Will trimming your hair really make it reach new lengths? 

Hard to believe, but in this era of quick tans and almost insta-dry nail polish, there’s still no speedy way to grow hair. Trim and brush all you want, but your hair…prefers…to take…its time.

Exactly how much time depends on genetics. On average each strand grows about a half inch in a month. But hair doesn’t grow like that nonstop; it grows in cycles. At any given moment, about 85% of hair follicles are in the anagen (growing) phase. The rest of the follicles are in either the catagen (transitioning) phase or the telogen (resting) phase. For some lucky individuals, the growing phase lasts as long as 7 years; for others, it’s as little as 2. At the end of this stage, the strands fall out, and its follicle remains dormant & hairless for about 3 months. After that a sprig of hair finally sprouts, and the growth process starts again. “If your hair never gets past your shoulders, chances are, you have a shorter anagen cycle than others do.” says Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist in New York City.

There’s no scientific proof that hair grows faster when you take in more nutrients than what is in an already healthy diet. You get more than enough of certain vitamins- for example, biotin, a B vitamin found in hair growth supplements—simply by eating well. (Biotin is found in such common foods as eggs, avocados, and salmon.) Still, some users are convinced that hair growth supplements work. If you’re eating poorly, says Fusco, the extra boost, taken as directed, might help.


Source: Real Simple. February, 2014.