Don’t settle for less when it comes to your hair growth.
Your hair’s consistency can be analyzed, altered and amplified, because there’s a science behind hair growth. With a mindful approach you can empower your hair to be longer, stronger and alive.
The transformation of your hair to it’s healthiest and most voluminous state begins with an understanding of exactly how hair grows and, alternately, why hair stops growing.
And, with any “hair brained” science experiment, it’s important to ditch harmful chemicals. Establishing the best vitamins for thinning hair is the final and most essential step. Your hair is a precious part of you. Each strand was created by your own body, so what goes into it matters.
Thankfully, hair growth isn’t rocket science, it’s something anyone can attain and maintain. And, the experts are here to guide you through it step by step. So, grab your lab coat and let’s get started.
The Science Behind Hair Growth
How Does Hair Grow?
A single strand of hair is made up of two distinct parts. The follicle comes first and resides below the skin’s surface, and second is the shaft, which is the hair you actually see coming out of your head.
The follicle is like a tiny pocket with a tunnel leading up from the lower dermis to the scalp. Humans are born with all the follicles they will ever have in their lifetime, and the entire body is covered in about 5 million of them., with 100,000 hair follicles exist solely on the scalp.
The living part of the hair is at the follicle’s base and is called the bulb, which surrounds the Dermal Papilla. This is where the hair begins. As the bulb is nourished by the blood vessels contained in the papilla, more cells are created causing the hair to grow.
As it grows, the hair passes through oil glands and becomes more shiny, soft, and sometimes even greasy. Eventually, the shaft of the hair pushes up through the skin. The shaft consists of a hard protein called keratin. By the time it breaches the scalp, the protein is already dead, otherwise haircuts would be much more painful.
But, did you know that your hair goes through different growth phases? It’s called the Hair Cycle, consisting of 3 main stages from growth to shedding. And it’s all random, because each strand of your hair is at a different point in the Hair Cycle at any given moment.
The three main hair growth phases:
- Anagen (2-8 year active hair growth phase)
During this active phase, the cells in the follicle are rapidly dividing. When a new hair forms, it pushes out the old hair. This old hair (or club hair) has already gone through the anagen phase, thus it has ceased growing. Scalp hair remains in this active phase for as little as two years, or as long as eight years, growing about 1 cm every 28 days.
- Catagen (4-6 week transition phase where hair ceases growth)
About 3% of your hair, at any moment, is in this transitional stage. The catagen phase lasts around four to six weeks. This is when the anagen phase ends, growth stops, and the formation of a club hair begins.
- Telogen (2-3 month resting phase where the club hair falls out)
Accounting for 6-8% of your hair, the telogen phase usually lasts up to 90 days on the scalp. This is when the club hair is completely formed and the follicle is in a resting state. You normally shed approximately 25-100 telogen hairs in a single day.
So, how fast does hair grow? Each individual scalp follicle grows hair in the anagen phase for a few years, and then takes a break. Different hairs grow, while different follicles rest, all at varying times. This makes it difficult to truly know how fast your hair grows. And, it varies from person to person.
Hair cells replicate extremely fast. In fact, it’s the fastest thing growing on your body besides bone marrow. On average, scalp hair grows about .3 to .4 mm/day, or about 6 inches per year. However, it takes time and patience to grow it really long.
S0, Why Does Hair Stop Growing?
Sometimes it seems like, no matter how long you go between haircuts, there’s a certain point where your hair just stops growing. Though many people want to know how to grow hair faster, first you have to understand why it seems like your hair isn’t growing.
There are a few internal and external factors that can prevent hair growth, including:
There are a number of genetic reasons you may have difficulty growing your hair out. Genetics are what determine the amount of time your hair’s active anagen phase lasts. If you have a shorter phase, then you may have trouble growing your hair past a certain length.
Age is also a factor. Some follicles simply stop making new hair as you grow older. And, depending on genetics, it can happen more in some people than others. That’s why certain people go bald or have thinning hair in their later years.
- Clogged Scalp Pores
Your stunted hair growth may be caused by greasy hair products and oils. Your scalp needs to breathe. Using essential oils to penetrate your scalp, instead of heavy products, will keep your pores unclogged and those hair follicles open.
- Poor Diet
The things you eat can have a dramatic effect on the quality and growth of your hair. Vitamin deficiency can lead to serious hair loss. Always maintain a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet, (more on that in the next section) and be sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration also leads to hair loss.
What may seem like an inability to grow hair, may actually be breakage. Split ends, bleaching, over brushing, showering too much, or roughly handling your hair can lead to brittleness and dryness, and this in turn causes the ends of your hair to break. So, if your hair grows half an inch per month, and the ends break off at the same rate, it will appear as if there were no growth at all.
FD&C colorants and any other petroleum derived chemicals or preservatives, along with harmful synthetic ingredients, parabens, sulfates, GMOs, and artificial fragrances, can cause hair loss. They break down proteins and strip your hair of natural oils. Also, they cause irritation and allergic reactions, which leads to brittle, thinning hair.
Vitamins For Thinning Hair
Now that you understand why your hair seems like it isn’t growing, it’s time to take action and stack the odds in your favor. By getting the right vitamins to promote hair growth, you can win the battle against thinning edges and less-than-optimal hair growth patterns.
While many health and beauty companies offer vitamins and supplements to grow hair, they usually don’t increase actual hair length. However, the body requires a large amount of energy when growing hair, so getting the right nutrients can help boost your follicle power and get your locks growing right!
Important hair vitamins:
This is a popular and clinically proven vitamin option for hair thickness. Biotin helps break down proteins, strengthening the structure of your nails and hair. It improves your hair’s strength and elasticity, protecting it from harsh environmental elements. A lack of Biotin results in dry brittle, nails, as well as thinning, discolored hair.
Protein promotes hair growth and protects from environmental and chemical damage. Using a protein based treatment especially helps if you often use heat to style your hair. Rather than supplements, it’s best to get protein from your diet.
Antioxidants are extremely beneficial in stimulating the follicle and preventing hair loss. They help fight any nutritional deficiencies that may harm your hair. Plus, they protect your hair from sunlight and pollution, and any other type of oxidative stress.
- Vitamin C
This specific antioxidant helps with the absorption of Iron into the blood, making it one powerful hair thickening vitamin. Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for fuller thicker hair. Its ability produce collagen makes it an important building block of your hair’s structure.
Niacin assists in the metabolization of sugars and carbs into energy. It repairs DNA and helps maintain healthy cells, including the ones that make up your hair follicles. Niacin works to repair hair damage and promote healthy hair growth.
- Sesame Oil
Sesame Oil is highly nourishing, lubricating and healing. Though it makes a wonderful flavor-enhancing cooking oil, it has many hair growth benefits too. Sesame Oil helps maintain scalp health. Enriched with vitamin B complex and vitamin E, plus minerals like calcium, magnesium, protein and phosphorus, sesame oil strengthens your hair and deeply nourishes all the way down to the the follicle.
This magical rainforest herb rejuvenates, strengthens and replenishes hair. Its ability to stimulate the circulation of blood in the scalp increases the absorption of the restorative agents also found in the Jaborandi. This is where the true hair growth benefits lay, strengthening the hair from root to tip.