Vitamin D. Especially important for people living in places where sunlight is limited.
B-complex Vitamins: Biotin, niacin and cobalamin are among the most popular B-complex vitamins that help restore shine and thickness to strands.
Iron. It carries oxygen to hair and promotes growth.
How to grow longer hair…
Remember that it can’t grow overnight. Unless your scalp unleashes new strands like a Chia Pet, gaining new length is going to take time. “Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” says celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist. “And that’s only if it is super-healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.” The bottom line: Practice patience.
Ironically, scissors are your friend. Although getting regular trims to snip splits won’t make your hair actually grow faster, it will keep tips looking healthy and prevent splits from working their way up strands, requiring you to chop hair off more often. “If you wait so long that splits are causing your hair to break off high up on the strand, your hair will actually be shorter than if you get consistent trims,” Townsend says, who suggests asking your stylist to take around just an eighth of an inch off every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent extreme split ends before they start.
Use conditioner every time you shampoo. “If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend says. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier,” he says.
And don’t shampoo every time you shower. “It’s shocking to me how many women skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair — especially when you’re trying to grow it long — and it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” Townsend says. Here’s why: The purpose of shampoo is to wash away dirt and product buildup, but it can also take essential natural oils that keep strands soft and healthy along with it. When you really do need shampoo, be gentler on your hair by only lathering up at your scalp and then simply letting the suds slide down strands, hitting the rest of the hair as the water rinses it away.
Do a cold-water rinse at the end of each shower. “This really does help to grow hair and keep long hair healthy for longer,” Townsend says. “Cold water lays down the outer layer of hair more smoothly, which helps prevent moisture loss, snags and heat damage — you only need to do it for a few seconds, but this one extra step over time can make a huge difference.”
Apply an oil or mask treatment weekly. Hair that touches your shoulders or beyond can be several years old and most likely needs more TLC than normal conditioner. Townsend suggests using moisture-based masks and oils weekly. “I make a natural oil treatment and give it to all of my clients to use pre-shampoo,” Townsend says. (His easy recipe: 1 cup of unrefined coconut oil mixed with 1 tablespoon each of almond, macadamia, and jojoba oils.) Because oils can leave a residue on hair, he says to apply it to damp hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition like normal. “These oils are able to fill strands up with fatty acids and then, when rinsed out, using regular shampoo helps seal them inside hair,” Townsend says, adding that Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger, and Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are fans. Not into DIY? Try an oil-based hair treatment instead.
Consider trying hair-boosting supplements. Your body requires many vital nutrients to create new hair, from ample protein to a slew of essential minerals. So take a look at your diet — because while eating a balanced diet helps, you may not be getting the proper amount of all the hair-building nutrients needed to create healthy hair that can grow super-long and withstand damage. “I take Viviscal Extra Strength and biotin tablets every day and tell my clients to do so as well — especially if they want to grow their hair and make it healthier as soon as it comes out of the follicle,” Townsend says. Before starting to take supplements, it’s best to check in with your doctor to make sure that you take the right amounts and that they won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
Brush your hair like it’s spun from gold. Constant brushing can cause physical harm to your hair. “When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up — we often instinctually go from the scalp down, but that just brings small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair,” Townsend explains. He also suggests reaching for the Sheila Stotts Natural Boar Bristle Brush, as boar bristle brushes are good at distributing your scalp’s natural oils down your hair and being extra-gentle on strands too.
Ditch your cotton pillowcase. Townsend recommends switching to a silk or satin fabric, because it has a softer surface that won’t cause friction the way that regularly woven cotton does with your hair. That way, you’ll wake up with fewer tangles.
Never, ever wrap your hair in a massive towel again. What could be so bad about putting hair in your super-soft bath towel? A lot. “It causes so much breakage,” Townsend says. “Your hair gets caught in all the woven fibers and since most women almost always wrap it too tight around their face, all those tiny, fragile strands around your face are more prone to break.” Opt for the super-thin and soft microfiber hair towels instead (like Aquis microfiber hair towel), which are totally OK to wrap into a turban.
Switch up your pony placement. It’s an easy move that can help maintain the integrity of your strands wherever you tend to secure your ponytail all the time, which means they’ll continue to grow out strong and damage-free.
If you have bleached (or dry, super-fragile) hair, skip putting it up with a hair tie at all. One ponytail — one! — can give you what stylists refer to as a “chemical cut.” This is where your hair literally breaks off at the point of tension where the elastic ends up being wrapped around your hair to hold it into place. Instead, if you’re looking to work out and want your hair off your neck, gently twist your hair into a bun and clip it with a tiny claw clip, bobby pin, or larger pin.
Give your hair a break when it comes to hot tools, chemical relaxers, or any other tool or service that causes a lot of damage to your hair. The healthier your hair is, the longer it will grow.
Ways to grow thicker hair…
Regular protein treatment is essential to enjoy stronger and thicker hair. For a protein hair treatment, the best ingredient is eggs.
Take one or two eggs, depending on the length of your hair, and beat it properly. Apply the egg on wet hair and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water and shampoo. You can use this protein treatment once or twice a week.
