We are all born with the total amount of hair follicles we will have in our lifetime. According to some estimates, there are 5 million hair follicles on our body. On our head, however, there are no more than 100,000 hair follicles.
But as we age, some of them stop producing hair, which is why we experience baldness, hair loss, and hair thinning. When the follicles are working properly, our hair grows about half an inch per month on average.
There are many factors that determine how long does it take for hair to grow.
Let’s take a look.
Stages of hair growth
Before we look at the factors that determine how fast your hair will grow, we have to explain the growth process. There are three stages of hair growth.
- Anagen phase, the active growth phase of hair that lasts 2 to 8 years
- Catagen phase, which is a transition phase where hair stops growing, and lasts between 4 and 6 weeks
- Telogen phase is a resting phase where hair falls out, and lasts between 2 and 3 months
Our scalp has 90% to 95% of the hair follicles in the anagen phase. The rest are in the telogen phase, which means we lose 100 to 150 hairs on daily basis.
Factors determining hair growth
Science has discovered some facts about hair growth, and has come to a conclusion that age, hair type, overall health, genetics, health conditions, and ethnicity can all determine how long does it take for hair to grow.
Let’s break them down one by one.
Genetics play a part in the anagen phase, specifically, how long it will last. Genetics also play a role in hair loss, which has a huge impact on the growth phase of your hair. Baldness is largely heredity and kicks in as we get older.
Age plays a role in almost everything that happens in our body. We know our skin loses its elasticity for example. As we grow older, our body does not produce as many hormones and enzymes as it used to.
That is why the older you get, the slower your hair grows.
Ethnicity also plays a role, and it is closely connected to our hair type.
For example, Asian hair type has round follicles and it is usually very strong. People with Asian hair type rarely experience hair loss, but they have the lowest density.
Caucasian hair type comes in a variety of textures, with the follicles having a slightly oval shape. Caucasian hair produces the highest density, and the hair grows half an inch per month.
Afro hair type has the slowest growth, due to the follicles having an elliptical shape that grow in a spiral.
We know a number of health conditions can cause hair loss, but your overall health as well. For example, deficiency in vitamin C results in hair loss and hair thinning.
During pregnancy, women experience faster hair growth. It is all due to estrogen, which causes women to have a higher ratio of hair follicles in the growing phase.
Once the baby is born, hair follicles return to resting phase, and it appears as women are shedding hair.
How long it will take for your hair to grow?
Generally speaking, we said that hair grows at about half an inch per month.
Here is a quick breakdown of hair length and time you need to grow it.
- Ear length, or 6 inches of hair requires 10 months of growing
- To grow hair below the ear, which is close to 8 inches, you need 14 months
- For chin length hair, you will need to wait 18 months
- To get shoulder length hair, you need to wait 22 months to grow 12 inches of hair
- For hair up to your shoulder blades, it will take 34 months of growing
- If you want to grow hair up to your mid back, which is almost 22 inches, you need to wait 38-42 months
- For hair up to the lower back, it takes between 46 and 50 months of growing
- Few women can grow hair up to their waist, as it takes 54 months of growing
Tips for faster hair growth
Hair is made up of keratin and dead skin cells. While there is still no direct method scientists have found out for growing hair faster overnight, there are a few steps you can take to stimulate healthy and faster hair growth.
Consume more vitamins and minerals
Many vitamins affect hair growth indirectly. Some you want to consume include omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B5, biotin, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin D.
The good news is that you can source most of these vitamins and minerals from foods. You will have to go out on the sun more to get vitamin D.
Apply essential oils
There are a number of essential oils for hair growth that can stimulate circulation and blood flow to your head. That will bring more nutrients to hair follicles, and increase hair growth.
Whenever you use essential oils, you have to dilute with carrier oil. And for hair growth, jojoba and castor oil work best. As for essential oils, peppermint, rosemary, sunflower, and pumpkin seed oil can stimulate hair growth.
SEE ALSO: Home remedies for hair growth
These are designed mostly for people suffering from hair loss. But they also work by stimulating hair growth.
You can try ketoconazole shampoo, topical melatonin, topical minoxidil 5%, or propecia.
SEE ALSO: Best Hair Growth Shampoos
We mentioned that hair is composed of keratin, which is a type of protein. There are not many studies that show keratin supplements affect hair growth, but it is worth trying.
Inversion method for growing hair
In the past few years, the inversion method has become more and more popular, as it produces great results. We mentioned that normally, your hair grows up to half an inch per month.
Well, with the inversion method, you can grow hair by up to one inch, in some cases, even one and a half inches.
How does it work?
- Massage olive or coconut oil on your scalp
- Sit down and bend your head forward between your knees. Sit in that position for 4 minutes, while gently massaging your scalp
- Wash the oil out from your hair. Repeat the process for seven days straight, and then give your scalp three weeks of rest before doing the inversion again
- If you do not like to wash your hair every day during the inversion, you can apply oil one day, and then dry massage the other day