Long, voluminous hair has been a sign of health and beauty in many different cultures and religions for years. In Native American culture, long hair is thought to increase tranquillity, intuition and vitality. In some Indian cultures, having long hair is a sign of wisdom, often seen coiled onto the top of the head in a ‘rishi knot’, and is believed to energize the aura. In Western cultures, long hair is a sign of femininity and glamor. Having strong, healthy hair is highly valued, but often there are many things that can affect growth.
Each individual strand of hair grows from a follicle, and the root of each hair is made up of a small collection of protein cells. Blood vessels feed this root, creating more and more cells which cause the hair to be pushed up through to skin. As the hair grows, it passes through an oil gland which adds natural oils to the hair, protecting and nourishing it. We all have roughly 100,000 hair follicles on our heads alone, and it’s natural to lose almost 100 hair each day. Hair grows at an average rate of half an inch every month, but if you’re looking to speed up the process, there are a few things you can do.
Here are 10 home remedies for hair growth.
1. Scalp Massage
One of the key components of hair growth is a proper haircare routine, and this should differ depending on the type of hair you have. If you have curly or wavy hair, the best haircare routine is one that involves minimal washing, as this can strip the hair of its natural oils and make it dry and coarse. Aim for washing once or twice a week, freshening up with dry shampoo in between. For those with straight hair, wash it every other day, as straight hair has a tendency to become greasy easily.
Another key component of healthy hair is a scalp massage. When shampooing your hair, use small, circular motions with your fingertips to massage the scalp. This stimulates blood flow, improves circulation and reduces stress. Avoid using your fingernails on the hair, as this can break hair strands. Using slow, gentle movements, work your way around the head, spreading and contracting the fingers. Essential oils can also be used during a scalp massage, as they can help provide additional moisture and further increase circulation. Two to three drops of an oil like rosemary, lavender, thyme or cedarwood can be very beneficial, but if you’re prone to greasy hair, use it sparingly.
Massage the scalp for at least three minutes, or longer if possible. You can massage your scalp as often as you like, but it’s generally most effective when performed twice a day. Scalp massage has been proven to have a positive effect on thickness and growth of hair. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that a standard scalp massage performed daily for four minutes resulted in an increase in thickness and growth after a 24-week period.
In order to gain impressive results from a scalp massage, it’s best to ensure you persist, even if you don’t see a noticeable effect straight away. According to Top Hair Loss Treatments, it’s generally believed that thickness begins to be seen at around five months of daily massage. While this may seem like a long time before results, scalp massage is a natural, safe way to thicken hair and stimulate growth, so there’s no harm in adding it to your daily routine.