How to Grow Longer, Healthier Hair

Hair grows on average 4-7 inches per year. For those wanting to grow their hair long, this can make for a long wait. A variety of factors determine how fast the hair grows including age, gender, hormone levels, diet, and physical health.

Hair that is damaged will grow slower than normal, healthy hair. Why? Growth is slowed not only because of the hair damage itself, but because of the health of the scalp.

Those who color, process, and heat style the hair regularly also damage the scalp, leading to poor circulation, clogged pores and therefore reduced growth.

So, are there any ways to make hair grow faster? Evidence suggests there are some techniques you can try to help your hair grow a little faster than average. Use one or many of the suggestions below and you will find your hair grows fuller, healthier and likely quite a bit faster than usual.

Nutrients Needed for Long Healthy Hair

Proper nutrients are required in order for hair to grow properly. A healthy diet, supplemented with some key nutrients, can help you not only be healthier in general, but will result in healthier hair, skin and nails.

Essential Fatty Acids for Hair Growth

Essential fatty acids improve hair texture and help prevent breakage. EFA's also assist in the hair growth cycle. They help with blood circulation and cell growth. They can help promote a healthy scalp and may help increase nutrient absorption at the hair follicle. Deficiencies in EFA's actually lead to dry, brittle hair, breakage and hair loss.

Essential fatty acids are found in fish, nuts and seeds. You can also get them by taking a daily supplement of flax seed oil or fish oil.

B-Complex Vitamins for Hair Growth

Many people believe that “vitamin B” is one nutrient, but it is actually a group of vitamins, each with their own properties. B vitamins are water soluble, meaning the body doesn't store them and they need to be replenished regularly through diet and/or supplementation. B vitamins are responsible for hundreds of biological processes throughout the body.

B6 promotes healthy hair be keeping the scalp healthy. Biotin (B7) is used by the body to promote cell growth and produce fatty acids, both of which are important for hair growth and health. In fact, a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to thinning hair

Biotin is an extremely important vitamin as it is required by the body in order to produce fatty acids and promote cell growth. Although Biotin deficiencies are rare, they do happen and can cause hair loss, thinning and breakage.

Although B12 doesn't affect the hair directly, it is vital to hundreds of other functions in the body and poor health does effect hair growth. B12 deficiency is most common in vegetarians and vegans. A full spectrum B vitamin is a great supplement not only for growing healthy, shiny hair, but for maintaining overall health.

Vitamin E capsules can be used topically to nourish the scalp and hair or taken as a supplement.
Vitamin E capsules can be used topically to nourish the scalp and hair or taken as a supplement. | Source

Vitamin C for Hair

Vitamin C improves scalp circulation and is vital for preventing hair loss. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the production of collagen, the building blocks of healthy skin and hair. A breakdown of collagen causes hair loss.

Vitamin E for Hair Growth and Health

Vitamin E contributes to the growth of capillaries, which improve circulation to the scalp and helps prevent hair loss. Increased circulation also helps promote faster hair growth in many people. If you hair is damaged to over-styling or chemical processing, vitamin E oil can be added topically as well to nourish the hair shaft and follicle.


Those with biotin deficiencies tend to suffer from excess hair loss. This supplement can be used successfully, but as with all vitamins you can overdo it without some caution. I have had great success with the Natrol brand. You can also find biotin as an additive in several natural shampoos and conditioners.

I mentioned this above, because it is one in a series of the B complex vitamins. I recommend a sublingual B complex vitamin if your diet is deficient in solid nutrients. (most Western diets are). Biotin however is available as a standalone hair and nail supplement so worth another mention here.


MSM is a supplement I use because I exercise regularly. It helps promote tissue repair and prevent injury. It is a natural form of sulfur found in many foods and it has a variety of health benefits, particularly if you are starting to feel the first twinges of arthritis or if you are susceptible to sport related injuries etc. One of the beneficial "side effects" to this supplement is that it prevents breakage and promotes hair growth, but I wouldn't take it primarily just for the hair. It is worth a mention though!


This is an herb with numerous health benefits. It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also one of the best plant sources for silica. Silica is the connective tissue material that provides both strength and flexibility. It also gives hair and nails their strength. This supplement is great for the hair, but it can also fight inflammation in the body that leads to a host of other conditions. When I consider supplements; I look at the full range of benefits they can provide.

