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There’s no scientifically proven way to make your hair grow faster. Sorry. But, there is a lot of research on what causes hair loss. And the less hair you lose, the more hair you have growing to your length of choice, right? While some of the causes of hair loss can’t be helped, there are several things you can do to let your hair grow up (well, down) to its potential.
- Be nice to your hair. Your hair falls out naturally on its own, but you might be pulling it out a little faster with the things you do. The gentler you are with your hair, the less of it you’ll yank out.
- Don’t pull your hair into tight ponytails or cornrows. Use butterfly clips and loose braids instead.
- Brush it carefully. If you have wavy or curly hair, you should use a wide tooth comb while your hair is still wet, since brushes can disrupt curl pattern and cause frizz.
- Brush your hair before you shower. throughout the night your hair can knot up. Brushing your hair before you shower reduces tangling in the shower. Also, when using conditioner, try sifting your fingers through your hair. This reduces extensive combing after your shower and also distributes the conditioner evenly.
Try to avoid tangles by not piling your hair on the top of your head when you lather it in the shower–when you roll it all up into a ball like that, there’s more of a chance of tangling. Right before brushing, use your fingers to gently comb through your hair. And when you brush, start at the ends, and hold the strand that you’re brushing with your other hand so that if you pull on the hair with a brush, you don’t pull on the root (you pull from the grip of your hand instead).
- Minimize how much you style your hair. Any kind of styling that involves pulling your hair at the root (blow drying straight, straight iron, curling iron, rollers) will contribute to hair loss.
- Avoid or minimize chemical treatments like dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners, and permanent waves. These weaken your hair and increase the likelihood of breakage and loss.
- Take a daily multivitamin. Your body needs several building blocks in order to produce a healthy head of hair, and you can easily meet your body’s requirement by taking a multivitamin consistently. Keep in mind, however, that it can take several months to notice the results, so don’t get discouraged.
- Research suggests that iron deficiency makes hair loss worse. Women with heavy periods are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. However, unless you have an iron deficiency diagnosed by a doctor, you shouldn’t take iron supplements. They can upset your stomach and cause severe constipation, and iron overload can be dangerous. Taking a multivitamin and eating iron-rich foods (tofu, lentils, beans, oysters, spinach, prunes, raisins, lean beef) is more than enough. 
- If you’re a vegetarian, eat foods rich in Vitamin C whenever you eat iron-rich veggies. Vitamin C will help your body absorb the kind of iron that is found in vegetables.
- Avoid dramatic weight loss. As you shed pounds, you shed hair. The dramatic changes that your body undergoes when it loses weight quickly (the change in nutrients, the stress involved) can cause your hair to thin. Diets low in protein and iron (e.g. very low-fat) and also those high in protein but low in fruits and vegetables (e.g. Atkins) that result in dramatic weight loss can also trigger significant hair loss. Instead, keep a balanced diet, and focus on gradual calorie reduction (one or two pounds a week).
- Each hair on your head grows for 2-5 years, slows down for about six weeks, and rests for 3-5 months before falling out so a new hair can grow in its place. Normally, 15% of your hair is at the resting phase, but a sudden change in nutrition can cause some hair follicles in the growing phase to switch into the resting phase prematurely, possibly raising the percentage to more than 30%.
- Relax. Stress is a common cause of reversible hair loss. When you experience physical or emotional turmoil, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months for the results to show up in your hair. See How to Relieve Stress.
- Your hair growth tends to decrease during colder months.
- Some medications might affect hair growth. Check with your doctor.
- Note that changes in hair growth caused by hormonal shifts (pregnancy, postpartum, nursing) can’t be helped.
- If you are an avid swimmer, consider wear a swimming cap to protect your hair from chlorine damage.
- Those with curly/frizzy hair will have to be patient. The texture of your hair means that length will take a while to show, it doesn’t mean your hair grows slower.
- Still not fast enough for you? Consider hair extensions, but exercise caution. There are many drawbacks to the use of hair extensions. You must make sure that whoever is applying your extensions is a professional. If applied poorly, your extensions will both look fake and severely damage your hair. Take your time selecting your extensions as well. There are a variety of materials and extensions available on the market, many of which can and will look horribly fake. The other drawback is that extensions must be periodically replaced every six to eight weeks. If you are willing to invest the time and money, then they may be the right choice for you.
- Try a final rinse with cider vinegar – you’ll be amazed with how easy it is to comb after that.
Sources and Citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/hair-care-products-and-hairstyles-that-may-damage-your-hair” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/hair-care-products-and-hairstyles-that-may-damage-your-hair
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05256/570686-114.stm” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05256/570686-114.stm
- ↑ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196057,00.htmlhttp://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196057,00.html” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196057,00.htmlhttp://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,196057,00.html
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16796808/” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16796808/
- ↑ http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/tc/hair-loss-cause” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/tc/hair-loss-cause
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