On average, hair grows around half an inch per month, which may seem surprisingly slow to some. This results in roughly six inches a year, so you’re not going to get waist length tresses by the end of next week! There are various factors that impact an individual’s hair growth, including genetics and ethnicity.
While genetics doesn’t dictate how long your hair can grow, it does play a part in the growing process itself. The anagen phase of hair growth, which is the phase where your hair actively grows, can last between two to six years. Your genetics play a role in how long your anagen phase lasts before shedding, which translates into the overall length of your hair.
There is also the factor of genetic hair loss, which can have a huge impact on the question ‘how long does it take hair to grow?’. Male and Female Pattern Baldness is largely hereditary and usually kicks in as we get older. This predisposition to hair loss increases the time it takes hair to grow if at all.
There are large differences between ethnicities when it comes to our hair type. While there are clear visual variations between races, there are also microscopic differences in the makeup of our hair types. The follicles of Asian, Caucasian and afro hair are drastically different shapes, which dictates the characteristics of the hair and how it grows.
When you’re asking the question ‘how long does it take hair to grow?’ you might be wondering whether your hair colour could play an important role. Well, there is no real evidence to suggest there are any differences, but there are some interesting facts surrounding the different hair colours.
Blondes tend to have more hair on their heads, around 146,000 strands, while those with black hair have about 110,000. Brunettes have slightly less on 100,000 and redheads have the least hair strands, at just 86,000 per head. On average, blonde hair is finer and more prone to breakage than its counterparts so it may seem that it doesn’t grow as long or as fast.
Although many think men’s hair grows longer than a woman’s, there are no biological differences between the sexes in how long does it take hair to grow. That being said, female hair is more disposed to harmful hair care like hair dryers, straighteners and extensions. This can limit healthy hair growth and damage the existing hair, creating the impression that female hair doesn’t grow as fast as its male equivalent.
As we get older, our hair changes in a bunch of ways. From losing its pigment and turning grey, to thinning and loss, hair goes through a lot as we enter midlife and beyond. This also affects hair growth, as the anagen phase shortens and the time hair actually spends growing is lessened.
Our scalps also age, which means it becomes less effective at growing healthy hair. The key to maintaining hair growth as we age is by optimising the scalp and follicles for new hair growth with a serum that is formulated to encourage healthy hair.
Does where we live have an effect on the answer to ‘how long does it take hair to grow’? In short, no, although it can seem like it might be the case. We’ve all felt like our hair grows more in the summer months, but actually, it’s our hormones that are leading the charge.
In warmer climates, we are naturally more active (well, some of us!) and our metabolism becomes higher which affects our hormonal cycles. This change may contribute to faster hair growth. Another theory is that in hotter environments, our scalp produces more natural oils that are key to hair growth. We end up brushing these oils throughout the hair shaft which conditions and maintains healthy hair, which can encourage faster hair growth.
Many women experience thicker hair during their pregnancy, however, this does not affect how long it takes hair to grow. The added thickness is a result of a prolonged anagen phase brought about by the hormonal changes. Most new mothers actually experience increased hair loss as the retained hair sheds.
There are plenty of hair supplements out there that claim to speed up hair growth. Most do this by adding in key nutrients and vitamins like protein, vitamin C, biotin and iron which all improve hair growth. While supplements can be a helpful option for those that struggle to get these nutrients from their food, a healthy, varied diet will include all of these vitamins and more to encourage healthy hair and growth.
While we have already discussed everyday factors of life, there are a couple of circumstances where the hair growth cycle is severely disrupted: chemotherapy and a hair transplant. These can have a major impact on the time it takes hair to grow. Those who experience these changes can be anxious to regrow their hair as quickly as possible, but it’s important to be patient as your body adjusts.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR HAIR TO GROW AFTER CHEMOTHERAPY?
The effects of chemo can be devastating on your hair. And once the treatment has successfully beaten cancer, patients are often anxious to get their hair back to how it once was. Generally speaking, it takes around two or three weeks before a small amount of regrowth can be seen, usually a soft ‘fuzz’ over the head. After one month, hair starts to grow at its normal rate and looks more like ‘real’ hair. At two months, you can expect to see around an inch of hair.
WHAT MAKES YOUR HAIR GROW FASTER?
There’s an abundance of advice that addresses how long does it take hair to grow and how to make it grow faster. Here are just a few that we think will give you your best chance of amazing hair growth: