Long hair is becoming more and more popular for men. Learn how to grow out your hair faster for the look you want, plus get tips on hair supplements and products that can help you reach your long hair goals in less time.
How Do You Grow Your Hair Out?
If you’re leaning toward longer hairstyles but don’t have the length you want, you know it won’t happen overnight. Healthy hair grows slowly – about half an inch each month – but there are a few proven ways to reach your long hair goals faster.
The Short Answer:
- Make Sure Your Hair Has the Right Ingredients for Hair Growth
- Learn How to Protect Your Hair From Damage
- Prep Your Hair for Growth
- Handle New Growth With New Styles
- Nourish and Maintain Your Hair
Before you do anything, you need to make sure your body has everything it needs to grow hair. It’s a lot like baking a cake – if you’re missing ingredients, the cake won’t turn out.
The Long Answer:
If you don’t have the right balance of vitamins and nutrients required for hair growth, it could take you months to see a tiny increase in length. And if you’re really lacking in nutrition, you might notice that your hair seems to grow very slowly or doesn’t seem to grow at all.
Growing your hair out also means you need to go on the damage defensive. You’ll be looking for any ways you’re currently damaging your hair, which will lead to breakage and sabotage your hair-growing efforts.
There are tons of sneaky ways men damage their hair without realizing it (no judgement – we’ve all done these things). We’ll show you some of the common damage sources and how to avoid them to support your long hair goals.
If you’re committing to longer lengths, you’ll also need to think about your current haircut and how it’s going to look grown out. If you’ll be growing out a fade or tapered cut, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. You might need to get a final chop before growing it out to keep your hair at a uniform length as it grows.
You wanted to learn how to grow out your hair, men, and we’re going to show you step-by-step how to do just that. You’ll see what nutrients and vitamins your body needs to successfully grow your hair, how to avoid length-sacrificing damage, and how to start your growth journey off on the right foot.
How to Grow Out Your Hair: Tips for Men
Learn how to grow out your hair so it’s long, strong, and healthy with our step-by-step guide. You may not have paid much attention to your hair before, but you’re about to get to know your locks a whole lot better.
In your growth process, nutrients and vitamins, damage protection, trims, hair treatments, and maintenance are all going to become essential. It’s a commitment that not every man is up for. Keep reading to learn what you need to do to support faster, healthier hair growth.
1. Make Sure Your Body Has the Ingredients for Hair Growth
You know that your body requires a few essential vitamins and nutrients, but you might not realize how important those nutrients are for hair growth. Let’s cover the basics of what your body needs to successfully grow hair.
- Protein: Human hair is mostly keratin, which is a type of protein. If you’re not getting enough protein (adult men need about 56 grams each day), there’s not enough extra protein for your body to use for hair growth.
- Biotin: Biotin is one of the most well-known vitamins for hair growth. It’s been clinically proven to increase scalp coverage and hair fullness, support healthier hair growth, and help the body metabolize amino acids (the building blocks of protein) so they can be used to grow hair. Men need 30-100 mcg (micrograms) of biotin each day.
- Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that plays many roles in the body and is required for normal hair growth. It helps your follicles produce oil to keep hair moisturized and binds the proteins in hair to prevent hair loss. It also aids in cell division, which is a big part of new hair growth. Men need about 11 mg of zinc daily.
- Iron: Iron is an essential mineral needed for hair growth. Iron deficiencies lead to hair loss and thinning, but introducing the right amount of iron into your diet can help you correct or completely avoid those deficiencies for faster hair growth. Adult men need about 8 mg of iron each day.
- Water: Hair contains water in addition to protein, and without enough water, hair becomes brittle, dry, and easily broken. Breakage only increases the amount of time it takes to grow your hair out. Men need to drink about 15.5 cups of water daily to meet their body’s needs.
Other nutrients, minerals, and vitamins affect your hair growth, but these are the biggies.
Meeting all of these daily requirements can be tough, and if you’re taking individual supplements, it’s a lot to remember. That’s why many people decide to take hair supplements that contain the minerals and vitamins that are good for hair all in a single capsule or tablet.
These supplements are different from hair loss medications like Rogaine or Propecia. They are all-natural and contain only vitamins, minerals, and natural substances like protein and collagen that are proven to support hair growth.
We’ve done reviews on all of the most popular hair growth supplements and found Folexin to be the best.
It gets excellent customer reviews, contains many of the essential “ingredients” your body needs for hair growth, and is more affordable than similar supplements. Check out each review to see which supplement might work best for you.
2. Learn How to Protect Your Hair From Damage
Once you’re ensuring your body is getting all the nutrients it needs for hair growth, you can start focusing on defense – protecting your hair from damage. Hair is easily damaged by chemicals, heat, UV rays, and physical wear and tear.
Here are some common ways men tend to damage their hair without realizing it:
- Aggressive towel-drying
- Brushing while wet
- Too-hot showers
- Shampooing daily
- Excess sun exposure
- Using too much gel or product
- Using harsh shampoos and conditioners
So, what’s the problem with damaged hair? If you’re trying to grow out your hair, damage can foil your efforts and keep you from reaching new lengths.
Not only does damaged hair look and feel unhealthy, but it also forms split ends, gets brittle, and breaks off easily. When you’re trying to grow your hair out, repeated breakage will drive you crazy.
Your hair can’t get longer if the new growth keeps breaking off! Breakage will literally undo all your hair-growing efforts. But if you can eliminate these stresses from your tresses, you’ll avoid split ends, unhealthy hair, and hair breakage.
