Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 9/30/2022
Whether your barber took off a little more hair than you’re happy with, you’re hoping to fill in that bald patch around your crown, or you’re simply feeling a little nostalgic for your glorious college hair, it’s far from uncommon to want to speed up your hair growth.
Your hair grows as part of a multi-phase hair growth cycle. While research suggests that there’s not much that you can do to accelerate this cycle by a large amount, certain healthy habits may help to stimulate hair growth and produce a small increase in your hair’s average growth rate.
Below, we’ve discussed how your hair grows, as well as what you can expect when it comes to the average speed of your hair growth.
We’ve also shared a few tips that you can use to promote healthy hair growth and regrow your hair on a faster timeline.
Although hair growth may seem simple, it actually occurs as part of a complicated, multi-phase process that’s referred to as the hair growth cycle.
Much like your skin, your hair grows as a direct result of the division and differentiation of stem cells, which form into the keratinized cells that make up your hair. As each hair grows, it breaks through your skin and becomes visible on your scalp or body as it reaches its full length.
Your hair grows in three key phases. The first of these is the anagen phase, during which each hair grows from the hair follicle. During this phase, the follicle develops into an onion-like shape, with hair fiber growing as a result of cellular division.
The anagen phase of the hair growth cycle is often referred to as the “growth phase,” as this is when your hair is actively growing to its full length.
The length of the anagen phase varies, with scalp hairs remaining in an active growth state for several years at a time and body hairs often exiting this phase after several weeks.
Although the specific speed at which your hair grows can vary from person to person, research suggests that hairs usually gain an extra 1.06 centimeters, or 0.42 inches, per month during the anagen phase of the growth cycle.
This means that your hair will gain, on average, just over five inches in length over the course of one year.
As each hair exits from the anagen phase, it enters the catagen phase -- a transition period that can last for several weeks. With its growth period ending, the hair develops into a club hair, with a bulb of keratin forming at the root tip of the hair shaft.
Each hair then enters into the telogen phase, during which it rests. By this point, the rate of hair growth is zero. At the end of the telogen phase, old hairs shed from your scalp and are replaced by new strands of hair -- a period that’s sometimes referred to as the “exogen” phase.
Around 10 to 15 percent of the hair on your scalp is in the telogen phase at any time, with most hairs in the anagen, or active growth, phase.
Our guide to the hair growth cycle goes into more detail about this process, as well as the many health conditions and other factors that may affect your hair’s ability to grow.
Over the decades, researchers have looked into potential methods for speeding up hair growth and promoting healthier hair.
While this research has identified numerous ways to improve hair density and promote stronger hair in general, we still don’t have many highly effective techniques for speeding up hair growth by a significant amount.
However, we do have some simple hair and proper scalp care methods that may promote small improvements in hair regrowth speed.
These include using a proper scalp shampoo to care for your hair follicles, avoiding overly tight hairstyles that pull on your hair follicles, eating a healthy diet and using certain evidence-based medications to promote faster growth and optimal hair health.
These methods can produce real improvements, but it’s important to be realistic when it comes to their effects. Because of the way hair growth works, you aren’t going to double or triple your hair growth speed by practicing good habits or using certain remedies for hair growth.
However, you may be able to produce a modest improvement that, over the course of a year or so, results in a visible difference in your hair’s growth rate and thickness.
Ready to get started? We’ve shared these techniques below and explained how each works to stimulate growth, minimize hair breakage and keep your hair healthy.
A clean scalp is generally a healthy scalp, and shampoo is a critical tool for keeping your scalp clean and reducing the buildup of substances that may affect hair growth.
Taking the time to properly shampoo and condition may improve your chances of growing new hair at a reasonable rate. It can also protect your hair from free radicals, or reactive molecules that may be involved in premature hair loss.
Shampooing your hair regularly may also help to prevent scalp issues that can slow down your hair growth, such as dandruff, which may contribute to itching and damage.
While any shampoo that’s free of overly harsh ingredients can offer benefits for your scalp and hair, you’ll get the best results by using a shampoo that’s formulated specifically to promote the growth of stronger, thicker hair.
