Why Won’t My Hair Grow Faster?
With long hair back in style for both men and women, many are wondering, “Why can’t I seem to grow my hair out?”
Hair growth depends on a multitude of factors that we will explore in this article, so keep reading to learn more and find a solution!
How Does Hair Grow?
Hair is made of up to 95% keratin, which is a specialized protein that also makes up portions of your skin and nails. For those who are into the science-y part of stuff, you’ll enjoy this section. If you only care about solutions, scroll right to the “How Do I Grow My Hair Faster?” section!
Anatomy of the Hair Shaft
There are three parts of each hair strand: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The cuticle is the most important part of maintaining hair health, and not taking adequate care of it is what leads to breakage that makes it seem like your hair isn’t growing.
The cuticle is the outermost protective layer of the hair shaft. It’s responsible for keeping moisture in and harmful environmental factors out. However, excessive brushing, heat tools, humidity, and other components can open the cuticle and damage your hair. Think of the cuticle as a knight’s shield!
The cortex is the majority of the volume of your hair and contains pigments that give your hair color. If you’ve ever dyed your hair, you’re actually just dyeing the cortex.
The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair strand that is mostly made of air and see-through cells. Its purpose is to provide structural integrity, sort of like the foundation of a house.
Anatomy of the Hair Follicle
The most important parts of the hair follicle (and surrounding area) are the blood vessels, hair root, sebaceous gland, and various levels of the skin.
The hair grows at the root of the hair follicle, which is a tube-like formation beneath the upper levels of the skin that protects the root of the strand of hair. It looks like a tiny vase with a single flower growing out of it.
Beneath the follicle lies a series of capillaries that supply the follicle with blood, oxygen, and other nutrients that are essential to hair growth.
The sebaceous glands, also known as the “oil glands,” help lubricate the hair strand to prevent breakage and reduce UV damage. If you struggle with an oily scalp, these little glands are the culprits.
The Life Cycle of a Hair Strand
There are three main stages of hair growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
During the anagen stage, the hair follicle is thriving, and the hair strand is growing. This stage typically lasts a few years unless it is cut short by another factor.
The catagen stage, AKA the transition phase, is characterized by a distinct thinning of the hair strand. This stage typically lasts a few weeks but can be elongated by medical conditions like thyroid disease and vitamin deficiencies.
Finally, the telogen stage is when the hair is “shed” by the body, and the hair follicle enters a resting phase.
To learn more about the life cycle of hair, check out this scientific article by Fresno Pacific University.
Lifestyle Factors Impacting Your Hair Growth
It’s no secret that smoking is terrible for you, but did you know that it can impact hair growth and hair loss, too?
Smoking tobacco and marijuana restricts blood flow to all areas of the body, including the hair follicles. If the follicles are starved of blood and nutrients, the hair will prematurely enter the telogen phase.
Tobacco is also an endocrine disrupter and contains many free radicals that can cause fragility and thinning. Just another reason to quit... and your hair will thank you for it!
While alcohol is not directly linked to slow hair growth, long-term alcoholism decreases nutrient absorption, messes with your hormones, and increases stress, all of which can prevent your hair from growing and can lead to permanent hair loss.
Of course, the right diet is crucial to promoting hair growth. According to Healthline, “a lack of the right nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein, and essential fatty acids, may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss.”
Eating healthy fats, lots of protein, and tons of fruits and vegetables is necessary for a healthy mane of hair.
Health Factors Affecting Growth
“Beta-blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hormone-related drugs like thyroid meds, hormone replacement therapies or steroids,” can cause hair loss or decreased growth, according to the AARP.
If your body is busy fighting off germs and inflammation, chances are that your immune system is more focused on making sure that your body’s resources are going towards killing invading germs rather than your hair.
If you have intense or prolonged periods of illness, you may notice slowed hair growth, thinning hair, or hair loss.
Did you know that hormonal imbalances are the leading cause of hair loss in women? After entering the postmenopausal period, many women experience pattern alopecia (hair loss) due to issues with reproductive and thyroid hormones.
You may be suffering from a deficiency of iodine that is causing hypothyroidism, which is especially common in women over the age of 40.
Always speak to your doctor about your concerns. Hormones play a huge role in the functions of all bodily systems, not just your hair!
Environmental Factors Causing Your Hair to Grow Slowly
Air pollution contains free radicals that can latch onto the hair cuticle and scalp. These pollutants can weaken the cuticle, which leads to breakage. They can also enter the hair follicle and cause havoc at the root of the hair, potentially causing it to fall out entirely.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun and LED lights can lead to unwanted bleaching and damage to the hair.
UVB rays lead to keratin damage and loss (resulting in hair thinning and slowed growth), while UVA rays cause changes in pigment.
Excessive stress can cause a condition called telogen effluvium. This is when many of the hair follicles are forced into the telogen (resting) phase, causing the hair strands to fall out from the root.
Although telogen effluvium is a temporary condition, if your stress situation does not change, your hair will not grow back.
