What does your hair need for hair growth?
As you might be looking for effective ways for hair growth, factors such as genes, hormones, and age play an important role. Just like your muscles and nails, your hair, too, needs certain things for its steady and healthy growth. While a scalp massage and natural hair care products can help you manage your gorgeous traces, vitamins, minerals, and a balanced diet is the crux of hair growth.
If you are among those who regret immediately after cutting a haircut, there is frankly no way you can get long hair overnight. In reality, your hair grows only about half an inch in a month. However, if that doesn't happen for you, you can try many proven methods to make your hair grow naturally, the way it should. Oils, both natural and essential, work best for hair growth, but using them the correct way will only help you achieve your long hair goals.
Are you thinking about how to grow hair? Will medicines help? Or proteins for hair are a plus? This blog will discover the secrets and effective ways to grow your hair and focus on the diet for hair fall. If you are facing hair fall or you want to know how to grow hair, this article is for you. Keep reading to discover how to grow hair and what your hair needs for hair growth.
How Does Hair Grow?
Hair grows from the root of a follicle on your scalp. The follicles on your scalp need oxygen and nutrients for their survival, provided by the blood on your scalp. The oxygen and nutrients help in your hair growth.
As the hair grows, it pushes through the skin, passing through oil glands. According to the dermatologists at Traya, these oil glands give your hair a natural shine, making it soft. This oil can make your hair greasy, too, when you need to have a head wash.
Interestingly, by the time the hair pokes out, it is dead, which is why it doesn't hurt when you get a haircut. Did you know there are about 100,000 follicles on your scalp? The hair on the rest of the body goes through the same process, but it lasts only for a month. Some hair follicles stop producing hair as you grow old, resulting in less hair growth or hair thinning.
Nutrients That Boost Your Hair Growth
Healthy hair is beautiful hair. Besides weekly oil massages for your hair, nutrition for hair is essential too. Hair growth largely depends on your lifestyle and your diet. Factually, nutritional deficiency can affect your hair growth and trigger issues such as hair loss. So when you ask how to grow hair, you need to correct your diet first. Below we share some essential nutrients for proper hair growth:
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for cell growth in your body. Your hair is the fastest growing tissue in your body and therefore needs vitamin A. Vitamin A helps produce sebum, an oily substance in the skin. This sebum moisturizes the scalp and adds shine to your hair.
Food rich in vitamin A includes spinach, sweet potato, pumpkins, cod liver oil, eggs, milk and yoghurt. However, you must not over-consume vitamin A, as this may lead to hair loss issues.
- B vitamins
B vitamins are suitable for your hair and overall health. Biotin, which is a type of vitamin B, works to correct issues such as hair fall. Biotin is extensively used as a hair loss treatment as well. Other B vitamins help carry oxygen to your scalp and nourish your follicles with nutrients.
Whole grains, almonds, green leafy vegetables, seafood, fish, and meat are good sources of vitamin B. To avoid vitamin B12 deficiency hair loss, make sure you have a vitamin B rich diet. However, if you are vegan, consider taking vitamin B supplements for hair growth.
- Vitamin C
Free radicals are harmful to your hair, and Vitamin C can help fight the effects. Free radicals are harmful to your hair growth and can cause premature ageing to your locks.
Vitamin C creates collagen, a kind of protein that helps in hair structure.
Adding citrus fruits, strawberries, guavas, and peppers to your diet fulfill vitamin C requirements.
- Vitamin D
Although the essential role of vitamin D for hair growth is unknown, researchers point out that vitamin D has a lot to do when treating alopecia, a form of hair loss.
Amazingly, your body produces vitamin D naturally through sun rays. Yet, it is recommended that you take a vitamin D rich diet that includes fatty fish, mushrooms, and cod liver oil.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and just like vitamin C, it strengthens your body to fight oxidative stress. According to studies, people who have used vitamin E in their routine have experienced hair growth nearly by thirty-five per cent.
Food rich in vitamin E includes almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and avocado.
Besides these important vitamins, nutrients such as iron, zinc and protein are also essential for hair growth.
