natural solutions for faster and healthier hair growth

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

my “grow it long, grow it strong!” post is by far the most popular post on this blog. i feel as though i always get comments and messages asking how to actually grow hair faster, in conjunction with healthier.

well. here is that post!

BUT, before everyone gets all super excited, let me make something very clear:

your hair growth and hair growth potential will almost entirely be based on your health, your diet, your lifestyle, and your genetics.

there. is. NO. magic. hair. growing. potion.

none.

NONE.

BUT… there are ways to STIMULATE growth to help “inspire” your hair to grow faster.

grow your hair longer faster!

how does hair grow?

we could go really super in depth with this, but we’ll stick to the basics.

our hair is made up of two structures – the follicle, which resides in the skin, and the shaft, which is what is visible above the scalp.

generally speaking, hair grows about 1/2 to 1 inch a month.  but not all your little hairs grow at the same rate or even at the same time! at any given point in time, any number of hairs will be in one of three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

  1. anagenthis is the active phase. the cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly. a new hair is formed and pushes the club hair (a hair that has stopped growing or is no longer in the anagen phase) up the follicle and eventually out. scalp hair stays in this active phase of growth for two to six years. some people have difficulty growing their hair beyond a certain length because they have a short active phase of growth. on the other hand, people with very long hair have a long active phase of growth. the hair on the arms, legs, eyelashes, and eyebrows have a very short active growth phase of about 30 to 45 days, explaining why they are so much shorter than scalp hair.
  2. catagenthis is a transitional stage, and about 3% of all hairs are in this phase at any time. this phase lasts for about two to three weeks. growth stops and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. this is the formation of a club hair.
  3. telogenthis is the resting phase and usually accounts for 6% to 8% of all hairs. during this phase, the hair follicle is completely at rest and the club hair is completely formed. pulling out a hair in this phase will reveal a solid, hard, dry, white material at the root. about 25 to 100 telogen hairs are shed normally each day.

now that we know a bit about HOW hair grows….

what is needed to stimulate hair growth?

  • scalp stimulation (scalp massage, anyone??)
  • increased blood flow (through heat, stimulation, or sadly, irritation. we’ll get to the irritation part.)
  • clean, healthy scalp (no chemicals & proper nutrients!)
  • proper hair care (all these tips and more!)
  • healthy diet with plenty of good fats, calcium, and iron (like the PBD). my hair then & now

supplements to support healthy hair growth:

  • fermented cod liver oil – FCLO is fantastic. i could dedicate an entire post to it, so for the sake of time, here’s a great post on FCLO on a blog i absolutely love. i have this brand and highly recommend it. i know it’s pricey! and as gross as it might seem, it’s by far more economical to buy the gel and Not the capsules. i actually use the butter oil blend for other health reasons, so here it is if you’d like to check it out and do some research on which you’d like. there are tons of reviews on the various flavors, as well as ways to take it every day without gagging. call me weird, but i have no problem slathering mine on some wasa crackers with cheese and eating it just like that. i also mix it in with tuna and avocado for a tuna salad type deal. (i’m weird, i know…). i know a lot of people aren’t crazy about the intense fishy smell and taste. if you get the gel, it’s easy to suspend a glob of it in a cup of some juice and swallowing it that way.
  • *fish oil – if you can’t spring for FCLO (it’s pricey, i know!), those fish oil pills you see in stores contain omega-3 fatty acids, ALA (alpha Linolenic Acid), DHA (docosahexaenioc acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which nourish the hair follicles and sebaceous glands from the inside out.
  • grass-fed gelatin – gelatin is a good source of protein, collagen and amino acids, all of which support healthy hair (and nail) growth. you can also apply gelatin as a mask to your hair as a natural way to help prevent/seal up split ends and other breakage. to use it as a mask, quickly blend 1 tablespoon gelatin (i have this one and it’s the only one i trust to be grass-fed), 1 cup warm/hot water, and 1 teaspoon acv. in the shower, after you wet or wash your hair, massage all over from scalp to ends, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse with warmish cool water.
  • biotin -this vitamin helps improve keratin’s infrastructure, and overall helps your body process energy and transport carbon dioxide from your body’s cells. as a general rule of thumb, the dose is 2.5mg a day. any more than that and your body will pee it out (graphic but true!).

what can we use to help our hair to grow faster?

