Have you ever cut your hair shorter than intended and spent the following week hoping it would grow back? Then, thinking you could get speedy natural hair growth, maybe you tried a DIY hair mask or a mask recipe you discovered on Instagram and the results were less than stellar.
Unfortunately, hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month, and there’s not much you can do to speed up the process. But there are ways to prevent hair loss and produce an excess of hair follicles so your hair appears fuller.
We’ve gathered some of the best research-backed tips to boost your natural hair growth so that you can be proactive while waiting for nature to do its work. With these remedies, your hair will be well on its way to a long and abundant life.
1. Limit Heat Styling
Heat styling is tempting when you want to look your best, but applying excessive heat to your hair can lead to damage and hair loss. Use your blow dryer, curling iron, and straightener sparingly if you want to promote natural hair growth, and take this time to learn heatless styling alternatives.
You can try using a diffuser or an infrared styler to give your hair a break from higher levels of heat used in other styling tools. These styling tools are less likely to cause damage and will allow your hair to continue on its natural growth cycle. You can also try heatless curls, like pin curls or flexi-rod curls.
2. Massage Your Scalp
Stimulating the scalp is an often overlooked way to boost natural hair growth. While this approach won’t make your hair grow longer, you can increase hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to the cells in your head. A scalp massage can also reduce stress and tension, so while you’re waiting for your hair to grow, you can feel at ease.
3. Take Natural Hair Growth Supplements
There are many supplements on the market that can benefit hair health. When choosing which ones to take for natural hair growth, you should look for supplements backed by research. Studies have shown that fish oil, aloe vera, ginseng, and coconut oil can directly benefit your hair by promoting hair growth or preventing hair loss.
Taking a daily fish oil supplement can have many benefits for your hair. This study tested omega-3 and omega-6 antioxidants and found that they can improve hair density and diameter, as well as prevent hair loss in women. Fish oil is an excellent source for these omega fatty acids, and it’s also beneficial for your overall immunity and heart health.
We all know aloe vera is used to treat sunburn, but did you know it also benefits your hair? When applied topically to the scalp, aloe vera can strengthen the hair, control grease, help with itchy scalp, protect from UV damage, and potentially promote hair growth (although there’s no scientific proof.)
Aloe vera is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and E, which all promote healthy hair follicles. Although not proven, researchers believe that aloenin, a chemical found in aloe vera, promotes hair growth. So, while there’s no guarantee an aloe mask will work, it definitely won’t hurt!
Ginseng is a root that takes at least five years to mature. When steamed and dried, white ginseng becomes red ginseng, and retailers commonly sell it in supplement form.
Ginseng has many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Research shows that taking ginseng supplements can boost natural hair growth because it contains ginsenosides that induce the anagen (active) phase and delay the catagen (transition) phase of the hair growth cycle.
Coconut oil is a one-product-fits-all solution. You can use coconut oil when cooking, as a makeup remover, on your teeth, on your body, and no surprise — in your hair! Because coconut oil contains fatty acids, it can penetrate the hair and prevent the hair from losing protein.
Although scientists have yet to prove that coconut oil promotes hair growth, they have proven that it prevents hair damage. This makes coconut oil a worthwhile product, because the healthier your hair is, the longer it will look as you work toward growing new hair.
4. Apply Onion Juice
If you can get past the smell, then applying onion juice to your scalp can increase blood flow to the hair cuticles and stimulate regrowth of hair. Onion juice is said to stimulate natural hair growth because of the sulphur contained in the juice. Sulfur produces many of the enzymes and proteins we need to function, and sulfur is also found in keratin — a key component of the hair.
To apply an onion juice hair mask, blend a few onions and squeeze out the juice. If the smell is too strong, you can add lemon juice or rosemary oil. Leave the juice in your hair for at least 15 minutes and then shampoo your hair as normal.
5. Egg Yolk Mask
You can’t speed up the rate of hair growth, but you can help your hair produce healthier follicles and more of them. Because of the vitamins found in egg yolks such as biotin, iron, vitamins A and E, and folate, applying an egg yolk mask to your scalp may prevent hair damage and stimulate hair growth.
Studies show that an egg yolk hair mask can help your hair grow stronger and fuller. To make an egg yolk mask, you can mix the yolk with olive oil or apply the raw egg by itself. You can also try adding more egg yolks to your diet to improve your internal health.
6. Get Regular Hair Trims
Regular hair trims may seem counterintuitive to natural hair growth, but trimming your hair gets rid of split ends and will keep your hair healthy.
Since hair grows from the scalp and not the ends, hair trimming won’t affect your natural hair growth. However, when your hair splits at the ends, it appears shorter and more frizzy. Having healthy ends will make your hair appear longer and thicker.
7. Protective Styling
If you want to protect your hair from breakage and give it the opportunity to grow, you can try installing a protective style. To be clear, protective styles like braids don’t make your hair grow faster.
Braiding your hair makes it stronger, similar to how a rope is stronger when it’s wrapped tightly around itself. It also protects the hair from the elements and external factors that can cause breakage.
For example, some of the most popular protective hairstyles for natural hair include box braids, cornrows, flat twists, two-strand twists, and any other variation of hairstyles that tucks away your ends. Extensions and weaves are other types of protective styles.
A protective hairstyle is also a convenient hairstyle that requires little upkeep. You’ll need to moisturize your hair regularly and wrap it up while you sleep, but the goal of a protective hairstyle is to keep it out of your face, off your neck, and protected from natural elements.
8. Use Nourishing Hair Products
Just like heat styling, there are some hair products that can damage your hair and potentially cause hair loss. Knowing what ingredients to avoid in your shampoo and conditioner can save you time when growing out your natural hair.
Silicone-free shampoo and conditioner can keep your hair strong, moisturized, and free from damage. The problem with long-term use of silicone — often seen as dimethicone in hair care products — is that it builds up on the strands and prevents water from getting to your hair cuticle.
Parabens are preservatives, and there are many hard-to-pronounce types of them found in beauty and hair products. Studies show that parabens have estrogen-like properties and can be absorbed through the skin. Because of these findings, parabens may cause hormonal imbalances and hair loss.
Keratin-based products and keratin treatments can aid in natural hair growth. Keratin is a protein found in your hair, skin, and nails. Keratin proteins make up 65 to 95 percent of the hair, but heat, chemicals, and the environment can destroy your keratin levels. Adding keratin to your hair care routine can fill in the gaps of any keratin you’ve lost over time.
9. Use a Silk Pillowcase
A silk pillowcase is a great investment if you want to promote natural hair growth. When sleeping on silk instead of polyester or cotton, you’ll retain more moisture from the nighttime products you use and you’ll reduce friction that could lead to breakage.
Keeping your hair healthy and strong is essential to natural hair growth. Although you can’t make your hair grow faster, you can increase the amount of hair follicles that grow at once and strengthen the follicles as they grow.
As long as you take care of your hair, you’ll be rewarded when it grows back fuller and more beautiful than ever. If you want to see a stylist for a braided hairstyle or a keratin treatment, you can reach out to our community of stylists.