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Here's What You Actually Need To Know About Growing Out Your Hair

Because your hair is your crown.

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First of all, give your hair a break from harsh chemicals (like bleach). / Via Getty Images

"The damage caused by chemicals erases any perceived growth while also causing the hair to live in a constant state of dehydration," Shari Harbinger, Vice President of Education at DevaCurl, tells BuzzFeed Life.

Then dump any products with sulfates or parabens.

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Check the labels of all of your hair care products to make sure they don't contain parabens or sulfates, which can cause dryness and strip the hair of the natural oils that keep it healthy.

If you're really struggling, try a hair growth supplement like Viviscal.


Dr. Florence Comite, a trained endocrinologist practicing precision medicine, suggests Viviscal, which has been clinically proven to be effective in promoting healthy hair growth, especially in people with thinning or thin hair.

Note: Talk with your doctor before starting any regular dietary supplement.

Do whatever you possibly can to avoid styling your hair with hot tools.

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"Heat styling can cause hair to become damaged and thinned out," Matrix StyleLink celebrity stylist George Papanikolas tells BuzzFeed Life. Instead, try no-heat hairstyles like these.


But if you do use heat styling tools, make sure they're set to the proper temperature.

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"Stick to medium over high heat when possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of drying out the hair," Harbinger says.

In general, give your hair a break from styling and be gentle.

"Tying hair back too tight and excessive manipulation with combs, brushes, and styling tools are some of the most damaging things you can do to your hair," Harbinger says.

Then there are more serious factors to consider, too, like stress.

Changes in your life can lead to changes in your body. Stress at work, shock over the loss of a loved one, a major injury, or even the contraction of a disease can prematurely send your hair into the shedding phase.

And major life changes like extreme shock or pregnancy that can "switch on" specific genes that can affect your hair growth.

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Genes can lay dormant for years before being activated by certain triggers in life. If one day your hair completely turns on you, it could be because these genes were "turned on" by hormonal or chemical changes in your body, Dr. Comite tells BuzzFeed Life.


Birth control has a lot to do with it.

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"Part of it is individual specific, but it depends on your chemical makeup before you go on birth control pills. Testosterone recruits hair follicles, whereas estrogen promotes the hair growth. Birth control can surge estrogen without suppressing testosterone, and then during your period, your estrogen levels drop. When testosterone is low, it's harder to put on muscle, it's easier to put on fat, and hair may not look as good," says Comite.

And if you start taking any medication, it may be affecting your hair growth.

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"Beta-blockers, anti-depressants, retinoids, anti-inflammatory pills, and birth control can all negatively affect the body and shock the hair into the loss phase," says Comite. "The system is shocked by the medication, which means the hair is shocked from the growth phase to the loss phase of its cycle, so there can be shedding. The shedding can decrease, but it may take months."

One of the best things you can do is to practice stress-relieving exercises like meditation, guided breathing, and yoga.

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They can help to lower your stress levels and therefore, balance out your hair growth cycle."Anything that affects your mind affects your body, too," says Comite. When you're stressed, your cortisol levels rise. "Regular meditation has been shown to directly lower cortisol levels," Comite says.

You can learn how to start meditating here.

And eat a healthy, balanced diet to give your hair the nutrients it needs to grow strong.

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"It’s also important to look for foods high in omega-3s, vitamin A and D, folic acid, and biotin – all of these nutrients support healthy hair growth," Harbinger says.

Here's some inspiration for eating clean.