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Whether it's a pixie cut you hate or just time for something new, none of us enjoy the painstaking time it takes to grow out a haircut. The good news is, there are plenty of natural tricks you can try to get your hair growing long and luscious with a big more speed, without spending tons on expensive products that may or may not work.

Reduce Washing Frequency

Washing your hair too often strips away the natural oils that maintain a shiny, glossy mane. The overuse of harsh shampoos and excess heat from treatments or hot washes can cause brittle hair and a dry scalp, none of which contribute to faster-growing locks.

Five signs you are washing your hair too often:

  • More split ends than usual
  • Excess dandruff
  • Loss of hair shine
  • Dry, frizzy hair
  • Colored hair fades quickly

Concentrate on a healthy scalp for healthier hair. Depending on your hair type and preferences, consider massaging coconut or jojoba oil into the scalp to encourage the proper balance of healthy oils.

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Stimulate Hair Follicles

A relaxing scalp massage can do wonders for reducing stress level, not to mention promoting hair growth and improving thickness by stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles.

Try massaging your scalp yourself using your fingertips for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also try a tapping technique, drumming your fingertips like rain drops all over your scalp. This stimulates acupressure points that encourage increased blood flow, rejuvenating hair follicles.

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Hair Trim

Myth buster! Cutting your hair does not stimulate hair growth. A trim, however, does have benefits.

Trimming your hair is the easiest way of getting rid of split ends. Leaving split ends can result in the split growing longer, breaking your hair and slowing growth. Split ends also make your hair look less full and luscious.

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Stinging Nettles

Nettle leaves are rich in sulfur and silica, which are essential for the health of hair follicles. These compounds can actually induce follicle regeneration.

Make a simple nettle rinse by steeping five tablespoons of dried nettle leaves in two cups of boiling water.  Allow the mixture to cool, then strain it and pour it over your hair, taking care to wet every strand. Leave in for five minutes, then wash your hair as usual.

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Aloe Vera

This incredible plant has a multitude of healing properties. It contains vitamins A, C, E, B12, and folic acid, all of which contribute to healthy cell growth and shiny, beautiful hair.

The gel can be taken directly from the plant and rubbed into your scalp, or there are plenty of bottled versions. Leave in for 30 minutes before washing.

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Topical Use of Caffeine

Stop—don't dump the dregs in your coffee pot down the drain! Let those few extra tablespoons cool, then pour over your head before you shower. Caffeine used topically can stimulate hair growth and might even help stop hair loss.

Caffeine's use on hair is well-researched, and there are a number of products on the market if you don't want to use your favorite beverage.

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Turn to Ayurveda

Indian women are often touted as having the most beautiful hair in the world. Perhaps their secret is the Ayurvedic treatment called Champi. Champi treatments use your dosha (Ayurvedic mind-body type), to locate imbalances in your body that affect your hair. Then oil and massage are applied to bring you into balance.

While this may sound like it's not rooted in science, the processes and compounds suggested for these methods make sense: getting enough sleep is one prescription, as is using amla powder, which has been shown to encourage hair growth in numerous studies.

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Balanced Diet

To maintain healthy functioning, your body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water.

If weight loss is your concern, diets that recommend cutting fat and carbohydrates may deliver short-term results, but this could come at a cost to your hair quality. Without macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fat—hair structure can weaken and even lead to hair loss.

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Good Sleep Hygiene

A restorative night's sleep allows for the protein synthesis and growth hormone release required for healthy hair. When you sleep, your body heals and repairs.

Try these four tips for better sleep:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight every day
  • Get at least 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise every day
  • Avoid eating or drinking stimulating beverages like coffee after 6pm
  • Turn off all screens and smartphones 90 minutes before bed

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Reduce Stress

Slow hair growth and hair loss can be attributed to stress. Seventy-five percent of Americans report experiencing moderate to high stress levels in the previous 30 days, so it's vital to find ways to reduce stress to improve general health and well-being.

Shaolin Qigong has a concept called the four tips. The ends of your bones are your teeth. The ends of your tendons are your nails. The end of your muscles is your tongue. The end of your blood is your hair. Breathe in through your nose, then as you exhale, imagine sending the breath to the tips of your hair. Where breath goes, qi—life force energy— flows. Try breathing to the ends of your hair ten times. Do it slowly with a calm mind. It could help with your hair growth journey, not to mention relieve stress.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.