18 Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Thicker

Luscious, healthy hair is something many of us dream of. If you weren’t genetically blessed with a ‘crowning glory’ of cascading locks, you may never achieve hair magnificence, but there are plenty of science-backed tricks you can try to stimulate hair growth and reduce breakage and shedding. Let’s dive into 18 ways to get the healthiest, thickest head of hair possible!

Pack in the Protein

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Hair is primarily composed of keratin, which is a type of protein. BBC Good Food says, “Ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle, and weak.” So be sure to add plenty of lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts to your diet.

Consider Iron

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We all know iron is essential for making red blood cells, but this can also impact the health of your scalp and hair follicles. Medical News Today claims that iron deficiency stops hair from growing properly, causing slow, weak, or insufficient growth. Include iron-rich foods like spinach, red meat, lentils, and fortified cereals to ensure your hair follicles are sufficiently oxygenated.

Get Sufficient Sun Exposure

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The ‘sunshine vitamin,’ vitamin D, is only produced in humans when their skin is exposed to UV light. According to the Wimpole Clinic, soaking up the sun responsibly for 10–15 minutes every day can boost hair growth by ensuring your body has enough vitamin D to produce hair. If you live somewhere dark and overcast, you can take supplements, especially throughout the winter.

Enjoy Fatty Acids

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Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 only come from our diets. They are important for healthy hair growth because they improve scalp health, reduce inflammation, and promote follicle activity. Ensure you’re getting enough by including fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds in your diet.

Scalp Massage

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A scalp massage doesn’t just feel good; it’s a great way to increase your scalp’s blood flow and improve your hair follicles’ oxygen levels. Dedicate 5–10 minutes daily to massage your scalp with gentle pressure using your fingertips or a specially designed scalp massage tool. Don’t press too hard or use improper tools.

Drink Green Tea

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This infusion has a whole host of health benefits, including powerful antioxidants called catechins. These help prevent hair loss by inhibiting the hormones that cause your hair to shed or thin. You’ll need to drink at least 2–3 cups of green tea daily to enjoy the hair-growth-boosting properties.

Reduce Stress

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It’s not just an old wives’ tale—chronic stress can disrupt hair growth and cause excessive hair loss. If your life is stressful, try to reduce stress where you can, or add activities like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help manage your stress and reduce the negative impact it may be having on your locks.

Use Scalp Scrubs

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A build-up of hair products, natural oils, and dead skin can clog your hair follicles and impede hair growth. Today.com suggests using a gentle exfoliant to remove this build-up and improve blood circulation. Use a designated scalp scrub 1–2 times a week, focusing on massaging it into your scalp without irritating the skin.

Try Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

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If you want to try more expensive medical treatments, you could consider PRP therapy, which involves injecting concentrated platelets from your blood into your scalp. This helps promote hair growth by stimulating stem cells and improving blood supply to hair follicles. Of course, you should only undertake it with a qualified medical practitioner.

Shampoo Gently

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Harsh shampoos are very effective detergents that can strip your hair of its natural oils—they may stop it from being greasy, but they also cause dryness and breakage. Opt for gentle, sulfate-free shampoos that cleanse the hair without over-stripping your natural protective oils. Avoid washing your hair more than 2–3 times a week if possible.

Try Scalp Microneedling

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This minimally invasive technique involves using a derma pen to create tiny punctures in the scalp. It is designed to stimulate hair growth by boosting blood flow and improving the amount of collagen in the scalp. Many private dermatologists offer this as an option, although it isn’t the cheapest option on our list.

Condition with Care

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Regular conditioning replenishes moisture and protects your hair from damage, so don’t neglect to use a quality conditioner that is suitable for your hair type whenever you wash your hair. Only apply it to the mid-lengths and ends, avoiding the roots, and leave it on for at least three minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool, clean water.

Minimize Heat Styling

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Once it grows out of the follicle, the hair is essentially dead, so you need to treat it carefully. Excessive heat styling with straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers can damage hair, causing split ends and breakage. Allow your hair to air dry and limit heat styling to special occasions only. If you must use heat, use a low setting and apply a protective spray beforehand.

Trim Regularly

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Split ends occur when a hair strand snaps or is broken by force, and they cause damage far beyond the tips, traveling up the hair shaft and causing further damage higher up. This can make your hair shorter, weaker, and thinner overall. Trimming off split ends with a haircut (using hairdressing scissors) every 6–8 weeks helps maintain thick, healthy hair.

Avoid Damaging Hairstyles

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Tight hairstyles like braids, cornrows, and high buns can pull on the hair, leading to traction alopecia, which is hair loss and breakage as a result of physical strain on the hair. Opt for soft hair accessories (like scrunchies and clips) over tight elastic-type bands, and style your hair loosely whenever possible.

Try Low-Level Laser Therapy

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This therapy uses low-level lasers to stimulate hair follicles. Studies show it is most successful when treating male/female pattern baldness or alopecia, so it isn’t the best option for anyone simply wanting to achieve thicker or longer hair. However, it can be very effective for stimulating new hair growth in areas that have suddenly and recently lost most of their hair.

Buy Silk Pillowcases

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The Washington Post claims that smooth, silk pillowcases reduce the amount of friction your hair experiences at night, particularly if you are an especially active or restless sleeper. Cotton pillowcases can cause more tangles and breakage than silk ones. Although evidence for its effectiveness is anecdotal, it’s a non-invasive swap, so it’s definitely worth a try.

Be Patient and Consistent

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Hair growth is a gradual process, and it takes many years of a good diet and treatment to achieve a substantial length, so don’t expect overnight results. Be patient and consistent with your hair care routine, and consult a dermatologist if you have concerns about excessive hair loss or underlying medical conditions.

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