Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 2/20/2023
Whether your barber took a little more off the top 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 common to want to speed up your hair growth.
While balding may be a common side effect of aging, there are still a few tricks that you can try to potentially speed up the hair growth process. Healthy habits that may stimulate hair growth include:
Using hair growth medications like minoxidil or finasteride
Eating a balanced diet
Getting a scalp massaging
Getting regular haircuts
Checking your medications for side effects
Below, we’ll expand on the points above, as well as discuss the different hair growth cycles and what to expect when it comes to the average speed of hair growth.
Let’s cut right to the chase: On average, you can expect your hair to grow right around five inches per year.
However, hair growth varies from person to person and happens in a relatively complex process very uniquely called the hair growth cycle.
Hair grows from the root of the hair follicle. As cells in the scalp multiply, the cells begin to form together and harden. These hardened cells are then pushed through the skin, forming a hair strand. As each piece of hair grows, it breaks through the skin and becomes visible on the scalp or body as it reaches its full length.
And although hair growth speed is a very unique experience 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.
Pretty impressive, no?
Before we get into how you can try to make your hair grow faster, we need to take a top-down 30-thousand-foot view of the hair growth process.
The anagen phase. The anagen phase, also known as the growth stage, begins as the follicle develops and creates hair fibers. The length of this phase varies, with scalp hairs remaining in an active growth state for several years and body hairs often exiting this phase after several weeks.
The catagen phase. After the growth phase,, the hair develops into a club hair, with a bulb of keratin forming at the root tip of the hair shaft. This transition period can last several weeks.
The telogen phase. At this stage, the rate of hair growth is a flat zero. At the end of the telogen phase, old hairs are shed from your scalp and 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.
Are you absolutely enthralled by the hair growth cycle? Do you simply need to learn every. little. single. detail. about It? 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.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why is my hair not growing?” you’re not alone. We mean, you’re probably literally alone (because you’re talking to yourself lol) but your question is pretty common.
Believe it or not, there’re quite a few things out there that play a role in your hair growth speed. Some of the more dominant ones include:
Fluctuations in hormones, specifically DHT (dihydrotestosterone)
Lack of sufficient nutrition
Damaged hair follicles
Certain medical conditions and diseases
Luckily, because there are so many isolated things that can impact your hair growth speed, there are also plenty of “fixes” you can make in order to give yourself the best possible edge over your natural growth rate.
What are you thinking right now? Voodoo? Some secret sauce? An ancient tincture from the times of Babylon? Tips carved into mountain stone by ancient aliens?
It’s none of the above, guys.
While there’s no secret two-month hair growth remedy that’ll guarantee results, ongoing research has unearthed several possible ways to speed up hair growth and promote healthier hair.
Shampoo and condition hair regularly
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Try hair growth supplements
Massage your scalp
get regular haircuts
Avoid harsh chemicals and damaging hair treatments
See? There’s the list. None of those are groundbreaking or impossibly unattainable, right? So let’s dig in.
Whether you have long hair, curly hair or something in between, a clean scalp is generally a healthy scalp, and shampoo is your primary weapon in the fight against the buildup of dirt and debris that may affect hair growth.
Okay. Was that last paragraph a little cringe? Maybe. But is it true? Absolutely.
Taking the time to properly shampoo and condition your hair can protect your scalp from dandruff while also fighting off free radicals, or reactive molecules that may be involved in premature hair loss.
Be sure to avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals and instead opt for one that’s formulated specifically to promote the growth of stronger, thicker hair.
Our Hair Thickening Shampoo contains saw palmetto and definitely checks all the boxes.
Also, don’t forget the conditioner, y’all!
Conditioning not only enhances the way your natural 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.
The things we eat play such large roles in how we look and how we feel, so of course it’s not shocking that the food you eat can also help give your hair the fuel it needs to grow as fast as possible.
Deficiencies of certain nutrients may contribute to some forms of hair shedding, such as telogen effluvium.
Adding foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E and other essential nutrients can do wonders for maintaining your mane.
That sounds a little AP Chemistry, but finding proper sources for all these things really only involves paying attention to some of your basic food pyramid items:
Salmon, Mackerel and other fatty fish
Beef and lamb
Almonds and other nuts
Beans and soybeans
We dig into this topic even deeper in our blog on foods to eat for optimal hair growth, where you’ll find a longer, more detailed list of foods you can add to your diet to promote growth and prevent issues like fragile hair.
If you want a good place to start cutting back on certain foods, it’s generally best to limit highly processed foods and foods that contain large amounts of salt, sugar or saturated fats.
While there are a lot of hair treatments, hair masks and hair oils on the market, it’s essential to do your research and use products that are backed by actual scientific research.
