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7 Ways To Hack Your Hair Growth Cycle For Longer Hair

Written by Spencer Higgs

Reviewed by Liz Brown

Hacking your hair growth cycle is the fastest and most natural way to get lush, long, healthy hair. Use these tips for fuller, beautiful locks.

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Getting older might take “no hair off your back.” But when it comes to the hair on your head, you’re not vain for wanting it to stick around as long as possible. Hair loss affects around 50% of women and can be caused by a variety of factors, from illness and toxicity, to diet, stress, or genetics. [1]

But for many of us, we just want our hair to grow quickly, and come in fully. Understanding the hair growth cycle is the first step to unlocking the secrets of how to make your hair grow faster and thicker. In this blog, we’ll dive into the three main stages of hair growth, plus seven natural ways to hack your hair growth cycle for a younger-looking head of hair. 

The Hair Growth Cycle, Explained

So much of life is cyclical. From vegetation, to the carbon & nitrogen cycles, the water cycle… Even the stages of hair growth are bound to a cycle. In the same way that seeds germinate, sprout, and grow into mature plants, your hair growth cycle is how your body reproduces strand after strand of hair. Understanding the stages of hair growth can help unlock the secrets of how to make your hair grow faster. There are three stages of hair growth: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases, and every hair on your body goes through each one. 

hair growth

Stages Of Hair Growth

Familiarizing yourself with the different stages of hair growth in the hair growth cycle is the first step in understanding how to make your hair grow faster, longer, and fuller. 

Within the hair growth cycle are three phases, or stages of hair growth: the Anagen, the catagen, and the telogen, and from the first sprout of new hair, to the dried tangled mess you find in your comb, each strand of hair on our head goes through each phase. 

The Anagen Phase

The anagen phase is the growth stage of the hair cycle, arguably the most exciting stage and certainly the part you’re most interested in. During the anagen phase, the cells in your hair bulbs divide and multiply nonstop to create new growth in each follicle. Hair follicles absorb important nutrients from your blood supply through your roots; again, similar to how plants absorb nutrients from the ground through their own roots. 

This growth phase lasts two to seven years, during which your hair can grow anywhere between 18-30 inches, depending on your genetics, age, health, and more. After this growth period, your follicles transition into dormancy. 

The Catagen Phase

The catagen phase is the second stage of the hair growth cycle. In this brief transitionary episode, usually lasting only two to three weeks, your hair essentially uproots or detaches from your blood supply. This consequently shuts off the nutrient supply and causes the hair to cease its growth. Detached hairs are called club hair. 

Anyone else think “club hair” was something totallllly different until just now? 😅

The Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is a state of relative proliferative quiescence. Or, in plain English, dormancy. There’s not a lot of active growth happening in this three-month stage of the hair growth cycle. In fact, it’s mostly just falling out—but not all at once, thank goodness. 

Each hair follicle in your body goes through the stages at different times (otherwise, you’d be bald for three to five months on end 😵), so only about 10% of your head hair is in the telogen phase at any given moment. The telogen stage is seen as a “resting phase” and will soon restart the hair growth cycle. 

How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster 

So that now leaves us with the real point of interest: how to make your hair grow faster. Here are the top seven best and most natural ways to hack your hair growth cycle to get longer, lusher, healthier locks with expert care throughout all the stages of hair growth.

1. Avoid excessive sun exposure

Typically, when we think of excessive sun exposure, we think of sun burns, wrinkles, skin cancer… the obvious dermal detriments. But we rarely consider how ultraviolet rays can damage our hair. It turns out that UVB radiation can stunt follicle growth in the anagen phase, essentially causing it to fast forward to the fall-out phase. [2]

Low amounts of sun exposure can be very beneficial for us. For instance, it helps increase vitamin D intake, improve melatonin metabolism and synthesizes important bioregulators. [3, 4] But if looking young and avoiding melanoma are important for you, avoid overdoing it on the sun exposure.

2. Use protein to promote growth

Being well-nourished is important for hair growth, and not getting enough protein can lead to hair loss or lack of growth. [5] Think about it: when your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it’s going to start cutting off unnecessary energy-burners. And while your mind may consider perfect hair a necessity, your survival-focused biology certainly doesn’t. Making sure you receive around 50 grams of protein per day could help you maintain or improve gorgeous locks. 