  • scalp massages – massaging your scalp for 5 or more minutes a day leads to improved blood circulation. that means your hair follicles are receiving more essential nutrients and oxygen, keeping them healthy and promoting hair growth!
  • unrefined coconut oil – unrefined coconut oil is a beauty gold mine. you can use CO by directly massaging it onto your scalp and into the length of your hair as a hair mask. it’s a great moisturizer, strengthener, shine enhancer, and scalp nourisher. it’s abundant in vitamin E, vitamin K and iron, which are all essential for keeping your hair strong (and shiny!). CO also protects against hair damage from the swelling and shrinking it goes through due to water absorption. AND since our hair is made up of protein, the lauric acid (a fatty acid) in it binds hair proteins, protecting our hair from breakage. talk about a magical oil! no-poo-ers – please remember that the bs/acv routine will not take CO back out of your hair. either use a low-poo or forgo this option.
  • cayenne pepper – here’s the irritation section of hair growth. by irritating the scalp, you can increase blood flow, thereby increasing oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, thereby increasing hair growth. unfortunately this burns so you have to be VERY careful about using ANY irritant, whether it be pepper, onions, or mustard. this particular method calls for equal parts cayenne pepper powder and olive oil (think 3 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons). it’ll make a thick paste that can be rubbed onto your scalp (please use rubber gloves), and left on for 10-15 minutes. you can do this every time you wash your hair. *no-poo-ers- the bs/acv routine will NOT take the olive oil back out of your hair. since i’m water-only, i found that a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half mixed into enough water to make a runny paste did the trick. you can also mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper powder with a raw egg and apply the goo to your scalp (instead of using oil or water). it gets hot, so be prepared. everyone’s tolerance level is different, so start SMALL and work your way up if you feel the need to. don’t overdo it!! and DO NOT get it on your face or anywhere near your eyes or other mucus membranes!! i got it inside my nose (changing my nose ring while i was waiting for the time to pass…not pickin boogies) and it buuuurned! haha.
  • onion juice – onion juice first acts as a scalp and hair follicle clarifier, then promotes the production of a natural antioxidant called catalase. catalase promotes thicker, healthier hair follicles, increased hair growth in currently bald/balding spots, and gray hair prevention. to use onion juice, blend up a peeled and quarted onion, and strain the pulp. apply the juice to your scalp a little at a time so it doesn’t run everywhere, and leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes. rinse very well! it’ll stink!
  • eggs/sugar/mustard powder – this mix acts on the same principle as the cayenne pepper – irritation. the sugar and mustard powder heat up your scalp and irritate it, and the egg nourishes your scalp and gives your hair a good dose of protein. to use, mix 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder with 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons warm water. then mix in your egg yolk. apply the runny mix to your scalp, and let it sit for 15-45 minutes. rinse very well, and avoid getting it on your face/eyes/etc.

*favorites: massages and unrefined coconut oil masks. they both feel amazing, and have always given me amazing results!
*least favorite (by far): the eggs/sugar/mustard mix.  let’s just say my scalp burned SO bad and my eyes wouldn’t stop watering cuz they really, really stung. it wasn’t pretty. i know i’ve seen a few people swear by this method, but i don’t know crunchies. besides the pain, it’s incredibly MESSY. i’m gonna search for a picture i took of my…ahem… experience with this mix. it’s hilarious now, but at the time i thought my eyes would pack up shop and leave me.

20130707_184207
stupid mustard powder.

anyone have any other healthy hair growth tips?

hippie stamp Sig

39 thoughts on “natural solutions for faster and healthier hair growth

  1. I try to go 2 to 3 days showering with a shower cap letting the natural oils do their job but when the weather is warm or you sweat from exercise how is this possible to do? won’t your pores/hair follicles clog? I take Biotin, Krill oil and I use CO, Olive oil conditioner (on occasion) and I’m a water washer. I’m male, growing my hair back out but not liking to have to clip my nails every 2 days though it tells me the Biotin is legit.

  2. I try to go 2 to 3 days showering with a shower cap letting the natural oils do their job but when the weather is warm or you sweat from exercise how is this possible to do? won’t your pores/hair follicles clog? I take Biotin, Krill oil and I use CO, Olive oil conditioner (on occasion) and I’m a water washer. I’m male, growing my hair back out but so it’s funny having to clip my nails every other day..Biotin is LEGIT!

  3. For beautiful, natural hair right nutrition is crucial. The basic elements for healthy hair growth should be provided from inside out. I also take nutritional supplement Hair Gain Formula by Military Grade in order to support my hair and fight seasonal hair loss. This product contains unique herbal compounds, which make it effective and safe to take. In 6 months my hair has become visibly thicker, and I don’t suffer from hair loss as much as I used to.

  4. Well I’m allergic to coconut. I have hypothyroidism sand few years back thought I’d try the CO but that was a nightmare. So that is out. I’m sure til be sticky but I’m thinking since honey is very cooling, maybe watering it down and mixing it with cayenne oil. I’m running out of ideas as I’ve had hair loss since 14 I’m now 40. I’ve heard vodka but I won’t be putting that on my head. LOL

  5. I went to the hair salon yesterday to get my dead ends cut off and the stylist cut off abut 3-4 inches of my hair. I have naturally curly hair and I want to cry 😦 I finally had longish hair and now it is gone 😦

  6. Thank you for these tips! Thank you for emphasizing that what makes a healthy hair is not totally dependent on what you apply to your hair or scalp. Eating the proper food will also help you get that hair growth you’ve always wanted.