Kelp to Grow Hair

A little seaweed can go a long way towards longer, healthier hair. Kelp provides the minerals needed for hair growth. Kelp is a rich source of iron and the amino acid l-lycine, both of which directly affect hair growth. It is also a rich source of iodine. According to studies, conditions that relate to iodine deficiency can lead to thinning hair and shedding. The most common cause in women is hypothyroidism. If you suspect a thyroid condition may be causing your hair to thin or not grow, it is important to see a physician to treat that condition before taking supplements.

Don't worry, you don't have to eat it like this - :)  Kelp, available in supplement form, is a seaweed rich in minerals and other vital nutrients essential for healthy hair.
Don't worry, you don't have to eat it like this - :) Kelp, available in supplement form, is a seaweed rich in minerals and other vital nutrients essential for healthy hair.

Hair Oils

*Update* March 2015 I have come back to this hub to update it with some new techniques I've learned.

I've been using Ayurvedic oils regularly now on my scalp and hair and it has really made a difference. Not only is my hair growing faster, it is coming in thicker. Once I hit peri-menopause full force, one of the first undesirable symptoms was excessive hair fall. I was worried that my hair would thin so much there would be bare patches.

Those days are over, since starting a regimen of oiling my scalp and hair twice weekly, my hair fall is greatly reduced and there has been a surprise benefit also - an abundance of new growth. I am returning to the hair I had in my 20's again and this is after only a couple of months. Bonus - the products I'm using are natural and not expensive.

Argan oil and coconut oil are readily available in most stores and provides nice results, especially in preventing breakage. I run a few drops of argan over my hair daily to prevent fly away hairs and static in the dry, winter months and I use coconut oil as a deep conditioner.

What I am most impressed with however, are the results from using Indian Ayurvedic hair oils. Bhringraj oil by Biotique is inexpensive and available online. It uses 100% pure botanical oils including Amla, Tesu flower, Mulethi stem and Brahmi plant. All of these oils not only promote new and faster growth, they also slow greying and hair fall. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised - Indian women have some of the most beautiful hair on Earth. Now I know why :).

After two months my hair has grown an astounding 4 inches by using this oil, the matching shampoo and taking my daily supplements. I do also eat a healthy diet, so I'm sure oils and supplements alone aren't doing it, but I have seen such a dramatic difference; I had to add a section here to share it.

The one drawback to the Biotique for me is the smell. Fortunately, you use the oil before you shampoo so the smell doesn't stay in the hair. It smells like super sweet fruit loops to me. In the reviews you'll see some women love the scent and others don't.

Techniques to Promote Hair Growth

There are several different techniques you can use to help promote hair growth while preventing excess loss and damage.

Coffee Scrub and Rinse

You are forewarned this can be messy. Take used coffee grounds and use these to scrub and stimulate the scalp. You can also spray old coffee into the hair (only if your hair is dark or it may stain). The caffeine in the coffee is said to promote faster growth. The acids in the coffee clarify the hair and scalp and lead to a nice shine.

I have done coffee scrubs and rinses before. If you are using the grounds, I recommend making a paste out of them and a bit of olive or coconut oil. Wet your hair with coffee first, then scrub the scalp with the grounds. I would recommend doing this over the tub as the grounds tend to fall all over and make a mess. I leave them on for about ten minutes and then rinse. Coffee grounds can be a bit difficult to rinse out.

Although this technique is a bit of a pain, I feel it really does work to make my hair nicer and since I've been doing this and using my own homemade shampoos and conditioners my hair does grow faster. Whether it's the coffee, or simply the fact that I use no chemicals on my hair anymore, is difficult to say. Coffee does make the hair shine and I love the smell. I spray coffee into my hair once or twice a week. The scrub with the grounds I do much less often because it's messy.

Scalp Massage

You can do scalp massage every time you shampoo, or before brushing your hair out at night. Stimulating the scalp helps nourish the hair and promote growth. Invert your head to promote good circulation and using your finger tips, rub the whole scalp from the nape of the neck forward towards your forehead. Use a circular motion and repeat this a few times. You don't need to do this more than a few minutes per day to see improved scalp health.

A couple of times a week, use leftover morning coffee or a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to cleanse and clarify the scalp and promote growth. It's the equivalent of exfoliating the skin; it removes build up and helps the scalp to breathe.

