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How Long Does Hair Take to Grow?

Shape logo Shape 1/26/2022 Tameka Abraham

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Whoever coined the phrase "patience is a virtue," was right, at least when it comes to hair growth. Growing long, healthy hair is possible, but it takes time.

If you've scoured Google and YouTube for hair routines, natural remedies, or methods that promise faster growth, you're not alone. But before you overload your Amazon shopping cart with the hair growth oils and products, you might want to familiarize yourself with how long normal hair growth usually takes, and whether interventions can actually encourage quicker results. Here's what you need to know.

How long does it take for hair to grow back?

Though hair grows so slowly that it's barely perceptible, it typically grows at least half an inch each month, according to Gretchen Friese, BosleyMD Certified Trichologist. (Note, if you have curly hair, this pertains to the length when a curl is fully stretched out.) However, the exact length accrued monthly can vary for everyone.

Expect to shed about 50-100 strands of hair on your head a day, which is normal for everyone. Unlike your body hair "which only lasts about a month or so before shedding," the hair on our head remains there for two to six years before shedding, says Friese.

Each strand completes a life cycle before falling from your head. They go through an anagen, or active growth, a phase that lasts two to seven years, followed by a two-week catagen phase (i.e. a transitional phase), and a telogen phase (a "resting" phase) which lasts three months and culminates in hair fall, according to Harvard. Without disruption to the lifecycle of growing and shedding, you can expect your hair to accumulate length over time. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can disrupt that lifecycle — chronic stress, autoimmune disorders, and vitamin deficiencies can all play a role. (Related: These Hair Growth Treatments Are All Over TikTok — Are They Worth Trying?)

Are there ways to promote hair growth?


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To dispel a myth right off the bat, no hair product, supplement, or other intervention will make your hair grow faster than that 1/2-inch per month. "There hasn't been anything proven to make hair grow faster," says Friese.

While you may have heard that getting regular trims promotes hair growth, that's not entirely accurate. Cutting the ends of your hair regularly can prevent breakage, but won't have any effect on the rate that your hair is growing out of your scalp, notes Friese. That said, regular trims can lead to longer hair over time. "Hair will only get longer if it is not breaking from the ends," says Friese. This is especially important to note if you frequently pull your hair back, use heat styling, or color your hair, which can all contribute breakage.

To promote healthy, normal hair growth, maintaining a proper haircare routine is key. "Keeping the follicles clean and free from oils, products, dead skin build-up, toxins," is important for all hair types, says Friese. "Stimulating the hair follicles is the same across the board when it comes to hair type/texture. Creating a healthy environment for hair to grow is the best way to stimulate hair growth." (Related: Can Using Peppermint Oil for Hair Growth Actually Work?)

As such, wash your hair frequently, at least three times per week, to keep your scalp clean and healthy, recommends Friese. "If you do not wash every day, you should shampoo two times [during each shower] to make sure you are cleansing enough," says Friese. She also recommends adding an exfoliating product such as a scalp scrub to your routine to aid in removing dead skin cells that can clog follicles, potentially affecting growth.

While perfecting your wash routine is key, the overall health of your hair isn't just determined by external factors. In reality, "healthy hair growth really starts from the inside," according to Friese. What you eat plays a part. "A healthy diet and making sure you are not vitamin deficient and keeping a low-stress lifestyle will all help stimulate hair growth," says Friese.

Prioritizing certain nutrients and vitamins may improve the health and strength of your hair. "Eggs are full of protein and biotin, both very important for growing hair," says Friese. "Berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamin C which may promote hair growth because it has such strong antioxidant properties. Spinach is loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which may promote hair growth. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are full of omega-3's, which has also been linked to hair growth." (Related: The Best Foods for Hair Growth, According to Dietitians)

You can also stock up on supplements to fill gaps in your diet. Friese recommends biotin in particular. Research has linked biotin deficiency to hair loss, though deficiency in the vitamin is rare. As always, check with your doctor before starting any supplement.

You can try adding hair growth oils into your routine as well. Friese recommends applying a diluted rosemary oil or castor oil every other day in order to give your scalp TLC. Rosemary oil may help encourage circulation on the scalp and in turn, promote healthy hair growth, notes Friese. Castor oil has anti-inflammatory benefits and inflammation can mess with hair growth.

Hair growth happens at a slow and — when normal — steady pace. With the right diet, hair care routine and a lot of patience, your strands can reach great lengths.

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