If you want to consume specific nutrients that are linked to hair growth, consider adding hair loss supplements to your daily routine. These once-a-days are packed with essential vitamins that support healthier hair, making them the perfect addition to your daily health regimen.
One of the most popular hair growth supplements is biotin — a vital B vitamin for the hair growth process.
Although biotin itself isn’t linked to improved hair growth, research suggests that biotin may help keep your hair and nails looking and growing their best — especially if you’re one of the rare people out there with a biotin deficiency.
Even if you’re not biotin-deficient, if you’d like to make sure your hair has all the nutrients it needs for good growth, adding a biotin supplement — *cough cough* maybe something like our Biotin Gummy Vitamins — to your hair care routine may be a good idea.
We know, we know… Of all the items on this list, “scalp massage” probably sounds like the most far-fetched. But believe it or not, research indicates a good ol’ fashioned scalp massage can lead to hair growth.
While we’re not 100 percent sure how or why scalp massages work, it’s suspected that when you give the ol’ noggin a thorough fondling, you directly stimulate the dermal papilla cells, which can lead to increased hair thickness.
In a survey conducted by Dermatology and Therapy in 2019, researchers found that 68.9 percent of the 327 participants who attempted SSM (standardized scalp massages) reported hair loss stabilization or regrowth after completing a daily massage of 11 to 20 minutes each day for 6.6 to 7.4 months.
The researchers found that stretching the skin on the scalp with massage techniques produced changes in gene expression that may play a role in thickening hair cuticles and promoting healthy growth.
No, it’s not opposite day. Even though a regular trip to the barber for a proper shape-up may not make your hair grow faster, it does offer a number of other benefits.
Hair is prone to breakage, which is why getting it trimmed regularly can help remove split ends and other signs of aging, and keep your otherwise manly mane looking its best.
Depending on the hairstyle you’re rocking, most stylists recommend getting a haircut every month or two to maintain your hair’s shape and keep any signs of damage in check.
If you’re experiencing an alarming amount of hair in your shower drain or on your clothes, stress and anxiety may be to blame.
Stress is one of the main triggers for a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium, which is a scalp condition that causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting stage, leading to rapid hair loss.
Another cause of stress-induced hair loss is a condition called trichotillomania, also known as hair-pulling disorder. Men who suffer from this condition tend to repeatedly pull out their own hair until hair loss or thinning occurs.
While this obsessive-compulsive disorder may not be directly caused by stress, it is often triggered by stressful situations.
Alopecia areata is a form of autoimmune hair loss that occurs when the immune system attacks your hair follicles. This typically results in patchy or thinning hair loss.
While this form of hair loss is typically caused by autoimmune diseases, allergic reactions or infections, research shows it can also be caused by emotional stress.
If you want to learn how to help hair grow stronger and healthier, start by checking your current medications.
Common medications that can cause temporary hair loss include anticoagulants (blood thinners), anticonvulsants and antihypertensives. Medications like anabolic steroids, that increase testosterone, can lead to permanent damage.
If you’re researching “how to make hair grow faster in men,” allow us to answer some of the question for you: avoid things that can damage your hair or slow down growth. Like, duh, man.
Harmful substances or hair care practices that can cause damage include:
Chlorine (like the stuff from your swimming pool)
Tight hairstyles such as braids or dreads
“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.”
If you’re noticing your hair growth slowing drastically, we have some potentially bummer news. You might be experiencing the first signs of male pattern baldness. While healthy hair habits and avoiding stress may promote optimal hair growth, they realistically won’t do much to aid in your fight against baldness.
Luckily, if you’re starting to notice a receding hairline, bald patch near your crown or other signs of male pattern hair loss, there are two of FDA-approved, science-backed medications out there that can help you keep the hair you have, while also helping you even grow some of it back — the Pancho and Lefty of hair care, minoxidil and finasteride.
Applying minoxidil for hair growth is simple and effective. While its definitive mechanism of action is still unknown, researchers generally believe it works by moving resting hairs into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle and by stimulating blood circulation to the scalp and hair follicles.
Most men who use minoxidil report significant improvements. 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.
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 the body from creating dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen hormone that causes male pattern baldness by binding to receptors in the scalp and “miniaturizing” your hair follicles.
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.
We offer finasteride pills and topical 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.
On the surface, trying to get your hair to grow faster than it’s supposed to probably sounds like an impossible feat. That’s fair. The reality, however, is that there are actually plenty of things you can do to give your hair the best chance to grow as quickly as possible.
It already grows pretty fast. Your hair naturally grows by just over five inches per year, although this growth may look slightly different depending on your hair type.
You can help it grow even faster. 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.
If you’re balding, start treating it. You can also promote growth and prevent thinning by using proven hair loss medications, such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Interested in learning more about improving your hair health? Our guide to what you should take to treat hair loss goes into more detail about your options, from medication to lifestyle tips, hair products and more.