Genius Hacks For Making Your Hair Grow Faster
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POV: You cut your hair into a super cute back-to-school bob, and by homecoming, you decided to grow it out a few inches so you can rock flowing beach waves during your spring break trip next semester. Maybe taking better care of your hair to help it grow is at the top of your New Year's resolutions. No matter the case, there are tips, tricks, and viral hacks that can make your hair grow fast. Seventeen caught up with board-certified dermatologists Dr. Kseniya Kobets and Dr. Sanjay Batra, PhD, and founder WeThrivv to discuss the best ways to make your hair grow faster.
Switch up your diet.
Antioxidant-rich food and a well-balanced diet will reinforce hair growth," Dr. Kobets, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Montefiore Einstein Advanced Care, says. She suggests avoiding inflammatory ingredients like sugars and processed food because they contribute to "inflammation in the body and in the scalp and may contribute to hair shedding." She also warns against crash diets. "Extreme diet crazes can cause a shock to the body and cause a process called telogen effluvium, causing hair to shed for two to six months."
Skip super hot water.
Chill with the steamy H2O, bestie. "Hot water in the shower can contribute to over-stripping the scalp and hair of natural oils, which can make hair feel brittle and scalp dry," Dr. Kobets says. Super hot water also disrupts "the hair and scalp barrier," making it more sensitive to irritants and allergens in other hair products.
Add rosemary oil to your hair care routine.
If you've scrolled through your FYP, you may have noticed Mielle Organics' Rosemary Oil making its rounds as one of Alix Earle's favorite products. According to Dr. Kobets, this is one viral product that's worth the hype. "A recent review in Derm Ther 2022 reported some evidence for several natural ingredients in growing hair, which included rosemary oil, as well as caffeine, and pumpkin seed oil."
Don't forget about your scalp.
Dirt, oil, and dead skin cells pile up on your scalp, making it hard for new hair to grow (COME THRU, HAIR!). "You cannot have healthy hair without a healthy scalp," Dr. Batra says. Treating your scalp with the ultimate TLC is a good way to help promote growth.
Dr. Kobets recommends clarifying shampoos to help exfoliate the scalp by removing buildup.
Along with keeping your scalp clear of gunk that clogs your hair follicles, you should try a scalp massage. According to Dr. Batra, the best scalp massages "should focus on the muscles around the ears and at the back of the head." These soothing massages help the muscles relax and improve tissue circulation.
Using a scalp massage tool or brush can be helpful, but Dr. Batra says it's important to "focus directly on the scalp" because some people "aggravate hair loss with aggressive hair brushing."
Back off the bleach.
Bleach and other harsh hair chemicals = breakage, breakage, breakage. According to Dr. Sanjay Batra, PhD, and founder WeThrivv, "Bleaching agents contain hydrogen peroxide, which can kill hair follicles," and that's the last thing you want to do when you're trying to grow your hair out. "Avoid touching any bleaching agent to the scalp," Dr. Batra warns to "protect the follicle." If you have experienced severe damage to your hair follicles, Dr. Batra says that you could "actually lose hair from bleaching."
Skip high-tension hairstyles.
Super tight ponytails can lead to tension headaches and hair loss in some extreme cases. Ariana-ing a few times a month won't kill you, but try a loose braid or a low pony with an elastic band instead.
Seek professional help.
If breakage or hair loss is preventing you from achieving Rupunzel-length locks, it's important to consult a professional. Along with determining the cause of your hair loss or breakage, professionals can help you come up with a plan to stimulate growth. According to Dr. Batra, "a clinical study that examined the injection of Botox into the muscles around the scalp actually increased hair growth in people with hair loss disorders."
Skip supplements and grab dermatologist-approved hair growth vitamins.
There are so many supplements that promise to do extraordinary things in little to no time. Dr. Kobets advises against those in favor of expert-recommended products. "Most nutraceuticals (aka, supplements that people claim to encourage hair growth) do not have strong science supporting them and are not FDA regulated or support their claims. Since "anyone can put together a list of possible ingredients," Dr. Kobets suggests products like Nutrafol and Viviscal, which have "moderate scientific evidence" in "androgenetic alopecia."
Like most hair care concerns, hair growth varies by person. The best bet for growing your hair is figuring out which products, methods, and techniques work best for your specific hair condition, type, and texture.
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