In general, hair grows about half an inch per month, or six inches per year. This means that some individuals may experience differing hair growth rates on a monthly or yearly basis depending on several factors, including age, genetics, lifestyle, and more. These unique characteristics can also influence the thickness of the hair, as well as the effectiveness of certain hair growth or thickening treatments.
While there may be some factors you can’t control, there are several ways you can speed up hair growth and increase thickness, while also improving the hair and scalp’s overall health. These include prescription treatments, over-the-counter (OTC) methods, and natural ways that focus on scalp health and nutrition.
In this article, we discuss how fast hair grows in the context of the hair growth cycle and its phases. In addition, we cover ways you can actually speed up hair growth using prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), and natural methods.
Can hair grow 1 inch in a month?
On average, hair grows about half an inch every month, however, some individuals may experience faster hair growth.
How Fast Does Hair Grow During Each Phase of the Hair Cycle?
Hair doesn’t just grow and fall out. There is actually an entire lifecycle that your hair follicles go through to create new strands, grow them to a specific length, and then shed them before starting the entire process over again.
There are four stages of the hair growth cycle:
Anagen is the growth, or active, phase in which your hair grows about half an inch every 30 days. The length of the hair growth and duration of the anagen phase differs for every individual, but can range from three to 10 years.
Up to 90% of the hair on your head is in the anagen phase. However, even if most of your hair is actively growing, every person has a maximum length their hair can reach, called their terminal length.
Catagen, the transitional phase that lasts for a few weeks, describes when the hair is preparing to stop growing and is cut off from the blood supply. In addition, the hair follicles begin to shrink and hair appears thinner. About 3% of hair on the head is in this period at any given time.
Telogen, the resting phase that lasts for three to four months, describes when the hair is neither growing nor shedding, and new hairs are starting to form in the follicles that released hair during the previous phase. Anywhere from 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time.
Telogen effluvium describes a hair loss condition that impacts hair during the telogen phase. Caused by a stressor, illness, major surgery, certain medications, and more, this condition causes up to 70% of scalp hairs to shed around two months after the trigger. In some cases, no treatment is needed, but, in others, it may point to an underlying condition that requires treatment.
Exogen, the shedding phase, describes when the hair falls out at a rate of 50 to 150 strands per day over a period of two to four months. The hair loss will occur naturally, but you may notice it most when you’re washing or brushing your hair.
The time between the telogen phase and exogen phase plays an important role in the hair cycle, as it creates new opportunities for your body to grow more hair and let healthy strands replace old ones.
Some hair treatments encourage the hair cycle to transition from the telogen phase to the anagen, or growth phase, to promote hair growth and reduce shedding
What Factors Affect Hair Growth Rate?
The most common factors known to affect hair growth are:
- Age and assigned sex, specifically, assigned males 30 and older tend to see more hair changes, like thinning and hair loss, more often than assigned females