How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow?

So, you miss your long hair already? Seems like we’ve all been there! Although your hair cells grow and divide rapidly, it feels like forevermore until you get your desired hair length, doesn’t it?

And, if you think shaving would be the best solution to regrow your hair thick and fast,  read this post before you act on that thought. Spoiler – it definitely isn’t a good idea!

To your rescue, in this post, we’ll talk about how long it takes for your hair to grow. Later, we’ll also discuss the factors that play a role in determining your hair growth rate and a few ways to make your hair grow faster.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow?

Hair is the fastest-growing human tissue. However, the growth rate varies depending upon various other factors, the primary one being genetics.

The average hair growth per month as per The Trichological Society is around 0.5 to 1.7 cm, i.e., around 0.2 to 0.7 inches of hair growth in a month.

Human hair can grow about 0.05 to 0.175 inches per week. Likewise, it takes 2 weeks long for our hair to grow by 0.1 to 0.35 inches. In a year, you should be able to witness around 3 to 8 inches of hair growth.

Although the calculation is pretty simple, we’ve tabulated the estimated hair growth in a week and in 2 weeks in the table below for your convenience.

Monthly hair growth rate (inches) Number of weeks The estimated increase in hair length (inches)
0.2 1 0.05
2 0.1
0.3 1 0.075
2 0.15
0.4 1 0.1
2 0.2
0.5 1 0.125
2 0.25
0.6 1 0.15
2 0.3
0.7 1 0.175
2 0.35

So, if you’re wondering how long it takes for your hair to grow after shaving, the answer is about 2-3 weeks. To be precise, your cellular level hair growth resumes right after. However, it takes a few weeks for the hair to be visible on the scalp.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow After Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is designed to target and damage actively dividing cancerous cells. However, in the process, normal human cells, such as cells in hair follicles, are also damaged, thus the hair loss. Hair loss due to chemotherapy can be severe and can cause loss of hair in clumps.

While Fluorouracil/Epirubicin/Cyclophosphamide and DOocetaxel breast cancer treatment regimen is found to cause severe and permanent alopecia, most of the time, hair starts to regrow once the drug passes out of the system.

Once the chemotherapy stops, you will start to notice hair growth in about 4 to 6 weeks. However, the texture, pattern, or shade of your hair might be a bit different from your previous hair.

The change, most probably, is temporary, and you can expect your hair to grow and look normal in 3 to 6 months.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow After Male-Pattern Baldness?

Unfortunately, male-pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is permanent, and no cure has been discovered yet. Once the baldness is evident, the only solution can be a hair-transplant surgery or a wig.

However, with modern advancements in medicine, two FDA-approved drugs are deemed effective in slowing baldness and partially reversing the condition: Finasteride and Minoxidil. Male pattern baldness is mostly inherited.

So, if there are frequent occurrences of balding in your family history and you’re noticing hair-thining as well, it’s time you get in touch with your dermatologist and discuss the viable treatment option for you.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow After Pregnancy?

Hormonal changes in pregnancy can take a toll on your hair health. Several hormonal, as well as disease-related issues can result in hair loss during pregnancy. Fortunately, hair loss is temporary in most scenarios.

While some women suffer hair thinning during pregnancy, a majority of them experience severe hair loss post-partum. 3 to 4 months post-partum is the peak time when a woman suffers a major hair loss.

However, in about 6 to 9 months, you should expect your hair fall rate to decline and hair growth rate to catch up.

The Science Behind Hair Growth

Hair growth occurs in four distinct phases: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, and Exogen. Let’s discuss these stages briefly.

1. Anagen:

Each hair strand is nurtured with the blood supply in the hair follicle for years. This nourishment phase is called anagen, which can last from 3 to 5 years.

Anagen is the growth phase, and as the name suggests, cells in this stage replicate rapidly. Around 90 % of hair cells in an average scalp are estimated to be in the anagen phase.

2. Catagen:

Catagen is the transitioning phase of the hair strand from anagen to telogen. This hair growth stage lasts for around 2 to 3 weeks. The hair strand detaches from the blood supply, the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair growth rate is significantly reduced.

Only a small percentage of hair strands, about 5 %, is estimated to be in this transitioning phase.

3. Telogen:

The remaining 10 % percentage of hairs in your scalp is in the resting phase, also termed telogen. Although the hair growth is halted in this phase, hair strands stay in their places for around 3 months before they fall out.

4. Exogen:

Many experts often categorize the time between the hair reaches its terminal growth phase and falls out as the exogen phase. The stage is also called the shedding stage. Once the hair detaches, the anagen restarts in the follicle, completing the hair growth cycle.

Does Shaving Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Thicker?

Most of us wish that shaving our thinning hair would give us thick, voluminous hair quickly, don’t we? Unfortunately, that is not the case, and scientists and dermatologists have debunked this myth repeatedly.

Nevertheless, there still exist plenty of opinions on the internet in favor of this myth. Experts believe that there is one explanation for why this misconception is still prevalent.

When we shave the hair, the growing strands feel coarse, look darker, and the cut surface looks thicker, given the hair tips haven’t yet been exposed to the damage and thinning. Overall, growing hair can definitely deceive people as thicker hair.

How to Make your Hair Grow Faster?

Fortunately, there are a few science-backed ways to make your hair grow faster. Remember that these ways are only effective in nourishing and strengthening hair follicles and growing hair strands, not dead and permanently damaged hair cells.

Oil massaging your scalp for blood flow, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, using less heat, protecting the scalp from environmental damage, and experimenting with essential oils proven effective are a few ways to encourage a better hair growth rate.

What Factors Play a Role in Determining your Hair Growth Rate?

1. Age:

Individuals of growing age, i.e., 15 to 30 years, have the maximum hair growth rate. It takes relatively lesser time for hair to grow back for a teenager. And, with the increase in age, after 30, some hair follicles start dying, resulting in hair thinning.

It is also during this time when androgenic alopecia starts showing its colors, especially if you have a family history of this condition.

2. Genetics:

Genetics is probably one of the major factors that play a role in determining your hair type, shape, and overall health.

Even if you do everything best to maintain good hair health, you can see no results beyond what genetics allows your hair to produce. If your hair is already growing at the maximum genetically-allowed rate, no amount of care and nourishment will further boost the hair growth rate.

3. Hormonal changes:

Hormones also play a major role in determining your hair growth late. You can take pregnancy and post-partum hair loss as examples.

Always try to keep your hormones balanced and happy. And, in case of hormone-related hair thinning, consult with your dermatologist to seek the best treatment plan.

4. Nutrition:

One should be providing their body with enough nutrients, mainly biotin, vitamins, omega-3, omega-6, zinc, and iron, for good hair health. Do not go on a restrictive diet and listen to your body’s demands. Once you nourish your body, your scalp health should improve as well.

5. Diseases:

There are several diseases that affect your hair growth rate. It can be either a scalp-related infection or disease or systemic health issues such as lupus or thyroid disorders.

Therefore, in case of unexplained abnormalities in hair growth and hair fall, it is best you consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Summary

By now, you know that your hair growth depends upon many factors and can change throughout your life. Instead of forcing new hair-growth trends and falsely-advertized products on your hair, making subtle lifestyle changes would be a better idea to strengthen your hair health.

Moreover, hair loss or thinning can even be a symptom of an underlying health problem. Therefore, it would be best if you visited your dermatologist and physician soon in case of any severe hair changes.

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