How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster

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Sometimes you just want Crystal Gayle hair, dammit—and your patience is wearing thin. Well, there's a well-known solution for all your overnight hair-growth needs and it's called "extensions." So if you're wanting to live out the ultimate Rapunzel fantasy right now, they're your best bet. (Or you could just carefully toss your keys down, buzz the dude up, or tell your roommate that the Seamless guy is downstairs and promise to share...) But not everyone has the time/money/desire to glue extra hair to their heads, so for you all there is this article, ripe with things that will help your real, very own DNA-loaded hair grow and look longer with a little more dedication than you're feeling right now toward your new Debbie Harry bangs.

On the Inside
Are you living off of Ruffles and Vitamin E-enriched lip gloss? First of all, stop doing that. And secondly, if you know your diet isn't great or probably lacking key nutrients, supplements might be useful. In order for your hair to grow well—and for you to live—you need a whole bunch of different things: iron, zinc, vitamin D, and the entire vitamin B complex, just to name a few. So a high-quality multivitamin could theoretically speed up your hair growth. A lot of vitamins, however, are of little to no health value, so finding one with ingredients that haven't degraded and are actually digestible is key. Aloha and New Chapter Organics are both ITG staff favorites for bioavailability and freshness, but you should always do your own research, especially if you have food allergies or sensitivities.

If you're getting all your dietary prerequisites but feel as though you could still use a boost in the hair nutriceuticals department, Viviscal is legendary in the modeling world (Caroline Trentini, Karlie Kloss, Jessica Stam...). It's kind of like the La Mer of hair-growth treatments, in that celebrities swear by it and it's made of a mysterious blend of marine proteins and enzymes. The formula may be hush-hush, but it's definitely not vegetarian, so if shellfish aren't part of your diet, look elsewhere. Otherwise, you should start to see results in two to four months.

If you're ready to get experimental, you could also try munching on Tapatío-doused edamame, because thanks to *science* we now know the capsaicin in spicy food and the isoflavones in soy can contribute to more rapid keratin—i.e., hair—production. A study published in the Journal of Growth Hormone & IGF Research "strongly suggested that combined administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might increase IGF-I production in hair follicles in the skin, thereby promoting hair growth." Now you know.

On the Outside
The quickest way to make your hair look longer is to keep it from breaking in the first place—so laying off heat styling and using a good hydrating, strengthening hair mask is never a bad move. Getting your hair trimmed won't make it grow faster (that's an old wives' tale), but the lack of split ends does make it look healthier, which is valuable in its own way. Healthier, heavier hair looks more full in general, so don't just think length when you're considering growth. In fact, Designer Vika Gazinskaya's secret to great hair isn't about lengthening at all—it's about thickening. "I use Nioxin Noticeably Thinning Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner," she says. "Their products make my hair look noticeably more... voluminous, and they take care of my scalp at the same time."

Which brings us to another key component in hair growth—your scalp. It's where your follicles are, so if it's not healthy, hydrated, and well-kept, you're out of luck. Scalp massages are the traditional remedy to increasing circulation and moisturizing the delicate skin on your head, but there are also scalp treatments specifically designed to keep it in good shape. The bare minimum in scalp stimulation is that tingly mint shampoo, which activates nerve endings and has the added benefit of feeling really good.

Photos by Mathea Millman.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • mermaidsdream

    I've heard that not washing your hair makes it grow slower because of... I can't think of any reasons actually, just that I've "heard" this. Can anyone confirm/deny?

    • brittany

      if you don't wash frequently enough [or at all] oil/dead skin/products will clog the hair follicles so hair can't grow. worst case this results in hair loss. but if you wash too frequently you risk stripping the scalp and hair of necessary oils it needs to stay moisturized and balanced.

    • Guest

      Personally, I used to wash my hair everyday and my hair never grew. When my friends advised me to reduce my shampoo routine to twice a week, my hair grew dramatically faster! Apparently the natural oils your hair produces makes a happy scalp.

    • Erin

      do not wash your hair everyday! please! if you feel like your scalp is clogged, which it might be, get a boar bristle brush, like a Mason Pearson and brush your scalp with it to bring the natural oils through your hair, which is a good thing, and remove and buildup on your scalp/ hair follicle

  • Brittany

    Great post -- my personal hair growth secret is a 1- 2x weekly Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. It clears off any product buildup and dead skin and rebalances the scalp's pH. Beneficial for everyone but really good for people who have a hard time growing hair because scalp is too oily or too dry or dandruff-y.

    Side note - I did try the Ouidad scrub listed above. It. Was. Awful. It made me breakout all over my scalp and turned my hair into a total rats nest. Really, really don't recommend it.

    • Laura

      Could you please provide more detail the steps of your vinegar rise? I would love to try it.

      • Brittany

        Sure! Mix 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1/2 c filtered water. My hair is shoulder length, so if your hair is longer or thicker you can double the recipe. I use Bragg's ACV and mix in this bottle from the Container Store - http://www.containerstore.com/shop/travel/bottlesMedication?productId=10001431&N=253

        After you shampoo, pour the ACV/water mix all over your hair, focusing on the scalp and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Rinse really well with cool water. Follow up with conditioner.