Twice a week you'll also want to do the oil massage I mentioned above as well. The coffee and vinegar clarify; the oil nourishes and moisturizes - giving your hair what it needs to grow in healthy and vibrant. To consolidate your routine, you can do these rinses/massages in succession.

Gentle Brushing

Be very careful brushing or combing hair when its wet, especially if it's long. Wet strands are the most fragile and break easily. Wait until your hair dries a bit and then brush it gently when it's damp and not dripping. Shampoo only when necessary, and use homemade or a very gentle all-natural shampoo made without phlalates and sulfates that strip and damage the hair.

Unless you are working out and sweating like mad every day; there is NO need to shampoo the hair that often. It damages hair and depletes the natural oils from your scalp that your hair requires to be healthy.

Brush long hair with a natural bristle brush, or better yet a wooden brush, to help distribute oil evenly throughout the hair and keep it healthy. Gentle brushing avoids breakage and helps nourish the hair down to the tips.

Wood brushes are harder to find and you may need to look online or visit a beauty supply store, but the wood bristles absorb hair oils over time and help redistribute them throughout the hair.

This brush on Amazon is a good example of a wood bristle brush. These brushes are durable and slide easily even through the thickest hair. I love the fact that they lead to less breakage and they feel fantastic on the scalp.

Avoid Over Styling

I have natural waves, instead of applying a lot of mousse or “curl sprays” or whatever, I spray my hair down with a bit of sea salt water and use my fingers to style it. I never use blow driers and I don't even own a heat appliance. My hair has never looked better or been healthier.

It is a myth that we need all these sprays, gels, and contraptions to have healthy hair. My next experiment is going to be working to develop a natural hair gel. When I come up with something that works - I'll be sure to post it.

Healthy long hair is only possible when you lay off a lot of the chemicals and omit heat all together. Ponytails, braids, etc. are all great alternatives to heat styling every day.

Take Time to Unwind

Stress is harmful to the body and it wreaks absolute havoc on the hair. Stress responses in the body can slow hair growth and also lead to breakage and hair loss. Get some regular zen time in addition to a proper diet and exercise and your healthy habits are sure to show not only in your long, healthy hair, but in your outlook as well.

Did I miss something? Feel free to comment below if there are any tips or techniques you've found to be successful.

© 2013 Christin Sander

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Comments 64 comments

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 10 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks emi sue I appreciate the read and comment.

emi sue profile image

emi sue 10 months ago from Tennessee

Great article and great suggestions.

I have been growing my hair out for close to ten years now but I still loved these tips!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 months ago from Midwest Author

Of course wizmo, that's kind of a given and also mentioned in the hub. thanks for reading and commenting

Wizmo 12 months ago


For good and long hair you should have an healthy diet.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 18 months ago from Midwest Author

I've heard that egg whites (where the protein is) also build strong hair, but yeah yucky :) I don't think I'll be putting raw egg on my hair when other things work just as well if not better. Thanks for the read and comment peach.

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 18 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i remembered once a fellow mate said to use egg yolks for silky hair. Yucky but she did had silky hair.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Yes, it's grounds so you have to rinse it out.

Kate 2 years ago

Do you rinse the coffee out afterwards?

mz holloway profile image

mz holloway 2 years ago

Great article! Very helpful information

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Tricia glad you enjoyed the hub. thanks for reading and commenting :)

Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida

Very interesting and informative article. I will try some of your suggestions.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

hi sosown, I'll definitely look into the biotin. I'm sorry to hear about the cancer, how awful that must have been. As far as tips for layouts here on HubPages, the tools they give you are very simple for making nice layouts. I didn't do anything special on these pages :). Anyone can do great layouts with a little practice here. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate the compliment. :)

sosown profile image

sosown 2 years ago from NJ, USA

I enjoyed your article. I had cancer, so for a time I had hair loss. Minoxil worked best for me, but I have heard biotin is even better. Also, eggs and milk hairtreatments. However, I continued because your article was so well laid out, then I read what your profession was. Now, I don't feel as inadequate. Any tips for a non web designer?

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for reading and commenting sara :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Lissa for the suggestions

sara0129 profile image

sara0129 2 years ago from Texas

Thanks for the tips. My doctor prescribe me biotin for my thinning hair.