Our Hair Thickening Shampoo contains saw palmetto, which may prevent the buildup of scalp substances that contribute to hair loss.
It’s especially important to shampoo when you have wet hair that’s been exposed to chemicals such as those used in swimming pools, as these can contribute to itchy, dry hair and skin.
Beyond washing, it’s also important to condition your hair. Conditioning not only enhances the way your hair looks and feels -- it also promotes strong hair by providing additional resistance against static electricity and UV radiation.
Our Thick Fix Moisturizing Conditioner is formulated specifically to support a healthy scalp and hair using active ingredients such as niacinamide.
Your diet can potentially affect almost every aspect of your health and wellbeing, including your ability to maintain a thick, full head of hair.
A wide range of nutrients all play a role in healthy hair growth, including vitamins, minerals and macronutrients such as protein. Deficiencies of certain nutrients may contribute to some forms of hair shedding, such as telogen effluvium.
To keep your hair roots healthy and maintain consistent growth, try to eat a balanced diet that’s rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources and complex carbohydrates.
At the same time, it’s generally best to limit highly processed foods, as well as foods that contain large amounts of salt, sugar or saturated fats.
Interested in tailoring your diet for healthier hair strands? Our list of foods to eat for optimal hair growth shares more than 15 foods that you can add to your diet to promote growth and prevent issues such as fragile hair.
If you find it difficult to get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, or if you’d like to boost your consumption of specific nutrients that are linked to hair growth, you may want to consider adding hair growth supplements to your daily routine.
One of the most popular hair growth supplements is biotin -- a B vitamin that’s associated with certain aspects of the hair growth process.
Although biotin itself isn’t linked to improved hair growth, some research suggests that people with non-androgenetic hair loss (meaning hair loss that isn’t caused by male pattern baldness) often have low levels of biotin.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that biotin deficiency is fairly rare, meaning it isn’t likely to be the sole factor that affects your hair growth.
Still, if you’d like to make sure your hair has all of the nutrients it needs for good growth, adding a biotin supplement to your hair care routine may be a good idea.
Our Biotin Gummy Vitamins not only contain a healthy dose of biotin -- they’re also packed with other nutrients that support healthy hair, nails and skin.
We’ll take just about any excuse to be indulgent, but in addition to being very relaxing, the act of massaging your scalp may offer benefits for promoting hair thickness and growth.
In a study published in the journal Eplasty in 2016, researchers found that men who took part in a nine-minute scalp massage each day displayed a measurable increase in hair thickness over the course of 24 weeks.
The researchers behind the study also found that stretching the skin on the scalp with massage techniques produces changes in gene expression that may play a role in thickening hair cuticles and promoting healthy growth.
During massages, it is suspected that the dermal papilla cells are directly stimulated, which can lead to increased hair thickness.
Put simply, even a quick scalp massage might offer benefits for hair growth and promote a fuller, healthier head of hair.
As much as we may want our hair to be exempt from the effects of aging, hair does eventually “get old” just like the rest of the human body. This is part of why gray hairs, thinking areas and other aesthetic hair and scalp issues tend to get more noticeable as you age.
One of the ways these changes come to the hair is through oxidative stress, i.e damage that’s caused to your body through free radicals.
Research suggests that some antioxidants may play a role in slowing down the process of skin aging, such as vitamin C and tocotrienols. However, we aren’t yet sure how these antioxidants can promote consistent hair growth.
To promote healthy skin and hair, try increasing your antioxidant intake by prioritizing foods that are rich in these substances.
Good antioxidant-rich foods include many fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also boost your intake of antioxidants by adding an antioxidant supplement -- particularly one designed for skin and/or hair -- to your daily health routine.
Since some antioxidant supplements may interact with medication, make sure that you let your healthcare provider know before using any of these products if you use prescription drugs.
There are two major ways to grow hair faster. The first is to prioritize foods, products and habits that promote healthy hair growth, such as the ones we’ve shared above. The second is to avoid things that can damage your hair and slow down growth, such as harmful substances.
