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Some ways to help promote healthier and faster hair growth may include eating more protein, using products made with caffeine, avoiding permanent dye, and reducing stress, among others.

You’re born with all the hair follicles you’ll ever have, including around 80,000–120,000 on your scalp.

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 it grows, hair pushes through your skin and passes by an oil gland. The oil from this gland makes your hair shiny and soft.

As you age, it’s natural to lose about 100 hairs a day. However, some factors like genetics may increase this number.

Keep reading to learn 14 ways you can help your hair grow and prevent breakage.

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. However, 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.

Sudden weight loss may also cause temporary shedding, known as telogen effluvium (TE), or diffuse alopecia. This may be due to a niacin deficiency.

Assess 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.”

Some options for protein powders include Gainful Protein Powder and Ritual Essential Protein.

Try caffeine-infused products

Caffeine may have topical uses that could help give hair growth a boost.

A 2020 review suggests that caffeine in topical products, like shampoos and conditioners, could prevent hair loss as effectively as drug-based treatments. Caffeine may promote hair growth by stimulating the metabolism and proliferation of cells.

Essential oils

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

A 2021 study found that after 3 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.

Other essential oils that may help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth include:

Boost your nutrient profile

The authors of a 2017 review suggest that a deficiency in key nutrients can impact both the structure of your hair and its growth. Some nutritional deficiencies that may affect your hair include:

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

Indulge in a scalp massage

A scalp massage may help promote relaxation, relieve stress, and help boost the health of your hair.

A 2016 study examined the effectiveness of daily 4-minute scalp massages. After 24 weeks, the nine participants had thicker hair than at the start of the study. Larger studies are still needed to support these results.

The study didn’t show any noticeable difference in hair growth. However, a scalp massage may help dilate blood vessels beneath the skin. This could 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.

Look into platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP)

A 2015 study found that PRP therapy may serve as an effective treatment option for hair loss.

According to the board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology, “PRP is a breakthrough treatment that uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to restore and accelerate hair growth. Platelets are proteins derived from one’s own bloodstream and DNA that can act like a stem cell when placed back into the body.”

The researchers from the above study suggest that treatments can be once a month, for 3 months, and every 6 months thereafter for maintenance.

Hold the heat

The heat from curling irons, hair dryers, and straighteners could damage your hair and cause breakage. To help reduce hair damage, try limiting how often you use these tools and decreasing the temperature when you use them.

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.

Talk to a doctor about minoxidil

Minoxidil is a drug that may help prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. It’s typically sold over-the-counter (OTC) as Rogaine.

This medication may not work for everyone and it could take up to 12 months before you see results. It’s best used as part of your hair loss treatment plan, rather than on its own.

Some options to obtain minoxidil online are through companies like Hims and Keeps.

Go easy on coloring your hair

Using hair dyes could affect the strength and thickness of your hair, resulting in hair damage.

The authors of a 2021 review suggest that permanent hair dyes can remove the natural fatty acids that make up the hair. These dyes can cause more damage than nonpermanent options.

Apply antioxidants to your scalp

Applying antioxidants to your scalp may help reduce hair loss and improve the condition of your scalp.

In a 24-week study, the participants who used either a shampoo or leave-in scalp treatment containing the antioxidant piroctone olamine had significantly increased hair amounts and improved scalp conditions compared to those who used placebo formulations.

These ingredients may improve and protect the scalp barrier, resulting in reduced hair thinning.

Trim your hair regularly

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

Regular trims, however, won’t make your hair grow faster. Your hair grows about a half-inch per month, no matter how often you cut it.

Protect your hair while you sleep

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

  • Make sure you’re getting between 7–9 hours of sleep every night. 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 friction, tugging, and tangling that may cause hair breakage.
  • Don’t go to sleep with wet hair. Laying on wet hair can weaken your strands and can lead to breakage or matting.

Reduce stress

Chronic stress may lead to hair loss. Stress may cause your follicles to go into a resting phase during which they shed hair instead of growing new strands.

Some tips to help you relieve stress may include:

How can I increase my hair growth naturally?

You can’t change the number of hair follicles you have. However, the following tips may help you increase your hair growth naturally:

It’s important to note that little research supports these natural treatments.

If these don’t work, speak with a healthcare professional about other options. These may include topical creams and shampoos, oral medications, or hair transplantation like follicular unit transplant and follicular unit extraction.

Which hairstyles promote healthy hair growth?

No hairstyle can directly promote healthy hair growth. However, natural styles that don’t need a lot of maintenance may prevent damage to your follicles. Some hairstyles could damage your hair, such as ponytails, buns, and cornrows. Avoid pulling your hair tightly with elastics, clips, hairbands, or any other accessories that could put stress on your roots.

There’s no magic formula for instant hair growth. However, some steps may help boost the health and growth of your hair.

Eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet that includes adequate protein is key. Using certain products and treatments may also help, while 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, speak with a doctor to find out why this may be happening.