5 science-backed ways to make your hair grow faster, including supplements and DIY hair masks

Ashley Laderer,Debra Jaliman
·5 min read
grow hair faster
Be gentle with your hair and avoid hair dyes. Kevin Vandenberghe/Getty Images
  • To grow hair faster, you should make sure that you are eating a balanced diet with lots of protein.

  • You can also take supplements like biotin, vitamin D, zinc, and iron.

  • Be sure to avoid heat products and try not to wash your hair daily.

  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

A common complaint among many people is that their hair doesn't grow fast enough. Maybe you're dealing with hair loss, hair thinning, or your hair simply won't get any longer.

There's no magic pill that will make your hair grow inches overnight, but there are various steps you can take to help your hair grow faster than it currently is.

From dietary changes to dermatological procedures, here are five ways to grow your hair faster.

1. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a balanced, healthy diet is important for hair growth. Conversely, if you're on restrictive fad diets or crash diets, this can lead to slower hair growth and faster hair shedding and thinning, says Susan Massick, MD, a dermatologist and associate professor in the Division of Dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

"If you're depriving your body of proper nutrients, your body responds by prioritizing essential functions first over non-essential ones, thus cutting down on hair growth. By returning to a healthy, well-balanced diet, you replenish your nutrient stores, leading to healthier, stronger hair," says Massick.

A healthy diet should include:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • A variety of proteins

It's especially important to make sure you're eating adequate amounts of protein. Massick says your body needs protein to ensure that all bodily functions are working to the best of their ability, including hair growth.

2. Take supplements

Related Article Module: The best vitamins to help your hair's growth, thickness, and overall health

Taking vitamins and supplements is a great way to maintain and enhance hair growth, says Massick.

This is especially important if you're deficient in certain vitamins.

Massick recommends the following vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids for enhancing hair growth:

  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Zinc

  • Iron

  • Omega fatty acids

Biotin is one of the most commonly recommended supplements for hair growth. A 2017 review of 18 studies determined biotin supplements ranging from doses of 1,000 μg a day to 30,000 μg a day resulted in hair growth in those with hair loss.

You can also spring for a supplement that is specifically designed for hair growth such as Nutrafol, which contains marine collagen, saw palmetto, and ashwagandha, says Michele Green MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in private practice.

"Marine collagen is enriched with B vitamins that promote new hair growth. Saw palmetto prevents testosterone from being converted to DHT (a hormone that can be damaging to hair follicles), and ashwagandha reduces inflammation," says Green.

3. Be gentle with your hair to prevent damage

When trying to grow your hair, preventing damage is key. If your hair is damaged, it's more likely to break, which will prevent it from growing longer and fuller. In order to prevent damage, Massick says you should:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals, such as hair dye

  • Avoid high heat from flatirons, curling irons, and blow dryers

  • Avoid pulling when brushing, combing, and styling

If you absolutely must use heat to style your hair, Green says you should use it minimally and be sure to use a heat protectant product like Olaplex bonding oil or Kérastase Oléo-Relax Hair Oil.

4. Maintain healthy hair and scalp

Massick says you can maintain hair and scalp health by shampooing less frequently and increasing conditioning in order to lock in moisture and prevent dry, brittle ends that are prone to breakage.

Rather than shampooing daily, Massick suggests shampooing every other day, or skipping two days, and using a dry shampoo in between washes. This is because shampooing too much can strip the scalp of natural oils.

Aside from using regular conditioners, Green says hair masks, including DIY hair masks made at home, can be helpful:

DIY hair mask

  • In a food processor, combine 15ml of grapeseed oil with one half-ripe banana

  • Massage the mixture onto your scalp and let it sit before washing off.

Fatty acids in grapeseed oil will thicken the hair and the B-vitamins and potassium in bananas will protect the hair and prevent split ends. Massaging the mask into the scalp can help stimulate blood flow, enhancing overall scalp health, according to Green.

5. Try in-office dermatological procedures

If you're experiencing significant hair loss or thinning and the above remedies haven't worked for you, you may want to consider procedures that your dermatologist can offer you. Some examples of these procedures are:

  • HydraFacial Keravive: Green says this is a procedure performed by board-certified dermatologists that promotes hair growth by cleansing, stimulating, and hydrating the scalp. First, impurities and dead skin are cleansed from hair follicles, and then nutrients are infused into the scalp, which stimulates circulation and provides nourishment to the hair's foundation. How soon you see results is dependent upon the condition of your hair, Green says, and for best results, three treatments are recommended.

  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP): PRP stimulates new hair growth while also strengthening existing strands, Green says. "This innovative hair restoration treatment consists of producing a highly concentrated plasma with a sample of the patient's blood, that is then injected directly into targeted areas of the scalp. The injected PRP stimulates hair follicles of the scalp to generate hair growth," says Green. It can take up to six months to see results.

Insider's takeaway

There are multiple ways to help your hair grow faster, ranging from simple at-home lifestyle changes to more intense procedures performed by a dermatologist. Regardless of the methods that you choose, there is hope for you to have strong, healthy hair.

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