We know. The internet is chock-full of extreme diets promising to promote hair growth after one or two weeks of following this and that influencer’s protein-filled eating regimen. And as PSA before we dive any deeper – don’t just blindly follow any diet you find if you want your hair to grow quicker!
Extreme diets run the risk of holding back some of the nutrients that the hair needs for its natural growth process. Therefore, if you are on a specific dietary regimen and notice hair loss or that your hair growth rate has changed, then it's time to nip that diet in the bud.
Read on for ways to promote hair growth naturally, rather than forcefully, through a balanced diet, some useful hair-care tips, and a dash of all-natural, oil-based products.
Table of Contents:
- Foods that Promote Natural Hair Growth
- Hair-Care Tips for Natural Hair Growth
- Oil-Based Products for Natural Hair Growth
Foods that Promote Natural Hair Growth
While there is no magic treatment or super-food that can make your hair suddenly grow overnight, nor enough scientific evidence to back up some of the popular claims, natural ingredients can never harm you. Here are some nutrients that can promote hair growth naturally, along with the foods you can find them in:
A good cup of coffee in the morning really does it all, huh? Not only does it keep you awake for the hard day ahead, but it looks like it may also help with hair growth, while fighting against hair loss as well.
Caffeine can increase IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), a signaling molecule that promotes hair growth. More than that, it also boosts cell energy because it acts as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. The science behind it? It relaxes the muscles and increases vasodilation in the targeted scalp tissues.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is involved in the metabolic processes. Taken as a dietary supplement, biotin encourages the production of keratin in hair, fights hair loss due to breakage and stimulates the rate of hair growth.
Foods that contain the most biotin are egg yolks, fish, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, and organ meats like liver and tripe.
Iron is important for blood and hemoglobin, in particular, production. Iron helps oxygen travel to the lungs and other tissues – and in this particular case to the scalp, which will make your hair grow faster.
Iron deficiency anemia can lead to plenty of health problems, so if you want to increase your iron intake, some foods you should try are beans, peas, spinach, raisins, apricots, cereals, pasta, bread, seafood, red meat, and pork.
Our bodies need vitamin C in the production of collagen, which is very important for the hair. It also improves the absorption of iron, which we have already talked about. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant too, preventing oxidative stress to the scalp.
Oranges, lemons, peppers, strawberries, potatoes, broccoli are all foods high in vitamin C.
Vitamin D can greatly stimulate the growth of new hair follicles. Oftentimes, people with vitamin D deficiency suffer from hair loss conditions, such as alopecia. Staying indoors a lot, wearing more than sufficient sunscreen, and having a poor diet can lead to insufficient vitamin D.
To make up for it, foods that contain a lot of it are red meat, liver, egg yolks, cereals, salmon, sardines, and herring.
Just like vitamin C, vitamin E has antioxidant properties that prevent oxidative stress from harming the scalp. Vitamin E can improve the scalp’s health by stimulating circulation, which will slow down hair loss and increase the growth rate.
Some foods high in vitamin E are sunflower seeds, peanuts, spinach, beet greens, almonds, mango, pumpkin, and red bell pepper.
Zinc deficiency may lead to hair loss due to changes in the hair’s protein structure, making new hairs fall prematurely. It plays a crucial role in the regeneration and growth of hair tissue, and it makes sure that the oil glands around the hair follicle are working properly too.
Try red meat, chickpeas, beans, seeds, cheese, milk, and whole grains to keep your Zinc intake at a healthy level and help your hair grow faster!
Hair-Care Tips for Natural Hair Growth
Along with a healthy diet, here are some tried and true hair-care tips to boost the natural, quicker growth of your hair:
Practice scalp massage
This kind of massage originated in India, and it's considered a great way to stimulate hair growth, relieve scalp tension, and improve its circulation. Scalp massages are usually accompanied by oils to boost their effects. Also, you can perform a scalp massage using only your fingers or you can use a scalp massager. The other advantages of scalp massages? They are fully DIY, they fight hair loss, promote healthy hair follicles and thus hair growth and thicker hair, and they also relieve muscle tension and headaches. Win-win all around.
Cut down on the heat
Applying too much heat will fry your hair, eliminating its natural oils, drying it up, and frizzing it. Blow-dryers, curling irons, or straighteners should be used on their lowest settings and as rarely as possible if you want to maintain your hair’s integrity.
Stay away from sulfates
Sulfates are the cleaning agents in your shampoo that produce a lot of foam, and they are harmful to your hair follicles and hair strands because they tend to strip the hair of its natural oils, making it delicate and vulnerable without the needed protective barrier.
Oil-Based Products for Natural Hair Growth
Natural oils (naturally) go hand in hand with your hair’s organic growth and long-term prosperity! Here are the main types of oils you can use:
Rosemary essential oil mainly benefits hair health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also work in treating dandruff and dryness and it boosts blood circulation, ultimately stimulating hair growth.
Castor oil products have the hair community abuzz for their hair growth properties, and for good reason. Castor oil contains a fatty compound called ricinoleic acid. Besides its benefits in dealing with hair loss, ricinoleic acid helps with the health of the scalp and hair follicles, therefore permitting a smooth process of hair growth.
Another added benefit is that castor oil is incredibly moisturizing, so it’s not only great for your hair, but also for the scalp, skin, eyelashes, eyebrows, lips, and nails. Truly an all-in-one beauty staple!
You just can’t go wrong with olive oil, can you? It’s a pure healthy fat that helps with moisturizing, preventing dandruff, and nourishing the scalp. It contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that prevents the hair strands from dehydrating, and combats inflammation in the scalp.
More than that, linoleic acid, or Omega-6, is an acid that the human body cannot produce by itself and may contribute to scalp health by stimulating hair growth and preventing water loss. Olive oil also contains palmitoleic acid that helps with moisturizing the scalp and the hair.
Another wonder ingredient, coconut oil contains a lot of fatty acids and nutrients that help nourish the scalp and help remove product buildup, which in turn facilitates hair growth. Many use coconut oil as a pre-shampoo hair mask that they leave in even overnight, to cleanse the scalp and add that extra shine to their morning routine.