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Did you know that your hair grows half an inch per month on average? That's a total of 6 inches per year, which is not nearly enough. If you're impatiently waiting for your hair to grow or dealing with thinning or shedding, do not worry! There are natural remedies and methods you can try to boost your hair growth and make it fuller and healthier.
In this article, we'll explore different natural ingredients and home remedies for faster and healthier hair growth and share some recipes for DIY hair masks for damaged hair.
Home Remedies to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Healthier
But before we get into it, we need to understand the science behind it.
Although it can be of different textures and colors, hair is always the same on the cellular level. It is made up of cells of a protein called keratin, the main protein in your skin and nails.
A hair follicle anchors each hair strand, and it's the place where all the magic happens. All the nutrients necessary for hair growth flow into the follicle's base through a fine network of blood vessels within the skin.
For long and luminous hair, the follicle needs to be well-nourished inside and out. So, let's take a closer look at natural methods and remedies that wakes the hair follicles from the hibernation state and stimulate hair growth.
#1: Scalp Massage
To get the hair of your dreams, a scalp massage is an indispensable step in your hair care routine. It's pleasant, relaxing, and stimulates blood circulation, bringing more nutrients into the follicles. In addition, it removes accumulated toxins and dead cells from the skin surface and lets your skin breathe. As a result, your hair will grow much healthier and thicker [source].
Use your fingertips for a gentle massage of your scalp. It would be best to massage your scalp while your hair is dry, as wet hair gets entangled and breaks easily. To make your fingers glide smoothly across your skin and for some extra nourishment, add a nutrient-rich oil into the mix, such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or Moroccan oil (also called argan oil). Make it your daily routine (or at least weekly), and very quickly, you will reap the benefits.
#2: Limit Hair Styling
You might be wondering – why is my hair shedding in the first place? [Research](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding#:~:text=It's normal to shed between,this condition is telogen effluvium.) shows that, on average, we lose about 100 strands a day. If you feel like you're losing more than that, it could happen for various reasons, like age, hormonal levels, pregnancy, diet, or stress; but more often than not, it could be your aggressive hair care routine and styling.
Blow dryers and styling heat irons can make your hair brittle and lead to hair breakage. The good news is – our hair forgives our mistakes. Even though your hair strands might be damaged, your follicles are still alive and functioning. They just need a little push to start producing new hair. Nevertheless, putting away your hot tools for a while can't hurt but will give your hair a chance to recover.
#3: Use a Hair Brush With Natural Bristles
While there's nothing wrong with synthetic brushes, not every hair type will love them. Natural bristle brushes, like those made of wood, gently massage the scalp and evenly distribute fats from the hair roots to the ends, providing protection and restoring your hair's shine.
For detangling, use a wide-tooth comb, but be patient, slow, and gentle. To avoid too much friction and pulling, start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of your head. This will also prevent the tangles from worsening. You should avoid brushing wet hair because this is when your hair is most vulnerable to damage.
#4: Avoid Hot Showers
Taking hot showers is a big no-no for hair health because hot water and steam dehydrate your hair strands, making them brittle and easy to break. So, turn the heat down to medium when showering, and rinse the conditioner with lukewarm water. It's not the most pleasant feeling, and you will probably be slightly uncomfortable, especially during colder months, but your hair will be thankful.
#5: Use Oils That Promote Hair Growth
You can use these oils when massaging your scalp or add a few drops to your shampoo:
- Coconut oil contains fatty acids that reduce protein loss from your hair and activate new hair growth [source]. Massage it into your scalp and spread it along your strands. You can leave it overnight or a couple of hours before washing it. It will improve the health and luster of your hair;
- Castor oil is the #1 hair treatment. It's filled with omega-6 fatty acids, proteins, vitamin E, and other nutrients that do wonders for hair. It seals in moisture and promotes hair growth. You can use castor oil on your lashes and eyebrows as well;
- Argan oil is also extremely beneficial because it contains high amounts of vitamin E. It acts as a moisturizer and is often used as a conditioner [source];
- Grapeseed oil promotes blood flow to the scalp, allowing vitamins and nutrients to reach hair follicles more effectively and, therefore, prevent excessive hair shedding [source]. For maximum benefit, you can mix grapeseed oil with some essential oils, like rosemary oil and lavender oil, as these also have positive effects on hair growth;
- Avocado oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, that have repairing and protective effects on hair cells [source]. Therefore, avocado oil is excellent for preventing further hair damage and hair loss and can help your hair grow thicker;
- Pumpkin seed oil has significant amounts of free fatty acids, vitamin E, as well as phytoestrogens, plant compounds with a similar impact to the human hormone estrogen. Research suggests that thanks to this unique composition, topical application of pumpkin seed oil promotes hair growth and is a promising natural treatment alternative for male alopecia;
- Jojoba oil is another natural miracle that does wonders for your hair. Packed with a bunch of hair-loving nutrients, such as vitamins C, E, and B, as well as zinc and copper, jojoba oil has been shown to promote scalp health and hair thickness and prevent hair loss [source].
