Seven Expert-Approved Ways To Make Your Hair Grow Faster

Here’s what I remember most about 2012: crazy nail art, sparkly shoes and bobs.

Here’s what reminds me: an abandoned stack of partially-used decal stickers, a pair of glitter-covered Miu Miu platform brogues I wear roughly once a year and a halfway-grown mane I look at in the mirror each morning and try to will longer with the adulterated power of my mind. Yes, still.

My hair may very well be as long as it’s going to get, but I asked three professionals — nutritionist Brooke Alpert, expert on natural hair Nikisha Brunson and celebrity stylist Michael Dueñas — for their pro tips on quick and healthy hair growth. Now, does anyone know a foolproof formula for patience?

1. First, repeat after me: My hair does not have teeth.

That means you’re in charge of eating for it. “You can see how healthy someone’s diet is by simply looking at their hair,” explains NYC nutritionist and founder of B Nutritious, Brooke Alpert. “People who stick to a crazy fat free regime, for example, experience dullness and breakage.”

Which is why god invented avocados.

“Remember, our cells are coated with a fatty membrane. Encouraging growth starts with keeping the cells healthy, which starts with keeping their fatty membranes healthy, which starts with having the right kind of fat in your diet. That would be sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, like salmon, avocado, nuts and olive oil.”

2. Fats need good teammates.

Brooke’s suggestions include…

Protein: “Protein is the building block to healthy skin, nails and hair, and is an essential component to healthy growth. Eggs are always great option, but make sure you’re eating the whole thing. The yolk is where all the vitamins and nutrition are. It’s also a huge source of Biotin, which is something people take in pill form for hair loss.”

Vitamin E: “It’s an antioxidant shown to improve blood flow. It will invariably promote a healthier scalp — and the healthier your scalp is, the healthier your cells are, the more likely you are to have faster growing hair. Because nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables are sources of Vitamin E, a salad with sunflower seeds or almonds sprinkled on top is an easy way to boost your daily dose.”

Vitamin C: “Vitamin C is a precursor for collagen production in your body, so it’s another building block for healthy skin, hair and nails. And it’s a major antioxidant. And it fights off all of the cellular damage we’re doing regularly. Some of my favorite Vitamin C foods are red peppers, sweet potatoes and citrus foods.”

Supplements: “My ultimate goal is for everyone to start with the healthiest food on their plates, and supplement with anything additional. So if you’re not a fish eater, then you should taking an Omega 3. And extra Biotin, of course, will do wonders for growing out your hair.”

3. Use protection!

Never apply high levels of heat without protecting your hair first. “High heat causes ends to break, and slows down growth,” Michael Dueñas, a pro hairstylist based in New York, tells me. “If you must put heat on the ends, then you absolutely need a heat protectant. It’s like a shield of armor that goes over the hair: Most products are rated up to 350 degrees — so as long as you keep the tool’s level below that, the product stays intact and protects.”

Ahhh, but what if I don’t know which level is 350 degrees?! “With hot tools, almost all of them have degrees that will go up to 425 or 450. So as long as you’re at an 8 or under, you’re okay.”

4. Re-think that tight pony.

Or at least the tie that you’re using to secure it. Dueñas is a proponent of soft, stretchy loops. “If you use something that’s a little more abrasive or has sharp edges on it, then you’ll definitely see breakage. Wide fabric elastics are better. I also love to use bobby pins. Those won’t damage your hair whatsoever.” Whatever kind of band you’re using, though, never secure it too tight. “The extra stress damages follicles and you’ll get breakage on your hairline as well from the extra stress.” In other words…

5. Baby your hair — especially your baby hairs!

Urban Bush Babes co-founder and editor-in-chief, Nikisha Brunson, warns that while those delicate areas near the scalp are breakage-prone for everyone, they’re especially vulnerable for women with natural, course, curly hair.  “Curly, natural hair easily becomes brittle and breaks because we don’t get the same levels of oil people with straight hair do,” she explains. “Oil butters on the ends and around the forehead area are necessary because that part of natural hair is extra sensitive. Some people with natural hair even put it all over their hair to retain the moisture that we don’t get from the scalp.”

