Eating more protein, using products made with caffeine, avoiding permanent dye, and reducing your stress are just a few things you can do to promote healthier and faster hair growth.

You might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to make your hair grow faster. Do any products help? Can dietary changes speed up growth? And what about medications or treatments?

In this article, we’ll help answer those questions. We’ll also take a closer look at what can affect hair growth and the steps you can take to improve the growth of your hair.

Here’s a fascinating fact: You’re born with all the hair follicles you’ll ever have — including around 80,000 to 120,000 on your scalp. It’s natural to lose about 100 hairs a day.

Hair grows from a root at the bottom of a follicle under your skin. The blood in your scalp goes to the follicle and supplies oxygen and nutrients to the hair root, which helps your hair grow.

As your hair grows, it will push through your skin and pass by an oil gland. It’s the oil from this gland that makes your hair shiny and soft.

Genetics does play a role in maintaining healthy hair growth. However, several other factors also come into play.

Although there’s no magical potion or remedy that will result in instant growth, there are steps you can take to help your hair grow and to prevent breakage.

Let’s look at 15 tips that may help your hair grow faster and stronger.

1. Avoid restrictive dieting

According to Dr. Lindsey Bordone, a dermatologist at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, we can’t control everything that affects our hair growth. But there are things we can avoid that may cause impaired growth and increased shedding.

“Restrictive dieting can decrease resources and nutrients needed for hair growth,” said Bordone.

“And since hair growth is a relatively low priority compared to other bodily functions, hair growth is halted quickly when your body is placed under stress due to restrictive dieting,” she explained.

“Even after resuming a healthy diet, hair shedding usually goes on for a period of months,” said Bordone.

A review of research from 2017 suggests that a deficiency in key nutrients can impact both the structure of your hair and its growth. Sudden weight loss can cause temporary shedding, known as telogen effluvium (TE), or diffuse alopecia due to a niacin deficiency.

2. Check your protein intake

“If your diet is severely restrictive, hair won’t grow optimally, and shedding can occur,” said Bordone.

“Eating a well-balanced diet with adequate protein intake is important for optimal hair growth,” she added. “Generally, we recommend 50 grams of protein or more per day.”

According to the same review of research, decreased protein intake can also cause TE.

3. Try caffeine-infused products

We all know that caffeine can give you an energy boost — and its topical use has been shown to give hair growth a boost, too.

Research shows that caffeine in topical products, like shampoos and conditioners, can prevent hair loss as effectively as drug-based treatments. Caffeine may promote hair growth by stimulating the metabolism and proliferation of cells.

4. Explore essential oils

Essential oils not only smell good, but they may also help promote hair growth.

One small study found that after three months, pumpkin seed oil applied topically significantly increased hair regrowth in participants with female pattern baldness. However, larger studies are needed to further support this result.

Research from 2015 has also shown that rosemary oil may be just as effective as minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine, at restoring hair growth. Again, additional research is needed to back up this finding.

Other essential oils such as peppermint oil, jojoba oil, and lavender oil also show promise for preventing hair loss, according to a 2020 review of research.

5. Boost your nutrient profile

Specific vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are especially important for your overall health and also play a key role in providing your body with the energy needed for hair growth. These nutrients can include:

Some studies have found lower levels of vitamin D, folate, and zinc in people with the autoimmune hair-loss condition alopecia areata.

One 2015 study found that taking omega-3 and omega-6 supplements for 6 months may help protect against hair loss in people with female pattern baldness.

6. Indulge in a scalp massage

Because vitamin supplements are not regulated in the same way as other drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s important to choose reputable vitamin brands that use third-party vetting.

A scalp massage can help promote relaxation and relieve stress. But, according to a small 2016 study, it may also help boost the health of your hair.

While the research demonstrating the efficacy of biotin is limited, a review of the literature found 18 reported cases that showed clinical improvement in both hair and nail health after biotin supplementation. Additional research is still needed to help support this.

The 2016 study examined the effectiveness of daily, 4-minute scalp massages. After 24 weeks, the researchers found that the nine men involved in the study had thicker hair at the end of the study than at the start of it. Larger studies are still needed to support these results.

While the study didn’t show any noticeable difference in hair growth, it’s thought that a scalp massage may help dilate blood vessels beneath the skin. This, in turn, may lead to thicker, stronger hair that’s less likely to break off or become damaged.

You can get a professional scalp massage or indulge in a do-it-yourself massage at home.

7. Look into platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP)

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology says using PRP therapy with patients who have hair loss has shown promise.

While more controlled studies are needed, one study found that PRP may serve as an effective treatment option for hair loss.

“PRP is a breakthrough treatment that uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to restore and accelerate hair growth,” Palep said. “Platelets are protein derived from one’s own bloodstream and DNA that can act like a stem cell when placed back into the body.”

Scalp injections of PRP can awaken dormant hair follicles, resulting in more hair growth.

Treatments can be once a month, for 3 months, and every 6 months thereafter for maintenance, according to the above study.

8. Hold the heat

Heat from curling irons, hair dryers, and straighteners can damage your hair and cause breakage. While avoiding heat styling altogether may not be an option, you may want to try limiting how often you use these tools.

