How Fast Does Hair Grow? Hair Growth Rate by Age


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Hair can be funny. Sometimes, it feels like you shaved your legs just yesterday, yet hair grows back the next day or with the chill of a breeze. On the other hand, the hair on our head can feel like it grows painstakingly slow, especially if you’ve had one of those a-little-too-short haircuts.

What’s up with that? If you’re wondering, How much does hair grow in a year? we got you. We’ll be giving you the 101 on how fast hair grows in a month to a year, along with some common causes that can slow down hair growth.

How Fast Does Hair Grow?

While it may seem like your hair grows a ton slower (or maybe faster) than those around you, it probably falls somewhere around the average of 0.35 millimeters a day. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Hair grows 2.45 millimeters a week.

  • Hair grows about half an inch per month. 

  • Hair grows roughly 6 inches a year. 

  • And it comes down to genetic factors, which are responsible for the length, density, color and texture of hair. 

Your hair follicles cycle through three stages called the anagen, catagen and telogen phases.

  • Anagen phase. The anagen (or growth) phase typically lasts between two to six years. This stage is where primary hair growth occurs. At any given time, somewhere between 85 and 90 percent of hair follicles are in this growth phase.

  • Catagen phase. Next comes the catagen phase, also known as the transitional stage of a hair follicle. In this phase, your hair follicle can shrink down to one-sixth of its diameter. Note that this is totally normal as your scalp prepares to make club hairs. But if many hairs form club hairs at once and are then shed, it can give the appearance of thinning hair.

  • Telogen phase. The telogen phase (also known as the resting phase) lasts approximately three months. This is when hair doesn’t grow or shed.

After these three phases, the inactive or dead hair is shed — which is why it’s totally normal to see errant hair strands on your pillow or in your hairbrush.

The scalp typically sheds 100 hairs each day. If you’re experiencing more shedding than this, it may be a sign of hair loss, like alopecia or telogen effluvium.

Does Age Affect Hair Growth Rate?

The short of it? Yep, age can affect your hair growth rate. Grays aren’t the only thing that comes with an AARP membership — hair growth can actually slow down as you get older.

While there isn’t definitive data to demonstrate the average rate of growth by age, research indicates that postmenopausal changes include decreased anagen hairs in the frontal scalp, lower growth rates and smaller hair diameters.

This is why it’s common to see hair thinning with age. If you’re starting to see signs of thinning, our guide to female pattern hair loss is an excellent resource.

(Related: What Does Damaged Hair Look Like?)

Other Factors Affecting How Fast Hair Grows

Beyond age, other factors like genetics, hormones (consider menopause or thyroid disease), race and nutritional deficiencies may affect your hair growth rate.

Regardless of whether you’re Italian or Japanese, studies show that the wider the diameter of the hair itself, the faster it will grow. And, while researchers haven’t noticed a change in the actual hair growth cycle among Caucasian, African and Asian descent, they have noticed that African hair tends to grow slower.

This is believed to be due to its smaller-diameter fibers. Data suggests that this slower rate of growth can create up to a 5-centimeter difference in hair length between African and Asian hair in one year.

The rate of hair growth may also be affected by what you eat. So yeah, a healthy diet isn’t just for gym bros.

A nutrient deficiency can show up in your hair, leading to issues like dry, dull hair or temporary hair loss. Try to eat lots of whole foods instead of processed items, including protein, fruits, vegetables, grains and an appropriate amount of healthy fats.

How to Make Hair Grow Faster

While there aren’t any magic potions to make hair grow overnight, some things may allegedly help encourage growth.

You’ve probably seen rosemary oil make the rounds on your social feed for hair growth. But does rosemary oil actually work for hair growth?

In one study, patients with androgenetic alopecia were randomly assigned a treatment of either rosemary oil or 2% minoxidil. While no significant results were measured in either group at three months, both groups showed an increase in hair count by the end of six months.

So rosemary oil may help promote hair growth, but you’ll need to be patient while waiting for results.

Additionally, coffee may not just keep you from snoozing. Some evidence suggests caffeine’s easy penetration across the skin barrier makes it an ideal compound for topical application.

You might have noticed caffeine as a key ingredient in some eye creams. While the data is limited, it may not hurt to look for topical products that contain caffeine to pep up your hair follicles. 

Start Minoxidil Early

If you’re more worried about growth to cover thinning rather than simply wanting to grow longer locks, consider a hair loss treatment. You can learn more about hair loss in women in this guide that covers everything from root causes to solutions.

