1. Q: How much does the average person's hair grow each month?

Some people will grow a little more; some a little less. Factors such as heredity, nutrition, underlying health, medications, as well as follicle damage from hair-processing or styling, can all affect the rate of growth of an individual’s hair.

Average hair growth is about a half-inch per month.

2. Q: What are some of the things that can inhibit hair growth?

Factors that may inhibit hair growth or contribute to hair thinning and hair loss are many and varied, including: poor nutrition, stress, hormonal imbalances (including menopause, which is associated with increased dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main cause of hair loss in both men and women), side effects of some medications or medical procedures (e.g., gastric bypass, chemo/radiation treatment), thyroid imbalances, immune dysfunction, and damage from hair-processing chemicals or styling practices.

3. Q: Can you actually do things to speed up hair growth?

The main thing you can do to encourage faster, stronger hair growth is to eat a healthy and balanced whole-foods diet, and ensure that you stay hydrated. Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with adequate high-quality protein, healthy fats and oils, and liberal amounts of water and herbal tea or green tea. At the same time, minimize refined and processed foods and excess sugar, which promote inflammation in the body (including the hair follicles).

4. Q: What are some ingredients that can stimulate hair growth and how do they work?

Important hair-healthy nutrients that help stimulate hair growth include silica and sulfur; vitamins A, C, and biotin; minerals including iodine, zinc, and selenium; antioxidants; amino acids; essential fatty acids; and herbs which support healthy circulation, such as Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea corylifolia). These key nutrients and many others are included in Hair Essentials, an all-natural dietary supplement for revitalizing follicles and stimulating healthy hair growth.

  • Silica is the most abundant mineral on earth, so it’s no surprise that nature’s ‘beauty mineral’ is also important for hair growth. Silica is renowned for its ability to strengthen hair and improve texture and sheen. Two of nature's richest botanical sources of silica are Bamboo and Horsetail.
  • Sulfur is another element that is particularly beneficial for encouraging strong, luscious locks. Sulfur imparts structural integrity to the hair shaft and helps maintain hair shaft diameter and density of hair growth. The sulfur-rich amino acids cysteine and methionine, as well as foods from the Brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards) and onions and garlic, are excellent sources of this important element.
  • B vitamin biotin is important for ensuring proper cell division within the matrix of the hair follicle, one of the most rapidly dividing areas of the body. A deficiency of this B vitamin, though rare, is associated with alopecia (hair loss) and poor quality growth of new hair, including slower growth and thinner hair. Biotin also improves the metabolism of scalp oil (sebum), making the scalp a healthier environment for hair to grow in. Too much or too little oil on the scalp can impede or inhibit hair growth and also encourage infections and inflammation of the follicles.

5. Q: Breakage can be a huge issue for curly girls. Can these ingredients also strengthen the hair?

Absolutely! By nourishing the follicles from within with vital hair-healthy nutrients, the hair that is produced is stronger and more resilient. This helps reduce susceptibility to breakage from damage caused by physical stress (such as hairstyling or blowdrying) or chemical stress from coloring, straightening, perming or other processes.

Writer Paulina Nelega is a registered clinical herbalist for Hair Essentials and has been assisting individuals facing hair loss for nearly two decades. This post is sponsored by Hair Essentials, a breakthrough proprietary blend of more than 20 herbs, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other nutrients. It can be purchased online or by calling 800-536-9353.