Another option is to mix together one egg yolk, one tablespoon of a hair oil of your choice and two tablespoons of water. Use this mixture to massage your scalp thoroughly. Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy thicker hair.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil will also add body to your hair. Plus, it will help soften and strengthen your tresses.
Massage your hair and scalp with warm olive oil and leave it on for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly and wash your hair using a mild shampoo. You can also leave the oil on your hair overnight and then shampoo your hair the next morning.
Another option is to mix olive oil with some honey and apply the mixture on your hair. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair.
Use either or these remedies once or twice a week.
Avocado can also be used to get thicker hair as it moisturizes and adds body to your hair. Plus, the vitamin E in this fruit contributes to the overall health of the hair shaft.
Make a mixture of one mashed avocado, one mashed banana and one tablespoon of olive oil. Massage it on your scalp and leave the mixture on your hair for about 30 minutes so that the nutrients are absorbed by the scalp. Finally, rinse it out and shampoo your hair.
You can also make a hydrating hair mask by mixing two tablespoons of wheatgerm oil with half of a ripe mashed avocado. Apply this hair mask on freshly shampooed hair and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly and then shampoo your hair.
Use either of these avocado hair masks once a week.
Fenugreek seeds can also be used to prevent hair loss and enjoy better hair growth.
Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water for eight to 10 hours. Grind the soaked seeds to make a fine paste. You can also mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in it. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before washing your hair with lukewarm water. When done weekly on a regular basis, this remedy will prevent dry scalp and help you enjoy thicker hair.
Another option is to use the water that the fenugreek seeds soaked in overnight as a hair rinse. This will encourage hair growth and help you to get rid of dandruff. Use it once or twice a week.
5. Indian Gooseberry
The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and exfoliating properties present in Indian gooseberry can help a lot in maintaining a healthy scalp and better hair growth rate.
Mix one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry or amla powder in two tablespoons of coconut oil and heat until boiling. Strain the oil and massage it onto your scalp before going to bed. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this on a weekly basis.
Another option is to mix one-quarter cup of warm water in one-half cup of Indian gooseberry powder and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off. Do not shampoo your hair for a few hours. Follow this remedy every few weeks.
You can also take the Indian gooseberry fruit and its extract as a dietary supplement for healthy hair.
6. Castor Oil
Massaging your scalp regularly with cold-pressed castor oil is one of the easiest ways to get thicker hair naturally. Due to its high viscosity, it coats the hair thoroughly and protects against hair fall. Plus, being high in vitamin E and fatty acids, it promote hair growth.
Heat a mixture of equal parts of castor oil and coconut oil. Simply using castor oil will also work but it tends to be too thick.
Apply it on your head and scalp and massage in circular motions.
Comb your hair to distribute the oil throughout your hair and remove tangles.
Cover your hair with a towel moistened with warm water.
Leave it on for at least one hour and then shampoo your hair as usual.
Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy lustrous and thick hair.
7. Aloe Vera
Another very popular ingredient that can be used to enjoy thicker hair is aloe vera, thanks to its moisturizing quality. It will also help restore the pH balance of the scalp.
Extract the gel from one or two aloe vera leaves and rub the gel onto your scalp. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing your hair with lukewarm water. Do this once once or twice a week on a regular basis.
Another option is mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in fresh aloe vera gel and apply it to your scalp. Leave it on for about half an hour before rinsing it off and shampooing your hair. Repeat once or twice a week.
You can also consume one tablespoon of aloe vera juice daily on an empty stomach to enjoy better hair growth and overall health.
8. Henna Leaves
Another easy way to get thicker hair naturally is to apply henna. Henna leaves will give your hair a rich natural color and make it thicker, softer and less prone to breakage .
Grind a handful of fresh henna leaves with a little water to make a fine paste. Let it sit for two hours and then apply it to your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap. After a few hours, wash your hair thoroughly and shampoo your hair.
Another option is to mix sufficient water in henna powder to make a paste with a yogurt-like consistency. Instead of plain water, you can also use green tea for better conditioning. Keep the henna paste aside overnight. The next day, add one raw egg and two teaspoons of lemon juice to this mixture. Apply it to your hair and leave it on until it dries completely. Finally, wash it off and shampoo your hair.
Note: Make sure to wear your gloves when using henna and apply the paste using a hair brush to avoid staining.
Being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and protein, flaxseed can also help in promoting thicker naturally.
Soak one-quarter cup of flaxseeds in water overnight. The next morning, boil the flaxseeds in two cups of water over high heat while stirring occasionally. When the thickens to a consistency of foamy jelly then turn off the heat and strain the gel. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil to it. Allow it to cool and then use it as a hair gel. This flaxseed gel is particularly good for those with curly or wavy hair.
Even eating freshly ground flaxseeds can help promote shiny and thicker hair. You can also take flaxseed oil.
10. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in protein and various vitamins and minerals is an essential prerequisite for healthy and thicker hair. Protein and B vitamins, in particular, promote thicker and longer hair.
So, include more milk, eggs, Greek yogurt (has more protein than the regular yogurt), poultry, fatty fish, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fresh green vegetables in your diet.
Follow these remedies religiously and you will notice improvement in your hair texture and thickness in a matter of weeks.