One substance that’s particularly important to look out for is bleach, which is a major ingredient in many commercial hair dyes.
To keep your hair and scalp healthy, try to avoid unnecessary coloring. If you do color your hair, try to choose a color that’s within three shades of your natural hair and make sure to have your hair dye applied by a professional stylist.
It’s also important to dry your hair carefully. Try to let your hair air dry whenever you can. If you need to use a blow dryer, try to hold it as far as you can from your scalp, and set it to the lowest heat setting to avoid unnecessary damage.
“I tried several different options before but Hims combined approach of all four methods by far created the best results.”
“Hims has been the greatest confidence boost, no more bald jokes! I look and feel so much younger!”
“When I show my barber my progress, he is always in disbelief. I have to recommend Hims to any guy who’s experiencing thinning.”
“Cost effective and affordable. My hair keeps growing thicker, fuller, and at a fast rate.”
“I noticed a huge change in the overall health and fullness of my hairline.”
“Now after 5 months I’m able to style waves first time in 10 years!”
“I decided to jump right in and I'm so glad I did. I definitely feel ten years younger!”
“In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.”
“4-months strong and my confidence boosted back up to 100% using Hims, future me really does thank me.”
“I’m a 34 year old father of two and have been using Hims for over a year now. My hair is back to what it was in my mid twenties.”
While healthy hair habits and home remedies might help to promote optimal hair growth, there’s little in the way of evidence to suggest that they can stop common forms of permanent hair loss, such as male pattern baldness.
Luckily, if you’re starting to notice a receding hairline, bald patch near your crown or other signs of male pattern hair loss, options are available in the form of evidence-based medications such as minoxidil and finasteride.
These medications have been approved by the FDA as hair loss treatments, with both backed up by a significant amount of scientific research.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that you can apply directly to your scalp, particularly areas that have visible hair loss. It works by moving resting hairs into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle and by stimulating blood circulation to your scalp and hair follicles.
Available as a liquid solution or as a foam, minoxidil needs to be applied to your scalp morning and night for optimal results. Luckily, using it is quick and simple, as we’ve covered in our guide to applying minoxidil for hair growth.
Most men with hair loss who use minoxidil report real improvements, including thicker hair and better scalp coverage. In one study, more than 84 percent of men who used minoxidil reported that it was effective at promoting hair growth over the course of one year.
As an over-the-counter medication, minoxidil is a great first option to consider if you’re starting to notice early signs of hair shedding. We offer minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online as part of our range of hair loss treatments for men.
Finasteride is a prescription hair loss medication that works by stopping your body from creating dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen hormone that causes male pattern baldness by binding to receptors in your scalp and “miniaturizing” your hair follicles.
Our guide to DHT and male hair loss explains what DHT is, as well as the hair damage effects it can cause as part of its role in male pattern baldness.
Although finasteride doesn’t improve blood flow like minoxidil, by stopping production of DHT, it helps to shield your hair follicles from the damage that can cause hair loss over time.
Like minoxidil, finasteride is supported by real scientific research. In one study, men affected by pattern hair loss showed significant improvements in hair growth after taking finasteride for one year, with even bigger improvements in hair growth after a second year of treatment.
Other research has found that finasteride and minoxidil are particularly effective at treating hair loss when they’re used together.
For example, a study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy found that 94.1 percent of balding men who used both medications showed improvements after 12 months, compared to 80.5 percent of men who used finasteride and 59 percent of men who used minoxidil alone.
We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. We also offer finasteride and minoxidil together in our Hair Power Pack.
Your hair naturally grows by just over five inches per year, although this growth may look slightly different depending on your hair type. For example, if you have curly hair, you may find it harder to notice a full year’s worth of growth than if you had straight hair.
You can support this growth by using the techniques listed above, from maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet to setting aside a few minutes every now and then to wash your hair or give your scalp a massage.
You can also promote growth and prevent thinning by using proven hair loss medications, such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Interested in learning more about avoiding hair loss? Our guide to what you should take to treat hair loss goes into more detail about your options, from finasteride and minoxidil to lifestyle tips, hair products and more.