Do you get major hair envy when you look at anyone with long, flowing hair? Have you seriously considered getting extensions? Do you wish you could use the #LongHairDontCare hashtag on just one selfie? If you feverishly nodded in agreement to all the previous questions you probably want your hair to grow faster than it does, or at all.
Have you ever stopped looking at all the long, thick ponytails for one minute to try to figure out why your hair doesn’t grow like Rapunzel’s? We interviewed Luis Payne, the Artistic Director at Hairroin Salon, and NYC hair specialist and restoration expert Dr. Robert Dorin to figure out possible reasons why your hair doesn’t grow.
Here are some reasons why your hair isn’t growing as long and as quickly as you would like:
1. Your hair growth cycle could be long.
To get scientific, Luis Payne explains that our hair cells have a life cycle that happens in three stages: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Once the cycle is complete a new strand of hair begins to form. The general speed of hair growth is about half an inch per month or about six inches a year. The Anagen stage is the growth phase and it can last anywhere from two to six years. How long your Anagen cycle is determined by genetics. If you find your hair doesn’t grow quickly, you could have an Anagen cycle of about two to four years. Thanks, mom and dad.
2. You’re not getting your hair cut frequently.
If you want to grow your hair longer, getting regular haircuts (read: at least every 6 to 12 weeks) is essential. Dr. Dorin explains, “It is important to note that regular haircuts don’t make your hair grow faster, rather, regular trims prevent hair breakage which can make the hair appear to grow slower.” Long hair is older and fragile so it needs regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Even if your hair grows slowly, you should still get half an inch or so trimmed off.
3· Your styling tools could be impeding your hair growth.
Dr. Dorin states, “Over-styling over-processing and rough handling are all main factors in hair growth.” If you’re addicted to your blow-dryer, you might want to try air-drying your hair on occasion. Furthermore, stop yanking it when you’re stressed.
Take a look at your hair products too. Dr. Dorin suggests using quality hair styling products such as silicone-free Scientific Essentials hair care products. They contain “18-MEA technology that works to replenish this important protective layer of the hair shaft, restoring the integrity of the hair’s surface with routine use.”
4. Your diet and health could be affecting your tresses.
It’s not just your heat styling tools that can slow down your hair growth, diet and medications can also play a part. Dr. Dorin states, “Diet is the main reason for hair not growing past a certain length.” One big culprit? Low ferritin levels. “A lack of ferritin can result in the hair moving out of the growing phase and into the breakage stage.” Vitamins B12 and Zinc are also very important to your hair’s length and texture. If you don’t get enough zinc your hair can be very brittle and break easily. An underactive/overactive thyroid could be another issue.
It’s important to ensure you have a nutrient-rich diet. Luis Payne says that if you take a multivitamin every day it will “enable your bloodstream to carry those nutrients to your follicle encouraging new hair growth during the Anagen stage.” Make sure you’re taking them every day and that you stick with it since it will take a few months to notice a difference.