How Much Does Hair Grow In A Month According To Experts?
Hey, Google, how much does hair grow in a month? Chances are at some point in your lifetime you've scoured the internet with this search topic in hopes of growing longer, stronger hair faster. Because, to be honest, for some reason when we have a hawk-eye on our hair growth, it's nearly impossible to see. Cue the impatience. Perhaps you're hoping to quickly grow out an impromptu haircut gone awry or you're in the mood to change your 'do. Whatever your reason, we're here to answer the age-old question and get to the bottom of monthly hair growth once and for all. Keep reading to learn more.
How much does hair grow in a month?
The quick answer is, on average, hair grows about ¼ inch to ½ inch a month, according to Bridgette Hill, certified trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis. Of course, this may vary from person to person, but if your hair (and scalp) are healthy, your hair should and will grow each month.
To better understand hair growth, professional hairstylist Sophia Porter breaks down the four main stages: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. Anagen is the growth stage, "where your hair grows and the maximum length is determined," Porter says. This can last two to seven years, depending on the person, and is the longest stage in the hair-growth process. Next up is catagen, or the regression and transition stage. In this phase that lasts about seven to 10 days, hair growth slows and the follicles shrink.
According to Porter, 10 to 15% of the hairs on the scalp are going through the telogen stage at a time. During this chapter of growth, old hair is resting and new hairs are growing. And finally, exogen is when the hair is shed from the follicle. "On average, a person loses about 50 to 150 hairs a day," Porter says. So, don't be alarmed if you see a few strands in your hairbrush.
Don't worry if this seems overwhelming to understand. The most important thing to note is that hair growth, like all things in life, is a process, and you should, in fact, see growth if your hair and body are healthy (more on this below).
Factors that affect hair growth.
Even though we know that hair should grow consistently each month, there are a variety of reasons your growth may be stunted. "Hair loss is polygenic, meaning there are many genes involved that result in hair loss, yet it could be triggered by something as simple as an allergic reaction to hair products," Hill says.
Hill says genetics and hormones have the most significant impact on hair growth, but there are other factors to keep in mind. Hormone change can be due to health, pregnancy, or stress. And if we're being honest, some people just have fast-growing hair in their genes (#blessed).
Of course, the overall health of your body can make a difference. Chronic illnesses, fevers, and medications can affect how the hair grows. Then, there are lifestyle factors like stress; diet and vitamin deficiency play a role in hair growth, too. "It's very important to have a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep hair growth at its optimum level," Porter says.
5 ways to support your hair growth this month.
"The most basic step is to be great to your body," Hill says. "Invest in your health and wellness to give your scalp and hair a fighting chance." And while there's no miraculous pill or practice that will magically make your hair grow faster or longer instantly, here are some expert tips to improve your chances for better results:
Try a scalp treatment and massage.
A healthy scalp is essential to growing healthy locks. Hill recommends using a scalp mask of oil that addresses the current need of your scalp and helps with cellular turnover. "I suggest that my clients sleep in their pre-scalp treatment for optimal results," Hill says. You can also activate the scalp muscles and improve circulation by massaging the scalp. In fact, in a 2016 study, a small number of men received a daily four-minute scalp massage. At the conclusion of the study, the investigators found an increase in hair thickness1. A more recent 2019 study found that of the 300 or so participants who followed a specific massage regimen, nearly 70% reported improved hair thickness in the end2.
Check your cleansing routine.
Let's make it clear: Cleansing the scalp is nonnegotiable. And no, dry shampoo doesn't cut it here. "Implementing a proper shampooing regimen is a game-changer for scalp and hair loss," Hill says. But cleansing the scalp and hair doesn't always have to be done with a detergent. "Simple rinsing under a showerhead can be considered a gentle cleanse, and apple cider-based rinses and co-washes are a great alternative."
Visit a trichologist.
If you're concerned about hair loss or just want to inquire about the overall health of your hair and scalp, consider booking a consultation with a local trichologist. Hill says you can have your blood panel reviewed by a trichologist that specializes in scalp and hair to review your file through a "trichological" lens. This can help identify any underlying root causes that may affect your hair growth.
Experiment with hair-growth products.
You may be wondering if hair care products that promise longer, stronger, faster-growing hair actually do work, and the short answer is yes. "Hair-growth products are mainly androgen blockers with active ingredients that trick the body into extending the growing phase of the hair cycle," Hill says. "There are clinical and scientific studies that show these topicals and internal dietary supplements to work." Even though they are not technically growing your hair, they are preserving the integrity of the hair follicle and encouraging it to mimic the growing phase for longer.
Consider supplements for hair.
Hair is made of the protein keratin3, which has an amino acid profile including cysteine, serine, glutamic acid, glycine, and proline. Both collagen and biotin supplements have high amounts of many of these amino acids, meaning the supplements provide the body with the building blocks of hair.* Research backs this up, too, as studies show taking these supplements supported hair growth4.*
The bottom line.
If your body, hair, and scalp are healthy, you can expect to have ¼ inch to ½ inch of hair growth per month. There is an array of factors that can impact the amount of hair growth you see, but a quick visit to a trichologist can help identify any underlying issues that may be blocking you from reaching your hair goals.
Andrea Jordan is a beauty and lifestyle freelance writer covering topics from hair and skincare to family and home. She received her bachelor's in Magazine Journalism from Temple University and you can find her work at top publications like InStyle, PopSugar, StyleCaster, Business Insider, PureWow and OprahMag. When she's not writing, you can find Andrea tackling new recipes in the kitchen or babysitting one of her many nieces and nephews. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and cat, Silas.