Even if you’re not experiencing severe hair loss, starting early with minoxidil can help thinning and widening hair parts, both of which can be common as you get older. Hair loss treatments work best when used as early as possible — ideally, as soon as you notice the first signs of hair loss emerging.

Though its mechanism of action isn’t totally understood, minoxidil is thought to help move dormant hair follicles into the anagen phase, meaning they start growing rather than chilling out. It also extends the duration of the anagen phase, so your hair follicles spend more time growing before each hair sheds from your scalp.

Minoxidil comes in a few forms, including:

  • Minoxidil drops. The minoxidil 2% solution can be used to target any specific areas you notice thinning, like a thinning hair part.

  • Minoxidil foam. A 5% strength formulation, minoxidil foam is easy to distribute and has shown to support hair growth.

  • Oral minoxidil. This once-daily pill is easy to incorporate into your regimen without changing up your hair styling routine. Plus, studies have shown that low-dose oral minoxidil (OM) can be an effective treatment of numerous hair disorders, including female pattern hair loss (FPHL).

Try Spironolactone 

Sometimes, it may feel like your hair’s barely growing, acne is popping up and there’s hair sprouting on your chin. No fun, we know — but it’s likely connected to hormones.

Spironolactone can be used off-label for hormonally-related hair loss like androgenetic alopecia, blemishes or facial hair growth. This once-daily pill helps block androgen production that decreases the amount of DHT (the hormone that causes hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair follicles) in certain parts of the body. 

If your interest is piqued, you may want to read our spironolactone guide for a deep dive into how it works. You can also get an easy online consultation if you’re interested in trying spironolactone. 

(Related: How to Prevent Hair Loss in Women)

Start Smarter Hair Habits

Keep hair strong, prevent further hair loss (and encourage healthy hair growth!) by making sure you’re treating your hair like a queen. This means no aggressive towel-drying when you hop out of the shower, ’kay?

Here are some tips that can go a long way in helping your hair health: 

  • Focus on scalp health. A healthy scalp is truly the root of healthy hair — no matter your hair type. Make sure to shampoo whenever your roots get oily, as excess buildup and sebum can lead to irritation and potentially hinder healthy growth. Use conditioner after every wash to hydrate the hair shaft since dry hair is more likely to get brittle and break. The right hair care products can help add moisture and strength to fend off breakage and damage.

  • Limit blow-drying. When using heat styling, use the lowest heat setting with continuous movement. And when you do use hot hair tools, keep them on the lowest heat setting, and continuously move your hair dryer or flat iron so it doesn’t burn your strands. These moves can prevent additional damage.

  • Avoid tight styles. Say bye-bye to tight ponytails and buns — they can cause hair breakage and traction alopecia over time. Instead, embrace looser styles.

  • Limit coloring and chemical treatments. Embrace your roots — seriously. Schedule more time between hair color touch-ups, and don’t do multiple treatments at once. For example, if you relax and color your hair, space those things out by two weeks so you’re not inflicting too much chemical damage on your strands. TBH, damaged hair just doesn’t look great — think frizz and split ends. Get regular trims (even a slight bit) to keep your hair looking healthy. Learn more about preventing hair damage in our guide if you think you may need to give your hair more TLC.

  • Take a deep breath. For real — find ways to lower your stress, whether it’s meditation, doing yoga or breaking out of that toxic relationshipStress and hair loss can be connected, causing issues like telogen effluvium (aka stress-related hair loss).

  • Eat whole foods. Eat a healthy diet filled with whole foods and micronutrients. Nutritional deficiencies can affect your hair, as micronutrients play a vital role in healthy hair development. Speak to your healthcare provider to rule out any deficiencies (like biotin or iron) and supplement accordingly.

Love this list? Check out our guide on how to get volume in your hair for more tips. 

How Long Does Hair Grow? Final Thoughts

Hair growth takes time, so you’ll have to practice patience. But there are things you can do to encourage healthy hair. And if you’re nervous that your growth isn’t optimal, a hair loss treatment could be a good bet.

Here are the main takeaways about hair growth and age.

  • Slow and steady wins the race. Hair grows about 6 inches a year, so just hold onto the fact that good things come to those who wait.

  • Eat a balanced diet because a nutritional deficiency can affect your follicles and growth. Talk to your dermatology provider to find the right supplement for you. 

