As the New Year rolls in big, many naturals and curly women are focusing on hair health…but let’s get real. Hair growth is ALWAYS on the list of things we want too. Now, healthy hair most often reigns supreme but scores of women, myself included, wants to get maximum hair growth in a year.
Nothing wrong with that and in fact, many products or ingredients that can give you optimal hair growth that also possess benefits like anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties that will aid scalp ailments or other hair problems.
Hair growth is constant despite what some may think. When they see their hair not growing past a certain length, they are getting hair growth confused with length retention. Hair on the scalp grows about .3 to .4 mm/day or about 6 inches per year and there are three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Hair retention is retaining the hair instead of losing it through breakage. Hair is always growing in one of the three phases mentioned above but you may not be seeing it if your hair is breaking off at a certain point. So, working only on hair growth is not the best way to have long hair. Excellent hair practices, eating right, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and protecting your strands will do that!
Biotin or vitamin B7 is used by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. It is a highly popular vitamin for hair, skin and nails and can be taken as a supplement alone, or in a multi-vitamin most often labeled as a hair, skin, or nail vitamin.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are not recorded side effects reported for biotin in amounts up to 10 milligrams a day but always consult with a medical professional to determine if this is a vitamin you need or can take and the dosage. Some people complain of skin breakouts but usually upping your water intake with combat that and I have personally tried it and it worked.
According to MNT, caffeine is “a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid – a term used for substances produced as end products of nitrogen metabolism in some plants.” This substance stimulates our Central Nervous System and can be found in over 60 plants. Now, the FDA DOES classify caffeine as a drug and a food additive but did you know it also encourages hair growth?
Caffeine can interact with the hair follicles, and even regulate hair growth so it can promote it and thwart hair loss. You can just keep drinking your morning cup of Joe to gain that benefit or you can take it a step further (like I do) and enlist in a coffee rinse from time to time.
Just brew a strong coffee or espresso and allow to cool. Pour over your head after you wash and condition. Leave in for 20 minutes and then rinse out. I just pour it over my head after I condition, add my deep conditioner, and let the mixture set under my thermal cap for 30 minutes before rinsing out. I LOVE the smell of the coffee mixed with my deep conditioner.
Garlic oil contains essential elements including sulfur, copper, vitamin C, selenium, and minerals which are highly beneficial for hair growth. Garlic has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibiotic properties and it is said to stimulate blood flow to the scalp which in turn encourages hair growth.
You can add it to your shampoo or conditioner, use it in a scalp massage with another oil, or use it as a hair massage all by itself. I am unaware of the smell factor with using the oil but it might be better to try prior to wash day or when you have no plans for that day.
Hair Vitamins (Hairfinity & The Mane Choice)
Hair vitamins are nothing new but with the natural hair movement, they have become a permanent fixture in healthy hair care for quite a few. There are plenty of hair vitamins on the shelves on or online but a few stand out as some of the favorites like Hairfinity and The Mane Choice.
I have personally tired Hairfinity and it does work but several naturals have praised The Mane Choice touting real hair and nail growth. I experienced both as well on Hairfinity as while the biggest complaint seems to be breakouts, upping your water intake seems to fix that problem.
Now, mind you, the hair on your head is not the only hair that will grow and many have said they noticed growth in their eyebrows and even chin and upper lip. All I can say is make those appointments for waxing and keep it moving.
(Essential) Mustard Oil
This very popular oil on the Indian Subcontinent and is either extracted by cold compression of mustard seeds or from steam distillation of mustard seeds soaked in water. The essential oil has the purpose of massage, and will also stimulates circulation and best if not consumed orally.
Mustard oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties but it is becoming known as a hair revitalizer. With the oleic and Linoleic fatty acids, it has stimulating effects that increase blood circulation to the scalp which nourishes the hair follicles and encourages hair growth.
Rogaine for women
Rogaine for women is a topical hair regrowth treatment for hereditary female pattern hair loss or thinning. It prevents further hair loss and is clinically proven to regrow hair. The active ingredient is minoxidil, which is a vasodilator that used to be prescribed for high blood pressure but is now thought to increase the size of inactive hair follicles. This allows them to resume production of thicker, longer strands of hair.
Reviewers are saying it works but know this is for women with hereditary pattern hair loss or thinning so if your hair loss or thinning is from chemicals, over-manipulation of styling products or heat, then this is not the product for you.
OK, I threw a lot of information at you but plenty of women have tried and found these ingredients and hair products to aid in optimal hair growth. Remember that no product or ingredient can beat eating right, drinking plenty of water, protecting your hair and having a solid hair care routine.
Which ingredients have you had success with?