Whether you are tired of waiting for your hair to get that long length you are looking for or are just looking grow out a dated or bad cut, we all wish our hair grew faster. Hair actually is one of the fastest growing tissues on our bodies (right after bone marrow), at roughly six inches per year. But that number can be more or less and it all depends on how you are caring for both your hair and yourself overall. Read on to get tips on how to make your hair grow faster.

Diet is Key

Eating a plant-rich diet goes a long way to ensure our bodies get the needed variety of vitamins and minerals. For hair growth, you want to be sure to consume biotin, other B vitamins, and iron. Good sources of biotin include whole grains, cauliflower, and walnuts; these also contain B vitamins, but add dark leafy greens for an extra dose. Besides red meat, you can find iron in tofu, beans, and spinach. Collagen, a protein, is also needed to grow strong, healthy hair, as hair is mostly protein. But even with a well-rounded diet, you may not be able to eat everything you need in a day. There are some excellent hair growth supplements on the market. The much-lauded Nutrafol offers a proprietary, botanical blend, along with individual hair analysis to help your hair really grow. The My Kind Organics Hair, Skin, and Nails builder is an organic, plant-based supplement that is heavy on the biotin. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides can be added to your morning coffee or smoothies for that extra protein boost. If you are anemic, vegetarian, or vegan, you may also need additional B vitamin and iron supplements to make sure you are getting enough of those nutrients. Prenatal vitamins may offer a good blend,and are typically high in iron and biotin as well.

Scalp Health Matters

After diet, you want to consider the health of your scalp. Hair, made up primarily of keratin, a super strong protein, is dead once you see it, but an optimal scalp environment can help it in the early growth stages. The easiest way to do this is with scalp massage, which improves circulation and blood flow to the hair follicles. Blood vessels provide nutrients to the hair bulb. If hair thickness is an issue as well as length, try massaging on The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density. The peptides may further stimulate hair growth. You are probably familiar with ROGAINE® (minoxidil), which is used that to treat hair loss, not necessarily length, but if you experience hair loss, it’s worth trying.

Hair Care Tips

Proper hair care is essential for growth. If you sleep on a cotton pillowcase, switch to silk or satin, wrap your hair, or use a satin-lined cap, like this one. Cotton is rough and can cause breakage. And that goes for your hair towel too. Starting using a microfiber towel, like the Aquis towel, to dry hair. Brush hair gently and avoid styles that pull at the root (think super-tight buns and ponytails) to minimize any breakage. Over-washing can damage hair, especially if you are using a harsh shampoo. Be careful with heat styling, extensions, and bleaching as well, as damaged hair doesn’t grow. And of course, regular trims are necessary to remove any damage and keep hair healthy.

Follow these tips and you’ll be seeing long, lustrous locks in no time.

Lia is a makeup addict in Washington, D.C. When not at her digital marketing day job, she explores all things beauty and works as personal makeup shopper. She enjoys a strong latte in the mornings and a strong cocktail in the evenings.