Hair Thickening Tricks and Tips
If you’re trying to thicken your hair or grow it out long, there are many factors that can influence how quickly or slowly your hair grows. Some things you can control, but others you cannot. And it does take time and patience to transform your tresses into long, luscious locks. We all want thick, soft, silky hair, but the reality is your hair grows only about a half inch per month.
The speed of hair growth is determined by genetics, but age, diet, stress, hormonal fluctuations (such as an underactive thyroid), medications you take, scalp health and how your treat your hair are all factors that may have an influence as well.
Research has shown hair grows faster from ages 15-29, and slows down considerably after that, especially once a woman hits menopause. Hair growth also has three cycles: the anagen growth phase, which lasts 5-7 years; the catagen resting phase and then the telogen shedding phase. As we age, the anagen growth phase becomes shorter, which is why it is difficult for women over 50 to grow long hair like they did when they were younger.
Good Health Matters
The first step you can control is your health. Start by managing your stress. Anxiety causes the release of cortisol and other hormones that contribute to hair thinning. Next, check the medications you’re taking. Some birth-control pills can cause hair thinning, and changes in hormone levels can also yield hair loss.
Consider a boost with supplements. For example, Viviscal dietary supplements claim to nourish thinning hair, encourage hair growth, reduce breakage and increase hydration. A fish-oil pill to make your hair stronger. Zinc, Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) are the most important minerals and vitamins for thicker fuller hair.
Biotin helps the body convert amino acids in protein into sugar for energy, and it is critical for strengthening the structure of your hair and nails. Hair loss is a common symptom of anemia (and iron deficiency), so boosting Vitamin C helps promote hair growth. It’s also great for thicker fuller hair because it stimulates the production of collagen. Niacin helps repairs DNA, including those in hair follicles, which is essential for repairing damaged hair and promoting growth.
Finally, if you want longer hair, stock up on any (or all) of the following powerful foods:
Don’t forget that what you eat can help as well. Make your diet includes these power foods for your hair: salmon, eggs, avocado, sweet potatoes, berries, nuts, olive oil, fish, beans, whole grains and foods rich in protein and omega-3.
Protect Your Hair
Healthy, nourished hair has less hair shedding, hair breakage and hair loss. Start in the shower with a sulfate-free shampoo, and stimulate your scalp with a massage to increase circulation and blood flow to your follicles, which boosts growth. Don’t wash your hair every day, but do remember to use a great conditioner that keeps your hair hydrated.
Take care when drying wet hair. Don’t overbrush your hair, and carefully detangle wet hair to avoid breakage. Never use hot tools on wet hair, and protect your hair from heat damage. And don’t underestimate the value of regular haircuts, as frequent trims can encourage hair to growth and make your hair look thicker and healthier.