Maybe you're perpetually after mermaid-long locks. Or maybe you just chopped your hair into a lob, and your spontaneous decision to try out a new style quickly turned into regret—and a serious case of length-lust. Whatever the reason you want your hair to grow, there's no getting around the fact that it sucks to wait and results don't come over night (you'd have to turn to extensions for that). Still, there are things you can do to speed up the process. We spoke to stylist Cristina B. at the famed Rita Hazan salon in New York City, for a little help with getting your hair to grow faster.
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You likely know about biotin for hair growth and that's because it works—particularly if you're already deficient in it, which may be a reason your hair hasn't seemed to grow in the past. "Biotin is amazing for hair growth when you’re consistent, along with other B vitamins," says Cristina.
You can take biotin capsules, or we recommend a hair, skin, and nail supplement that combines biotin with other vitamins, minerals, and botanical ingredients to benefit your skin health and nail strength at the same time that you're targeting hair growth.
Yes, You Need Protein
Beyond biotin, consuming enough protein in your diet is very important for hair growth. Hair strands are composed mostly of protein, and thus need adequate protein from a well-balanced diet in order to grow. "Meat, fish, and eggs contain the necessary proteins for hair growth, along with iron, which is also beneficial," says Cristina. " If you don't eat those foods because you're vegan or vegetarian, she recommends taking iron pills and fish oil pills, and ensuring you are consuming enough plant-based protein.
Gelatin, The Unsung Hero
"Glycine and gelatin are amazing for hair growth, amongst biotin and protein from the diet," says Cristina. It may sound gross, but gelatin is a mixture of peptides and proteins from the collagen of animal bones and byproducts (hence, why it's commonly sold as beef gelatin, though it can also come from pigs and other mammals). Assuming you're not vegetarian or vegan, consuming gelatin isn't so different from eating animal meat itself, or making bone broth, for example. In fact, gelatin is used in foods like marshmallows, Jell-O, and gummy bears, so you've likely been consuming it without realizing it.
But rather than upping your intake of candy, there's a healthier way to get it. "Adding gelatin powder to your shampoo and conditioner is one way to see great benefits, or adding gelatin powder to a cup of tea once a day can also help promote hair growth," says Cristina. It's generally recommended to stir gelatin into hot drinks, as the substance doesn't blend well into cold drinks.
No Heat Styling
If you're truly committed to getting your hair to grow faster, you might want to ease up on constant styling, especially when it involves heat. Says Cristina, " Hair grows the fastest when you try to not put so much stress on it, like washing or styling too often. Additionally, tying your hair too tightly or heat styling too much can cause breakage, which makes it seem as though your hair is not growing." So make sure you aren't shampooing every single day, embrace dry shampoo to limit the amount of heat styling you need to do, and learn a few no-heat, no-fuss styles so you can give your hair the break it needs to grow.
Do you have any hair growth secrets? Share them with us in the comments!