Lissa Ree profile image

Lissa Ree 2 years ago from Wilmington, Delaware

I've tried everything! I also like to put Moroccan oil on my ends to keep them from splitting. I try to do this almost everyday. It keeps my dry ends happier, less split ends and hair grows faster :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you eilval for reading and commenting - much appreciated :)

eilval profile image

eilval 2 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

Some of these tips I've never heard about so I will certainly apply them to have healthy and beautiful hair . Very useful indeed !

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Shades. I'll check out the PABA

Shades-of-truth profile image

Shades-of-truth 2 years ago from USA

Great tips here. I have also used PABA - not the sunscreen, the vitamin. It seems to help a lot. Now, I need to get the coffee grounds tip in motion...

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks CherylsArt glad you enjoyed the hub.

CherylsArt profile image

CherylsArt 2 years ago from West Virginia

Thanks for the healthy hair tips, especially about the b vitamins.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Lala glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Lala Springael profile image

Lala Springael 2 years ago

I like it.. It's a big help.. Thank you for your blog :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Muhammad much appreciated :)

Muhammad Ali7 profile image

Muhammad Ali7 2 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

Who wouldn't like healthy and longer hair! Very useful tips. How about some more!!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks rls8994 I hope it helps :)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi

I had thyroid cancer in 2009 and had to have my thyroid removed. I now have to take a thyroid supplement everyday. I noticed about a year ago I was losing a lot of hair and it has become a lot thinner. I have been taking biotin vitamins and using coconut and olive oil to help repair the damage. I did not know about the coffee grinds and will definitely try that. Thanks for this great info! Voted up! :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Iona - I hope it helps :)

Ioana Sima profile image

Ioana Sima 2 years ago from Bucharest, Romania

Thank you for these tips, I have fairly long hair but I find it very difficult to make it grow longer. It is healthy and it shines, but sometimes it feels that it isn't growing at all. I will definitely try the coffee scrub.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you mathira, so glad you enjoyed the hub :)

mathira profile image

mathira 2 years ago from chennai

Who doesn't want a long and healthy hair. But it is a rarity. You have given simple and practical tips to make hair healthy. I found it very useful.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Sarah - good luck growing it out :)

Sarah Dill profile image

Sarah Dill 2 years ago from Ohio

I love your tips on growing hair long! I have tried so hard to get my hair back after I chopped it all off and it's finally growing back! I have never used Kelp, but i'll definitely have to check it out! Thanks!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks poppyr glad you enjoyed the hub! :)

poppyr profile image

poppyr 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

Useful article; I didn't know a lot of this information. Well written and engaging. Thank you!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Stelawn, sea salt can give you the wavy, beachy look and it's nice. While it's certainly gentler and kinder to your hair than products, it is salt and so it is a little bit drying. I love sea salt spritz for my hair because I have natural waves/curls and it makes my hair look nice. If I get frizzy or out of control I rub just a dab of coconut oil between my hands and run through my hair to tame frizzies and add a bit of shine.

Stelawn profile image

Stelawn 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Is it true that sea salt water works. I just saw one of comments telling that sea water is useful for making curls or some hairstyle. Its good then if it really works so that i can avoid too much hair styles and solutions.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the awesome comment and feedback Melissa. I agree with you on the trims and being sure to tell the salon exactly what you want and how much they are allowed to cut - good point. I think natural is definitely better. Like you I never blow dry and seldom ever curl and it's really spared my hair as I've gotten older.

Melissa Noon profile image

Melissa Noon 2 years ago from California

Interesting hub, I have always had long hair, usually down to my butt or past it and I think the key is to keep your hair natural as well. When I didn't use the curling iron or straightener my hair was strong, healthy, and shiny. Once I started my hair although it looks neater my hair started to feel less soft and it started to get thinner.

Now that I have cut my hair I am a little more flex when it comes to using curling iron and straightener even through my hair is still pretty long (it sits just below the breastline). I don't use any special shampoo or styling creme and I never blow-dry my hair, I always let it drip dry which I was heard from head-dressers that it is the best thing to do for your hair.

Although I noted you talked about vitamins and I must say everybody should take vitamins daily, not just for your hair but also for your health.

I have never heard of using coffee for hair-growth through. I found that really interesting.