Stress that isn’t severe enough to cause this condition can still affect the growth rate of your hair. Adrenaline, the “fight or flight hormone,” inhibits hair growth.
Heat styling your hair too frequently or at a temperature that is way too high can make your hair break off and give the impression of slow growth.
Always use a spray-on heat protectant before using the blow dryer, straighter, or curling iron.
The rate at which hair grows is thought to be caused by genetics. Unfortunately, once your deck of cards is handed out, you don’t have a lot (or any) say in it! However, you can certainly minimize the effects of your genome by taking certain steps (which we’ll talk about shortly).
As we age, collagen and elastin production diminishes. These essential proteins help uphold hair follicle and scalp health. Without them, hair growth slows and eventually ceases, causing age-related hair loss.
How do I Grow My Hair Faster?
Change Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes are certainly in order if you want your hair to grow faster. Plus, you’ll likely notice upticks in your overall health and levels of energy!
We are what we eat, and your diet is a big part of what controls your hair growth. Making sure that you’re fulfilling your daily fruit and vegetable quotient (or going over it) is essential.
Taking certain vitamins, like biotin, may help with hair and nail health.
Meditation, yoga, and other forms of stress relief are key to living a healthy lifestyle and getting long, thick, fast-growing hair since prolonged levels of stress hormones can prevent hair growth and even cause your hair to fall out.
Scalp massage is an ancient technique used to increase circulation, improve nutrient retention, and reduce tension in the scalp.
Start by sitting or standing with the top of your head facing the ground. Use your fingertips to slowly and gently massage your scalp in circular motions.
Change Your Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold Label Set
The PURA D’OR Gold Label Shampoo and Conditioner set is full of active ingredients chosen to prevent hair thinning, and reduce shedding in the shower. This set has been clinically proven to reduce thinning due to breakage, increase strength and shine, and increase volume for a healthy head of hair.
The shampoo contains 17 different active ingredients designed to work with the hair follicles and naturally thicken the hair. These actives include black cumin seed oil and amla oil, both of which have been used for centuries to improve hair growth and reduce breakage.
The deeply hydrating biotin conditioner repairs and revitalizes individual hair strands with rosemary, avocado, and argan oil that coats the hair in a protective layer and improves moisture retention.
This mild shampoo and conditioner set is a wonderful option for people who are dealing with hair thinning, slow growth, breakage, and frizz. This haircare set works for all hair types and textures. Both the shampoo and conditioner are free of irritating and harsh sulfates. Your hair will love it!
Advanced Therapy Set
The PURA D’OR Advanced Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner Set has similar benefits to the Gold Label set but with a greater percentage of active ingredients for those with less sensitive scalps and hair.
The actives are at a 1.5x concentration compared to the Gold Label set, to be exact. This yields quicker, more noticeable results.
There is also the addition of zinc pyrithione, a crucial anti-dandruff ingredient in the shampoo, which pulls out greasiness without leaving the hair feeling and looking flat.
The conditioner contains aloe vera for moisture, pumpkin seed extract for revitalization, Vitamin E for added conditioning and hydration, honeysuckle extract for color retention, and a handful of other ingredients that aid the health of your hair.
This set is ideal for somebody who wants thicker, healthier hair that is less prone to breakage and thinning, as well as more manageable levels of frizz. Soft, luscious hair, here you come!
If you aren’t impressed with your current conditioner, we recommend the PURA D’OR Healing Conditioner. This conditioner strengthens the bonds between the cuticle (i.e., the outer layer) and cortex of the hair strand. It does this by adding tons of moisture, resulting in silky smooth strands! It works for all hair types and is best for somebody who struggles with dryness and frizziness.
You’ll notice your hair becoming a lot more manageable, especially when you brush your hair! With lavender oil, vanilla extract, and argan oil, this conditioner reduces frizziness, improves shine, and prevents breakage for the appearance of quicker-growing hair. It also detangles stubborn knots.
It is 99% plant-based and even manufactured in a facility that uses renewable energy.
All PURA D’OR products are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly!
Add an Effective Hair Oil
Adding hair oil to your scalp massage will help you reap the benefits of both the oil and the massage.
Castor oil is one of the most popular hair oils out there. You will want to use it for at least 30 minutes before washing your hair or even the night before for the best results.
To use, apply a few drops to your fingertips and warm the oil between your hands. Massage it into your scalp, following the instructions of the scalp massage mentioned previously.
Argan oil is best used on the length and ends of your hair on a daily basis. Argan oil reduces the appearance of dryness and frizziness, especially on damaged hair. It contains many naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E, that help to nourish the cuticle of your hair.
PURA D’OR is Here for You
Trying to grow your hair out after a haircut or experiencing hair loss may seem like an impossible task, but the truth is that making a few lifestyle and haircare changes can make a big difference to your hair health!
You CAN grow your hair longer, and now you have the tools to do so! Taking action is the first (and most important) step to achieving your hair goals.