- Almond oil, or sweet almond oil, to be more specific, has been used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments for centuries, especially in Ayurvedic medicine [source]. As it's rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other skin-nurturing ingredients, almond oil can treat dry scalp and other scalp conditions, preventing hair loss in the long run.
#6: Use Rice Water
You probably noticed that women in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia always have incredibly long, super healthy, and shiny hair. This is because they've used rice water as a hair treatment for centuries. You can easily make this home remedy for hair growth at home.
How to Make Rice Water for Hair Growth
Rice water contains amino acids and vitamin B complex that make the hair stronger and smoother, increase shine, and help hair grow long. Plus, it's effortless to make – all you need is some water and rice.
- ½ cup white, uncooked rice
- 3 cups water
- Rinse the rice using a strainer.
- Once the rice is clean, pour it into a bowl with water for cooking.
- Over medium heat, boil the rice until the water gets milky white. Make sure to stir it continuously to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the bowl.
- Let the rice cool completely.
- Then, strain it again.
- Pour into a bowl or a bottle with a lid and let the rice water sit at room temperature for about 24 hours. This will ferment the water and make all those nutrients come out.
- The next day, or after 24 hours have passed, funnel the water into a clean container with a lid (or spray bottle for easier application) and keep it refrigerated for no longer than a week.
It's best to use it when washing your hair, after shampooing and conditioning. Spray it onto your scalp and along your entire hair, lightly massage it into your scalp, leave it in for about half an hour, and then rinse your hair thoroughly once again.
#7: Try DIY Hair Masks
A good hair mask hydrates the hair and stimulates its growth. It nourishes the hair from the outside and makes it stronger, thicker, and shinier. And what's best, you don't need to visit high-end hair salons to get a good mask; just check what's in your kitchen cupboards.
Honey, eggs, avocados, aloe vera gel, and apple cider vinegar are all beneficial for healthy hair. Whip up your mask, apply it to your hair and scalp, and leave it for 15 minutes before washing it out.
The hair mask ingredients combinations are countless. However, pay attention to your hair type when choosing them. Here are some ideas:
- For very dry hair, combine equal parts of honey, egg yolk, and argan oil.
- For normal hair, blend honey, aloe vera gel, and olive oil.
- For oily hair, honey, apple cider vinegar, and castor oil would be an ideal combination.
#8: Maintain a Healthy And Balanced Diet
This means lots of vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and B12. Stock your fridge with fish, leafy greens, and nuts. Keep in mind that animal proteins carry a lot of B12 and iron. So, if you are vegan or vegetarian, ensure that you get those nutrients from other sources, such as lentils, chia seeds, beans, chickpeas, tofu, all kinds of nuts, kale, figs, apricots, raisins, and quinoa.
Besides a healthy diet, staying hydrated is also essential – so make sure to drink enough water. To make it more fun and tastier, you can add cucumber, watermelon, or lemon to your water and sip it throughout the day.
#9: Manage Stress
Like many other things, our hair also suffers when we are stressed out. Therefore, give yourself some time to unwind, and find a way to relax. It can be as simple as walking in nature or reading a book. In addition, meditation and yoga will give you mental clarity and calmness and relieve chronic stress.
Find what you enjoy the most and get outside of everyday reality. Just a few minutes a day will already make a huge difference.
Having long, voluminous, and healthy hair is not a pie in the sky. So, try some of these home remedies and methods for hair growth and stay patient and consistent. Remember that it might take some time to yield any noticeable results, so don't give up on your new hair care routine after a month or even two.