Healthy hair is a sign of a healthy, well-nourished body. A lot of factors contribute to hair growth. There doesn't exist one method of helping your hair grow fast that fits all individuals. With a plethora of natural treatment options, achieving the hair of your dreams will demand patience, persistence and mindfulness. There isn't just one ingredient or method that can grow hair fast.
To help you figure out how to make hair grow faster, we have compiled the following information to walk you through the hair growth stages, factors affecting the same and natural ways to encourage faster hair growth.
Stages of hair growth
Hair is composed of two separate structures. One, the hair shaft, which essentially means the visible part outside of the scalp, the actual hair we are talking about. Second, the follicle which lies underneath the surface of the scalp skin. The hair shaft is made up of a protein called keratin and it stimulates hair growth.
Hair follicle follows a particular growth cycle with three distinct phases known as anagen, catagen and telogen. Each phase has distinct characteristics and it also determines the length of the hair.
- Anagen - This is the growth phase when the hair physically grows approximately 1 cm per month. The phase can last from 3 to 5 years. The period for which the hair remains in this stage is determined by genetics. The longer the hair is in the anagen phase, the lengthier it will grow. Usually, 85%–90% of the hair on the scalp is in the anagen phase at any given time.
- Catagen - the follicle renews itself during this time. The stage lasts up to two weeks. The hair follicle is said to shrink and cut the hair strand off its nourishing blood supply.
Telogen - This is a resting phase when the follicle is dormant for 1 to 4 months. At any given time around 10% to 15% percent of the hair on the scalp is in the telogen phase. The hair remains in this phase for a variable amount of time.
The hair follicle begins to grow again. The hair shaft breaks free from the root (white bulb) and the hair will be shed. Within 2 weeks, the new hair shaft begins to show up once the telogen phase is complete. The hair shedding after the telogen phase results in normal hair loss.
The particular mechanism that controls the hair follicle from one phase into the next is not fully known.
Factors that affect hair growth
Genetics plays a key role when it comes to hair and its overall appearance. Hair type and scalp type are greatly governed by the genes passed on to you. Genetics-related hair problems are often treated by trichologists or hair experts.
With age, hair growth may halt or reduce along with a visible receding hairline or hair loss. Age-related hair problems need extra care and expert solution to deal with any hair loss.
Hormonal changes during certain phases of life are likely to give a temporary hair fall or hair loss. Hair growth may seem to have reduced in such cases. Childbirth can also affect hair growth a lot.
Surgery or illness
Major surgeries or illnesses can make the body go into repair mode wherein you may notice reduced hair growth and hair problems such as excessive hair fall.
A well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital for the functionality of the body as well as for hair. Nutritional deficiencies are the first ones to affect the hair and can be treated by consulting an expert along with a nutrient-rich diet.
Not choosing the hair care products wisely
Sometimes not choosing the right kind of hair care products may hamper hair growth. It can also increase hair-related problems or make the existing ones worse.
Hard water supply
Regularly washing hair with hard water causes a build of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, on the hair and scalp. This buildup makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate and can affect the hair follicles.
There are several natural ways to achieve healthy hair growth with persistent care and attention.
Natural ways to grow hair fast
A well-balanced and healthy diet is not only the foundation of your body but also of your hair. A nutritious diet is a prerequisite for hair growth because any other way for hair growth won't show any results if the body lacks the nutrients required for hair health and hair structure. Proteins, biotin, Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium are essential for healthy hair growth.
A scalp massage helps stimulate blood flow in the scalp. Scalp massages can be relaxing and also reduce stress. Gently massaging the scalp in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes may help increase the blood flow. Do not aggressively massage the scalp, the gentler the massage the better it is. One study performed on men found that scalp massage resulted in increased hair thickness 24 weeks after initiation of massage. In the said study, massage was performed by a scalp massage device so results may vary if you manually massage the scalp. 
Using organic essential oils for scalp
Essential oils have been studied for hair growth. Both, peppermint essential oil and rosemary essential oil are proven to boost hair growth. One must use essential oils consistently to reap the benefits. You can use essential oils diluted in carrier oils like jojoba oil, almond oil for a gentle scalp massage.  
Always use diluted essential oils topically and never directly. The essential oil has to be used at 1% dilution, that is if you take 1ml of wintergreen essential oil then use 99ml of carrier oil for dilution.
Using hair masks
Using hair masks with ingredients like amla, bhringaraj, fenugreek may help a little. These ingredients may help revitalise the scalp skin while reducing any inflammation and thereby increasing hair growth. There are no studies to prove the benefits of these powders, but the individual ingredients have some direct benefits when it concerns their nutrient content.
Foods to grow hair fast
A hair healthy diet provides the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed for the hair to grow at its optimal potential. Certain nutritional deficiencies can prevent growth and may cause hair fall. Nutrients such as protein, essential fatty acids like omega 3s, Vitamins A, C, D, and E, all the B vitamins including biotin and trace minerals such as zinc, sulfate, iron and selenium are key nutrients that help with hair growth, thickness. So foods such as spinach, nuts, beans, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, berries can be a part of your diet if you want to grow your hair faster.
Regularly including iron-rich food in your diet will help curb any iron deficiencies which are linked to hair loss according to a study [ref]
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Frequently Asked Questions on Fast Hair Growth
Can you speed up hair growth?
There is no direct method to make your hair grow faster. Although understanding the cause of hair loss and following a suitable hair care routine along with a healthy lifestyle does help in the long run.
How can I make my hair grow overnight?
Hair growth is a slow process and takes its own sweet time. It’s important to keep patience and follow the remedial steps with consistency for the best results.