Brunson also recommends regular scalp massages with pure organic oils (her apothecary line on Etsy, Folie, has some fantastic ones) and regularly clarifying the scalp. “That’s to wipe out any gross stuff your head collects from the water, air, or even other products — gunk that gets stuck to your scalp and hair strands. Use either a clarifying shampoo or natural remedy. One I like is an apple cider vinegar rinse: a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with purified water or distilled water.

Getting rid of all the gunk gives roots and hair follicles the room it needs to breath and grow properly. Chemicals not only cause breakage, but the roots of the hair to suffocate; to grow, hair needs a clean, PH balanced environment. Natural hair girls have to worry about that more.”

6. Never, ever — EVER — use a brush straight out of the shower.

This applies whether your hair is course and curly, fine and straight or somewhere between the two. “Wet hair is at its most elastic,” explains Dueñas. “So if there are tangles, you’ll stretch them until they snap. Just think about fabric when it’s wet, how much more it stretches. So either use a wide tooth comb or your fingers — I love using my fingers, because if I hit a tangle, then I can just pull it apart with my hands. It takes longer, actually, to brush out a tangle than to pull it apart yourself.”

If you’re heading to bed next, Brunson recommends a few extra precautions for women with natural hair: satin pillow cases and bonnets. “Natural hair is already extra dry, so if your hair is freshly conditioned with all these oils and creams and butters and then you sleep on a cotton pillow case, it sucks up the moisture, creates tangles and ruins all that good work.”

7. Resist the urge to skip your regular trim.

Even the most carefully-tended locks are bound to get a few split ends, and you’ll want to lop those off before the breakage creeps up your hair shaft. Then you’ll just have to cut it off anyways! There are ways, however, to stretch the time between salon visits. Dueñas’ secret weapon is leave-in conditioner. “Even if you condition your hair in the shower, spray on a leave-in anyway. Chances are you aren’t keeping your actual conditioner on long enough and — even if you are — the water constantly running from your scalp to your ends in the shower is diluting the benefits. A back-up after you towel-dry ensures that moisture locks in.”

Follow Brooke Alpert on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Nikisha Brunson on Instagram and Urban Bush Babes on Twitter. Follow Michael Dueñas on Instagram and Twitter.


Collage by Emily Zirimis.



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  • Aaah, a fellow sufferer, if there ever was one … BTW, the recipe for patience is … to acknowledgle you don’t have any but still not to do anything about your hair. I have put a ban on cutting mine and will have it cut after May 1, because the chance is I can have my “same-length-everywhere bob” by then.
    So now I am counting the days till I can have my Big Before – After Moment 🙂

    Thanks for the good advice – I have discovered coconut oil works miracles for my curly hair, so I apply it once a month to get that healthy shine: A Healthy Shine Fetishist, that’s who I am … In my world, nothing is as important as healthy, shiny hair: not the haircut itself, not the curliness or lack of it, not the color … nope, it is just the shine I am after. Which is why I have to have my old fussy layers aka rats’ tails cut off …

  • Aydan

    So I got bangs a few months ago and since I find myself going in every 2.5 weeks to get my bangs retrimmed I am so much more aware of how fast the rest of my hair is growing. I now find myself in the salon every 2-3 months and let me tell you, even just that for my long curly hair I have seen drastic improvements in overall health!! trimming is def important!

    • Amelia Diamond

      ugh the BANGS I did that once

  • Junglesiren

    You know… in these articles about hair I never see any information specifically for my hair. Thank you for covering ALL hair bases.

    • Eddie Dwyer

      Oh woe as meeeeeeeeeeee

  • Amy Mills

    will never stop loving MR’s graphic collages

    Also re hair growth and preventing loss: iron! I find when my iron is really low my hair falls out so easily.

