Photo Credit: Urban Angels
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about growing hair out, and while we don’t know where they all originated (I’m looking at you, Grandma), we can break them down with some good, old-fashioned facts.
Is it true that getting haircuts will help it grow faster and thicker?
The short answer is no, there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that cutting hair makes it grow faster or thicker, but anecdotally, it really does seem like it helps! My theory is that by trimming or cleaning up the scraggly ends and providing a shape and style to the hair, you cause it to appear thicker and consequently notice the growth more when it starts to lose its shape. So while it doesn’t help your hair grow, it’s healthy to regularly trim you hair.
It seems like my child’s hair has growth spurts. Could that be true?
You’re not going crazy. Hair grows in cycles. Kids’ hair growth patterns can vary widely. As your child grows, her hair will continue to change. Scalp hair follicles produce hair at a rate of about 1⁄2 inch to 1 inch per month, but the follicles cycle on and off, causing hair to grow at various speeds. The average hair growth cycle lasts between two and seven years and consists of three phases: the anagen, the catagen, and the telogen. In the anagen phase, new cells form in the hair bulb. Eighty to ninety percent of all hair on your head is in this phase at any moment, with every hair at a slightly different stage of the process. The catagen phase is when the hair stops growing because cell division stops in the bulb. In the telogen phase, a new hair starts growing from the same follicle and pushes the old hair until it falls out. The rate at which your child’s hair cycles through the three phases is largely due to genetics. (I’m looking at you again, Grandma!)
Is it true that eating sweet potatoes, and Jell-O will help make my child’s hair grow faster?
While there are some foods with hair-friendly nutrients and minerals, like salmon, eggs, avocados, and yes, sweet potatoes, a healthy diet is most important for overall hair health, which will in turn help your hair grow. The gelatin in Jell-O is thought to strengthen hair, but there is absolutely no scientific proof to support it, so ditch the colorful Jell-O and opt for some colorful veggies instead. Does massaging the scalp help hair to grow? Again, there’s not a body of scientists to back up the claim, but massage will increase circulation around hair follicles, and may increase the release of more of the hair’s natural oils, both of which are good things for healthy hair. Plus, it sure feels nice and relaxing, so if you are growing your hair out and seeking some downtime, go for it.