Let's Get Some Length!If you're like most women, there has been a time where you have felt like your hair stopped growing. You’ve measured your hair, comparing pictures, and you even stopped getting trims to preserve the length you do have. I’m sure you’ve read many hair growth blogs, ate magic gummies or applied a certain oil you heard grows your hair fast. Unfortunately, these hair growth tips and products may only work considering a few factors. It will be a task to change the natural speed of how your hair grows but with the right knowledge; some things could give your hair a little boost.
Your Health MattersDuring a consultation between a Hair Stylist and a Client, it is important to mention the more personal things such as your health, medication you might be taking if you're stressed, and your regimen. With many diseases, there are medications for those diseases, and it usually results in excessive shedding and hair loss. A change in health such as pregnancy and post pregnancy up to a year after giving birth can cause excessive shedding and hair loss. Because of post-pregnancy hair loss, women often take their prenatal up to a year after childbirth.
Stop StressingStress is one of those things that everyone downplays but could change the way your body functions entirely. Stress can be the culprit in hair loss. It’s easier said than done but try to take to make time for your body to relax like going to the spa. Apart of your regimen with your body plays an important role with how your hair grows like drinking a lot of water, taking your daily vitamins, and eating as healthy as you can. Your scalp skin is a representation of your body's skin so being hydrated and having those daily nutrients are essential. You do not have to spend a fortune on vitamins. A biotin and daily vitamin from your grocery store will work. It may take up to 3 months to see a difference. If you do not see a difference, it is because you are not deficient in any vitamins and your hair is growing the way it is supposed to. A few Vitamins you need to grow healthy hair:
- Biotin (B or H)
Your Hair Grows in PhasesThe average person will grow ¼ to ½ inch of hair per month. All hair goes through four phases: A growing phase (anagen), resting phase (catagen), shedding phase (telogen), and (exogen) which is when the follicle remains dormant for a time. If you notice your hair hasn't grown for months, you can assume that your hair may be in this exogen phase. As we age, our natural exogen periods begin to lengthen. I have had clients whose hair grew slower than my other clients, but when it started to grow it took off! Most of our hair is in the telogen phase during the late summer or early fall months. So, you can expect a lot of shedding around this time. *Tip - Hair does not stop growing because it is a certain length.
The ScalpYour scalp skin should remain clean and pliable. Your scalps job is to push out the hair strand, and at the same time pass, a little oil bubble with it called sebum. A healthy scalp produces about an ounce of sebum every one hundred days. While some of us produce normal amounts of sebum, the natural kinks and bends along our hair shafts prevent its easy spread throughout the hair. It’s important not to add oils to your scalp often unless your scalp is not producing oil on its own. If you regularly oil your scalp, this could cause clogging, and the hair strand will not easily be pushed out. On the next wash day, skip the part where you oil your scalp and do this for a few weeks. Your scalp may regulate back to normal, and you will see a difference in growth after a month.
Scalp Blood CirculationBlood circulation is important all throughout your body, and that includes your scalp. You can increase the pliability and circulation to your scalp by gently massaging it. I have been taught in many salons to massage every client while the conditioner is in their hair. If your scalp skin seems tight, you will want to add a scalp massage to your regimen. Are you unsure? Ask someone to tug on your hair and look at your scalp. If it does not stretch, you have tight scalp skin, and you would need to start massaging your scalp regularly. Tip - *If your scalp is not producing oil try sebum mimicking oils such as jojoba, grapeseed, and carrot oil once a week or as needed.
Breaking Just as Fast as its GrowingHair breakage comes from protein and moisture imbalances in the hair fiber. These imbalances are usually brought on by applying too much protein and not enough moisture or vice versa. Not being aware of why hair breakage occurs can really stunt your hair growth! Since it depends on which imbalance your hair is going through, no single product can fight breakage alone or solve all breakage situations.
Hair Breakage FactorsThere are two common forms of hair breakage. Moisture Deficient, which is protein induced hair breakage and Protein Deficient, which is moisture induced hair breakage. Both can compromise the structure or elasticity conditions within the hair fiber. With moisture deficiency, the overuse of heat, heavy oils, excess sun exposure, and harsh shampoos will steal the moisture from the hair. It seems like every product has protein in it and too much of it can induce moisture deficiency. Hair in this state is hard with little movement. In this case, avoid amino acids, animal protein, cholesterol, collagen, keratin, milk protein, panthenol, soy protein, and wheat protein. With protein deficiency, the overuse of chemicals destroys the protein structure. That can be color or relaxer. Also when you over condition your hair and with protein rebuilding products, the hair becomes too soft, stretchy and may not hold curls or styles.
Breakage and Shedding: What's the Difference?Shedding is a response to hormonal signaling in the body. You will always see a white bulb which indicates it has stopped producing melanin (color) and is now ready to fall (shed). If it does not contain the white bulb, it is considered breakage. The most common situations in which hair sheds are hormonal changes, pregnancy, birth control, menstrual cycles, menopause, heredity, dieting, sickness, anemia, thyroid disorders, certain medications, and surgeries. Applying protein treatments will not stop your hair from shedding because the problem does not lie in the hair shaft. Until your body balances out, you may go through a season of shedding. Whether you have breakage, your hair is in the exogen phase, or you have just been oiling your scalp a little too much, you now have the knowledge and can map out a plan. Having a hair care plan is crucial to your hair growth's success.
So what is your next step for hair growth success?You may want to ask your doctor to check to see if you are deficient in anything. Or you may want to balance your moisture and protein. Now that you are aware of reasons your hair may not grow up to your expectations it will be exciting to see a difference in the next few months.
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