Updated: Aug 24
Hair growth is something we all are in a hurry about. Whether we are growing out chemically treated hair, transitioning, or have opted for the big chop, the first thing that comes to mind is how long does it take hair to grow!
Growing natural hair is a challenging journey not meant for the impatient lot and requires dedication and equanimity. Scientifically our hair type is known to grow the slowest, growing approximately one-third of an inch per month. Despite this slower time for hair to grow, there are ways to optimize hair health and encourage stronger, longer hair. In this article, we will explore the hair structure and growth cycle and provide valuable tips to support healthy hair growth.
Understanding the Structure of Hair
Each strand of hair consists of a hair bulb, the living and growing part of the hair, and the hair shaft, the visible, dead portion of the hair. The hair shaft comprises three layers: the cortex, medulla, and cuticle. Optimum hair health can be maintained by protecting the fragile ends, keeping the cortex's strength, and ensuring the cuticle remains in good condition.
Hair Growth Explained
Understanding the hair growth cycle is crucial to grasp the rate at which hair grows and how long does it take to grow hair long. The cycle consists of three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Different strands may be in different phases of the growth cycle at any given time. The anagen phase, also known as the growth phase, lasts 2-7 years, during which hair grows up to half an inch per month. Following this, the catagen phase is a short transitional period, lasting around 10 days, and the telogen phase, where hair stops growing and is released. The telogen stage is when your hair takes a rest. Some of your hair naturally sheds after 3 to 4 months in this phase. It is normal to lose up to 100 strands a day during this time. After the telogen phase, the process starts anew.
Understanding Our Hair Growth
The popular misconception that our hair type doesn't grow long must be dispelled. Like the normal hair cycle, it follows a four-stage hair growth cycle - anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. Natural curly hair indeed grows at a slower rate than other hair types.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Hair 12 Inches?
Paula Bland, a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician and psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, sheds light on the age-old question: "How long does it take to grow hair 12 inches?" With wisdom accumulated from years of experience, she reveals, "Like any growth, hair takes time," emphasizing that a minimum of two years is needed to achieve a remarkable 12-inch growth.
Considering the average annual hair growth of 6 inches, patience becomes the key as you wait for this transformative change. But why does it feel like such a slow process? Understanding your hair's natural growth cycle holds the answer. Paula Bland's insights delve deeper into the mechanisms behind hair growth, helping you grasp the fascinating journey of your locks.
How long does it take to grow hair 6 inches?
The anagen phase, or growth phase, can last between 2-4 years. During this phase, hair can grow at approximately 0.9 - 1.3 cm per month, resulting in an average of 5 - 6 inches of growth per year. While this growth rate may seem slow compared to other hair types, focusing on length retention and maintaining healthy hair to achieve the desired length is essential and requires dedication and patience when it comes to achieving significant hair growth, such as 12 inches of hair. As mentioned earlier, hair tends to grow at a rate of about 0.9 - 1.3 cm per month.
This estimation varies from person to person, as individual hair growth patterns and genetics play a significant role. Some individuals may experience faster growth, while others may find their hair growing slightly slower. However, with proper care and a consistent hair care routine, you can maximize your hair's growth potential and achieve your desired length.
How long does hair grow in a week?
The average hair growth rate is about 0.5 inches per month, which translates to approximately 1/8 inch per week.
How long does hair grow in 2,3,4 weeks?
In 2, 3, and 4 weeks, hair typically grows around 1/4 to 3/4 inch, 3/8 to 1 inch, and 1/2 to 1.5 inches, respectively.
How long does hair grow in 28 days?
In 28 days, hair usually grows about 3/4 to 1.5 inches.
How long does hair grow in a month?
In one month, hair generally grows approximately 1/2 to 1.5 inches.
How long does hair grow in 2 months?
In 2 months, hair tends to grow around 1 to 3 inches.
How long does hair grow in 3 months?
In 3 months, hair typically grows about 1.5 to 4.5 inches.
How long does hair grow in 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years?
In 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, hair can grow approximately 3 to 9 inches, 6 to 12 inches, and 12 to 24 inches, respectively. Keep in mind that individual hair growth rates may vary.
Top Tips for Hair Growth:
A balanced diet of proteins, vitamins (B, C, and E), and essential minerals like copper and zinc support healthy hair growth. When your body gets the essential nutrients, it allocates them to various vital functions, including hair growth. Therefore, consuming diverse food to supply your body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals is advisable. Since Protein is the building block of hair, consuming Protein rich food such as lean meats, fish, beans, and lentils is a must. Foods containing copper, like almonds, cashews, and leafy greens, can contribute to red blood cell production and iron absorption, supporting healthy hair growth.
Vitamins like B, C, and E are also crucial for hair health. Vitamin B helps maintain moisture, smoothness, and sebum production, the hair's natural oil. Vitamin C aids hair growth and tissue renewal, while vitamin E is an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can harm the hair. Therefore nutrients play an important role in determining how many inches does hair grow a year.
If you wonder which vitamin deficiencies lead to hair loss, read through and help your hair grow.
Avoid Heat Styling
You must limit the use of heat styling tools to protect your hair from damage and breakage caused by high temperatures. Embrace air-drying and no-heat styling techniques to maintain the health of your hair.
Heat styling tools like blow-dryers, flat irons, and curling irons can cause significant damage to your hair. The high temperatures weaken the hair fibres and strip away moisture, leaving your hair brittle and prone to breakage especially if you are worried about how long will it take to grow my hair out.
