Whether it’s a nightmarish haircut, unwelcome split ends, thinning hair or male pattern baldness, no one is exempt from experiencing hair problems at some point in their life. But despite whether or not you’re currently suffering from a hair catastrophe, there are several natural ingredients you can use to help your hair to grow in faster and healthier.
Now, in order to achieve those long, luscious, mermaid-esque locks naturally, it’s important to understand that Mother Nature’s magic hair wand mostly exists in various essential nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. So while getting your hair to grow faster isn’t an overnight process (unless you buy a wig, or you’re some super human version of Rapunzel), you can still expect these natural remedies to help your hair grow in stronger, quicker and thicker.
And although there are many nutrients that are recommended for healthy hair, it’s always important to consult with a natural healthcare practitioner before trying to get your hair to grow through nutritional supplements. Instead, the best way to get your hair to grow faster is by piling healthy food on your plate, and adding natural ingredients to your hair care routine.
If you’re an “egg white only” kind of person, you may want to reconsider keeping your yolks for their hair benefits.
When egg whites and egg yolks are eaten together, they contain several essential amino acids that help your hair grow in quicker. When you remove the yolks, you’ll still get amino acids from the egg whites, but not as many. And since your hair is made up of protein, it only makes sense that increasing the amino acids in your diet (from protein-rich foods such as eggs) will promote faster hair growth.
You can also whisk an egg in a bowl and use it as a natural hair mask to help repair and strengthen damaged hair.
Castor oil is mostly known for being a sticky substance people use to help relieve digestive issues, which makes it sound like a far from sexy ingredient to add to your hair. But there are many more uses for castor oil than just tummy troubles- and hair growth is one of them.
Castor oil is rich in omega 6 essential fatty acids which are said to help stimulate blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, which can increase the speed of hair growth. Omega 6 essential fatty acids are also an important nutrient for restoring shine and strength to your hair.
Don’t fear the fat. Avocado contains the exact same healthy fats found in castor oil that can help strengthen and restore shine to hair. Avocado also contains vitamin E, which is one of the primary vitamins that promote hair growth. While avocados make an ideal salad or smoothie ingredient, they can also be applied to your hair topically to moisturize and condition.
To make an avocado hair mask, all you have to do is remove the seed from the avocado and mash it into a bowl until it forms a thick paste. Simply apply it to your hair before a shower and allow it to sit for 10 minutes, or as long as desired. Depending on the length or thickness of your hair, you may need more than one avocado.
In addition to vitamin E, all of the B vitamins are needed to help promote hair growth. While most foods contain at least one B vitamin, shellfish, liver and poultry are some of the richest sources of several of the B vitamins, especially B12. B12 is said to be the most important nutrient for healthy hair because it aids in metabolism, which allows more nutrients to reach your scalp. You can also get B vitamins from leafy greens, nuts, seeds and eggs, although B12 isn’t as abundant in plant-based foods.
Silica is a mineral that’s often been referred to as “the best kept secret for healthy hair”. Silica helps with the formation of bones and development, which is why we’re born with high levels of silica in our bodies. But it’s also a nutrient that helps hair grow in luscious, silky and long. You can get silica in your diet by eating plant-based foods, such as apples and berries, as well as nuts and seeds such as almonds and walnuts.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in plant foods, especially brazil nuts. In fact, one brazil nut alone is said to provide close to 100 mcg of selenium, which is almost twice the daily recommended dose of 55 mcg that the average adult requires. Selenium helps with hair growth because it maintains healthy body tissues and believe it or not, your hair is considered a body tissue.
Now, before you literally go nuts, selenium deficiency is extremely rare in North America, so one brazil nut a day should be enough to promote fast hair growth and long healthy locks.
Just like the omega 6 essential fatty acids found in castor oil, omega 3 essential fatty acids are also an important nutrient for hair growth. Omega 3’s and 6’s are called essential fats because your body can’t produce them on its own— so you must get these healthy fats from your diet.
Omega 3’s are said to increase the speed of hair growth because they help reduce inflammation that allows hair follicles to open. In fact, many health experts say that a sign of omega 3 deficiency is brittle nails, thinning hair and hair loss. You can add omega 3’s to your diet from chia seeds, wild salmon, hemp hearts and nuts and seeds. And although you’re not a fish, algae such as chlorella contains omega 3 essential fatty acids, and can be added to green smoothies to promote a nutritional boost for healthy hair.
If you’ve ever heard of raw apple cider vinegar before, it’s often talked about as the natural solution for everything, from bacterial infections to weight loss and disinfecting kitchen counter tops. But if you think it’s just an old wives tale, apple cider vinegar is said to also help with hair growth because it contains several nutrients needed for hair growth, such as B vitamins. The acidity in apple cider vinegar is also said to help restore shine by flattening hair cuticles, which allows hair to become more fluid.