3. Don’t skimp on good nutrition

Your body needs adequate nutrition to function properly in every single way. Including hair growth. In fact, a fantastic head of hair is indicative of excellent overall health, while poor nutritional balance or malnutrition can lead to hair loss, weaker hair structure, or unintended changes to the color and appearance of your locks. [6] Iron deficiency, which many under-nourished or diet-restrictive individuals face, is a leading cause of hair loss; and reversing iron deficiency has been shown to reverse hair loss in both men and women, but especially in premenopausal women. [7]

4. Daily scalp massages

Seriously. Four-minute daily scalp massages can increase the thickness of head hair, according to a 24-week study on men between 25 and 46 years old (right about when hair loss starts to show its face… or scalp, rather). [8] It’s thought that increased blood flow and/or direct stimulation of the skin cells reacts with the hair-cycle genes to create thicker hair. One thing to keep in mind is that massaging doesn’t increase hair growth, and can lead to a temporary, short-term loss of telogen hair. But since it’s falling out anyway, thinking the growing anagen hairs is more than worth the trade. 

hair growth

5. Don’t mess with your hair!

It’s tempting to want to want to add the full array of color and chemical treatments to your hair but—blasphemous is this may sound—doing less does more. Dying hair adds stress to your follicles and can cause hair to break off prematurely. It also changes the texture of your hair, sometimes making it coarser. Many people with naturally greasy hair turn to treatments to counter it. But just remember that that’s your hair’s natural texture—adding chemicals to it to dry it isn’t natural and is far from helpful. Chemical straighteners can be equally harmful, and it’s best to stick to natural hair care instead. [9]

6. Use peppermint oil

If you’re wondering how to make your hair grow faster with natural products found around the house, you should definitely try peppermint oil. Peppermint oil, a common and favorite essential oil, is starting to gain notice from researchers for its ability to stimulate hair growth. [10 ] And the best part is, no toxic signs were observed. Two common preferred methods of using peppermint oil are mixing it in with your shampoo or conditioner; or by mixing it with a natural oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. Research results were noticeable after just four weeks. 

7. Try collagen supplementation

You can go your entire life wondering how to make your hair grow faster or fuller. A lot of the time, the secret lies in the food you eat. This couldn’t be more true than with collagen. It’s the single most abundant protein in your body, and is responsible for key amino acids that help you grow new hair follicles and repair damaged ones. [11

Once we hit our mid-20s, our natural collagen stores start dwindling. As a result, your joints start aching, skin dries, and hair thins or recedes. 

But there is hope. In a study conducted with women ages 21-75 with thinning hair, those taking collagen supplements, like SkinnyFit Super Youth, saw significant improvements in overall volume, scalp coverage, and thickness after 90 days! After 180 days of regular collagen supplementation, researchers observed increased hair shine, plus the added benefits of softer, smoother, healthier skin. [12]  

Super Youth collagen is packed with five of the most effective collagen types for youthful appearance and physical wellness. It’s made from only premium, natural ingredients that your body—and hair—truly loves. What’s more, is that you’ll likely notice additional benefits (such as reduced wrinkles) that will complement your fuller, longer, shinier locks. 

Super Youth collagen also steps things up with simplicity and versatility. Unflavored Super Youth goes with just about anything you can imagine, food or drink. I add it to chili and brownies, plus smoothies and tea. And it dissolves perfectly, even in hot beverages. That means no more clumps in your coffee. Just scoop and stir or shake, and you’re ready for hair-growing goodness.

The Bottom Line 

Hair loss (let’s call it malfunction) is inevitable, to some degree. But there are ways you can increase hair growth and preserve hair health without using dangerous or skeptical products and procedures. 

Nonetheless, it’s important to speak to your physician before taking any supplements, even health supplements, with the intent of improving hair quality. Too high an intake of vitamins and minerals, such as selenium (an essential mineral), may actually be linked to hair loss. [13] And make sure you only purchase supplements from reputable companies, like SkinnyFit, whose products are verified by third parties for safety, purity, and efficacy. 

When it comes down to it, hacking your hair growth cycle the natural way is easier than it seems, and often comes with benefits for your entire body!

Mentioned In This Post

SkinnyFit Unflavored Collagen

Look and feel younger with Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides! This versatile collagen powder includes 5 collagen types from 4 natural sources to restore youthfulness from the inside out.

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About The Author

Spencer Higgs

Fitness & Nutrition Journalist

Spencer is a lifestyle writer, culinary adventurist, and part-time health nut. He loves finding healthy hacks to not-so-healthy cuisine, and writes passionately about cocktails and coffee. When not writing, you can almost certainly find him lying in a hammock or driving the coast in search of sur

Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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