How long should it take for your hair to grow?

There’s a new style you just can’t wait to rock because you know it’s going to look amazing on you. There’s just one tiny problem: Despite trying a boatload of treatments, nothing seems to make your hair grow any faster. Exactly how long should it take for hair to grow, anyway?

The hair essentials

girl with light brown hair
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According to medical research literature, human hair grows at a fairly consistent rate of about .3 to .9 inches per month. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of evidence to suggest that there is much that can be done to make your hair grow much faster than this.

In general, men are likely to find that their hair grows at a slightly faster rate than females’ hair. Some other factors that can positively influence the rate of hair growth are genetic makeup, health profile, age, pregnancy status. and choice of extracurricular activities such as drinking, smoking, and illicit drug use.

You were likely born with more than 5 million hair follicles. Of these, about 100,000 reside on the top of your head. The shape of your follicles can impact whether your hair is straight or curly. Oval shape tends to be more curly and round shape tends to promote straighter hair growth.

A growing challenge

girl with short hair wearing a denim jacket
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Your hair follicles contain a special root, not unlike that of a tree, which is actually made of a mass of protein cells. Blood circulation through your body is an essential element of delivering the vital nutrients your hair follicles need to multiply, spread, and well, grow.

As your hair grows out of the top of your head, it is lubricated with a touch of oil to make everything move along that much easier. Oil may seem like a problem, but actually your body produces it to make your hair soft, shiny, and moisturized.

Sadly, by the time you can actually see your hair, it’s already dead. New hair grows by forcing the old dead hair out of the way into your favorite hairstyle. This isn’t morbid, it’s simply the truth, take it or leave it. Hair follicles will not be active forever.

The hair on your head will grow from each follicle for only a few years before becoming inactive. Other follicles are developing all the time in those who are not experiencing symptoms of baldness. It’s typical to lose between 30 and 120 hairs every single day from different parts of your body.

It’s all in the genes

man at barber getting a haircut
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Genetics are thought to play the biggest role in how fast your hair grows. Sex is another powerful factor with men’s hair simply growing faster than that of ladies. Because hair is meant to keep us warm and women tend to carry more insulating body fat, it’s been theorized that this is the reason for the disparity in growth between the sexes.

Between the ages of 15 and 30, your hair grows at the quickest possible rate. Some view this as one of the final stages of puberty, which signals the transition from adolescence to adulthood. As we age, hair follicles lose more and more steam, which can lead to balding in people disposed to it.

Nutrition is essential to many areas of health and your hair is no different. Eating well, exercising, and getting proper rest will help all your body systems to function at their highest levels. Putting stress on your body with junk food, smoking, drinking, or using drugs may not be the best for the health of your hair.

Rapid hair loss challenges

A condition known as Telogen Effluvium has been linked to conditions of rapid hair loss. This happens when as much as 70% of your hair falls out over a space of  about two to three months.

This challenging condition can be caused by:

  • Lack of protein in your diet
  • Childbirth
  • Intense fever
  • Severe Illness
  • Thyroid issues
  • Surgery
  • Unusual stress

There are also some medications that can cause this that are worth considering if you’ve noticed rapid hair loss recently:

  • Antidepressants
  • NSAIDs
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Beta blockers
  • Retinoids

Those experiencing this condition should seek medical treatment. With proper treatment the condition can be stopped and in some cases even reversed a bit.

What will really make my hair grow faster?

person holding green bottle of conditioner
Gabrielle Henderson/Unsplash

If you’ve made it this far and are still wondering the answer to this much-asked question, we don’t have a lot of great news for you. Despite a wealth of products on the market claiming to  speed the rate of your hair growth, the scientific evidence of this is very limited.

To be fair, though, hair breakage is one of the leading reasons that limits the ability for hair to grow at its maximum speed. So in theory, products that strengthen your hair follicles could lead to slightly faster hair growth by limiting how much breakage occurs.

Nonetheless, if you are trying to grow your hair out, we recommend just being patient. Stress is not great for your overall health or the health of your hair. Don’t worry — tomorrow will soon be here, and you will have the style you want in no time.

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