Now, this apple cider vinegar hair growth remedy is mostly hearsay, as no reputable studies have proven it to have these results. However, many people swear by doing an apple cider vinegar rinse for healthy hair every few weeks.
To do an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, always be sure to dilute apple cider vinegar in water before applying it to your hair. This will help reduce the acidifying effects it can have when applied topically. Most people recommend beginning with 2 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in 16 oz of water, and gradually increasing the ratio if you aren’t seeing results after your first few rinses. If you have shorter hair, you generally won’t ever need more than 2 tbsp.
Once you’ve diluted the apple cider vinegar with water in a cup, bring it into the shower with you to rinse your hair with post-shampooing. You can leave it in for approximately 1-2 minutes, and then rinse it out before conditioning.
When doing a hair rinse with apple cider vinegar, be sure to choose a raw, unpasteurized version. When apple cider vinegar is pasteurized, it loses many of its healthy hair promoting nutrients.
Although beta carotene is the antioxidant form of vitamin A that’s known for healthy eyesight, it can also help with hair growth. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is said to be one of the main causes of thinning hair and hair loss.
Vitamin A is found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as peppers, leafy greens, carrots, berries, asparagus, pumpkin, squash, purple cabbage and sweet potatoes. All you really need to remember, is that if a food is brightly colored, it’s going to be good for your hair. So, never hesitate to load up your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables.
Zinc is a nutrient that works with selenium to promote hair growth. It’s well known as the “male mineral” because it’s needed for male reproductive health, but zinc can also be considered a female mineral because it helps promote long, luscious locks. It’s been said by many health experts that a lack of zinc in your diet can promote thinning hair, bald patches and even dandruff. So, don’t skip out on adding foods that contain zinc to your diet if you’d like to maintain and promote healthier hair.
Zinc can be found in oysters, pumpkin seeds, nuts, eggs and dark leafy greens. Beans and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and navy beans are also good sources of zinc. So, why not make yourself a daily “healthy hair” salad that includes multiple hair strengthening ingredients at once?
Vitamin C is a nutrient that helps build collagen, which can help restore and maintain the strength of hair, and allow it to grow in faster. You can get more vitamin C from your diet by eating blackberries, kiwi, raspberries, cherries and citrus, as well as vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash. Many natural hair mask recipes will incorporate a combination of ingredients that contain vitamin C, such as lemons, as well as protein from egg whites and essential fatty acids from avocado or extra virgin olive oil.
Coconut oil is known for being an effective, chemical-free natural moisturizer for both the hair and body. Using coconut oil as a homemade hair mask ingredient or applying it as a natural conditioner is said to keep hair healthy and shiny. The healthy fats found in coconut oil can also help stimulate blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, just as castor oil and avocado can do. Coconut oil can be eaten and added to recipes, applied topically on its own, and can also be combined with other healthy hair ingredients as a moisturizing hair mask.
Could shampooing on the daily be the reason your hair isn’t growing as fast? According to some hair experts, shampoo is a culprit for removing the natural oils present in your hair that help keep your locks shiny and luscious. So while shampoo removes impurities to keep your hair feeling fresh, it may actually be preventing your hair from growing in faster.
That’s not to say you should ditch shampooing altogether, of course. But instead of shampooing every time you shower, try shampooing only a few times each week and focus on conditioning instead. You can also use a natural hair mask from egg whites or do an apple cider vinegar rinse in place of shampooing.
Water keeps your entire body hydrated, which could also help your hair grow faster. This is due to the fact that hydrated hair is much less likely to break or turn into split ends. Most health experts recommend drinking 8 glasses of water each day for optimal hydration, and adding an extra glass of water to your diet if you drink coffee or alcohol, which both dehydrate you.
If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, or don’t like to drink it plain, try jazzing it up with some fresh fruit and citrus, which both contain vitamins and minerals that further promote hair growth.
Many beauty experts agree that brushing your hair aggressively is one of the quickest ways to damage your hair. This is because brushing can weaken your strands of hair, which can permanently damage them over time and prevent them from growing in healthily. For this reason, you may want to try giving up your beloved brush for a few weeks and see what happens— especially when you get out of the shower.
Now of course, no one wants to let their hair dry in a mangled caveman fashion. So replace your brush with a comb when needed, which will be much gentler on your hair. And remember to comb slowly, not aggressively when trying to remove knots. You may want to use a natural detangler on your hair before combing to help prevent the need for rigorous brushing.
This tip is a classic, but that’s because there’s some truth to how regular trims can help your hair grow faster. You see, regular trims help rid your hair from breakage and split ends that take away from your natural hair length and volume, and can help restore shine and smoothness. All of these factors help make your hair appear longer and healthier.
Some hairdressers do argue that a regular trim does help your hair grow faster, at least by a few centimeters. Either way, you don’t have anything to lose by cutting off the unwelcome dead pieces of your hair.