4 Reasons Your Hair Isn’t Growing, According to an Expert

Growing long, healthy hair is important to a lot of us. Unfortunately, we can’t always have a head full of hair that goes inches past our bra straps—because when it comes to hair growth, we can be our own worst enemies. You may not realize it, but there are a few things you may be doing that are stopping your hair from growing.

1. You’re not eating well

Hair health isn’t just caused by the way you take care of your hair itself; it’s also caused by the way you take care of your body. You might be slowing down your own hair growth if you aren’t sticking to a vitamin- and protein-rich diet.

We talked to Dr. Nicole Rogers, a hair transplant surgeon, about the ideal diet for healthy hair. “Women should have at least 40-45 grams of protein on a daily basis as well as an adequate amount of iron [roughly 15-18 milligrams],” Rogers says.

To stimulate your follicles and give them a little extra help, try regularly eating protein- and iron-rich foods like salmon, eggs, Greek yogurt and spinach, which are overflowing in these nutrients.

You might also be putting your hair at risk if you’re a frequent dieter or you’ve ever followed an extreme diet regimen. “Crash diets can be great for losing weight in a hurry, but they can also take a toll on one's hair, with possible shedding two to three months after the sudden caloric deprivation,” Rogers says.

2. You overheat your hair

Using heat on your hair can weaken and break it. Try using hot tools on your hair only once a week, and make sure you buy products that allow you to control their heat settings.

“Hairdryers and curling irons should be used at the lowest heat setting possible,” Rogers says. “The best-case scenario, though, is not using any heat at all.”

3. Your hair is overprocessed

Overprocessing can damage your scalp and cause breakage. If you use a lot of different chemicals on your hair, such as relaxers, your hair might be overprocessed.

“What’s damaging about relaxers is that some people don’t follow the instructions or they leave the product on their hair for too long,” Rogers says. “Lye-based relaxers like potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide are generally the most damaging.”

Even if your hair looks good in the end, applying any sort of chemicals to your hair may result in damage.

There’s also the issue of how you choose to dye your hair. Some people may think that simply throwing in some highlights is a safer alternative to dyeing their hair bleach blonde, but highlights are actually damaging, too.

“Highlighting the hair can damage it by making it more porous,” Rogers says. “It causes less damage to either leave the hair its natural color or to dye it a darker color.”

4. You don’t take vitamins

Remember those Flintstones Vitamins many of us took when we were younger? As a kid, you may not have realized the effect these vitamins had on your overall health. Although they don’t always taste great, daily vitamins are actually beneficial to hair growth.

“Taking a multivitamin daily can be a great addition to any diet to help improve the quality of one's hair,” Rogers says. You don’t have to swallow a pill in the shape of a prehistoric cartoon character, but we suggest taking a multivitamin that will fill any gaps in your regular diet and result in stronger, healthier hair.
 
Waist-length hair may feel like a pipe dream, but if you reverse these habits you’ll be able to grow a longer mane in no time!

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