However, for some individuals, stretching their hair on low to moderate heat can be beneficial in maintaining length. This process involves using heat styling tools on lower temperature settings to avoid excessive damage to the hair. Stretching hair in this manner can help reduce shrinkage and breakage, promoting length retention while still achieving desired styles. But it is essential to use heat protectants and limit heat exposure to maintain hair health.
Consider using a microfiber towel turban to absorb excess water from your hair quickly. This gentle method reduces the stress on your hair compared to vigorous towel-drying.
Proper Hair Cleansing and Conditioning
A clean and healthy scalp is essential for promoting hair growth. Regularly cleanse your hair using a sulfate-free shampoo to keep a healthy cuticle without stripping away natural oils.
Pre-pooing before washing can help prevent hygral fatigue, which occurs when hair expands and contracts excessively during the washing process. After cleansing, use a natural conditioner to nourish and strengthen your hair. Products like Touch of Love provide deep hydration and protection for your hair, ensuring it stays healthy and retains length. Be mindful of how often you wash your hair, as excessive washing can lead to dryness and damage.
Moisture is crucial for our hair, as it tends to be naturally dry due to its structure. The LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) or LCO (Liquid-Cream-Oil) method effectively keeps your hair moisturized.
Start with a water-based moisturizing liquid like Bounce Back.
Follow with a layer of oil, such as Heaven Scent, which consists of a mixture of pumpkin seed oil, tea tree oil, and Rosemary oil, that seal in the moisture from the liquid. Finally, use a moisturizing cream or leave-in conditioner like Good Thing to provide a protective layer over the hair, keeping it hydrated for an extended period.
By following this method, you can ensure that your hair remains moisturized and less susceptible to breakage, allowing it to retain its length and aiding in how long growing hair will take.
Protective styles shield your hair from environmental factors and minimize the manipulation and friction that can lead to breakage that affects the hair's growth time. Popular protective types include braids, twists, wigs, and weaves. These styles help to keep your hair tucked away, reducing the risk of mechanical damage and promoting growth.
When opting for protective styles, ensuring that your hair remains clean, conditioned, and moisturized is essential. To achieve this, you can use TLP Bundle cleanse + hydrate + moisture specially formulated to care for your hair in protective styles. It's important to remember that protective styles should be worn for a short time. Typically, it's recommended to change your style every 6-8 weeks to allow your hair to breathe and rest from the tension of the protective style.
Related post: Protective Hairstyles for Natural Curly Hair
Night time Hair Care
Protecting your hair at night is crucial to prevent unnecessary breakage while you sleep. Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture and create friction, leading to hair damage. Try using a satin bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase to avoid this.
Satin and silk are smooth materials that reduce friction, helping your hair retain moisture and reducing the likelihood of tangles and breakage. Investing in a satin bonnet or silk pillowcase is a simple yet effective way to protect your hair and maintain its length.
Establish a Consistent Hair Care Routine
Consistency is the key to achieving healthy hair growth. Develop a personalized hair care routine that suits your hair type and lifestyle. Find a balance between washing, conditioning, and moisturizing your hair to maintain health and promote growth.
A typical hair care routine might include washing your hair every 7-10 days, conditioning, and moisturizing with suitable products. Regular deep conditioning treatments can also be incorporated into your routine to keep your hair hydrated and nourished.
Remember, it's essential to be patient and consistent if you are worried about how long to grow an inch of hair. Hair growth takes time, and with the proper routine, you'll see improvements in the health and length of your hair.
Minimize Chemical Treatments
Avoid chemical treatments that can cause hair damage and breakage. Treatments like bleaching, relaxing, and perming can weaken your hair and hinder growth. Such treatments alter the structure of the hair, making it more vulnerable to damage.
If possible, reduce or avoid these chemical treatments to allow your hair to grow and remain healthy. Embrace your natural hair texture and explore styles that require minimal manipulation and chemical processing.
Use Gentle Styling Accessories
Your styling accessories can also impact its health and growth. Avoid using fine-tooth combs and broken bobby pins, as they can cause damage and breakage. Instead, opt for wide-tooth combs or fingers to gently detangle your hair.
Choose hairbands and ties without metal or plastic fastenings, as these can snag and pull on your hair, leading to breakage.
How to Support Hair Growth
How long does it take hair to grow depends upon your understanding of the unique needs of your hair type and using products and techniques tailored to its characteristics. DHT blockers and stimulants are one effective way to support black hair growth.
DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone linked to hair loss and thinning. Using products containing natural DHT blockers, like Heaven Scent, prolong the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, leading to longer hair strands. While these products cannot guarantee indefinite hair growth, they can significantly extend the anagen stage, providing more months of growth and achieving longer strands.
Scalp massages can also play a role in stimulating hair growth. Massaging the scalp increases blood flow to the hair follicles, delivering more nutrients and oxygen to support hair growth.
Incorporate scalp massages into your hair care routine using nutrient-rich oils like Heaven Scent.
Diet and nutrition are fundamental factors in supporting natural curly hair growth. As hair growth depends on stem cell production and regeneration, ensuring that your body receives all the necessary nutrients for overall health is crucial. A balanced diet with various vitamins, minerals, and proteins can help promote hair growth.
Growing and maintaining healthy natural hair requires patience, care, and a thorough understanding of its unique characteristics. Following a consistent hair care routine, embracing protective styles, and providing your hair with the proper nutrients and products are the factors that determine how long does it take hair to grow!
Hair growth is a gradual process, and it may take time for hair to grow. Be patient with your hair and celebrate the progress you make along the way. With dedication and perseverance, you can nurture your natural hair to reach its full potential and showcase its natural beauty.
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About The Author: Paula Bland
The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician and also a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.