        • Sarita

          I'm going to give this a try next Sunday (my wash day)! Thanks!

    • Tanya

      I actually love the Ouidad scrub. It's helped get rid of a lot of flakey dandruff on my head! Seems like you were maybe allergic to something in it!

  • Janainab85

    I am from Brazil and we brazilians are obsessed with our hair! We take natural carrot, beetroot and acai juices regularly and always a multi vitamin to keep those dreaded wrinkles at bay. What we do take for our hair (and all of the brazilian beauty bloggers talk about) is Pantogar. This hair growth vitamin is AMAZING! My hair has grown so much and I am super happy with it. I wont stop taking these and of course the juices :)

    • Erin

      do you make your juices at home? my hair is thick and healthy, normally, but Im a stylist and went for emilys weiss' new do, so now i have a little less of it :). i feel like it grows pretty fast but its above my shoulders now and I want to have some locks to work with in time for my august wedding. any tips are appreciated, especially from someone whos culture promotes beauty :)

      • Janainab85

        Hi Erin congratulations on your wedding! Yes I make my juices everyday
        at home. I like to mix the carrot, beetroot and orange juice with
        cucumber or celery because of the high silica which is great for hair
        and nail growth and your skin will look fantastic too. Also I do a deep
        hair masks at home once a week, I rarely go to the hair dressers only if
        I have to get it trimmed and I wait at least 4 months each time to have
        it trimmed, If its well hydrated and looked after you wont have to cut
        it that often. But everyone´s hair is different. Hair oils work too, I
        have a friend that gets indian head massages monthly and her hair has
        grown a great lot, it stimulates hair growth :) Hope this helps :)

      • Janainab85

        Hi Erin, congratulations on your wedding :) Yes I make my juices daily at home. I mix orange juice or cocunut water with carrots, beetroot and cucumber or celery because of their high silica intake. It is delicious and will make your skin glow too :) (the juices has helped my acne calm down). Other than that I do weekly hair masks and only trim my hair in the full moon. Brazilians only cut their hair when it is full moon as it is believed it will make your hair grow thicker and faster.

        I have a friend that does monthly indian head massages and her hair is glossy and so long, the massages stimulates hair growth, I think I might start doing them too :)

        I hope this helps :)

  • huckleberry party

    or have your acupucncturist give you herbs for beautiful hair. Volume is as important as lenghth

  • Georgia Therese Philomena Corc

    Would taking Viviscal also thicken body hair? Legs, bikini etc??

    • Ona_in_Barcelona

      I took Viviscal for about a year, and had no change to my (pretty substantial) body hair.

      • Georgia Therese Philomena Corc

        Okay. Cool. Because that would be a serious side effect. I'm going to look into this a bit more.

  • ah

    biotin is what really makes your hair grow. fast. Maxi Hair by country life. find it on amazon. my hair is below my waist.

  • Jane F

    Oh HAY ITG intern hair! xo Jane

  • Erin

    As a licensed hairstylist I was so happy to See that this was a well informed article about hair growth. Great information.

    XOXO,
    Erin
    http://www.thevaughnlife.us

  • Chantel

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing these tips.

  • B

    Swear by Nioxin EVERYTHNING!!! Best scalp care system ever!

  • kt mo

    why would you put tapatio on edamame? that's what sriracha is for! is this some kind of joke?

  • Riri

    Honestly, my regimen has always been vitamins - including fish oil - and lot's of fish, protein and veggies, especially green. I used to have a boy cut! I strongly believe you have to nourish within - it does wonders. To keep it healthy, I use heated coconut or macadamia oil, slap it on, wait a while then rinse. It works.

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    Thank you for the tips. AHhhhh, Crystal Gayle is my hair icon.

  • Erin

    so, looking into viviscal... apparently the formula changed, and not for the better. the extra strength apparently does not work, and have lots of iron and biotin... not that great in large doses and biotin can cause cystic acne (great now I find out). Im trying to grow my hair for my wedding in august, was really excited about viviscal, but after reading reviews not so much. however, i did find one article that says the new formula is extra strength, and pretty much double everything from the last formula, so she recommended taking 1 pill instead of 2, cutting the dose back down to the original. some people posted that the new formula just sucks and doesn't work, others noticed negative health effects, not sure what their ages were. anyone taken this or have any thoughts?

    • eastvillagesiren

      Erin, check out Biosil. I am using that now, and alternate taking it at the start of every season to strengthen my nails and hair, and also to speed up hair growth on my head. Here's a website link http://www.biosilusa.com/. I haven't seen any negative research, and It seems to work for me.

    • Cat

      I took the extra-strength as directed for about 8 months and saw literally no change whatsoever. I definitely don't recommend it.

  • shion

    Excessive amounts of micronutrients can also be toxic and may cause health problems, so beware of vitamin supplements.

    • eastvillagesiren

      Excellent comment! Best to start with a well-rounded diet, and supplement with whole foods, preferably under the supervision of your health care practitioner.

  • http://the-travel-guru.com/ Roni Faida

    Crystal Gayle! I haven't heard that name in years...

