There are few things more frustrating than getting a haircut that you regret the next day. It takes so long for hair to grow that fixing damage inflicted by scissors seems to take an eternity. The good news is that there are some natural methods for encouraging hair growth. Keep in mind that hair is a reflection of inner health. What you put into your body will show in the health of your hair, so the best way to make it grow is to treat it well.
1. Stop exposing your hair to unnecessary stress.
If hair is too busy repairing itself, then it can’t focus on growing. Try to do less blow-drying, straightening, and curling to reduce split ends, dryness, and damaged hair shafts. Avoid hair styles that pull or tug at hair. Braids are ideal for holding hair away from the face while not damaging it.
2. Avoid conventional hair products that contain petroleum-derived silicone.
While silicone creates the illusion of smooth, healthy hair, it actually coats the hair shaft, seals out moisture, and clogs follicles. Hair can become ‘hooked’ on silicone, dependent on the synthetic coating, and will stop producing its own natural emollients.
3. Don’t wash your hair too often – once or twice a week should be sufficient.
The more you wash, the more oil your scalp will produce to compensate for having its natural oils stripped so often, which leads to more washing. It’s a cycle that can be broken. Start by waiting a bit longer, even if it’s just a half-day at first in between washes. Or ditch shampoo altogether! My hair has never been healthier than it has been since I started the “no ‘poo” method
, washing only with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
4. Get regular trims, removing at least ¼ inch every 2-3 months.
Although it makes your hair shorter, it removes dead ends and improves the overall health and vitality of your hair. All the hair experts agree that trims are important for encouraging hair growth.
5. Eat the right foods and drink a lot of water.
Since a hair shaft is 80 percent protein, opt for protein-rich foods, as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables. Keeping hair hydrated with plenty of water makes it less susceptible to breakage. Give priority to ‘hair vitamins’ – biotin, vitamins B and C, folic acid.
6. Indulge in scalp massages.
This ancient Hindu Ayurvedic beauty treatment increases circulation to the scalp, which stimulates hair growth, strengthens hair roots, and nourishes the shafts, all of which promotes new hair growth and strengthens current hair. Take a few minutes before bed or, better yet, get your partner to give you a scalp massage.
7. Add essential oils to your hair.
Rosemary, lavender, and ylang-ylang essential oils are known to stimulate hair follicles, promote growth, and replenish the scalp. Use a few drops on your fingers when massaging your scalp.
8. Do a weekly deep condition to repair dryness and damage.
Make any of the following conditioning mixtures, apply to your hair, and let sit for a half hour:
(1) a combination of coconut and castor oils
(2) olive or grapeseed oils, heated gently in the microwave
(3) a mixture of fresh aloe vera, from the leaves of a plant, and a beaten egg
(4) 1 part coconut oil and 1 part honey, melted together
(5) 1 avocado mashed with 2 tbsp honey