Q:“I’ve seen several hair oils and vitamins that promise to help my hair grow quickly. Do they work? Are they worth the money?”
A: There’s anecdotal evidence saying that topical treatments work, but I believe growth happens from the inside out. On average, our hair grows .5 inches a month. In a good year, you’re looking at 6 inches (barring loss of length from trims or breakage). We can’t override our genes, but we can maximize our growing potential. Fast, healthy hair growth takes TLC, patience, and the following:
1. Physical Exercise: Intense workouts increase blood flow to your scalp, which delivers nutrients to the hair follicle. Voila, hair growth!
2. Healthy Diet: Healthy hair has high levels of protein, so kick-start growth by eating protein-rich foods like nuts, poultry, vegetables, fruits, grains and eggs. Also, digestion takes lots of energy — don’t waste it on eating processed foods! The energy it takes to break down a slice of pizza could be going toward healing weak, damaged hair, helping it to grow.
3. Dietary Supplements: Every hair vitamin should contain Biotin and MSM. Biotin promotes cell growth, while MSM reduces shedding and lengthens the hair growth phase. This winning combo, plus a quality multivitamin, will help hair grow faster.
4. Scalp Massages: A five-minute, nightly scalp massage with essential oil increases blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
5. Henna: My jump from shoulder-length to armpit-length locks was directly preceded by my first henna treatment! Some believe that the application process stimulates the scalp (aiding in hair growth), while others argue that henna stretches the curl, giving the illusion of longer hair. Either way, rocking henna-dyed tresses translates to faster hair growth and stronger strands.
6. Water: Hydrated hair is healthy hair, which grows faster than damaged hair! Drink at least half your weight in ounces, every single day.