April 28, 2009
Posted on 4:43 PM by Khalia Nicole
Contrary to what most people think, you don’t need some special product or potion to increase your hair growth. You simply need to understand what your body and scalp need to ensure there is nothing impeding your growth rate. That is where your focus should lie.
There are several important factors that may not seem like breaking news on the surface, but any one of these factors when missing from your regular hair care regimen, can cause a stumbling block on your path to long haired heaven.
Moisture is an essential ingredient to a good hair growth recipe. So many women wash their hair on a daily basis and completely forsake the conditioning step and never even think twice about deep conditioning. We all love the way our hair feels after we leave the salon. Though much of those results can be attributed to the high priced, high quality products that are used, a large reason for that fabulous bouncy head of hair is because of the conditioner.
Begin a weekly regimen of deep conditioning. Not only will your hair growth rate increase, but you’ll start to notice the overall condition of your hair begin to improve dramatically. Your hair will be softer, shinier, and most importantly healthier. Secondarily, you can also include a few co-washing sessions or switch to co-washing instead of shampooing on a regular basis. If you're unsure about what co-washing is or how to incorporate it into your regimen, see my post What is Co-washing?
Regular scalp massages help to increase blood flow and circulation which in turn helps to increase hair growth. They can also help to loosen up hair follicles and distribute your scalp’s sebum, which is basically just a natural lubricant that keeps your scalp and hair from drying out.
Simply using your fingertips (NOT your fingernails) for a few minutes at least once a day will do the trick. However, there are several decently priced little massaging tools out there that can make the job easier. My favorite is the Tingler. Enlist your significant other to do the massages for you then you can relax and de-stress your way into longer hair!
Food For Thought… or Better Yet, Growth
An imbalanced diet will show through in the condition of your hair. You can easily notice stunted growth, split ends, and breakage from not getting the appropriate nutrients necessary for long, healthy hair. No matter how many different products you try to use to repair your damaged hair, the health of your hair won’t actually improve if you aren’t treating the problem from the inside out.
Aside from a healthy, balanced diet, there are a few foods you can eat that specifically help to increase your growth rate. An important thing to remember is that hair is made of protein. So a diet rich in protein is necessary for long healthy hair. Some foods with high protein content are: fish, eggs, beans, cottage cheese, tofu, liver, and lean meats. Another important nutrient is iron which you can get from dark leefy greens. Include also foods high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E like, nuts, fish, soy, avocados, seeds, legumes, and olive oil.
Vitamin Supplements: Biotin and MSM Supplements
Biotin is a vitamin B supplement recommended by many nutritionists to increase hair growth. It also can play a significant role in preventing hair loss. Instead of taking a vitamin, you can simply eat foods with a high biotin content such as brewer's yeast, green peas, oats, soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, green peas, bulgur and brown rice.
MSM is another supplement that aids in increasing growth. MSM stands for methyl-sulfonyl-methane and is a sulfur compound that has positive benefits in the body and the hair since sulfur is a natural growth stimulant. Specifically, it helps to lengthen the hair growth phase.
As with anything, you should always discuss any dietary supplements with your doctor before use.
Nowadays, it almost seems that exercise is recommended for everything. Regular exercise keeps you healthy. A healthy person usually has healthy hair. End of story. Specifically, with regard to hair growth though, exercise increases blood flow to the scalp which again, aids in increasing hair growth.
If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, much like myself, start small. Start with 20-30 min 1-2 days a week. Gradually increase to at least 30 min workouts 3 days a week and you can easily start to see a notable increase in growth.
So in conclusion, I have to apologize to those who read this hoping I'd be posting about some fabulous product or crazy concoction that will magically double your growth in a short amount of time. Those types of things simply do not exist. There ARE in fact products that have helped many to somewhat increase their growth and I won't say that isn't the case. However, the tips above will not only prove much more cost effect in the long run, but they will also aid you in achieving healthy hair, as opposed to just longer hair!