It can be endlessly frustrating waiting for your hair to grow out, especially after a perhaps too-drastic haircut. Nobody likes dealing with awkward hair lengths, and as for growing out bangs? Forget it.
However, there are several methods you can employ to help give your hair a growth spurt if you have naturally slow-growing hair, or are simply impatient to reach that next hairstyle level. You could always try my positive reinforcement approach of chanting “grow!” 30 times before going to sleep, or go with one of these more scientifically proven, (slightly) less silly-feeling methods.
1. Scalp massage
Scalp massage is a proven way to stimulate hair growth, according to a four month-long study conducted in Scotland. Vernelle Murphy, expert stylist and owner of a top hair salon, Salon V in New York City, says, “A good scalp massage will draw more circulation and blood to the scalp making hair grow faster.” You can do these massages on dry hair, or while you’re in the shower. Just remember to use strong, even pressure, and try to stimulate as many root follicles as you can. If you’ve got the funds, get a scalp massage at your local hair salon. If you’ve never had one, it’s one of the most relaxing experiences of all time.
2. Use a good scalp scrub shampoo
Sometimes hair growth can be slowed by a buildup of hair product and/or pollution from the air. The best way to counteract this is by shampooing with particular products that help unclog the pores on your head. It’s like exfoliation for your scalp. Vernelle says, “[It] will help to remove product buildup and debris which can clog pores and slow down hair growth possibly even causing hair loss.” She recommends using Maxi Wash by Kevin Murphy, which you can get on Amazon.
3. Don’t over-style
This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you want your hair to grow, you have to treat it right. That means put down the straightener and curling iron. Such hot tools will cause breakage, which frays hair and makes it look like it’s not growing (even though it is). Only super healthy, moisture-rich hair can grow fast (and actually look like it). Hot tools zap that moisture right out.
4. Take supplements
Biotin has often been touted by nutritionists as the go-to supplement if you want your hair and nails to grow stronger and, according to a 2012 study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it really does help stimulate hair regrowth, especially in women.
Lauren Carelli, Director of Operations at Blushing Brides Boston, a boutique hair, makeup and nails service, says, “[It] can be taken daily to promote healthy strong hair, skin, and nails. It’s included in most daily vitamins, but if you’re really focusing on growing your hair, I recommend taking it by itself.”
5. Take your ponytail down
Wearing your hair in a ponytail constantly can cause more harm to your hair than you might think. Stephanie Johnson, a hairstylist and cosmetology educator says, “Keeping the hair in ponytails or putting sunglasses on your head like a headband — repeatedly — will wear follicles down making them not want to produce hair.” We’ve all been guilty of the sunglasses habit, I’m sure, but it’s a good one to break if you want long, lustrous hair.
More: Hair salon introduces a ‘quiet chair’ — just what we’ve been waiting for
6. Eat omegas
Omega-3 fatty acids and foods rich in vitamin D are good for your body anyway, but you may not know they also do wonders for your hair. According to a 2012 study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vitamin D actually helps your body create new hair follicles, from which new hair can grow. Carla Gentile, co-founder of >Harper — a well-renowned sustainable spa in Los Angeles, said, “Eating foods that are high in vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, Greek yogurt, spinach, guava, lean poultry, eggs and sweet potatoes will promote hair growth and a healthy scalp.”