Have you ever been mesmerised by a passing head of lush locks? There are endless commercials and magazine ads that promise this shampoo, this serum, this gummy vitamin will get your hair thicker, longer, and shinier. But what are the real secrets behind those swoon-worthy strands?
On average, hair grows about half an inch per month or 6 inches a year. However, these numbers can fluctuate between individuals based on age, genetics, and diet. If you have ever looked in the mirror and wished your hair was just a little longer or a little thicker, you are not the only one! According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, approximately 320 million Americans are reporting losing their hair1. In fact, 20% of them are under 30 years old! Before you book that appointment for expensive, high-maintenance extensions or shell out big bucks for your favorite influencer’s magic hair potion, check out our tips for healthier, thicker hair.
Tips to Get Your Hair from Straw-Like to Star-Like1. Take quality supplements: Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Introducing a collagen supplement into your routine can help take your hair to the next level. First, collagen contains amino acids that are used to build proteins like keratin2. Also, collagen has antioxidants that protect your hair from damage and is a crucial component of your dermis layer of skin where your hair follicles are. Biotin is another supplement that aids the creation of keratin and keeps your hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong. Finally, a small study3 showed that taking a fish oil supplement can help hair stay in its growth stage for longer periods of time. All of these supplements are readily accessible and can be added to your hair routine today!
2. Prevent breakage: Your hair is at its weakest when it is wet. Avoid brushing your hair when you get out of the shower because you risk tearing through tangles and causing split ends. Also, opt for tangle-free hair accessories. Trade your tight, elastic hair ties for soft scrunchies or Invisibobbles™ to reduce breakage.
3. Reduce damage: There is nothing more fun than switching up your look. However, styling tools such as blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons can fry your hair with excessive heat. This can lead to dry, brittle hair that is prone to breakage. Experts recommend that if you must use a styling tool, keep the heat between 200°F and 300° Coloring your hair can also be extremely damaging especially if you are using a chemical process such as bleaching. Use hair dye sparingly or rock your natural color instead!
4. Maintain a balanced diet: The foundation of good hair is in our diets. Our diets provide the nutrients that are the building blocks of our hair. Pack your diet full of protein-rich foods like salmon and eggs. Zinc, vitamin C, biotin, collagen, and healthy fats also play important roles. Great sources of hair-healthy nutrients include berries, dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, and even oysters!
5. Avoid damaging hairstyles: It can be tempting to toss your hair into a power-pony and keep your day moving. However, hairstyles that are extremely tight pull at your hair and the excess tension can be pulling the hair out of your head! This phenomenon is called traction alopecia. Do not pull your hair into high, tight ponytails or wrap your wet locks into an extreme top knot. Always sleep with your hair loose and use a silk pillowcase to prevent frizz, breakage, and excess oiliness.
6. Create a weekly hair care routine: You are a devout follower of your skincare routine and your hair deserves that dedication too! Find your favorite deep conditioner and apply it once a week. You can even leave it in overnight for an extra boost of hydration! Dry, brittle hair is destined to be dull and break off. You will never have the long, lush locks you are looking for if your hair cannot grow. We recommend finding one with peppermint oil. Not only does it leave your scalp feeling minty fresh, but studies have shown that peppermint oil increases hair growth and thickness4. Weekly Peppermint oi and deep conditioning – studies showed peppermint oil increased hair growth and thickness
7. Massage your scalp: Massaging your scalp increases blood flow to the area and manual clears off any debris or dead cells that can be blocking your hair follicle. Regular scalp massages result in thicker hair. Silicone scalp massagers are affordable and make massaging your scalp a breeze. Plus, it will preserve your manicure – talk about a win-win.
1 How Many People Lose Their Hair? Hair Loss Statistics. Dr Anthony Farole DMD, Facial and Oral Surgery Center. (2020, March 30). https://www.drfarole.com/blog/many-people-lose-hair-hair-loss-statistics/.
2 Streit, L. (2019, January 23). 5 Evidence-Based Ways Collagen May Improve Your Hair. Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen-for-hair#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7.
3 Le Floc'h C, Cheniti A, Connétable S, Piccardi N, Vincenzi C, Tosti A. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Mar;14(1):76-82. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12127. Epub 2015 Jan 8. PMID: 25573272.
4 Oh, J. Y., Park, M. A., & Kim, Y. C. (2014). Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicological research, 30(4), 297–304. https://doi.org/10.5487/TR.2014.30.4.297
Raman, R. (2018, April 9). The 14 Best Foods for Hair Growth. Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-for-hair-growth#TOC_TITLE_HDR_16.