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by: Better Not Younger
November 08, 2021
Sitting back and waiting for your thinning hair to grow? There are things you can do to stimulate hair growth.
Your body has 5 million hair follicles, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, which sounds like a lot, but only about 100,000 of those are on your scalp. While your genetics influence how much your hair tends to grow—on average it’s about half an inch each month—so does your lifestyle, and this is something you can actually control!
To encourage your thinning hair to grow a little bit faster, try taking things a little more slowly. Mindfully approaching how you go about your day can do wonders for your stress levels, which ultimately affects the health of your hair. So what does mindfulness look like? For starters, taking your foot off the pedal, stopping to smell the roses and sometimes quite literally remembering to breathe. Here are a few of our favorite ways to slow down to support our healthiest hair growth possible.
Sleep has a hugely positive effect on your body. It’s when your muscles repair themselves, your brain gets ready for the new day, and the protein in your body gets synthesized to grow your hair. This protein synthesis is crucial to healthy hair growth, and a good night of sleep—every night—is what maintains that process. It’s also when you sleep that your hormones get to work in promoting proper growth of your hair (as well as your fingernails!). Plus, nothing beats waking up relaxed and feeling refreshed—and getting your seven to eight hours of shut-eye each night is where it all begins.
Meditative practices are a great way to slow down. They help with focusing on yourself and resetting your emotions in favor of managing stress. Stress is a pesky deterrent to hair health, so any way you can decrease your levels of stress is a positive one. By taking part in meditative practices for just a few minutes each day, you’re giving your mind and body a chance to find its center again, which can promote healthier hair. Meditation can also help hair growth by improving blood flow in our head to nourish our hair cells. One study showed that meditating for 30 minutes for five days significantly increased blood flow in the left frontal lobes.
Just like meditation, disconnecting from everything by taking part in some of your favorite hobbies can also help with managing stress. Maybe it’s listening to music in the dark or going for walks. Either of these has a positive impact on your mind and body, simply because it’s bringing you a bit of joy and getting rid of some of that stress. Among other negative effects related to stress and hair loss, when stress is extreme, it can push our hair follicles into a resting stage, resulting in sudden hair loss, which definitely goes against your dreams of thick, strong hair. When you’re stressed, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which basically tells your hair follicles to stop working. Countering your levels of stress with fun activities can help keep your hair healthy.
Getting outside to enjoy the sunshine is good for the soul. Plus, it’s good for your hair. Getting a big dose of vitamin D from the sun can actually help your hair growth because vitamin D is responsible for creating new hair follicles. This doesn’t mean you need to go lie in the sun day in and day out. Go for a short walk each day, even around the block, to get a bit of sun. While it’s important to also protect your skin with sunblock, you want to be sure you’re allowing some of that sun to reach you—and short stints in the sun are sufficient. If you’re going to be out longer, though, make sure to reapply your sunblock!
Just like the rest of your body, your hair craves vitamins and minerals found in food. By whipping up a meal that’s packed with things like vitamin C, vitamin B2, zinc, iron and biotin, you’re feeding your body everything it needs to grow your hair. If you’re not sure where to find these nutrients, try foods like nuts, fish, eggs, avocado, whole grains and beans. All of these items have good-for-you vitamins and minerals that can boost hair growth. But mindful eating goes behind how you prepare your dishes. It’s also important to eat slowly and free of distractions. This allows you to be in the moment so you can enjoy your culinary masterpiece, support proper digestion and prevent overeating—all of which are part of the mindful equation, ultimately leading to less stress.
Believe it or not, your phone can also be stressing out your hair. Though it’s not a direct correlation, consider this: Using your phone before bed hinders good sleep and spending too much time on your phone can add stress to your life. Both of these factors go against a healthy hair plan. You need ample sleep to promote hair growth that’s stronger and healthier as well to ensure less stress—and less of the stress hormone cortisol. Put your phone down more often during the day and especially right before bed time.
Not only is bath time a great time to relax and recharge, but it can also promote hair growth if you take the time to show your hair and scalp some love. In fact, scalp massages have been known to make a difference in hair growth. One study suggested that scalp massages can help dilate the blood vessels under the skin, leading to fuller, thicker hair. The study also showed that scalp massages could make your strands stronger, which could mean less breakage.
Try using pressure with your fingertips on your hair and scalp for just a few minutes each day while you’re in the tub. You can use a hair serum or essential oils on wet hair for a more aromatherapy experience as well—and of course a deep-conditioning mask focused on mid-lengths and ends adds a pampering step. A small study found that peppermint oil could also promote stronger hair, plus it’ll make you smell delicious while boosting hair health. Healthier hair tends to grow better, and if nothing else, a scalp massage will feel great.
You know how frustrating it can be to wake up late and be rushing around in the morning to get to work. If this is your norm, try setting your alarm a few minutes earlier so you can start your day off more peacefully. (Easier said than done, we know.) If you have a more calm morning, the rest of your day is more likely to follow suit—and that means less stress. You know what stress does to your hair, so wherever you can cut back on it, you should.
It sounds simple, but it’s true. When you take care of your whole body, your hair tends to fall in tow. Deep breaths allow air to fill your body, which can be extremely calming on your nerves when things feel out of control. So breathe, relax, show yourself grace, and be kind to yourself. Some research has linked good hair to happiness, meaning good hair days tend to make you happier and happier days make you content and less stressed. While this doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is growing faster on days you’re happy, it does mean that when you take a moment to be content with life and shake off the stress, you’re giving your body a boost of positivity. The positivity can eradicate some lingering stress, which means your hair is getting the love it needs from you.
In case you’ve missed it, there’s a strong link between stress and hair loss—and stress comes from a lot of angles. Clutter in your home can stress you out, too, so let’s clean it up! Get rid of anything you don’t need and give yourself some breathing room. Plus, once you do that, you can add a few new Better Not Younger hair-care products to your shelves that will promote healthy hair. Hair-care products like the Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner will boost the fullness in your hair, so it will have beautiful body while it grows.
You can also pick up the Superpower Hair & Scalp Duo to promote healthier aging hair. Apply the hair serum after towel-drying your wet hair, using the massager to nourish your scalp and energize your hair follicles.
Tell Us: What are your favorite ways to slow down and live more mindfully? Share in the comments below!