The quest for strong, fast-growing hair is a fervent one. Who among us hasn't searched for haircare and supplements promising both at some point or another? For any of us to get that healthy hair, though, we first have to understand why we might be losing it in the first place.
"With hair loss, the hair may suddenly shift to the resting stage for a variety of reasons such as stress, diet, childbirth, and you notice increased shedding," says Michelle Blaisure, a product and technical specialist and certified trichologist at Bosley Professional Strength. "The other common factors such as genetics and aging can cause hair to progressively miniaturize over time as the growing cycle shortens and hair becomes finer and weaker and may go dormant as more hair stays longer in the resting cycle, so you have less hair actively growing and more hair shedding."
"Hair grows from the hair bulb (root), where the cells group together to form a keratin known as hair protein," says Marina Perkovic, master stylist and scalp treatment at Alessandro Mangerini. "The hair bulb/follicle is surrounded by and feeds off of tiny blood vessels while it grows—hence any lack of nutrients or hormonal imbalance will affect our hair growth and health."
Depending on whether you want a product to put directly on your hair or are looking for something to ingest, the key ingredients for faster hair growth will vary. "The goal with cosmetic ingredients is to help create a healthy scalp environment to promote healthy hair growth," says Blaisure. "The skin communicates to the hair follicle, which along with the body tells hair to stay growing longer (which produces longer better hair) or, when the scalp is compromised, signals the hair to go into a resting cycle much faster."
As for supplements, Blaisure says to look for products that contain ingredients such as zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron, and copper if you're looking for a fast hair-growth product.
Now that we've had them break down everything you need to know about getting our hair to grow, we asked them what they consider the best fast hair-growing products out there. Scroll down to see what made the cut.
This Seven Haircare pick "provides balanced support for hair growth. It has an amazingly balanced formulation with a potent concentration of biotin, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, silica, and dandelion as a natural source of iron," says Perkovic.
A hairstylist told me that he's seen results as fast as one week for clients. Perkovic says that results may vary. "Oftentimes stronger nails and clearer skin are the first indications that your supplement is working. For hair, results should be visible within two to four months," she says.
This supplement contains KerCysteine, an ingredient packed with essential amino acids to produce keratin, antioxidants that defend the hair from free radicals, and vitamins such as biotin and zinc to help nourish the hair and stimulate hair growth.
"We look at hair loss from two stages: prevention (anti-aging) for early stages of loss or for those who want to keep thicker fuller hair, and more advanced hair loss where you begin to see the scalp through the hair or are genetically prone to hair loss. For genetically driven loss, we recommend our Healthy Hair Regrowth Treatments, which contain Minoxidil (comes in 2% and 5%), the FDA-approved medication that has been clinically proven to regrow hair," says Blaisure.