It can be frustrating to wait endlessly for your hair to grow. The internet is full of suggestions for speeding up the growth, but we think the easiest place to start is your diet — a few simple adjustments could make a real difference. Once you’ve got the nutrition part under control, we’ve also assembled the best and most effective lifestyle changes and hair care tips.

Changing Your Diet

Include protein in your daily diet. Your hair and nails are primarily made up of protein. The majority of your hair’s lifespan is spent in the “growing phase”, which takes about two to three years to complete. The rest of its lifespan is in the “resting stage”, which takes about two to three months. After the “resting stage” the hair sheds. Hair that is lacking protein goes into resting stage faster than hair rich in protein.

Increase your iron and zinc intake. Minerals like iron and zinc are crucial to the production of proteins that make up the hair on your body. Low iron is known to cause hair loss.

You can get iron and zinc naturally in foods like spinach, beans, and seafood.
The amount of iron and zinc you need to intake daily depends on your age, sex, and lifestyle. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your daily mineral intake.

Eat vitamin rich foods. Vitamin D is thought to be crucial to hair growth. Vitamin C is also important for iron absorption. You can get Vitamin C and D from the sun and food sources like milk and orange juice.

Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your daily vitamin intake.

Focus on good fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for hair growth. They also keep your hair looking shiny and healthy. Your body does not produce this fat naturally.

You can get Omega-3 fatty acids from fish. The American Heart Association recommends that an adult eats two servings of fish each week to get the appropriate amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Modifying Your Lifestyle

Get your hair trimmed. It might sound counter-intuitive but getting your hair trimmed will help your hair grow faster. With time, the strands of hair will begin to split at the ends. These split ends tangle and are more likely to be pulled out when brushed. Keeping your hair trimmed will minimize split ends.

Use a silk pillowcase. Your hair can catch on the threads of a cotton pillowcase. A silk pillowcase reduces this friction, thus reducing breakage.

Wrapping your head in a silk scarf could be used as an alternative to a silk pillowcase.

Avoid wrapping your hair in a towel. Wrapping your hair in a towel on top of your head after a shower can also cause breakage. Instead, gently squeeze or blot excess water out of your hair.

Avoid shampooing every day. Unless your hair is really oily, shampooing your hair daily can dry out and damage your hair. Washing your hair every other day allows your body’s natural oils to condition your hair.

Use conditioner. When you do shampoo your hair, be sure to condition it. Hair conditioner helps to replenish the oils that have been stripped your hair during shampooing. Make sure that you completely wash the shampoo out of your hair before conditioning.

Rinse your hair with cool water. After you rinse the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair, briefly rinse out your clean hair under cool water. Cool water ensures that the hair follicle is tight. This reduces the amount of hair that is lost after a shower.

Minimize heat and color. Using heat or hair color on your hair damages the hair over time. Try to reduce the amount of heat that you use on your hair by letting your hair air dry when possible. Use sponge or velcro rollers instead of hot rollers. Stretch out the amount of time between coloring and use color safe shampoo to minimize hair dying damage.

Brush your hair carefully. Use a wide tooth comb to gently detangle your hair. Work the comb through the ends of your hair and move your way up to the scalp. Tugging too hard on the hair to brush out tangles will result in hair loss.

Wear a ponytail correctly. Pulling your hair too tight into a ponytail on top of your head can result in breakage. Instead, wear your hair down or in a loose ponytail. Avoid using rubber hairbands. Change up the position of your ponytail so that your hair doesn’t get too brittle in one area.