Heredity, hormones and aging all contribute to how fast or slow your hair grows. But a short hair growth phase could also stop your tresses from getting as long as someone else’s. Typically, a strand of hair can continue to grow from a follicle (its root) for two to six years before the strand thins, dies and falls out and the follicle begins growing a whole new strand again. But you can boost your hair’s growth through the active period with these tips from

Eat a well-balanced diet. Although eating healthy won’t help you grow long, luxurious hair overnight, the nutrients found in fish, poultry, dark green veggies, whole grains, eggs, low-fat dairy products, beans and nuts can help promote growth.

Eat sensibly for weight loss. Losing pounds quickly with crash diets can disturb the hair growth cycle. Consult your doctor about a healthy eating and fitness plan to pare your weight without jeopardizing your treasured locks.

Leave your hair alone. Less washing, bleaching and dyeing means fewer chances for hair to become brittle and weak. And avoid frequent heat styling too. The best way to keep hair healthy is to keep heat styling and chemical processing to a minimum.

Get split ends trimmed regularly. This ensures these strand-weakening split hairs won’t break off and make you feel you’re cursed with short hair forever.

Use nutritional supplements with caution. Too much vitamin A can contribute to slow hair growth or even hair loss. Best stick to the daily recommendation for this vitamin.

In some instances, what appears to be a case of slow-to-grow hair could be caused by strands shedding because of serious illness, stress or medications. The good news is, if hair fall is caused by stress or illness, it does grow back in a few months. And if medication is the culprit, ask your doc about switching to a med that doesn’t have this side effect.

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