If you are trying to grow out your hair, it can be a frustratingly slow process. It may not seem like your hair is growing at all, but it is assuredly getting longer day by day. How long does it take for hair to grow? There are many factors that contribute to hair growth, and how fast it grows daily, weekly and monthly.
What Are the Stages of Hair Growth?
To understand how long it takes for hair to grow, you need to know the basics about hair follicles. The average human is born with about 100,000 hair follicles on their scalp – you do not gain any more over your lifetime. These hair follicles go through three stages continuously: anagen, catagen and telogen.
Anagen is the growth process stage, which can last up to eight years. Every hair does have a finite life span, so the hair on your head today is not the same hair that was there 10 years ago. The catagen stage is when hair stops growing, which can last 4-6 weeks before telogen occurs, when hairs shed or fall out.
When you wonder about hair growth, it is important to understand that protecting your hair is part of the growth potential. Stimulating new growth from follicles is also vital to continue having new hair to replace those that are lost, which is about 100-150 strands a day that are in the telogen stage.
How Long Does Hair Grow In a Week, Month or Year?
While there are many different factors that contribute to how fast hair grows, there are averages you can expect. Age, gender, genetics, nutrition, health, medications and other factors can impact how fast you grow hair. But a healthy person can expect to grow a fraction of an inch of hair each week.
On average, scalp hair follicles can make about a ½ inch of new hair each month. This means you can grow about 1/8 inch per week, ½ inch per month and about 6-inches per year. In six months, you could grow 3 inches of hair. However, there are people who grow hair faster, or slower, than average.
What Can Deter Hair Growth?
If you are wondering, “How long does it take hair to grow?” you need to know what can slow or stop hair growth. Some factors are out of your control – genetics, age and hormonal changes may impact how and if your hair grows. But there are factors you can control that affect hair growth, including these:
- Protein Intake
- Your body needs protein to maintain many tissues in the body, including hair. If you are not getting enough daily protein, your body will distribute the protein it gets to vital tissues like muscle before hair. Getting less than 50 grams of protein a day can impact hair growth and health and may lead to shedding.
- Chemical Treatments
- The hair treatments that many people use to improve the appearance of their hair can lead to slower growth. Not only does bleaching, relaxing, perming and other chemical treatments harm hair, it has been linked to slower growth and possibly damaging hair follicles permanently.
- Sleep and Stress
- Caring for your mind and body can affect your hair growth. Stress, emotional and physical, can affect your hair health and growth. You also need sleep to obtain optimum growth. Your body regenerates and repairs tissues, including hair, while you sleep. Manage your stress and get 6-8 hours a sleep a day.
- Nutrient Deficiency
- Protein is not the only nutrient you need for healthy hair. Many vitamins and minerals are needed for hair growth, including biotin, vitamins (C, D and E), iron and zinc. Some essential oils like omega-3 and omega-6 are also important for hair health.
Best Ways to Grow 3 Inches of Hair or More
Your overall health impacts your hair growth. Instead of wondering, “How long does hair grow in a week?” focus on the best ways to continue growth for the long term. Your diet, stress levels, sleep and overall wellness impact how quickly you can grow 3 inches of hair or more.
If you are trying to improve hair growth, consider stopping any chemical treatments on your hair. There is some evidence that you can benefit from scalp massage and certain topical elements that can stimulate growth and hair follicle health. Peppermint oil, caffeine and jojoba oil have had some success.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you feel your hair growth is slower than normal, you may want to visit your doctor. There are health problems that can contribute to your hair growth. Hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies and certain medications can impact your hair and wellness, which your doctor can investigate.
How long does it take for hair to grow? There are many different factors that can affect the answer to that question. While it takes an “average” of six months to grow 3 inches of hair, that amount can be different for everyone, depending on their health, lifestyle and other factors.