Does Hair Grow Faster in the Winter [Ask The Expert]

women hair in the winter

The science of hair growth is fascinating, but it can be affected by genetics, hormones, poor diet, stress, illnesses, medication, and even overuse of heat-styling tools and hair products. Have you noticed changes to your hair over the course of a year? Does your hair really grow faster in the winter?

Do you know that your hair grows about 1.25 centimeters every month? According to studies, the rate of hair growth is constant year-round, regardless if it is summer or winter.

Does Hair Grow Faster in the Winter? John DeSpain, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology doesn’t believe on seasonal hair growth. “Hair does not grow quicker in winter,” he says on his Outside interview. In 2009, there was a study on “Seasonality of Hair Shedding in Healthy Women Complaining of Hair Loss.” 

However, Allen McMillen, the manager of research and liaison support of the American Academy of Dermatology believed that it’s not about growing more hair, but shedding less hair.

Instead of seasonal hair growth, he suggested that there might be a seasonal hair shedding—for where least hair was shed in the winter, and the most hair was shed in the summer. Also, in the winter, your body releases more melatonin, which makes you shed less hair.

Does Temperature Affect Hair Growth?

According to studies, changes in temperature can affect your hair, but not really your hair growth. If you’re thinking of staying outdoors in the sun or savoring the winter’s freezing temperature, your hair is more vulnerable to dehydration.

Have you noticed that most of us change our skincare routine in different seasons—lighter moisturizer in the summer and heavier creams in the winter? The changes in temperatures can result to dry scalp and brittle hair too.

Whether you’re dealing with a hot or cold temperature, the key is to treat your hair with the care it needs, so it’ll be able to cope with the seasonal changes.

Experts suggested that you must always keep your hair nourished and moisturized, especially in the winter. If you usually use clarifying shampoos in the summer, you should switch for hair products with natural oils and shea butter in the winter months.

There’s also a myth that a cold-water rinse can make your hair shinier. However, according to chemist Mort Westman, your hair has no living cells, so it couldn’t react to hot or cold water—though it can be damaged with overuse of heat-styling tools, straightening treatments, and harsh hair products.

Instead of relying on cold water trick, think of using hair products with oils and silicones to give them a shiny finish.

woman_holding_hair_winter

Does Hair Grow Faster After Cutting?

It’s a common belief that trimming your hair more often will help to make it grow faster. Unfortunately, it’s just a myth.

Celebrity hairdresser George Northwood said in his Telegraph interview that taking scissors to the ends of your hair will not make it grow faster. Instead of cutting your hair regularly, it would be better to skip the chop for a few months. 

However, he still recommended going for a trim every three months to avoid split ends and thin hair. Trimming your hair will not result in faster hair growth.

So if you want to avoid it, better think of having protein-based treatment for your hair so you’ll avoid split ends and thin hair in the long run. You may also think of a scalp massage that will stimulate the blood flow, helping the nutrients reach your hair follicles.

What Makes Your Hair Grow Faster?

Do you know that the temperatures, hair products, or haircuts have no real effect on hair growth at all? In fact, the only thing that affects our hair growth is the hair follicle—so we must strive to keep it healthy and nourished.

The hair follicles rely on nutrients like protein, biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamin c. Healthy follicles are needed to grow healthy hair strands. Unfortunately, if you lack those nutrients in your diet, your hair is the first part of your body that will suffer.

Also, hormones play an important part in your hair growth. Do you know that pregnancy can speed up your hair growth?

Unfortunately, if you have some illnesses like an underactive thyroid, it can also slow down your hair growth. More than that, studies have found that hair grows faster on teenage years and it slows down on late 20s. 

You must know too that stress and certain medication slow your hair growth. While anxiety heightens the levels of your stress hormones—which alters the growth cycles of your hair follicles—some medications like antidepressants, contraceptives, and ones for thyroid illnesses also affect your hair growth. 

