What Makes Hair Grow?


Hair loss is one of the most dreaded side-effects of aging. While we’re largely at the mercy of our genetics, there are some things we can do to promote hair growth. This article will discuss what causes hair growth, what natural oils are best for hair growth, and foods you should add to your diet for a healthy scalp. 

What Makes Hair Grow?

On more than one occasion, you have probably found yourself staring into the mirror, wondering, “how can I make this hair grow?” Understanding the basics of hair growth helps us better understand how we can promote hair growth as we get older. Let’s start with the basics: you are born with all the hair follicles you will ever have - around five million to be exact. 

Of these five million follicles, experts believe 100,000 are on your scalp. The hair grows from a root at the bottom of a follicle under the skin. Blood in your scalp goes to the follicle and supplies oxygen and nutrients to the hair root, promoting hair growth.

Which Oil Is Best For Hair Growth?

When it comes to hair growth, natural oils have boomed in popularity in recent years. These hair growth oils help keep your scalp healthy, creating an environment for healthy hair. Most of these oils are extracted from plants through methods like distillation or evaporation. Here are some of the most popular essential oils:

  • Lavender essential oil - This type of oil can help speed up hair growth by generating the growth of cells and reducing stress
  • Peppermint essential oil - This type of oil increases circulation in the area it’s applied to. When applied to the scalp, it can promote hair growth
  • Rosemary essential oil - This oil is a popular choice among those looking to increase hair growth. Rosemary oil improves cellular generation, boosting hair growth
  • Cedarwood essential oil - By balancing oil-producing glands in the scalp, cedarwood essential oil can reduce hair loss

Before purchasing essential oils, be sure to do your due diligence. Research the company, brand, and product before making a purchase. 

What Hair Growth Pills Actually Work?

Whether or not hair growth pills work is a topic of debate among hair growth experts. The consensus is that these supplements can be beneficial if you have a deficiency. For example, those who are low in ferritin - the protein that stores iron - can benefit from taking iron supplements. 

Most experts agree that the best way to promote hair growth is through a healthy diet and lifestyle. With a balanced, nutritious diet, there should be no need for supplements. Speak with your doctor to see if you have any deficiencies. These deficiencies could be responsible for an unhealthy head of hair. 

What is the Best Vitamin for Hair Growth?

Your scalp is no different than the rest of your body. It needs vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to function at 100%. Getting the vitamins your scalp needs through your diet or supplements is vital. Here are some of the vitamins that can help promote hair growth:

  • Vitamin A - Vitamin A helps produce sebum - an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp. Sebum contributes to a head of healthy hair
  • Vitamin C - The older you get, the more you have to worry about free radicals. These pesky radicals can block hair growth. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals
  • Vitamin D - Low vitamin D levels can lead to alopecia. Vitamin D helps create new follicles and is thought to play a big role in hair growth
  • Vitamin E - Studies have shown that people with hair loss experience a 35% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for eight months

Taking vitamin supplements to assist with hair growth can help in many different ways. Yes, they can help grow hair faster, but they also help keep the rest of your body healthy. 

What Helps Hair Grow Faster Naturally?

The most significant contributor to hair growth or hair loss is genetics. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about that. However, we can do things to ensure we’re creating the healthiest environment possible for hair growth. Below are some natural hair growth tips recommended by experts:

  • Massages - We all love a good scalp massage. To make things better, scalp massages can help with hair growth. These massages stimulate the scalp by stretching your hair follicles
  • Ginseng - Stimulating your hair follicles is the easiest way to boost hair growth. Ginsenosides - an active component of ginseng - can stimulate your hair follicles
  • Aloe vera - When you hear aloe vera, you probably think about the stuff that helps us treat sunburns. Another benefit of aloe vera is that it can reduce dandruff and unblock any hair follicles that may be blocked by excess oil

What Foods are Good For Your Hair?

When thinking about hair growth, you may forget about the importance of your diet. Hair products, supplements, and scalp massages are great, but nothing trumps your diet. By practicing a healthy and balanced diet, you can get all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins your scalp needs. Here are some of the best foods for hair growth:

  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Fatty fish
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Avocados

Of course, the benefits of these foods extend well beyond hair growth. Not only will your hair be healthier, but so will the rest of you. 

Supplements May Help

Taking care of your body with a proper diet, exercise routine, and supplement regimen can help you prevent hair loss. As we mentioned earlier, vitamin supplements can significantly improve hair quality and growth. One other supplement to look into is spermidine. Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine that helps your body induce a process known as autophagy. Autophagy is your body’s natural cellular renewal process, which recycles older potentially damaged cell parts with newer, healthier ones. While research on spermidine and hair growth is still early, the results have been promising. Spermidine supplementation has been shown to reduce hair loss by boosting keratin production, an essential protein necessary for hair and nail growth. Furthermore, studies have shown spermidine supplementation to prolong the anagen phase of hair growth - the stage responsible for hair growth. 


  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.