Another thing that should be added is that you have to tell hair saloons how much of your hair they are allowed to cut. when I used to get my hair trimmed I would say the most they can take off is an inch or two. If don't than half your hair will be split-ends if your hair is long enough and it can get really annoying.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks hubsy - so glad you enjoyed it :)

hubsy profile image

hubsy 2 years ago

Thank you so much! Every time I go to the salon to get my haircut, I feel like they cut off the unhealthy hair that I spent all your growing, and it never gets any longer, it's like a self-perpetuating cycle. This really helps! What a useful hub!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Unknown, glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Unknown Ink profile image

Unknown Ink 2 years ago

I found this to be very interesting. Thank you for sharing

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks theBAT I agree, stress can definitely be a factor.

theBAT profile image

theBAT 2 years ago

Thanks for the information. I really think that stress is a great factor in the cause of hairloss. Learn to handle stress. Virgin coconut oil may also help. Coffee? Will try this soon.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Casey for the comment and sharing your experience :)

Casey White profile image

Casey White 2 years ago from United States

Great article. I thought I might want to grow out my hair recently and took biotin as a supplement. I had to quit taking it because my hair kept on growing well after I had decided I wanted to keep it short. If you don't want your hair to grow, stay away from Biotin and

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Cathie glad you enjoyed the hub

cathie bridges profile image

cathie bridges 2 years ago from Pakistan

great !

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

a little coconut oil can go a long way towards taming frizz while nourishing the hair, just use sparingly on dry hair to avoid having it look too oily.

tutta profile image

tutta 2 years ago from Florida

I have long hair, but it's super frizzy! Of course, I'm an overstyler. Shame on me, I know. Great tips and information. I'll keep them in mind next time I'm curling my hair to death! Lol.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Hi NiaLee yes definitely on the nutrients. Also, if your hair is brittle be wary of using commercial shampoos and conditioners. I have other hubs on how to make your own. Also, make sure you are getting healthy fats in your diet - that can help also - omega 3's like flaxseed are a good choice. You may also want to consider a multivitamin that has all the B's and contains silica which strengthens the hair strands.

NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 2 years ago from BIG APPLE

Thank you, this is a great article, simple and clear about a subject that is really on my mind those days! I cut my hair that was down my back a few months ago in a fit after losing a loved one and have been struggling to grow in back. It seems to not move and break every time I pass a comb or brush in! I did use one of those curling sprays for the first time in my life and my hair are dry, slow to grow and difficult to detangle. So, Kelp, Vitamins B12, E and B ...

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Glad you enjoyed it Toytasting

Toytasting profile image

Toytasting 2 years ago from Mumbai

Really insightful hub, thanks for sharing :)

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA


I'm 42 now, just starting menopause, but I'm not noticing hair loss. My hair has never been as thick as I wanted it to be! I will see about natural shampoos, though. I don't use any sprays or gels or whatever they call "product" these days because they turn my hair brown.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest Author

Georgie mine is just now starting to get that long, for fullness use natural shampoos or make your own, the store bought stuff does a real number on hair. Don't know how old you are, but age will thin the hair a bit too. If you spritz your dry hair with a bit of sea salt water and fluff it upside down it gives a lot of natural body without chemicals to weight it down too.

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

My hair is finally about waist length, but it isn't as full as I'd like it to be. I'll try some of your suggestions, thank you for sharing!

cathie bridges profile image

cathie bridges 3 years ago from Pakistan

You have shared very informative post thank you so much.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you both for reading and commenting :) much appreciated. Leni, I would def give scalp stimulation a try and if you're up for it get rid of chemical products because they tend to cause hair loss. I stopped coloring my hair because every time I did it I would lose fistfulls for several days afterwords :(. The joys of perimenopause I think were not helpful either, but since I gave up chemicals and make my own shampoos and such now I have much fuller, nicer hair.

leni sands profile image

leni sands 3 years ago from UK

Another great hub, and as a B12 deficient reader who has to have B12 injections regularly forever I appreciate the information. My hair has been 'shall we say' thinning for sometime now so hopefully if I follow your advice I could (perhaps) have a lovely head of hair again! I'm 52 so it's probably not going happen overnight (lol). Thanks for writing the hub.

younghopes profile image

younghopes 3 years ago from India

You have provided some really useful tips on growing long hair, userful post, im sharing it

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