1. Hot Castor Oil Treatment
Castor oil has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties to help combat scalp infections that prevent your hair from growing. Second, it’s filled with omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, proteins, and other nutrients that can penetrate your parched strands and seal your hair shaft to retain moisture. Third, it makes for an amazing hot oil treatment—massaging the oil into your roots will help your scalp drink up all of the nutrients and help promote hair growth. To give yourself a hot oil treatment, massage the oil into your scalp and then apply it all the way to the ends of your strands. Pile your hair on top of your head, cover it with a shower cap, and blast your strands with a blow-dryer for 15 minutes. Feel free to jump in the shower and shampoo and condition as usual. You’ll notice softer strands instantly.
2. Avoid Over Shampooing
Depending on your hair type, the number of times you should shampoo your hair per week varies. Thicker, coarser hair types can get away without washing their hair for a few days, while thinner hair types may find their hair feels greasy even after one day. In such cases, dry shampoo can work wonders in soaking up excess grease as you await longer strands.
3. Try an Egg Yolk Mask
Hair grows approximately a quarter to a half an inch per month, and while we can’t speed up this process, we can affect the quality of the hair shafts each follicle can produce (think: thicker, stronger, shinier locks). There are things we can do to “stimulate a higher percentage of hair follicles in the scalp, which will keep more hair in the growing phase and make your head of hair thicker, healthier, and fuller,” he says. Unsurprisingly, this makes how you treat your hair crucial to natural hair growth. If your hair breaks before it gets past your shoulders, an egg yolk mask will be your savior. Eggs contain lecithin and protein, which strengthen, nourish, and heal your strands. Plus, their high sulfur content might even help with dandruff.
To make the mask, mix two eggs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1/2 a cup of water to dilute the mixture (and make it less sticky). Apply the mask directly to dry, brushed hair, and leave it on for up to 30 minutes. Then, shampoo and condition as usual.
4. DIY a Cinnamon-Based Mask
Turns out cinnamon isn’t only good for sprinkling over your morning oatmeal. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it poses hair benefits, too, in the form of stimulating blood circulation and nourishing strands. Mix equal parts cinnamon and coconut oil and apply to your hair, focusing on the roots. Let it do its thing for 45 minutes before rinsing.
5. Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
Research supports the idea that a scalp massage has beneficial effects on stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate.” A simple way to stimulate hair growth at home is to give yourself a scalp massage. This will increase blood flow to your scalp, enhance the strength of your roots, and help nutrients get to your follicle faster. You can give yourself a scalp massage with dry hair, but adding a nutrient-rich oil to the mix will only double the benefits. (Just keep it to once a week if you have oily roots).
6. Check Your Daily Taking Medications
According to Bauman, there are many prescription medications that are known to be associated with hair loss. “Some of the commonly prescribed categories of drugs that can exacerbate hair loss include antihypertensives (blood pressure); cholesterol or statins; hormone replacements like thyroid, birth control, testosterone; and certain antidepressants,” he says. As a word of caution, you should always discuss these side effects with your doctor before stopping any medications.
7. Limit Heat Styling
Any hairstylist will tell you the most obvious way to help your hair grow faster is to ditch your routine of hot tools. (Sad, we know). “Blow-dryers and styling irons can certainly damage your hair by making it dry and brittle, which can lead to breakage and shorter hair length,” advises Bauman. “If you’re trying to grow your hair, I recommend air-drying your hair and avoiding any heat tools. If you do use a heat tool, use a heat-protectant spray.”
8. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
A silk or satin hair cover or pillowcase is better for the health of your hair than cotton, which will absorb all the moisture from your strands and lead to tangles and breakage. While this won’t necessarily speed up the hair growth process, sleeping on a silk pillowcase generates less friction and gives hair a softer surface to rest on.
9. Use Keratin-Based Products
It’s true that keratin-based products can combat dryness and make hair appear shinier, but they can also strengthen the hair and prevent future breakage. The protein, which is protective in nature, douses hair in essential oils and nutrients it needs to thrive, making an ideal environment for healthy strands to grow.
10. Trim Your Split Ends Regularly
It might sound counterproductive when you want your hair to grow longer, but regular trims get rid of dry, damaged split ends and are necessary for natural, healthy growth. If left untreated, split ends can work their way up the shafts of your hair strands and cause even more breakage, which means the only thing growing will be your frustration. But if your stylist takes off too much length every time you go in for a visit, your hair won’t get longer, so make sure you clearly communicate your hair goals. Depending on the condition of your hair, your hairstyle, and your daily routine, you could need a trim anywhere from every six weeks to six months. That said, the better you care for your hair on a day-to-day basis, the less often you’ll need trims, and the longer your hair can grow naturally.