  7. I’ll start massaging just to see if it works. My hair hasnt grown more than 2 inches a year. 😦 HELP!!???

    1. Adela, I’m feeling your pain. Me too!!! I’m massaging as I’m reading now. (-: I’m hoping for some results. I came across this site on accident and so far I love what I’m reading!!!

  8. Alex,
    You are most welcome. I would love to share my experience. Natural Health is just absolutely wonderful!!!! I know that our bodies are meant to heal, and the answers are out there.
    If I can help someone else through my experience, I would be happy to.
    Thanks again to you!!!!
    Joyous

  9. Hello,
    I just wanted to say Thank You. I had come across your blog by accident when I was trying to figure out how to get the Coconut Oil out of my hair without shampooing with regular shampoo. I have been going without commercial products for four months and I didn’t want to have to wash my hair with all those chemicals. Anyway, I had been on a two year natural quest to find an answer to my adult acne. Part of it was diet and nutrition, and the other part was finding this blog. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even begin to explain how I don’t worry anymore about my face and that is even when I get hormonal breakouts. One day the deep hurting acne just cleared and now when I get one or two small breakouts, it is not so emotionally exhausting. I thought one day, “a lot of people deal with acne and are not completely traumatized by it.” They do there best to find answers, but then they live a fulfilling beautiful inspiring life even with acne.
    I know a big part of clearing my skin was letting go of the resentment, worry and anxiety that came with it. The other part of the puzzle was the clean foods way of life, and the wonderful information on this blog. After three months of not putting all those chemicals in my hair, somehow that had a huge impact on my acne. I got really painful acne under my chin where my hair was always brushing along my face and chin. When I went long enough without washing my hair my skin would look better. I think I am allergic to ACV apple cider vinegar because I can’t go near the stuff even a tsp full without it irritating my skin. So, something to consider. I just use lemon, or baking soda, or the bentonite clay without the acv. I just keep experimenting also. Like, Aloe Vera for moisture and the raw honey for conditioning.
    I went into the salon to get my hair trimmed and just matter of fact told the lady what I had been doing for the last four months. She asked, “What made you decide to do that.” Like it was the most crazy foreign thing she had ever heard of. I told her I grew up with a grandpa who was an example of natural health and longevity and he was always educating himself on natural health.
    He lived to be 96 and was still going to work on his farm up to the last two months of his life.
    “It is not enough to go down the street with a properly working stomach, a beautiful figure, white teeth and good frame. It is necessary to have a beautiful mind, a tranquil mind and a harmonious philosophy in order to have true beauty, the beauty that will attract and hold. The person who has attained these not only will be at peace with himself, he will be at peace with his fellow man as well. Nothing that happens will unduly disturb him; no words or acts of others can hurt him. For he will know that nothing coming from the outside can harm him, nothing that happens can enslave him.” (Dr. Bernard Jensen, I Feel Wonderful, So Can You.)

    Thank Alex

    Joyous

    1. hey joyous! thank you SO SO SO much for sharing your story! i am so incredibly touched!!!! people like YOU are the EXACT reason i keep blogging for natural beauty. i can’t tell you how happy i am that you’re so happy with everything! and that quote is so beautiful! sending you all my love <3<3 if you would ever like to guest post and share any/all of your story, please let me know. i think it'd be a great inspiration!

      1. Alex,
        You are welcome! I would love to share my story. The best thing we can do is share our knowledge and give to others in the hope that they can find answers too. Thanks again. That is what you have done.
        🙂
        Joyous

  10. Hello! I have a question, is there any danger in using natural vegetable glycerin to clean hair? I’ve been buying all natural no sulfate “low ‘poo” from a seller on etsy that’s been doing wonders for my hair, and I wanted to make sure there was nothing dangerous about that.

    Also, this is a little off topic.. do you have any experience using witch hazel or tea tree oil for acne? I’ve suffered from acne since middle school, I’m in college now, and my Clearasil just doesn’t work very well and I want to get away from slathering chemicals on my face.

    Thank you!

    1. hey there! if you have dyed hair and/or live in either a very humid or very dry climate, i would not recommend using a natural vegetable glycerin on hair. it can strip color out of dyed hair, make the hair swell in humidity, and dehydrate the hair in cold weather. otherwise, you should be good to go! it’s not dangerous, no!
      and witch hazel, yep. i have a post for acne solutions and the oil cleansing method if you’d like to check it out 🙂 ❤

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