Iron helps to take oxygen to your cells and can cure anaemia, one of the major causes of hair loss. Eggs, red meat, spinach, lentils, etc., are good sources of iron.
Zinc helps in the growth and restoration of the tissues. It also enables the oil glands to work properly. Food such as spinach, pumpkin, wheat germ, lentils, and oysters are excellent sources of zinc.
How Does Protein Help In Hair Growth?
A major part of your hair is made up of protein which is why lack of protein can cause hair fall. Eating enough protein is crucial as it adds strength to the connections among your hair molecules. Protein is also known to build up the cuticles of your hair, making it heavier.
Your body can take only 6-10 grams of protein an hour. The ideal daily supply of protein you should take is a minimum of 100 grams.
Rich protein sources include chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, prawns, crab, lobsters, milk, yoghurt, cheese, eggs etc.
How to Stimulate Blood Flow In Scalp?
Blood circulation is essential for every part of your body, including your scalp. Blood flow also allows oxygen to your scalp, which in turn is beneficial for hair growth. Blood circulation on the scalp also maintains your hair follicles in good condition throughout their entire hair growth life cycle. Should you ask what to do to grow hair, stimulating blood flow in the scalp is adequate for growing your hair? Below we share some of the tested methods of producing blood flow in your scalp:
- Scalp massage
Scalp massage is a direct way to incite the flow of blood on your scalp. You can consider using coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil for massaging your scalp. You can also add essential oil to your massage oil for better results. You can use any essential oils of your choice, including lavender, ylang-ylang, peppermint, thyme oil, cedar wood oil, etc.
- Inversion method
Although a simple method, recently, this method has gained much hype. Sit on a chair that holds your back. Now tilt your head downwards towards your knee and below. See that you have your hair open the whole time. You should feel a gush of blood to your scalp, hair. To get the best out of this method, you can always consult a trained yoga trainer.
- Brushing your hair
Besides detangling your hair, brushing encourages blood flow on the scalp. Using a wooden comb or a boar bristle comb is good for your hair.
- Scalp cleansing
Scalp buildup can be irritating at times, especially when they block the pores on your head and cause itching. It is important to cleanse your scalp to free the path for blood flow under the skin. Washing your hair every 3-4 days or 1-2 days if you have an oily scalp, will help.
- Proper diet
Vitamin B3 and niacin are known to stimulate blood flow on the scalp as they have anti-inflammatory properties. Combine your vitamins for hair growth with nutrient-dense food such as chicken, brown rice, peanuts, green peas, or avocados.
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Hair loss
Just like good food can contribute to hair growth, particular food can cause hair loss. Here is some food that you should avoid to prevent hair loss:
- Refined carbs
- Nuts, if allergic
- Greasy food
- Refined carbs
- Carbonated drinks
Hair Masks That Nourish Hair
Hair masks are a good way to pamper yourself and give a boost to your hair growth. These simple yet effective hair masks are good for your hair, and your traces will love them:
Besan and curd hair mask
- Mix about five tablespoons of besan and curd with two tablespoons of olive oil. Apply the paste to your scalp and hair.
- Leave it for twenty minutes and then a shampoo for shiny hair.
- Mix three egg yolks with three tablespoons of olive oil. You may also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
- Apply the mask to your scalp. Leave for around twenty minutes before washing off.
- Mash one ripe banana and add three-four tablespoons of coconut oil, one tablespoon of glycerin and two tablespoons of honey.
- Blend everything well till you get a smooth paste ready. Apply it to your hair and wash it after thirty minutes.
Bonus - Expert Hair Care Routine for Healthier Hair
Your lifestyle and what you eat can greatly affect your hair health. A balanced diet of required vitamins, essential minerals, and hair supplements are vital for good hair growth.Make sure you limit the use of styling products and heat to avoid any further hair damage. If you are looking for natural hair care products that are effective, you can switch to a complete range of Traya's hair care solutions. The brand offers hair root serum, hair vitamins, Minoxidil 5% and 2%, hair fall shampoo, anti-dandruff shampoo, herbal hair oil and other hair care products.
Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.