Decreasing the temperature of heated styling tools can also help reduce hair damage.

Additionally, according to a 2019 review of research, using a heat protectant product before using a heated styling tool may significantly reduce hair breakage.

Heat treatments work by forming a protective barrier that helps prevent moisture loss when using heated tools.

9. Talk to a doctor about minoxidil

Vanessa Thomas, a cosmetic chemist and founder of Freelance Formulations, says there are some ingredients, like minoxidil, that have been clinically tested for hair growth and have shown positive results.

Minoxidil is used to treat hereditary hair loss at the back of the head and is the active ingredient in Rogaine.

“Some products that contain minoxidil do not need a prescription if the concentration of minoxidil is under a certain percentage,” said Thomas. However, any product that uses this drug has to be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Rogaine doesn’t work for everyone, and it can take 3 to 6 months to see results.

10. Go easy on coloring your hair

“When we dye our hair and change the texture with chemicals, these processes can put stress on the hair and cause it to break,” said Thomas.

“But when we tone down these processes, hair breaks off less and can seem like it’s growing faster,” she added.

According to a 2021 review of research, permanent dyes can remove the natural fatty acids that make up the hair. These dyes can cause more damage than non permanent options.

11. Apply antioxidants to your scalp

Clinical studies show that applying antioxidants to your scalp may significantly reduce hair loss and improve the condition of your scalp.

In one 8-week study, women who used either a shampoo or leave-in scalp treatment containing the antioxidant piroctone olamine had significantly increased hair amounts and improved scalp conditions than women who used placebo formulations.

Another 24-week study had similar results. Men and women who used a leave-in scalp treatment containing piroctone olamine and other antioxidants experienced significantly less hair loss than participants who used a placebo treatment.

Researchers believe these ingredients may improve and protect the scalp barrier, resulting in reduced hair thinning.

12. Prevent hair breakage

Hair breakage, along with dryness and frizz, can occur when the scales that hold the strands together in your inner hair cuticles fall apart.

To stop this from happening, try doing the following:

  • eating a diet rich in hair-strengthening nutrients such as iron, zinc, and folic acid
  • applying shampoo mainly to your scalp
  • using conditioner
  • when towel drying your hair, blotting your hair instead of rubbing it
  • letting your hair air dry instead of using a blow dryer, if possible
  • avoiding overbrushing
  • using a brush with natural bristles only when styling your hair

13. Trim your hair regularly

Trimming your hair every few months can boost the growth of healthy hair. It removes split ends, preventing them from spreading farther up your strands and causing hair breakage.

What regular trims will not do, despite the popular belief, is make your hair grow faster. Your hair grows about a half-inch per month, no matter how often you cut it.

14. Protect your hair while you sleep

To help promote healthy hair when you’re sleeping, try the following:

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep — generally 7 to 9 hours. Not sleeping enough decreases your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in regulating hair growth.
  • Use a silk or satin pillowcase to help prevent the friction, tugging, and tangling that can cause hair breakage, especially if you have long hair.
  • Don’t go to sleep with wet hair. Laying on wet hair can weaken your strands and can lead to breakage or matting.

15. Reduce stress

Research shows that chronic stress can lead to hair loss. It may cause your follicles to go into a resting phase during which they shed hair instead of growing new strands.

The following are some natural ways to reduce stress:

The following are the answers to some common questions about making hair grow faster and stronger.

How can I increase the density of my hair?

Although you can’t change the number of hair follicles you have, you may naturally help increase your hair density by eating a well-balanced diet that includes hair-growth nutrients like biotin, vitamin C, and protein. Reducing hair damage by avoiding permanent dye and avoiding drying the hair with heat may also help.

Alternatively, hair transplantation such as a follicular unit transplant (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE) can increase the density of your hair.

During what season does human hair grow the fastest?

There’s very little research on seasonal hair growth. One older 1991 study found that for 14 white men in the UK, hair growth peaked in March and was at its lowest point in September. However, larger, more diverse studies are needed to support this.

Contrary to popular myth, there is no scientific evidence that hair grows faster in the summer.

How do I stop hair loss after weight loss?

One of the side effects of losing weight can be losing hair as well. Among other factors, this may be caused by a deficiency of nutrients such as fatty acids, protein, and zinc.

To help prevent hair loss, avoid crash dieting, very low protein diets, and other restrictive diets.

Which hairstyles promote healthy hair growth?

While there is no one hairstyle that helps grow healthy hair, natural styles that don’t need a lot of maintenance may prevent damage to your follicles.

Hairstyles that can damage your hair include ponytails, buns, and cornrows. Avoid pulling your hair tightly with elastics, clips, hairbands, or any other accessories that put stress on your roots. Otherwise, it may lead to hair loss.

While genetics does play a role in hair growth, several other factors also come into play. And while there’s no magical formula for instant hair growth, there are steps you can take to boost the health and growth of your hair.

Eating a healthy diet that includes key nutrients as well as adequate protein is key. Using certain products and treatments may promote hair growth. Dialing back on heat treatments and chemical processing can help, too.

If you’re concerned about hair loss or have trouble getting your hair to grow, you may want to talk with a doctor about why this may be happening.