, among other things,” says De Marco. Shop for all things collagen on vitalproteins.com, which houses all types of collagen supplements, from powders to capsules. Looking for a plant-based option? Reach for Vital Proteins Hair Boost™ capsules, which are made with vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E, as well as biotin to support healthier hair.**