Most people can expect their hair to grow about six inches each year, which boils down to about a half an inch each month. Various factors will impact an individual’s rate of hair growth. Some of these factors include genetics, age, and ethnicity.
How Hair Grows
All hair follows a natural growth cycle. Some hairs are resting while others are busy growing—even though it looks like all of your hair is growing simultaneously. Hair grows out of tiny pockets called follicles with each strand of hair regrowth occurring in three stages:
- Anagen phase: An active growth phase of hair lasting between three to seven years. Anywhere from 18 to 30 inches of hair can be produced.
- Catagen phase: This transition phase takes place when the hair stops growing, lasting a short period of days to weeks.
- Telogen phase: A resting period that occurs when the hair falls out due to the follicle remaining inactive for three months then produces a new hair shaft.
Most hair regrowth reaches about a half-inch a month, with variations of a quarter-inch to a half-inch. There are several factors making hair growth appear faster or slower. Hair that is dry or damaged may break off during the growth cycle, which creates the illusion the hair isn’t growing at all. Likewise, healthy hair can be lustrously thick, making it appear like you have a lot more strands than you actually do.
Variations of Hair Loss
With hair loss, how long it takes for hair regrowth back depends on the underlying cause. There are many causes for hair loss: medication-use, age, hormones, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, and genetics all play a part.
- Hereditary: With age, some follicles stop producing hair, which is typically permanent. Although, there may be ways you might be able to slow down the hair loss process
- Autoimmune: Conditions like, alopecia is when the immune system attacks, by mistake, hair follicles causing hair to fall out in small patches. Scalp psoriasis is when scaly red patches appear on the scalp causing temporary hair loss.
- Hormonal: For women, childbirth and menopause are two examples of hormonal changes in women that can cause temporary hair loss. While hair loss due to hormonal changes and imbalances is temporary, it is difficult to know when the hair will start growing back.
- Nutritional: A deficiency of certain nutrients in your diet can cause hair loss over time. While correcting this can lead to hair regrowth, it can take months for the hair to begin regrowing.
Through the anagen phase—the phase where hair is actively growing—genetics plays a part in the process of hair growth. Genetics determines exactly how long the anagen phase lasts and when shedding will set it. This translates into how long hair will grow. Age is generally the biggest determinant in when genetics will take its toll on your hair growth. Having a predisposition for hair loss will become more prominent as time goes on, and it can also lead to age-related baldness.
The differences between the variations of hair across the different races can be visually determined, but there are also microscopic-level differences in the makeup as well. Based on the difference of follicles between the three types of hair: Caucasian, African American, and Asian, it is the shape of the follicles that dictates how each strand will grow.
- Caucasian hair: Comes in an array of textures, including straight, wavy, and curly. The follicles are slightly oval in shape, and Caucasian hair is the most dense of the racial variations. This type of hair grows close to a half an inch in a month’s time.
- African American hair: The type of hair with the slowest rate of growth: just one third of an inch per month of growth. Prone to breakage, the elliptical-shaped follicles are quite fragile and grow in a spiral.
- Asian hair: With its round follicles, this type of hair has the fastest growth rate, growing over half an inch a month.
With age, hair changes in several ways. It turns gray, loses its pigments, gets thinner, and can even start falling out. This is because the anagen phase becomes shorter as we age, which changes the amount of time hair is growing. As we age, our scalps also age. The mature scalp loses its effectiveness when it comes to health hair growth. To maintain hair regrowth during the aging process is to optimize both the scalp and hair follicles.
With hair regrowth, the diet should always be considered. Healthy regrowth of your hair will require that you get plenty of nutrition, which then infuses each strand from the inside since the blood is where those nutrients will come from. Here are some of the most important nutrients your hair will require:
- Zinc helps with protein production, balancing hormones, and how the hair attaches to the head. If you do not have enough zinc in your diet, you could wind up facing hair loss, dull hair, frizzy hair, and incredibly slow hair growth. If you need to boost your zinc, try eating bean sprouts, proteins from animals, red meats, and also seafood.
