Let’s face it, it’s hard investing so much time in growing your hair only to see it break. It pains so much when you have to hide some bald part of your head in the wigs. What a shame!
But could you be the cause of your hair loss? Is your hair care routine (things you think are actually helping your hair to grow) be the causes of hair loss?
Whether you have a natural hair growth or your relaxer-laden hair, you want to have your friends say, “wow, I think you’ve grown an inch.” To grow your hair is not so much a rocket science when you abide by the necessary procedures. And these hair growth steps are very easy to follow…you can even do them in your sleep (winks!).
Your Hair Growth Cycle
Approximately five million hair follicles (a cylindrical like tube from where the hair grows) cover the surface of the human body…your body. And close to 150,000 are present on the human head.
Your hair grows from the root (follicle) underneath your skin. Keratinocytes are responsible for producing keratin, a source of protein that is responsible for the hair growth. The keratin gives your hair the feel and the color.
The blood vessels at the base of the follicles feed the hair with nutrients that allow growing. But each hair passes through four stages (anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen). Each strand of the hair on your head is at a different stage.
• Growing Phase (Anagen)- This stage can last for between 2 to 6 years, growing at about half an inch per months (it can be more or less).
• Regression Phase (Catagen) – In this stage, the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the dermal papilla deep within the skin. This stage lasts fro between 8 – 12 days.
• Shedding Phase (Exogen) – In this stage, the resting hair is gradually loosened, resulting in shedding of the hair.
• Resting Phase (Telogen) – While the old hair is resting in this stage, new once begin to grow. The hair has migrated almost to the surface, near the pores, where it is entirely separated from the follicle. And within weeks, the growth phase will start again.
At all time, almost 11 % of the human hair is in resting phase, 88% is in the growing phase, and 1% is in the regression Phase (shedding stage). So, on normal condition, you should have just 1% of your hair loss.
You can see some of the hair on the mouth of your comb after brushing it. The issue of hair loss, affecting well over 2 million, is much more technical. But they are attributed to what we call “The Male Pattern Baldness,” caused by the androgen (male hormones) that destroy the hair follicle. And over 95% of hair loss problems are as a result of the androgen hormones.
Now, how about we discuss more the tips that would minimize your hair loss to the normal 1% and maximize your hair growth to at least 88%?
Hair Growth Tips
1. Hydration – An important key to healthy, shining, beautiful, and long hair is hydration. A sufficient amount of water will aid your hair growing very long on time. Try to apply water to your hair ends by spray or by the usual hand on hair way. Always apply water before you add a leave-in conditioner to your hair. Drink at least 6 cups of water every day to supply more nutrients to your scalp.
Also, avoid hot water on your hair. Before styling your hair, rinse your hair with cool water to help seal your cuticle and strengthen your hair.
2. Spread Your Hair Sebum – Sebum is the natural oil that is secreted by the sebaceous gland to protect the surface of the skin…including your scalp as well. The best you can do is to protect the sebum and apply a natural oil like coconut, olive, or castor oil to the scalp, and stroke it gently from the scalp with a bristle brush. Do this before you sleep at night.
3. Get Regular Trims – Getting rid of split ends that break your hair is a great way to have a long, healthy hair. A split hair can also deprive your hair of the smoothness, volume, and shine that it can produce.
4. Watch Your Shampoo – Even if you’re using an all natural shampoo or a shampoo laden with sulfate (which is bad business for your hair), you still need to minimize the number of times you shampoo. Limiting the way you shampoo will reduce the time you strip your hair of the sebum, preventing the natural oil to penetrate the hair to repair and hydrate itself.
5. Reduce Heat On Yor Hair – Heat is one of the causes of hair loss. Limit your use of heat to dry your hair. Heat source like the standing dryer, hand dryer, coils, etc. are not good for the hair. And if you must dry your hair, ensure that the temperature is low to prevent hair loss.
