Surely you have seen videos and read countless articles for growing hair back, growing thicker hair, and even about hair loss prevention, yes?
They usually go something like this:
"Use rosemary oil; use peppermint oil; massage your scalp; leave hair oils on your scalp overnight." And it can be frustrating because some of these tips are good ones, and some are unsubstantiated and more fear-mongering than beneficial!
We've heard them all and would like to back some of them up and also set the record straight with other myths before you go spending precious time (and possibly money) on going through with them.
The following is our analysis of the top hair growth tips you often hear about:
TIP: DRINK WATER for hair growth.
YES. You may get tired of hearing this one, but it works. Water helps to distribute nutrients throughout your body, all the way to the scalp. Have you ever tried to wash a bicycle with a cup of water, or rinse a whole newly washed car with one small bucket of water? Exactly. You need a LOT of water to cleanse your body of toxins and help your organs function properly. This is a great tip and truly deserves to be on the top spot! Nothing is as good for your body as water – not tea, not coffee, not juice.
TIP: Sleep on a silk pillowcase.
NO. While some people claim to have less frizz by laying their locks to rest at night on a silk pillow, it will do nothing specifically for hair growth. Hair is actually quite resilient and strong, not easily broken if well looked after. You're better off tying your hair up in a (very loose) pineapple than spending $$ on a silk pillowcase. A silk pillowcase will not help you with hair growth.
TIP: Scalp massages can help with hair growth.
YES. This is because massaging your scalp – just like any other part of the body – helps promote circulation. Better circulation = stronger hair follicles. It's the same reason why we naturally rub a part of our body we just banged up: Circulation gets the blood flowing.
TIP: Washing the hairline ONLY with water in the mornings.
YES. The less you do to your scalp and the more you let the microbiome rebalance on its own, the better. It's not good if you're constantly washing it off because you would also be wiping off tens of thousands of microbiota that help protect and heal your scalp. Leave it be and trust that overnight it has been building and protecting itself, so why wash all that hard work off in the morning, with yet another cleanser? The same goes for the face: As long as you were able to clean off your face before bedtime, removing dirt and makeup, then it will not be necessary to do it all over again in the morning - EVEN FOR THOSE WITH OILIER SKIN - otherwise the skin will compensate and produce more sebum (natural oils) to protect itself.
TIP: Supplements can help with hair growth.
YES! We don't often have a well-balanced diet, and on top of that, we struggle with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, pollution and more – all factors that affect our overall health and throw it off balance. Supplements can help your body by giving it that extra "push" to get back on track. Some of the recommended supplements that are often prescribed for hair growth include folic acid, iron, vitamin B, and collagen* (see a healthcare practitioner for full bloodwork and review).
TIP: Coffee can help hair grow.
YES and NO. It's not that 'coffee' can necessarily help grow your hair, although it's a great hair growth tip, but it's that caffeine can help hair grow. Caffeine is a compound found in coffee beans and green tea, and it works as a vasodilator on the scalp, helping to boost circulation, which has been shown to help with hair growth. Some of the researched benefits include: - It can improve barrier function on the scalp - It can improve follicular penetration (that's the penetration of beneficial compounds on hair follicles) - Stimulate and promote hair growth – as we mentioned, by boosting circulation Research has shown that it may not be enough to pour a cup of tempered coffee or green tea on your scalp, as this would not be long enough on the scalp for it to reap its benefits. However, there are some scalp treatments that contain a cosmetic-grade caffeine extract, which may be an interesting one to look into. You will find more research on the topic [HERE] and [HERE].
Putting makeup and sunscreen on your scalp can be damaging to the hair follicles.
YES. There have been numerous studies that show that the ingredients that help many sunscreens and makeup stay on your skin longer can also affect the scalp negatively, damaging the microbiome and the scalp follicles and preventing hair growth. We published a whole article about it, linked to studies [HERE]. Give it a go!
It's okay to leave oils overnight on your scalp.
NO. Just... no. This is a frustrating one because too often we see articles published advising people to apply oil on their scalp and leave it overnight. Often also using essential oils that have dermal limitations that can cause long-term sensitivity and irritation. This can cause more harm than good.
While many carrier oils have penetrating abilities on the scalp, they can also act as occlusives, essentially coating the scalp with a thick layer much too heavy to allow for it to "breathe" and protect itself. It harms the microbiome. It can be difficult to wash off and in turn, make the scalp oilier (for days or even weeks after) as it tries to rebalance itself. Don't leave oils on the scalp for more than 1 hour. It's not necessary, and 15 minutes to 1 hour is all you need for the scalp to benefit from gorgeous carrier oils that can provide both sealing and penetrating effects to the hair and scalp, depending on what you feel your hair and scalp need. Read more on that [HERE].