That means you’ll have healthier hair that seems to grow faster because you’re not playing catchup with breakage. Instead of aggressive towel-drying, pick up a microfiber towel and use it gently to squeeze and absorb water from your hair.
Don’t brush or style your hair while it’s wet – when it’s at its weakest point – and wait until it’s dry instead. Lower the temperature of your showers a little to treat your strands, and try to limit shampooing to every other day.
If you’ll be out in the sun for extended periods, make sure to wear a hat to protect your hair from UV damage. Finally, pay attention to the products you’re using on your hair. If you’re using too much of any product, it’s leaving buildup on your hair that literally suffocates each strand and starves your hair for moisture.
The shampoo and conditioner you use is important, too. Opt for something that is sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free to be gentler on your hair. Making these small changes to your hair care routine will guarantee less damage and help pave the way to longer, healthier hair.
3. Prep Your Hair for Growth
If you’re about to work out, you stretch and warm up first, right? So if you’re about to grow your hair out long, you’ve got some prep work ahead of you. You can prepare your hair for growth by ensuring it’s all at a similar length (trust us on this one) and at its healthiest.
Unless you’re starting the growth process with a buzz cut, your current haircut probably has several different lengths in it. Growing out a fade or tapered haircut can be problematic because every section is a slightly different length.
That looks great when everything is short and neat, but as it grows, those length differences get more obvious. If you’d rather not spend a few months with a mullet, you need to prepare for the upcoming growth now.
Visit your barber or stylist (or grab the clippers and do it yourself) to get all your hair cut to one uniform length. You don’t have to shave your head to do this.
Just cut all your hair to the same length as the shortest section. This ensures all your hair grows at roughly the same rate and keeps you looking good while you’re growing it out.
Another way to prepare your hair for growth is by using a hair growth shampoo. We recently reviewed the ten best hair growth shampoos on the market to determine if they were effective.
The ones that made it on our list have been clinically proven to give visible results in fullness, thickness, and hair health within three months.
Using a growth shampoo formulated with biotin, collagen, protein, and other hair-enhancing nutrients is a great way to prepare your strands for a new phase of growth. By taking a little length off, you’re getting rid of any split ends or weakened areas that might be prone to breakage.
4. Handle New Growth With New Styles
Once your hair begins showing some noticeable growth, your usual go-to styles may not work anymore. You need to have a plan in place for how you’ll deal with your “in-between” hair length – no longer short, but not quite long yet.
- Straight hair: Straight hair might fall forward, stick straight up, or refuse to lie flat as it’s growing out. You can use a flat iron (use a heat protectant first!) to deal with wayward pieces or tuck it all into a low ponytail or cap during this in-between stage of hair growth.
- Wavy hair: Embrace your waves, whether they’re beachy or borderline curly, while your hair is growing out. If you don’t typically use wave-enhancing products, now is a good time to start. Try a lightweight sea salt spray to enhance your waves and lean into the grunge look while it grows out.
- Curly hair: Curls do a great job hiding the awkward grow-out phase because there are so many bends and twists in the hair. Take advantage of this natural camouflage and define your curls with a moisturizing cream with a little hold, like a mousse or curl cream. See our top picks for the best products for curly hair here.
- Coily hair: Like curly hair, coily hair disguises the grow-out phase very well. Protective styles like twists and braids are perfect for keeping your hair gathered and protected from damage while you grow it out.
The frustrating not-quite-there phase in hair growth is what causes many people to abandon their efforts and cut it all off. Don’t let that happen to you!
Now that you know what to expect and have some ideas to style your in-between hair, it’ll be easier to glide through this stage of hair growth with confidence. The longer your hair gets, the more style possibilities you’ll have.
5. Nourish and Maintain Your Hair
Finally, you can work on nourishing your hair and maintaining it properly while you wait for it to reach your desired length. This is all about improving the overall health and quality of your hair so that it’s strong and looking good when it reaches the length you want.
Who wants stringy, weak hair with tons of split ends after months of waiting and all this hard work? No one!
All hair types can get regular trims (every 2-3 months or so) while working on growing the hair out to keep things looking neat. Trims won’t ruin your growth efforts because so little length is taken off.
Getting regular trims will ensure your long hair is healthy with no split or weathered ends. You can also focus on providing your hair with lots of moisture and nourishment during this phase to help keep it soft, supple, and healthy.
You can try a length-enhancing hair mask (we love Marc Anthony Grow Long Hair Mask) once or twice a week, or opt for a good deep conditioning treatment to use.
While You Wait
You’ve reached the point where you’ve done what you can – the rest is up to your follicles! Barring any unforeseen issues or medical problems, you can expect your hair to reach your desired length within the following range of time.
If you want to grow your hair, it will take about…
- 3 inches. Six months
- 6 inches. 12 months
- 12 inches. 24 months
Six months to 2 years or more seems like a long time to wait, but if you’re focused on the following, you’ll be more involved, and it won’t feel like idle waiting.
- Making sure your body has all the essentials for hair growth (vitamins, minerals, and proteins)
- Protecting your hair from damage
- Starting with the same length all over
- Using growth-enhancing products like supplements, shampoos, and hair masks
- Choosing easy styles that keep hair looking good as it grows
Growing your hair out will change your relationship with your locks. It’s not hard to do – your hair grows all the time without any input from you – but taking these steps will make your hair grow faster, healthier, and stronger.
By learning about the hair growth process and what you can do to support fast, healthy hair growth, you’re already on the path to longer hair.