If you’re using hair extensions or bleaching your hair, you’ll do more harm than good to your follicles. Do you know that tight braids and glued-in extensions pull your hair at its roots, resulting in damaged hair follicles and slower hair growth?

Also, regular use of hair dyes, straightening treatments, and bleach will leave your hair dry and brittle. If you avoid hair trims to make your hair longer, it’ll eventually lead to split ends, unless you regularly opt for keratin treatments.

Tips for Hair Growth

Have a balanced diet full of nutrients your hair needs.

Do you know that healthy hair is a reflection of a healthy body too? Yes, the food we eat shows on our skin and hair first. Some of the nutrients our hair needs are protein, zinc, biotin, iron, omega 3, and vitamin c, so make sure you have them on your diet.

You may start with whole grains, eggs, salmon, and nuts, but you might also want to add berries, olive oil, and avocado on your next meal. 

Your hair is made of protein cells, so take a lot of protein in your diet. If you tend to skip meats on your meal or if you’re a vegetarian, you can still go for other protein alternatives like soy milk, tofu and such.

The key is to feed your hair from the inside so you’ll have healthy hair growth. Remember, having a strong, healthy hair won’t depend on the hair products you use on your hair, but on what you eat.

Maintain a clean, healthy scalp.

Have you noticed that your hair looks more voluminous when your scalp is healthy? If you often use hair dyes, harsh hair products, and heat styling tools, your scalp takes a beating on a daily basis.

If you’re aiming for longer hair, you must treat your scalp with care too. Make sure that your hair follicles are not blocked by-product buildup and dirt.

You may use a clarifying shampoo to clean your scalp but go for more nourishing products that your hair follicles need.

Do you know that regular use of heat styling tools like curlers or flat irons too close to your scalp can damage your hair at the roots? More than that, if you think paraben-free hair products and sulfate-free shampoos are only for color-treated hair, think again.

It’s great for your scalp and hair health too—it’s time to switch your hair products. Remember, alcohol that is often found in hair products dry out your hair even more, so better think of natural alternatives like safflower oil and olive oil.

Think of taking hair vitamins for hair growth.

You might be having a healthy diet, but do you feel like you still need some boost for your hair to grow faster? Vitamins and supplements must be taken with a healthy diet, so you’ll ensure proper nutrition.

You can always go for biotin, fish oil, omega-3, along with vitamins B, C, and D that would be healthy not only for your body, but also for your hair. After all, your hair grows faster when it is healthy.

Be smart with your hair care routine.

Do you know that your hair is more susceptible to breakage when it is wet? You must be careful when getting some knots out after a shower, and brush your hair from ends to the top to lessen the pressure on your roots.

If you’re over-styling your hair, it is now the best time to slow down on your heat styling tools, and always use a heat protectant. 

You might also think of swapping your cotton pillowcases to silk ones since they are gentler on your hair. More than that, silk pillowcases prevents breakage and tangles, helping you get a better hair in the morning.

Waiting for your hair to turn into Rapunzel-like luscious locks might be a slow process. But by heeding our tips, you’ll be able to get what you’re aiming for—just give a healthy dose of patience too.

Related Questions:

How fast does hair grow?

We now know that a number of factors affect your hair growth—genetics, diet, stress, hormones, medications, overuse of heat styling tools and such—but according to studies, your hair grows about 1.25 centimeters or about half an inch each month.

Does frequent shampooing affect your natural hair oil?

How often you wash your hair might be a personal decision, but regardless how often you wash your hair, your scalp with produce the same amount of oil.

According to Jeffrey Benabio, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, your hormones and genetics will determine the amount of oil your scalp produces.

Also, you don’t have to have a shampoo rotation just to keep your hair clean. However, it is better to switch with hair products with nourishing ingredients.

Irina Tracy

I am a writer, journalist and nonconformist blogger. I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. When it comes to writing, I like to explore every topic I find to be interesting and I get out all the details about it. I published several books and wrote for national & international publications. Looking forward to share my writing with all you, readers so we can learn new things together with every post!

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