If you feel like your hair takes forever to grow out, you’re not the only one. Perhaps your haircut didn’t go as expected. Or maybe you’re experiencing hair loss, which is why you turned to hair growth medications like minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia). Unfortunately, not everyone responds equally well to these drugs, Not to mention that they often come with unwanted side effects.
So, are you destined to struggle with slow hair growth or thinning hair forever? Definitely not. The good news is, you don’t need to rely on medications or shell out for an expensive hair treatment package to make your hair grow faster. Read on to find out the top three natural remedies for healthier, fuller-looking hair.
How Your Hair Grows
To accelerate your hair growth rate, we first need to understand its inner workings.
The structure of hair consists of:
- The hair follicle: This is the part of the hair fiber that’s located just underneath the scalp. The hair bulb at the base of the follicle constantly produces living cells (mostly keratin) that later form the hair shaft. Nutrients are transported to the hair follicle through nearby blood vessels.
- The hair shaft: This is the part of the hair fiber visible to the eye. Once the fully formed keratin cells reach the skin’s surface, they no longer divide and transform into dead cells. This is why directly applying products to the hair shaft may not help much as dead hair cells can’t grow
Each hair follicle sits in the dermis (the second skin layer after the outermost epidermis). The base of the follicle is surrounded by the dermal papilla. Research explains the dermal papilla is “a cluster of specialized mesenchymal cells” that regulates the activation of hair follicle stem cells essential to hair growth. More evidence indicates the aggregation of dermal mesenchymal cells leads to the creation of hair follicles at birth. Using a mouse model, a reduced count of dermal papilla cells causes your hair follicles to stop producing new hair.
Alongside the dermal papilla is the dermal sheath that covers the hair shaft. Most importantly, specific dermal sheath cells renew after each hair cycle. They then help repopulate the dermal papilla and dermal sheath with new cells to encourage better hair growth.
The trick to making your hair grow faster is to concentrate on your scalp health. A healthy scalp can provide essential nutrients to the hair follicles to help them produce more hair cells. As more hair cells are pushed out of the skin, the hair shafts eventually grow longer.
3 Easy Ways To Make Your Hair Grow Faster the Natural Way
1. Massage Your Scalp
The simple act of a scalp massage may be one of the most powerful things you can do to promote faster hair growth. As we’ve mentioned, your scalp is the fertile soil that your hair follicles grow on. Nourishing your scalp is the only way to nourish your fibers, ensuring they grow healthy and strong.
And it’s not all hearsay, as scientific evidence indicates a scalp massage is a worthy hair growth measure. In one study, nine healthy men used a scalp massage device for four minutes every day over 24 weeks. At the end of it, they witnessed a significant increase in hair thickness. This is possibly due to improved blood flow to the scalp and the mechanical stimulation of the dermal papilla cells located in the hair follicles.
Whether you use the pads of your fingertips or a massage device, massaging your scalp can indeed make your hair grow faster.
Note: Be gentle in your scalp massage as too much force can actually lead to increased hair fall, the opposite of what you’re looking for.
2. Try a Hot Oil Treatment
If your hair is so dry and brittle that it frequently breaks off before reaching your desired length, a hot oil treatment may be just what you need.
The benefits of hot oil treatments for hair are many:
- Enhanced hair gloss
- Reduced breakage and hair fall
- Fewer flyaways and frizz
- Fewer split ends
- Improved scalp and hair moisture
Hot oil treatments for hair primarily rely on natural, plant-derived oils to hydrate your hair shafts from the inside out. Research shows that botanical oils, like coconut, olive, and sunflower oils, easily penetrate the hair fibers, especially when combined with heat. They also leave a protective film on the cuticles to seal in moisture. Not to forget, the act of massaging the hot oil into your roots and scalp encourages better blood flow to the general vicinity.
The Journal of Cosmetic Science also explains that coating your hair strands with oils helps reduce friction-induced breakage commonly associated with hair brushing. Hair treated with botanical oils derived from Brazilian plants also led to lesser split ends and significantly glossier hair.
So, which oils should you try to make your hair grow faster? Here’s what science has to say:
- A 2015 study advocated for a mix of aromatherapeutic oils (thyme oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, evening primrose oil, and atlas cedarwood oil) and carrier oils (jojoba oil and grapeseed oil) against carrier oils alone. Participants either massaged the aromatherapeutic mixture or the carrier mixture on their scalps for at least two minutes over three months. The results showed that the aromatherapeutic group experienced hair growth up to 75%. Meanwhile, the carrier group only had a maximum of 30% hair growth.
- Another study showed that rosemary oil was just as effective as minoxidil 2% in increasing hair count in patients with hair loss at the end of six months. However, the participants in the minoxidil group experienced an itchy scalp more frequently than the rosemary oil group.
- A 2014 study discovered that 24 weeks of pumpkin seed oil consumption (400 milligrams per day) led to a 40% increase in average hair count compared to the placebo group. This suggests that topically using pumpkin seed oil as your hot oil treatment may possibly make your hair grow faster.
Whether you choose one or all of the oils mentioned in the above studies, take note that different types of oils are suited to specific hair and scalp types. For example, lightweight oils, like sunflower oil and olive oil, are better suited for oily scalp or fine hair. Meanwhile, richer oils, like coconut oil, work better for those struggling with dryness, particularly curly and coily hair types.
3. Supplement With Collagen
We know that hair is mostly made of a structural protein called keratin. But did you know your hair follicles, specifically the dermal layer surrounding them, need another important protein called collagen?
That’s because both the dermal papilla and dermal sheath are made up of collagen fibers. Remember that these two structures play a crucial role in your natural hair-growing mechanisms. An ample collagen supply is thus vital to maintaining the optimal function of the dermal papilla and dermal sheath, thereby promoting hair growth.
Unfortunately, your body’s collagen supply declines with age once you’ve reached your 20s. This coincides with the age-related shrinking of the dermal papilla, whereby fewer dermal papilla cells are closely associated with thinning hair.
Even though more research is needed, preliminary clinical evidence shows that collagen positively impacts the dermis and may help with hair follicle regeneration. In fact, anecdotal evidence from various customers supplementing with Zen Principle collagen supplements also proved that collagen can help make your hair grow faster. Here is some of the experience that customers have shared after adding collagen to their diet:
My hair grew 4 inches in a few months, unheard of for me, my hair has been the same length for years without cutting.
I have been taking two scoops in my coffee for 60 days now. At 53, my hair had stopped growing for a year. My hair is now 2.5 inches longer.
My hair is growing back. You have to take it for a couple of months if you have severe hair loss and you want to see results. Be patient.
Faster Hair Growth Is a Reality, Not a Myth
Instead of relying on medications and expensive treatments that may or may not work, why not give natural remedies a go? The top three hair growth methods listed above are affordable and easily available.
For example, Zen Principle offers three kinds of collagen supplements to suit your needs:
- Beef Collagen Peptides Powder (check out our in-depth guide on beef collagen.)
- Beef Gelatin Powder
- Marine Collagen Peptides Powder (check out our ultimate guide on marine collagen.)
Just adding any one of these collagen powders to your daily diet will likely add a few inches to your hair in a few months’ time. Pair that with a regular scalp massage or a hot oil treatment, and you’d likely see major improvements to your natural hair growth rate. Your journey to healthier hair begins now.