- Trace elements are vitamins and nutrients that help to promote the growth of hair from the inside. This includes Vitamins A and B, since they help to create keratin. Vitamin C helps to make collagen stronger, which makes your hair stronger. It also helps your body absorb more iron and makes your blood vessels tougher. Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, helps to stimulate hair to grow thicker and even stronger. Vitamin D helps improve hair growth by improving the function of your endocrine glands. Finally, Vitamin E boosts the skin of the scalp, which provides improved blood circulation.
- Water is also essential to hair growth, and when you get your daily amount, it allows your hair to grow stronger and faster.
In hot, humid climates, hair tends to grow more quickly. The key to hair growth is in the natural oils that the scalp produces. In warmer climates, the scalp produces more oils. Every time you brush your hair, these oils coat the hair shaft which conditions the hair helping you keep your strands healthy. This, in turn, encourages faster growth. Another theory is that In warmer climates, people are naturally more active, increasing our metabolism, which affects our hormonal cycles contributing to faster regrowth.
Shaving simply cuts the hair, and the root is not affected, allowing the follicles to remain intact, which is responsible for hair regrowth. Shaving off all of your hair results in blunt edges. These edges will give your hair the illusion of being thicker and darker. However, as your locks grow, the ends will begin to taper and get softer. It does give off the illusion of thicker hair while you are growing it back however!
A pregnant woman may feel that her hair is rapidly growing while a woman who has recently given birth may feel like she is losing her hair at a much faster rate. Estrogen, a hormone in abundance during pregnancy, will cause more follicles to enter the growing phase. Many women notice their hair is thicker, but this extra fullness and body does not have any effect on the amount of time it takes hair to grow. This newfound thickness is the result of hormonal changes that prolong the anagen phase. Unfortunately, this also means that new mothers may notice an increase in hair shedding post birth as they are losing the retained hair.
Encouraging Hair ReGrowth
While there are many useful and suggested ways of encouraging hair regrowth, it is vital to keep your hair healthy to prevent breakage while your hair goes through the three natural grown stages.
Protein is essential to hair growth. It protects your strands from both chemical damage and environmental damage. With styling or using heat on your hair, the addition of a protein treatment will protect your locks. Coconut oil is very beneficial as it helps reduce the amount of protein lost when washing your hair—before and after! Protein should ideally come from your diet instead of supplements. Make sure to eat plenty of protein-rich foods like yogurt, nuts, and leafy vegetables.
By adding essential oils to your shampoo, it’s been suggested that these oils may prevent hair damage:
Tips for healthy hair include:
- A well-balanced diet, preferably eating food that is high in protein, iron, and vitamin C.
- Physical health also dramatically affects the speed of hair regrowth. People who often suffer from stress or weak bodies also make it difficult for the hair to grow longer.
- In order to prevent breakage, regular salon visits are recommended.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and excessive heat on your hair and scalp.
- Scalp massages help to stimulate the hair follicles
- To seal the cuticles and strengthen hair, rinse it in cold water after shampooing
- Using recommended hair shampoo, conditioning products, and serums to ensure the hair is fed the nutrients it needs to grow.
The Keranique Hair Regrowth System
The Keranique system is designed to help women get fuller, thicker-looking hair while increasing hair manageability, volume, and fullness. Proven to repair, nurture, and have protecting qualities, the complete system includes:
- Revitalizing Shampoo
- Volumizing Conditioner
- Hair Regrowth Treatment
- Lift & Repair Treatment
Keranique is designed to help reverse hair loss in females by formulating their products to sync with the female body chemistry. You can be sure that you are doing what is right for your hair because of Keranique products.
The Bottom Line
The factors that determine hair growth are mostly out of your direct control. Improving your diet with proper nutrition is the best step to preventing thinning and loss of your strands. Stay properly hydrated and eat a nutrient-rich diet. If you are experiencing a significant amount of hair loss, make an appointment with your doctor to ensure there is not an underlying condition you should be aware of.