  • Cait

    I switched to Phylia de M's shampoo, conditioner and "connect" treatment spray in September and my hair has been really happy ever since. Apparently it helps with keratin production and scalp health-- you can read about it on their website. I don't know if my hair really is growing faster, but I am guessing so because my nails definitely have been longer and stronger (a great side effect of this line). It is expensive, but I am willing to keep shelling out for it because I have had a notable reduction in bad hair days. My fine hair now has volume even if I don't style and blow dry it, which was previously unheard of! It also smells amazing.

    To put my devotion into perspective: I feel the urge to evangelize about Phylia the same way I (and Emily, Nick and Leandra Medine, apparently) need to tell everyone about Somme Institute skincare. It is that good.

    • Prenouveau

      I'll have to try that product line. Do you buy it in NYC by chance?

  • Sharon Macklin

    Has anyone ever seen anyone with Crystal Gayle-type hair? It's very creepy, in my opinion. First thing I think of when I see a woman with very, very long hair is that she obviously has issues...and don't get excited, I'm talking very long. In my opinion, if you can sit on your hair, your hair is way, way too long!

    • bluesky557

      Yep. When people's hair gets that long it's like a security blanket or something. I find it pretty creepy.

    • pamb

      My MIL had Crystal Gayle hair (down to her rear end) because my FIL liked it that way. She was always wearing it up, so I never understood the point. Why go to all that trouble when you don't even wear it down.

  • Prenouveau

    I'm so happy you referenced Crystal Gale. I thought I was an oldie for being familiar with her. Thank for these tips! I've been growing out a pixie cut for over a year and it is a long, frustrating process. Looked into clip-in human hair extensions but it seemed like every time the wind blew they would show. Not to mention when I go to workout I'd have to be like, 'scuse me while I remove my hair...

  • Zara

    Iam allergic to gnc hair vitamins and all other sorts of hair vitamin
    tough luck
    any other alternative you can help me with please?
    thank you

  • muji

    that awesome :) do you do other things (healthy diet, no heat) to keep your hair healthy and growing too? just curious because i would LOVE those results.

  • Muji

    I'm looking into less damaging styling techniques instead of blowout/flat ironing my hair. Could ITG do an article or how-to on steam curlers/roller set? The Caruso one seems popular

  • Claire

    I normally don't comment on these types of things, but I have a genetic hair-thinning/hair-loss disorder called androgenic alopecia, which causes my hair to shed more often than normal and the follicles to grow back thinner each time, so I've been working with a dermatological hair specialist for awhile now and have learned quite a lot. She's done a lot of research into viviscal and even though there's anecdotal evidence that it works, it's never been proved in a scientific study. The only thing scientifically proven to help with hair growth is rogaine, and even though it has some unpleasant old-man connotations, it actually works to make hair thicker and stronger. I use the men's foam even though I'm a woman because it's easier to apply and is a stronger concentration than those marketed for women, which means I only apply it once at night instead of twice a day. This does mean I have to wash my hair every morning, but it beats having thin scraggly hair. Supplemented with a thickening shampoo & conditioner (I love Frederic Fekkai and Kerastase) the results are kind of amazing.

    • pamb

      I also use the men's Rogaine once a day, but use it in the morning, and sometimes my hair doesn't look great. I think I'll try it at night if I will be shampooing in the morning!

      • Claire

        Yea when I don't apply it carefully enough it makes my hair kind of stiff, but with the men's it only has to be on roughly 12 hours, so overnight does the trick!

  • cait

    It is nice to know that the results get even better over time!

    FYI, they don't have them on the site, but if you email their customer service you can get large sized pump bottles of the shampoo and conditioner and it ends up being more cost effective.

  • Viviscal

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    We're not aware of any scientific literature supporting a link between cystic acne and Biotin. Cystic acne is generally a genetic condition; usually the patient would be on prescription medication to control this very painful condition.

    Biotin is an essential vitamin which is required in the diet to support many bodily functions including normal energy metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system as well as normal hair, skin and nails. However, your body will only absorb what it needs and then excrete the rest. One tablet of Viviscal Extra Strength delivers 40% of Biotin’s daily value and there is no upper guidance limit for Biotin recommended in the U.S.

    As Viviscal contains AminoMar®, a marine complex, some users may notice an increase in pimples or spots in the initial few weeks. This is due to this increased nutrient intake which the body may initially react to by secreting any excess sebum, resulting in the formation of harmless pimples. In most instances, these clear up when the body adjusts to the nutrients.

    If you wish to discuss your experience with our product, please contact us at info@viviscal.com.

    Thank you,
    Viviscal Hair Care Team

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Aveda
Aveda 'Rosemary Mint' Shampoo (1.7 oz.) 1.7 oz
Nioxin
Nioxin Noticeably Thinning Shampoo
Nioxin
Nioxin Scalp Therapy Conditioner for Fine Hair
Ouidad
Ouidad Mediterranean Bay Leaf Exfoliating Hair & Scalp Treatment 6 oz
Aloha
Aloha Nutritional Supplements
New Chapter
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multi Vitamin, Tablets, 96 ea
Viviscal
Viviscal Hair Repair
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