Summer is quickly approaching and that is usually the time of year when many people start wondering what they can do to get their hair to grow longer. While there is no magic pill or product that will grow your hair overnight, there are a few things you can do to stimulate growth naturally, and retain it. There are a lot of misconceptions about what you can do to grow and maintain healthier hair. In this article, I will share with you 3 of the best ways to boost and retain hair growth.
#1) Get Enough Protein
If you’re looking to jumpstart your healthy hair journey then you need to take a serious look at your protein intake. Protein is key for hair growth because our hair follicles are made up of a protein called keratin. When your body is low on protein then you may experience hair loss because of an inadequate supply of protein to your hair follicles. The Journal of Nutrition and Aging states that most people, especially those who live in the United States, aren’t getting enough protein, which not only impacts hair growth but also muscle function and strength.
If you’re wondering how much protein you should actually be consuming every day you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. That number will tell you how many grams of protein you need per day. For example, a 50-year-old woman who weighs 150 pounds needs at least 54 – 68 grams/day or roughly 2oz – 2.5oz per day.
Adding a boost of protein to your diet will help your overall health and help your hair growth and retention.
Foods that are high in protein are:
- White-Meat Poultry.
- Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
- Beans (Lentils, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo, etc.)
- Pork Tenderloin
- Soy (Tofu, Edamame, Tempeh)
- Lean Beef
#2) Massage Your Scalp Regularly
There’s nothing like a good scalp massage. Whew, it feels so amazing! I digress. It’s no secret that the key to healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. One of the things that you can do to help your hair thrive is to incorporate scalp massages into your daily regimen.
According to a small study done in 2016, scalp massages done daily for 4 minutes over a period of 24 weeks resulted in thicker hair amongst the participants as well as improvement in their alopecia. One study in 2019 study found that males suffering from male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) saw great results from scalp massage. In fact, 69% of the men in that study saw an improvement in their alopecia after performing scalp massages for 6 months, using a specific massage technique.
The reason this is thought to happen is because massaging your scalp increases blood circulation to your follicles and in return stimulates them and makes hair grow out thicker. But what exactly are scalp massages? Scientifically speaking, scalp massages dilate the small arteries in the scalp, which increase blood flow to the follicle. When this happens, it prolongs the growth cycle (anagen phase) of the hair. In addition, this simple exercise helps deliver more nutrients your scalp.
Not only are scalp massages good for your hair but they’re also great for your health. According to research, scalp massages can help lower stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate!
How to Massage Your Scalp:
You can massage your scalp with your fingertips and apply gentle pressure to each area of your head. You can do this on a daily basis for up to 5 minutes. And, yes, it feels so good. For an additional boost to your follicles you can add a natural essential oil to massage into the scalp a 3x times per week to really boost things.
#3 Increase Your Nutrient Intake
One of the most important things for healthy hair growth is to ensure that your body gets proper nutrition. There are certain micronutrients (vitamins that you can only get from your diet) that help boost circulation and cell growth, which aids in hair growth.
A few of the key nutrients your body needs to support healthy and strong hair are:
- Vitamin A – plays a major role in keeping your scalp moisturized by helping your scalp to produce sebum (the natural oil released from your skin glands).
- Vitamin B12 – helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, which helps your hair to grow
- Vitam B7 (Biotin)– increases keratin production in your hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth
- Vitamin C – helps create collagen in hair and helps aid in iron absorption, helping to fortify hair
- Vitamin D – it stimulates old and new hair follicles, promoting longer and stronger hair
- Iron – boosts circulation and is responsible for carrying oxygen to our follicles, which helps our hair grow faster and longer
- Zinc – plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair and helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly
A healthy and well balanced diet is a great way to get the proper amount of these nutrients. Nevertheless, if you’re like most people, sometimes it’s not so easy to eat the way you know you should. In that case, you can opt for a hair vitamin that has the essential nutrients above. However, you should always consult your doctor about supplements that you are taking to ensure you are not getting too much or too little of the above micronutrients.
The Key Takeaways
Just in case you did not have time to read the above information, no worries, I get it, life can be busy. That is why I have included the key takeaways for you to read below at a quick glance. Here are 3 best ways to boost and retain hair growth.
- Get the proper amount of protein
- Massage your scalp frequently
- Get enough of the right nutrient intake.
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