  • Consider your age, as hair growth can slow down over time. Treatments like minoxidil can help amp up growth for fuller results.

If you’re looking to make a move on the path toward Rapunzel-like hair, start your online hair consultation today.

This article originally appeared on ForHers and was syndicated by

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Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

Discover the Most Popular Hairstyles the Decade You Were Born

There are so many things that define each decade, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. But none of the things we’ve looked back on were quite as polarizing as the hairstyles. From piled-high funky styles to buzzed dos, here are the most popular hairstyles from the decade you were born, spanning from the 40s to the 2000s. 

Wikipedia / Mediafeed

Inspired by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood women at the time, the victory roll hairstyle featured tight curls pinned toward the face to frame it. Victory rolls were customizable, so you could opt for a single roll or different symmetrical or asymmetrical versions of dual rolls. 

Other popular hairstyles of the decade for women included tight curls, waves, and the pageboy. Women were also big on hair accessories, particularly the snood, which was essentially a crocheted bag used to cradle the hair and keep it in place. Both men and women sported the infamous pompadour during the ’40s. Men were also partial to quiffed hair or short curls and were also prone to just slicking their hair back.

Wikipedia / U.S. Army – Yank, the Army Weekly

Everyone knows the beehive hairstyle, whether you associate it with the ’50s or Amy Winehouse. All you had to do to be cool in the 1950s was pile your hair on top of your head in a conical shape to resemble a beehive. Lots of hairspray was needed for this one.

If your hair wasn’t long enough for the beehive, you might have sported other bouffant hairstyles, a poodle cut, an Italian cut, victory rolls, or even a pixie cut. Men were still into the slicked-back look along with side parts, the pompadour, or — if they were influenced by Elvis later in the decade — a Rockabilly do.

Wikipedia / Warner Bros.

Bouffant (derived from the French verb “bouffer,” which means to puff or fluff up) hair became popular during the 1950s, but dominated in the 1960s thanks to the iconic Jackie Kennedy sporting the style. The puffy, rounded hairdo was especially popular among housewives during the ’60s. 

Women also gravitated toward shorter hairstyles (influenced by Twiggy), including pixie cuts and flipped bobs and, for long hair, bangs. Men styled their hair with everything from the bowl cut and the ducktail cut to shag cuts and styles copying The Beatles.

Public Domain / Wikipedia

During the 1970s, the afro became a symbol of cultural and political expression, particularly within the African American community. The style pushed back against Eurocentric beauty standards and celebrated natural Black hair. Influenced by icons like Angela Davis and the Jackson 5, the afro surged in popularity, crossing racial and cultural boundaries to become a mainstream fashion statement. Its voluminous shape was achieved through techniques like picking, and its prominence spread among both men and women.

Separately, and inspired predominantly by Farrah Fawcett, long, feathered hair was also sought after during the ’70s. 

Wikipedia / GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia

Whether it was crimped, curled, teased, spiked into a giant mohawk, or cut into a towering flattop, the most iconic ’80s dos could all be tied to one main group: big hair. During this decade, freedom of expression was fully embraced and displayed through hair. Styles like Jheri curls were popular thanks to Michael Jackson, and Billy Ray Cyrus spearheaded the popularity of the business in the front, party in the back mullet. The ’80s were eclectic times that reeked of Aqua Net and perms. 

Wikipedia / Allan Light

You didn’t even need to be a fan or viewer of “Friends” to ask your hairdresser to give you “The Rachel” in the ’90s. Everyone knew exactly which version of Jennifer Anniston’s hair you wanted. Layered, framed around the face, and shoulder-length was the style that ruled the decade. Chunky highlights, side bangs, and hair flipped out at the bottom were also wildly popular during the decade. And who could forget chopsticks carefully stuck into buns? All the rage. 

If you were a cool dude during the ’90s, you might have had frosted tips, spiky hair, or cornrows.


All you needed was a few bobby pins and some hairspray to make a pulled-back pouf happen, and every girl in the 2000s was on board. High ponytails and pigtails, choppy layers, and money-piece braids were a go-to as well. 

Skater boy hair/emo boy haircuts that swooped halfway across a guy’s face were also iconic during the 2000s. Who else remembers watching guys shake their heads in slow motion to get the hair out of their eyes like they were playing a role in the “Baywatch” intro? We shudder at the memory. On the opposite end of the spectrum, buzz cuts were prominent, along with faux hawks. 


Featured Image Credit: puhhha/istockphoto.