Believe it or not, but there are several natural methods you can incorporate into your hair care routine to promote faster and healthier hair growth, without any of the side effects that some mainstream solutions come with.
Whether you’re on a journey to compete with Rapunzel and grow the longest locks possible, or you’re just trying to fill in thinning and sparse areas, these tips can help you.
- Oiling Your Scalp
First and foremost, everything starts from the scalp, so ensuring that it receives all the best nutrients should be one of our top priorities for a healthier head of hair.
Regularly oiling your scalp is an age-old practice known to nourish hair follicles and promote hair growth, yet it’s something we seem to have pushed to the wayside over the years, or only put into practice when issues like excessive shedding and hair loss arise.
There are a bunch of carrier oils that can penetrate our hair shaft and have their own individual benefits:
Coconut oil is widely used as it’s great for reducing dryness and dandruff due it’s antimicrobial properties.
Jojoba oil is like the sebum that our sebaceous glands produce and helps to promote growth and adds shine to hair.
Castor oil has a thicker consistency and is a strong contender as a growth stimulating oil as its high in ricinoleic acid which improves blood circulation in the scalp.
Though finding the right oils for your scalp will depend on what you want to achieve, I’ve found it useful to lean more towards oils that promote hair growth. Interestingly, one of the biggest contributors to hair loss in both men and women is the hormone Dihydrotestosterone – which naturally increases as we age. There are, however, powerful and natural ingredients like coffee, that have proven to assist in blocking this enemy of hair growth. If you’re looking for a good hair growth oil, click here.
- Moisturising Your Hair
Has your hair ever looked really dull and lacked shine? Maybe it doesn’t look dry but it’s coarse to the touch? Well, this is generally a sign of dry hair that is crying out for moisture.
But how does moisturising hair help us maximise growth?
- Preventing Damage: Moisturised hair is less susceptible to damage from external factors such as heat styling tools, sun exposure, chemical treatments, and pollution (source). It forms a protective barrier around the hair shaft, reducing the likelihood of damage.
- Hydration: Just like your skin, hair needs moisture to stay healthy and hydrated. When hair isn’t hydrated, it’s not getting what it needs to grow. Think of your hair like a plant, without water it becomes dry, dull and brittle, which in turn will lead to breakage, killing your growth.
- Improved Elasticity: Moisture helps improve the elasticity of hair, allowing it to stretch and flex without breaking easily. If part of your styling routine is to comb or brush your hair, you need your hair to be as elastic as possible so that you’re not manipulating it in a fragile state. This is especially crucial for curly/coily hair as these types tend to be more fragile and prone to breakage.
Natural ingredients like shea butter or aloe vera gel can help keep your hair moisturised for longer as they help to seal in moisture meaning hair stays hydrated and looking full of lustre for longer.
- Reducing Breakage
Breakage in my humble opinion is the biggest hinderance in hair growth, according to MedicalNewsToday. If your hair is breaking at the same rate it grows, you’ll never see progress.
We’ve gone over how dry hair can contribute to breakage, but here are some simple steps to go even further in reducing breakage.
Trimming Split Ends
Sadly, split ends are inevitable. The ends of our hair are the oldest and most fragile part of our hair shaft.
If left unchecked, split ends will continue to split further up the hair and result in a sparse looking set of locks that look damaged and uncared for.
The best way to combat this is to have regular trims. I know it seems counter-productive, cutting away your precious growth but in the end, it will lead to healthier hair that isn’t knotting and splitting at the ends causing more breakage.
One of the best ways to reduce breakage is wearing your hair in a protective style. This is your chance to experiment with protective hairstyles like braids, buns, or twists that keep the ends of your hair tucked away, reducing exposure to environmental damage.
Practical: Create a Routine
Developing a routine for your hair is a sure way to start seeing the progress you desire. Your routine will vary depending on your goals and your hairs needs but you should aim to start incorporating a schedule for how often you oil your scalp, how often you moisturise your hair and when you do a trim.
Remember to be patient as hair growth takes time, but consistency is key in achieving the desired results.