    • Amelia Diamond

      that is such a nice thing to say about the collages! EMILY CAN YOU HEAR THIS?

  • I can tell whether or not a hair stylist will understand my hair and do a good job based on whether or not they only use a comb. I haven’t used a hairbrush since 2009.

    Also, eating eggs changed my life in general.

  • This post feels a little SEO-y. It reminds me of when my boss would try to get me to write about the benefits of drinking water or coconut oil when we’re really more of a emotional self-help site.

    • Leandra Medine

      i have written about drinking hot water with lemon! but it was from the heart!

      and i have a coconut oil story on my mind too!

      am i becoming a robot?

      • Soo I’ve also been reading a lot of Into the Gloss lately and while you guys are two distinct brands I do notice slight overlaps happening lately in terms of both content and writers (even though the same writers thing shouldn’t be a problem)– when really I think of you as complements to each other. Man Repeller the rainbow fuzzy sweater with pom poms, Into the Gloss is no-frills but elegant toner and tinted moisturizer that makes you feel like a kool kat regardless of your sartorial choices.

        But in general, I feel like there is a way to write about any topic you want as long as you keep true to your voice. For Man Repeller I see you guys coming into your own as (millennial) social phenomena commentators whether it be about fashion, social networks, or pop culture. You guys use superficial mediums like clothes and tv shows and Instagram in order to explore the emotional issues that matter to us with pathos and humor.

        For instance: When you guys do posts about food, serious posts about our complicated relationships about food and light-hearted ones about 3pm office munchies feel Man Repeller-y. A hypothetical post about a recipe for a quinoa-chia seed-acas-goji-kale bowl would not–I would read this post on a site that I specifically go to to find out about this info, like GOOP, but it is not what I’m looking for on Man Repeller. BUT a post about the *phenomena* of these instagram-baity stews would.

        For instance: When you guys do posts about beauty, posts like Who Actually Does ALL the Beautification Things? How My Skin Disease Led Me to My Love of Fashion, Pretty Winter and the Importance of Pampering feel right. Posts explicitly about the benefits of coconut oil and fish oil do not. Unless it’s a funny anecdote about desperately squeezing capsules of cod oil into your hair, or something. I feel that the ultimate undertone of Man Repeller is self-love and friendship: it’s the virtual, more grown-up version of a treehouse club hangout complete with fashion-forward but goofy decor.


        • yasmeen khaja

          wow this is everything i wish i wrote in my application to intern for man repeller!!! so right

  • Debbie

    You can get omega 3s from Chia seeds as well

  • Vicky Santana

    My issue was sudden unforeseen hair fall and i was loosing hair in pieces actually, say before in the event that i was loosing around 150 hairs a day and now in the wake of utilizing nuhairrx serum for a month it has decreased to around 20 hairs a day generally. So,a thumbs up from me. 🙂

  • Great read! How to grow my hair faster? It’s the age old client question
    to every hairstylist. I think you have mad some really good points
    here. Excellent tips.

  • Amanda Page

    Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

    • Elisabeth Austin Busiek


    • Jessica

      I messed mine up badly with bleach. Found Sebastian Penetraitt conditioner was great for bringing it back to life – get the masque as well, leave it in overnight. Also, Kerastase resistance dual serum or Pureology miracle filler are really both really good for repairing it.

  • Marlyn Beebe

    I believe you need a copy-editor. “…Vwarns that while those delicate areas near the scalp are breakage-prone for everyone, they’re especially vulnerable for women with natural, course, curly hair.”

  • Another good website for health and fashion. Must visit

  • Maria Anna Ramos

    Massaging your scalp really does promote better blood circulation in the head making it healthier. Knowing the tips to make your hair grow faster would put away the stress caused by thinning hair.

  • Anita Stewart

    Great. Thank you for this post and useful information.