6. Eat Balance Diets – Why must it be rice, rice every time? WYEIWYG (What You Eat Is What You Get) in your quest for your hair growth. Let me quickly touch on some class of food you should always include in your diet:
• Protein – You must include protein in your daily diet to prevent hair loss, hair brittle, and a dull hair. Lack of protein in your diet can also affect your hair texture. Include beans, egg, fish, meat, and other proteins in your daily food diet.
• Beta-Carotene – Food rich in beta-carotene like potatoes and carrots should be included in your diet. Beta-carotene gets converted into vitamin A in your body, and it supports the hair growth, bone formation, and it helps your skin to shed the outer dead skin normally.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Food rich in omega-3 fatty acid like walnuts, fish oil, herring (shawa), sardines, egg yolk, cod liver oil, mackerel, etc. are crucial for healthy skin, nails, and hair. They stimulate the hair growth by adding moisture to the hair.
• Minerals – Copper, Selenium, and Zinc are imperative to black hair growth. Deficiency of iron can cause hair loss, but you have to test positive to the deficiency before you can take iron supplements. Deficiency of copper can cause premature graying, and the lack of selenium and zinc can lead to hair thinning.
Food rich in iron are beans, seafood, red meat, pork, chicken, peas, dark green leafy vegetables, bread, and pasta, etc. Food rich in copper are almond, beef liver, dark chocolate, etc. And food rich in selenium are chicken, beef liver, sardines, etc.
• Vitamins – Vitamin D deficiency affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Excess of calcium can impact a lot of body functions, including blood circulation that stimulates the hair growth. Sun is a natural source of Vitamin D. But ensure you limit your sun exposure. See why you should avoid exposing yourself to the sun for long.
Vitamin A, C, and E are abundant in nuts, berries, green vegetables. These vitamins help to combat free radicals and keep the skin, including your scalp, healthy and nourished. They also aid your scalp in producing sebum that will help your hair strands tensile and shiny. If you want all these vitamins in a diet, try to eat salad.
Biotin (B7) and the other Vitamin B complex are responsible for metabolizing protein, which is necessary for healthy hair. It solves the problem of hair loss, hair thinning, hair-splitting, and brittle hair. Biotin (B7) can be found in seafood, beef liver, chicken, egg, and dairy, etc.
You’ll notice that most of these vitamins and minerals containing food are majorly proteinous food. Even if you are a vegetarian, you can always find vitamins and minerals in nuts and vegetables. So limit your rice all the time, or mix em with some vegetables (winks).
7. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase – To get a long, healthy hair, try to switch your pillowcase from the cotton or other materials you’re using at the moment to a silk material. Silk material will allow your hair to breath and won’t absorb your hair’s natural hair, avoiding hair tangles and breakage. The less breakage your hair experience, the longer your hair becomes.
8. Avoid These Chemicals
• Let me start by saying SULFUR is not good for your hair. Sulfur will strip the sebum in your hair in no time, leading to hair loss. To have your hair grow into a vibrant, shining hair, run away from products containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.
• Also, avoid parabens products. Parabens can increase brittleness, reduce gloss, fade color, and slow the growth of your hair. They are responsible for a lot of reactions and in worst cases cancer.
• Petroleum Plastics – butylene glycol and propylene glycol can weaken cellular and protein structure.
• Silicone-based shampoos can block the hair follicle by coating the shaft of your hair, causing the hair to become flat, dry, straw-like, and greasy.
Watch your product label to be sure of the content you’re putting in your hair. See the comprehensive list of harmful ingredients
9. Deep Condition Your Hair – By deep conditioning, you’ll leave a conditioner in your hair for at least 40 minutes, or overnight (recommended). Deep conditioning promotes elasticity, makes the hair more resilient, increasing your hair moisture and oil for your hair growth. A good deep conditioner can hydrate your hair, adding life to your dull hair.
Before you deep condition your hair, make sure you hydrate your hair so as to lock in moisture. You can deep condition your hair once in a week for maximum result. (Watch out for a deep conditioning recipe you can do right in your kitchen).
If you follow these 9 steps, you should see a remarkable hair growth and stop hair loss