Do you want to grow your hair out quickly? What about making it more luscious? If you said yes, then you might be tempted to believe your hairdresser when he or she tells you that getting frequent haircuts is the answer to growing longer hair. This rumor has been circulating for years, but is it true? Does our hair grow faster by eliminating the dead and splitting ends? Or, does our hair only appear to be longer due to the healthier appearance of well-maintained hair?
Let’s focus first on why some people effortlessly grow hair as long as Rapunzel while others try to grow their hair past their shoulders but find, despairingly, that it will barely budge an inch. The answer: hair growth is based on genetics, but it is also largely influenced by a person’s overall health.
According to The Huffington Post, Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist (a person who studies a branch of dermatology that studies specifically the hair and the scalp) in New York City, explains, “general health, dietary habits, and endocrine function including thyroid, low iron or anemia […] all […] have the capacity to influence hair growth and loss cycles”. Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping care of our hair will promote healthy hair growth, but our genetics have a major role.
On the website, Today I Found Out, it is stated, “Hair length is completely controlled by the length of the anagen phase of your hair follicle,” which is the phase in which your hair follicles are growing. About.com: Dermatology explains further, stating, “During this phrase the hair grows about 1 cm [centimeters] every 28 days […] The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the anagen phase is genetically determined. At the end of the anagen phase, an unknown signal causes the follicle to go into catagen stage,” or the end of the hair growth stage. Today I Found Out points out that when the catagen phase begins, “the outer part of the root ends up being cut off from its nutrient supply (blood), as well as the cells that produce new hair, thus your hair stops growing.” While the anagen phase of hair growth is affected by genetics, hormones, and stress, haircuts seemingly play no role in stimulating hair growth.
Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco claims, “Cutting the ends of your hair doesn’t affect the follicles in your scalp, which determine how fast and how much your hair grows,” as stated on Oprah. While cutting our hair will not influence hair growth, keeping up with our hair is still important in order for it to be and appear healthier. Regular haircuts will clean up the split ends and keep the splits from “travel[ing] up the hair shaft” and making hair more brittle, Phillips explains.
Verdict: Fiction. Cutting our hair frequently will only put a dent in our wallets. Haircuts, it seems, do not make our hair grow longer. We should still make frequent trips to the salon and keep a healthy hair routine, though. It is recommended to get a haircut every eight to twelve weeks, in order to cut off split ends and, therefore, give the illusion that our hair is longer and more luscious; “breakage is what makes the hair look thinner at the ends (and shorter)” Oprah explains. Keep a healthy lifestyle, and take care of your hair; that is the best way to keep your hair looking its best.
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