Taking care of your hair means making sure that it is growing properly and healthy. Whether you are struggling with baldness or thinning, or you just want to keep your hair growing strong, there are a lot of things to consider. Between the available products on the market to assist with hair growth and the environmental factors that might be affecting how your hair grows, you have to understand this process to make the best decision about how to improve your hair’s overall health.
Hair growth is often only discussed in tandem with hair loss, but you do not need to have the latter to be interested in the former. Prevention, after all, is usually the best tool when it comes to your hair health. For those struggling with healthy, “normal” hair growth, there are many potential causes, but there are just as many possible solutions and remedies available.
Hair Growth Products
The market is rich with products claiming to help restore hair growth, promote new growth, or help prevent further hair loss. How well these products work depends entirely on the individual product. You can’t assume anything on a general level because some solutions really are effective. Others might seem like fly-by-night solutions that offer an unlikely “miracle” cure for hair loss. Those are the ones that you need to avoid.
Choosing the right hair growth products depends on your specific needs or intentions. There are plenty of different products, including oils, shampoos and conditioners, vitamins, and more. A walk down the hair care aisle at your local store will offer dozens of options for hair growth support and products that promote healthy growth or assist in preventing premature hair loss.
Hair Growth Oil
Hair growth oils are popular for those who want a solution that is easy to apply and doesn’t require a long process of any kind. Oils can usually be applied during or after a shower. Some are applied at night and then covered with a wrap (like plastic wrap or a shower cap) to allow the oil to soak in and provide the most assistance to the hair and its follicles.
Oils may include ingredients like coconut oil, almond extract, biotin extracts, conditioners, and vitamins. Similar ingredients are designed to moisturize, strengthen, and thicken hair. There are a number of products available, including organic and non-organic oils, that can help stimulate hair growth or block hormones that are causing hair loss.
Hair Growth Vitamins
There are a variety of different vitamins that can be taken to assist with hair growth. Vitamins B and D are known to promote healthy hair, as are substances like zinc, lycopene, and biotin (which will be discussed below). Substances like zinc and lycopene block DHT are known for causing baldness.
Iron and many B-complex vitamins are essential as healthy hair growth vitamins. Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to the body, promoting hair health through proper circulation. In addition to blocking hormones, zinc also helps with nutrient absorption and building healthy cells in the body. Vitamin D promotes positive follicle cycling, while B vitamins add strength and promote thickness.
You can look for hair products with these ingredients for the best results. You can also consider dietary changes (which we’ll discuss below) to increase your natural intake of these nutrients. If you prefer, there are over-the-counter supplements for almost all of these vitamins, which you can add to your diet to improve your overall hair health.
Hair Growth Shampoo
Like any product, hair growth shampoo may or may not work for everyone. There are a number of products designed for hair loss and hair growth, which operate by using a variety of ingredients, including vitamins, to help stimulate new growth and improve hair health overall.
Provided that your issues with hair growth are not related to another vitamin deficiency or medical condition, shampoos may offer assistance in improving the overall health of your hair. What these shampoos won’t do is magically restore a full head of hair to someone who is balding.
Hair growth shampoos may not be effective for everyone. However, they are typically divided into one of four categories to address the cause of the hair growth issues: DHT blockers, caffeine-based products, anti-inflammatories, and those that increase blood flow to the scalp. Thus, they should offer some assistance, but information on detailed research and long-term success rates are limited.
Home Remedies for Hair Growth
Like all areas of hair care, hair growth is often treated at home by people who want a more effective or affordable solution. There are a number of home remedies for hair growth that people have tried over the years. Some have been more successful than others. The important focus is on adding nutrients to the treatment that are known to assist with strength, growth, and overall hair health.
Keep in mind that because these are home remedies, they have not been studied or tested for effectiveness. They may provide some assistance with hair growth, or they may produce no results. People do prefer home remedies, in some cases, because they are affordable and accessible. With so many different methods out there and no real guaranteed way to increase hair growth, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try these remedies to improve the health of your hair.
Biotin for Hair Growth
Biotin is a member of the B vitamin family. It is often suggested as a treatment for hair health because biotin deficiency can cause thinning hair. Thus, adding more biotin into your diet or using products with this ingredient may help stimulate hair growth and improve thickness.
Studies on biotin for hair growth are limited, but many authoritative health and beauty sources regularly suggest biotin supplements for those struggling with brittle or thin hair and nails. There are supplements in tablet or pill form, oils and hair masks, and shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin for added strength and thickness.
Although the entire family of B-complex vitamins can assist with healthy hair growth, biotin is, by far, the most effective substance identified to this point.
Food for Hair Growth
Your diet can actually have a bigger impact on your hair growth than you might realize. While most people aren’t going to see drastic changes by making a few dietary adjustments, there are definitely some red flags to look for. By increasing your intake of hair-supporting nutrients and vitamins, you can naturally promote healthier hair.
Red meat, eggs, poultry, and vegetables are ideal for increasing your iron intake, which you need for proper circulation to promote nutritious food for hair growth. You can find plenty of vitamin D in milk and dairy products, mushrooms, fish, and grains. B-complex vitamins are plentiful in whole grains, eggs, avocados, and other fruits and vegetables. Zinc is a nutrient that is found in many vegetables and meats.
If you have thin hair or suffer from breakage, you may also want to consider increasing your oil intake. Either by consuming more oily foods or taking a supplement like fish oil, which promotes healthy skin and hair by increasing the healthy fatty acids in the body, you have a lot of ways to get the nutrients that you need to promote healthy hair growth right from your own diet.
Laser Hair Growth
Low-level laser therapy has been used to assist in hair growth for a number of years. The process uses photons to stimulate scalp tissue and encourage growth. It is generally accepted that laser hair growth is a safe, less-invasive alternative to hair transplant procedures and more effective than other remedies.
The results of laser hair growth vary from one person to the next, which makes it hard to find consistent information about whether or not it is actually an effective treatment option. Keep in mind that some people may experience better or worse results based on their specific situation and why they are struggling with hair loss in the first place.
The positive side of laser treatment, despite its expense, is that it is non-invasive and practically painless. There are no side effects or adverse reactions to worry about, and the process is designed to increase hair strength while stimulating new growth. It is usually only chosen by those who have not seen effective results with other remedies for hair growth.
Laser therapy is a more time-consuming process and it can be cost-prohibitive for some because insurance usually doesn’t cover the cost of these procedures. Hair treatments are generally considered cosmetic, so for that reason, you will be on your own to pay for laser therapy if you consider it for your hair growth needs.
Studies have shown that laser hair growth treatment increases hair growth by as much as 40% over a period of 3-4 months, in males aged 18-48. Other studies have also shown this to be a safe and effective option for hair growth in men and women alike. Although it has its downsides, for those who have no other options, this may be the solution that you need.