How long does it take hair to grow?
There are so many reasons we would want our hair to grow at a rapid pace – bad haircuts, hair loss, wanting to ditch those overworn and expensive extensions.
But how much does hair actually grow in a week, month and year? And is there really a way to help hair to grow faster?
Read on to our quick guide to how quickly you can expect your locks to grow after that rogue haircut.
How hair grows
You might be willing your locks to grow long and strong, but how does hair ACTUALLY grow?
In the hair bulb, new cells are constantly being created. These cells stick to one another and harden. This collection of hardened hair cells are what develops the entire strand of hair. Because new stiffened cells continue to connect to the hair from beneath, it is eventually forced up through the skin.
How long does it take hair to grow?
The growth phase of your hair will depend on where it develops on the body. In the case of the growth phase of hair on your head, this can last several years allowing it to grow to almost a metre in length if not cut.
According to Web MD, most hair strands grow at an average rate of about 0.3 to 0.4 mm a day. Therefore hair will grow:
- Around 2.5 mm, or a tenth of an inch, in a week
- Around half an inch in a month
- Around six inches a year
This means that growing hair after that bad cut could take about three to six months.
Growing your hair
Our hair holds a lot of power and really affects how we feel. Most of us have experienced a bad haircut at some point in our lives and, although it’s not the end of the world, it can really affect our self-esteem and confidence. If you’ve recently been the victim of a bad chop, the good news is that you can expect to be on your way to growing that hair back in around three months – depending on how much was chopped off.
A massive six inches of hair growth happens over the period of a year, so if you’re feeling at a loss, remember it will grow back!
The hair growth cycle in 4 stages
If you are looking to boost your hair growth, understanding the stages of your natural hair cycle can help solve common hair issues you may encounter.
Phase 1: The first phase is the Anagen Phase, also known as the growth phase or the active phase. This is when the cells in the root of your hair are most rapidly dividing so more new hair is formed.
Phase 2: After this is the Catagen Phase. This marks the end of active hair growth and disconnects individual hairs from the blood supply and the cells that form new hair. Approximately 3% of all hairs are in this stage at any time.
Phase 3: The third stage is the Telogen Phase, a period in which strands remain in their follicles but are not actively developing. At any given time, 10-15% of your hairs are in the Telogen Phase.
Phase 4: The final stage of hair growth is the Exogen Phase when individual hair strands are released from their follicles and fall out. Now the whole process can start again!
How to make your hair grow faster
Ahh, the age-old question: How do I get my hair to grow faster? Although there’s not really a quick fix for making your hair grow like Rapunzel overnight, there are you can make your hair healthier and stronger, meaning fewer split ends and less of a chop at the hairdresser!
We’ve got some great tips and tricks to make your hair as strong as steel and shinier than ever.
It’s possible to encourage hair growth, at the same time as making sure your hair is growing healthy and strong, by using natural treatments. Some of our favourite natural products for hair growth include coconut oil, aloe vera, omega fatty acids like fish oil, rosemary oil and geranium oil.
1. Scalp oils
You might have seen this on social media lately, as influencers and regular people alike have been massaging oils on their scalps to promote hair growth by keeping the scalp healthy, hydrated and free of dead skill cells.
The massaging stimulates the scalp and encourages hair growth in the papilla cells at the bottom of the hair follicle, the cells that play an essential role in the formation of hair, hair growth and the shedding cycle.
So how do you do it? Use your fingertips, not your fingernails, to massage essential oils like rosemary or coconut into your scalp.
Apply mild to medium pressure as you move in little circles on your scalp. While there is no defined amount of time for a scalp massage, 4 minutes is said to be more than enough each week. This massage is also said to remove stress and tension, as well as helping to alleviate pesky dandruff – bonus!
2. Rice water
Another natural remedy that has grown in popularity recently is using rice water for hair growth.
According to Japanese history, the amino acids in rice water not only promote hair growth but also increase hair volume and make the hair smooth and shiny.
You can make rice water yourself at home by simply combining rice and water and leaving it to ferment (adding some essential oils is also a great option). You can then use the rice water instead of shampoo, after you’ve washed your hair or as a 30-minute mask, depending on your preference. Strain it before you use it!
To help your hair from the inside, consuming omega fatty acids can help improve your hair because they are packed with nutrients and proteins (another good reason to up your salmon intake).
Taking an omega supplement, along with antioxidants, helps improve hair density and diameter, reduce hair loss and repair damaged hair. Say goodbye to dry, split ends!
3. Exfoliators and scalp scrubs
Now, we’ve covered scalp exfoliators before, like Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo. Tons of other brands have brought out scalp exfoliators, like the Body Shop’s zingy Tea Tree Purifying & Balancing Hair & Scalp Scrub. Scrubs and exfoliators are a great addition to your hair care routine, getting rid of dead skin cells, unblocking hair follicles and promoting a healthy scalp. After all, how can we expect hair growth if we aren’t looking after our scalps?
These products are generally used on wet, just-shampooed hair. After you comb through and separate sections of your hair, you can apply the scrub with your fingertips before rinsing out and conditioning.
While you can buy scalp scrubs and exfoliators, another trend we have seen taking off in 2023 is using a brush made specifically for your scalp. Lots of beauty bloggers load their scalp massage brushes with essential oils like rosemary or coconut and massage them in circular motions on dry hair before washing and conditioning their tresses. You can also pair the brush with your favourite shampoo and exfoliate this way to promote hair regrowth and rid the scalp of shedding hair.
Why does my hair grow so fast?
While having the opposite problem might not seem like much of an issue for anyone who struggles to get their hair past shoulder-length, having hair that grows really fast can also be inconvenient (queue multiple trips to the hairdressers for roots and trims). It can be costly to have hair that grows really fast, and can also leave you feeling like your hair just won’t do what you tell it to!
But why does your hair grow so fast?
Ultimately, DNA calls the shots on this one. Things like age, diet, stress, scalp health and environmental factors may have an impact on hair growth, but it’s mainly down to your hair thickness and genes. Hair also tends to grow a little faster in summer and a little slower in winter, pregnancy also speeds up hair growth.
Hormones also have an effect on hair growth, they’re a sort of control centre for hair in both men and women. Women who have more male hormones present in their bodies, testosterone and androgen, tend to have faster-growing hair. It will grow quickly in the armpits, arms, legs, face, chest, and other regions, which helps to explain why men have more body hair than women.
And there we have it! Once you understand the process of hair growth, you can start to use this knowledge to grow thick and healthy tresses. And if your hair just won’t slow down, now you know and understand why.
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