Hair tea rinses can help prevent hair fall and hair thinning.
NO. Unfortunately, boiling herbs or putting hot water over herbs will do nothing for your scalp or your hair and can be more of a waste of time and money for you. Most of the beneficial compounds in herbs, that can benefit the scalp and hair, reside in the natural oils of the herbs. The essential oils of a plant, which are steam distilled, are the best method for extracting these compounds. Hot water, on the other hand, can scorch herbs, burning off these delicate compounds. If you want to benefit from using herbs on your hair and on your scalp, you're best off diluting some essential oils by using a carrier oil, like jojoba or olive oil which are some of the closest oils to the oils your scalp naturally produces (the 'sebum'). Keep in mind that essential oils are very powerful, and more will not necessarily mean better, so you must mind the dermal limitations that each essential oil has. Some of our favourite essential oils for hair and scalp health include rosemary essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
Protecting your hair by using a hair oil can be beneficial to the lengths of your hair too, as oils can help retain the moisture of a leave-in conditioner on your hair. We created our Nourishing Hair Elixir for this very reason! It's a gorgeous combination of natural hair oils that are both penetrating and sealing and provides protection, nourishment and shine to the hair. Check it out [HERE].
Sleep can help hair grow.
YES. Sleep is a wonderful thing! Sleep can help heal the body – whether it's by fixing bruises, a cold, calming anxiety, or even growing hair. Our body enters a state of recovery while we sleep, as the body and the mind calm and the organs can continue their hard work. During sleep, the body releases chemicals that circulate and work to recover from inflammation, repair muscle, repair cells, and so much more. It's truly fascinating! It's one of the reasons why people will severe injuries are left in a comatose state to allow their brains to heal themselves and focus on nothing else. During the day, even a few minutes of mindful meditation has been shown to help calm the body and aid in healing. So rest up! If you're lacking sleep then your body naturally enters a state of unrest, anxiety and stress, and then well... your hair can literally fall out.
Snacking before bedtime can make your hair fall out.
Well, YES and also NO. While it's not recommended to eat anything too close to bedtime as this can disrupt your sleep, some people find they need a little something in order to sleep better. What happens here, is that when your body is not working hard to digest food, then it concentrates on all the other tasks it must do at night-time: Sleep, regenerate cells, heal, and yes, growing hair is a part of that. Some foods can more easily disrupt this sleep-grow-and-heal pattern, as they are harder to digest and can more easily cause inflammation. These foods include gluten, dairy, and sugars because these foods can work as hormone and insulin disruptors at nighttime when your body is trying to sleep and not focus on digesting them.
So rather than going for a bowl of cereal with milk or cheese and crackers before bedtime, you're best off having a small handful of almonds and pumpkin seeds, and some slices of cucumber with lemon. That's it. The body easily becomes re-adjusted to you not eating at nighttime, so try it for a week and you'll see! Plus, I'm sure that for many of us, a little less weight and a little more hair density is a welcomed bonus!
Our favourite: Use more natural, pH-balanced hair products for hair growth!
YES! Most definitely yes. The more naturally derived the cleanser, the better for the health of your scalp. The more you look after your scalp, the healthier your hair will grow. And the less your hair will fall. We designed our hair products based on these scientific facts. The pH of the products you use on your scalp is incredibly important to avoid irritation and damage to its microbiome, as well as to ensure healthier-looking hair that won't break or frizz. If you'd like to learn more about the best-recommended pH for the hair and the scalp, please read this blog post [HERE] because you will learn why pH is important for so many reasons: - To prevent an itchy, dry scalp - To help your hair remain frizz-free - To prevent your hair from breaking and splitting - To protect the health of the scalp microbiome We care about your hair and know that the healthiest hair starts with a healthy scalp. That is why we designed gorgeous hair products right here in Canada and would love for you to give them a try! If you're new to nature-derived hair products, you can check out our Eco-haircare Starter Kit [HERE] and see the difference. We have no doubt that in time you will see healthier hair growth and less hair fall. Now isn't that worth investing in?
There are many tips and tricks you can do to grow hair faster and prevent hair fall. The most important of all hair growth tips will be to prevent hair fall by looking after your scalp because it's a lifelong commitment!
What do you think of these hair growth tips? Do you have any other tips you have used that have worked for you to help grow healthy hair and prevent hair fall?
Comment below and share, we'd love to have this conversation with you.
Wishing you happy hair days!