My hair is growing slowly – what does this mean? In a nutshell, this can simply mean my scalp is not as healthy or in the best tip-top condition that it should be. This leads to my hair also being unhealthy and not in its naturally best condition so that my hair grows at naturally optimum or fastest speed.
It can also simply mean my hair could be falling faster than it can ‘replenish’ or grow. Or it means my hair is weak and unhealthy, splits, is brittle or breaks easily. It also says my inner overall health, lifestyle, diet, scalp care, hair care, emotional state or physical state or all of these factors, needs my attention, care and ‘fine tuning’.
One fact is, when scalp and eventually hair is healthy, about 90% of hair is growing at any given time at its naturally healthy and optimum speed – while the other 10% is resting. After my hair rests for a couple of months, my healthy hair naturally falls to make room for my new hairs. When my new hairs grow, healthily, they naturally grow like half an inch each month.
But when I have those ‘blocking or slowing down hair growth’ factors coming in, this whole process is disrupted and I will soon see this consequence or effect when I look in my mirror and, or see like more than 50 hairs falling off every day from my head!
So, what are the ways to get around these ‘disturbing and disruptive’ factors?
Cheap ways, expensive ways, luxurious ways, scientific ways, natural ways, chemically induced ways, combination of this-and-that ways, using ayurveda treatments, learning ways to rest and relax, eating right, living right, good scalp massage, or if you can afford to splash a lot more money, just do hair transplant, natural hair extensions or wear natural hair wigs!
Let us look at the doable ways for regular people, like a regular busy working mum with two kids like me.
Eat food rich in protein (this makes keratin which is what hair is made of), B vitamins (reduce hair loss), antioxidants like vitamin C, E and A (detoxify and cleanse our system, to build new hair cells and strengthen hair), iron and zinc rich food.
Iron gets the oxygen to the cells and to hair follicles too- very important for healthy scalp and hair. Two things zinc can do – to grow our bodies and repair our tissues like hair.
For all of these goodness I can get them either from taking supplements (as advised by my doctor) or eat stuff like eggs, lean meat, fish, nuts, beans, soy stuff, bananas, seafood, spinach, peas, broccoli (green leafy veggies)and whole grains, oranges, lemons, strawberries, kiwis, fortified foods, etc.
If you can, try to have these foods fresh and not canned or processed. It would much better to cook the healthy way like steaming and grilling instead of deep- fry or fried. Do this consistently (have them in your diet every day) and your body gets the ‘building blocks’ diet to grow hair long fast.
And another tip, drink lots of water. As they say, 8 glasses would be great and if you can have like 2-3 glasses first thing in the morning after you wake up, this can do wonders to your health – water flushes out all the accumulated bacteria and toxins from your system.
In summary, this means keeping your mental and physical health in as tip-top condition as possible – since mental health or emotional well-being is vital too, stay positive.
I have just talked about eating well as one of the ways to grow hair long fast. So what do we do now with our lives every day? For a great healthy start, if you smoke, quit it – or at least work towards quitting this nasty and ‘self-destroying’ habit. It’s basically ‘burning money’ for no benefit at all.
Then for heavy drinkers or regular party goers, go easy on alcohol. A sip or two of wine or ‘healthy’ brandy gets our blood circulating and brings the blood up to my cheeks (my cheeks ‘blush’ when I drink) but not like gulping down glass after glass like every other night at parties, social gatherings or at home on your own. Excessive alcohol burns your liver – especially on an empty stomach.
Then stay healthy by doing regular exercise like running, brisk walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, dancing, biking, cycling, climbing, skating, playing tennis, playing football, and lots more you can do. I love the outdoors!
Always get enough sleep – because all the ‘magic’ that happens to our bodies (healing, growing, building, repairing, etc) really happens when we are sleeping well. Like they keep saying, sleeping 8 hours every day will truly recharge us all around.
When it comes to hair, it is reported that when we are tired and stressed out, our body systems work harder to keep us ‘awake’ and keep energizing us to sustain us.
Because of this, extra nutrients are needed to sustain us, instead of being used by our body systems to build healthy hair.
But for people who are just ‘hyper’ and full of life and positive energy, I guess a little less sleep is alright?
Keep the work stress out of your bedroom said a girl friend of mine – an advice she took from her colleague. She took this advice which she said worked great for her and her hubby.
Believe it or not, stress is reported to be a major cause in hair loss too – serious stress can cause our body system to stop producing hair and stunt hair growth. If we allow our stressful state to go on, we will lose hair. And then it takes us time and effort to get our hair and hair growth back to normal.
So this is the reason why I make it a point to chill out every day – even a solid and quality 15-30 minutes chill out time works wonders. Try not to let your stress level get so bad that you cannot get up or go into serious depression. Find ways to chill out.
But in case your hair growth is stunted or disrupted or you experience hair loss due to a medical condition like taking certain medication or supplement, going through treatment like chemotherapy, it is best to seek professional advice from your doctor (maybe the prescription needs to change?) or a hair specialist.
As for those who have gone through chemotherapy, wearing a good wig or using fashionable scarves and bandanas can be a good temporary idea – while waiting for your hair to grow back.
4) Hair Care
Your scalp and fragile hair needs your consistent and tender loving care – every day. There are those of us who may take this for granted but I say again, please take good care of your crowning glory. What you do or not do to it, or yourself, can affect your hair growth process.
To perm, chemical treatment, chemically coloring hair, straightening, using too much and not hair friendly hair styling stuff, blow drying, roughly tugging at your hair, untangling your hair when it’s wet, combing or brushing your hair too much, using harmful hair brushes or bristles, tying your hair up too tightly (especially with rubber bands) all can be harmful to your hair.
Also remember that hair grows best and well when your scalp is at its healthiest condition. A healthy and ‘well taken care of scalp’ means hair growing at its naturally healthiest and fastest speed. So, do your scalp massages consistently, every day, so that blood and nutrients are circulated up to your scalp, then to your hair follicles.
Last but not least, it is best to consult your doctor or hair specialist before starting any medication or treatment.