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7 Expert Hair Growth Tips Recommended by Hair Specialists
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Updated on May 9, 2024

On average, healthy hair grows steadily, at a rate of approximately 0.3-0.4 mm per day. That means you can hope to gain about 1-1.2 cm in length per month and 12-15 cm per year [1]. Your natural hair growth rate is often genetically determined, and while age, health conditions or hormones can influence it, it can be difficult to accelerate it artificially. 

However, when searching for expert hair growth tips, most people worry more about its thickness and density than its growth rate. Many such concerns arise with the first signs of hair thinning and balding or when faced with persistent hair shedding.

Numerous types of alopecia can disrupt your hair growth cycle or damage your follicles, stifling the production of new strands. Moreover, your hair care products, lifestyle choices, and styling routines can also influence how full and healthy your hair can grow. Fortunately, a trichologist can accurately diagnose your hair loss and recommend the best hair growth treatments and at-home remedies, such as the ones you are about to read.  

This article will tell you all you need to know about:

  • What your hair growth cycle is, and how it works
  • The most effective, evidence-based tips for stimulating hair growth 
  • The main reasons your hair growth might be stifled
Table of Contents

How does your hair naturally grow? 

Your hair growth follows a natural cycle which has 4 distinct phases.  

  • The anagen (growth) phase, lasting approximately 3-10 years
  • The catagen (transition) phase, which only takes 2-3 weeks
  • The telogen (resting) phase, which can go on for 3-4 months
  • The exogen (shedding) phase, with a duration of about 2-5 months

However, not all of your hair follicles are in the same phase of this cycle. At any given time, approximately 80-90% of them are in the growth phase, 5% are in the transition phase, and 10-15% are in the resting phase. As for the shedding stage, a healthy person can expect to lose 50-100 hair strands a day. So there is no need to worry, some hair loss is normal in the shower or while brushing your hair [2].

hair growth cycle

What can you do to stimulate your hair growth?

There are many good options available to help stimulate your hair follicles for growth. Whether you prefer a treatment or therapy or you are in search of home remedies, here you can find the most efficient, evidence-based hair restoration recommendations:  

Doctor diagnosing hair loss in a female patient

1. Get your hair loss diagnosed

Probably the best advice you can get when you are looking for ways to grow hair quickly is to see a trichologist (a hair specialist). Most people start looking for solutions to regrow their hair naturally, with at-home remedies, when they notice excessive hair thinning or bald spots on their scalp. However, in many cases, this can be a sign of an underlying condition, and it is crucial to diagnose it before it has the chance to progress.

Some types of alopecia, like telogen effluvium, will resolve themselves with time, leading to natural hair regrowth and ending your strand density and thickness problems. However, other types, such as androgenetic alopecia will often progress and inhibit hair growth further if left untreated.

Finally, the expert tips in this article can certainly help provide you with a better understanding of the proven treatment, therapy and home remedy options for hair regrowth that anyone can try. But a trichologist can provide you with targeted recommendations designed with your specific hair problems, medical history and preferences in mind. 

Man applying hair treatment to his scalp

2. Use effective hair growth medication

If your hair growth is stifled by alopecia, the most effective option to stop your hair from falling out and increase its density and thickness is to use hair loss medications, such as:

Patient with female pattern baldness after using 5% Minoxidil for 6 months
Patient with female pattern baldness after using 5% Minoxidil for 6 months


This is one of the most versatile hair loss treatments and one of the few that can be safely used by both genders. Studies show it can stimulate hair growth in conditions such as male [3] or female pattern baldness [4], alopecia areata [5], telogen effluvium [6] or persistent traction alopecia [7]. 

The reason why Minoxidil works for so many conditions is because its mechanism of action ensures that an adequate supply of nutrients reaches your hair follicles, giving them resources to grow and thrive [8]. This is accomplished by dilating the small capillary vessels in your scalp to allow for better blood flow to your hair roots. 

Patient before Finasteride treatment and after 6 months of taking 1mg per day
Patient before treatment and after 6 months of taking 1mg Finasteride per day


This drug, often sold under the brand name Propecia, is not only the most widely recommended hair loss treatment for androgenetic alopecia but also one of the most efficient. Finasteride results can be excellent, as one study found that it increased hair growth in 99% of its 530 participants with male pattern baldness over the course of 10 years [9]. 

Finasteride works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called 5 alpha-reductase, which converts some of your testosterone into a different male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) [10]. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by an excess of dihydrotestosterone, which binds to androgen receptors in your hair follicles, preventing them from producing hair. So lowering DHT levels can curb hair loss and help your follicles resume hair production. 

Unlike Minoxidil, this medication requires a doctor’s prescription. Moreover, premenopausal women normally can’t use Finasteride, as it can lead to hormonal imbalances and foetal malformations (but topical Finasteride can sometimes be prescribed with good results to post-menopausal patients [11]). 

A male pattern baldness patient pre-treatment and after 24 weeks of Dutasteride use
A male pattern baldness patient pre-treatment and after 24 weeks of Dutasteride use


While they have a similar mechanism of action, Dutasteride is significantly more effective than Finasteride against hair loss [12]. That is because Finasteride 1 mg can inhibit 2 of the 3 types of 5-alpha-reductase, lowering your blood DHT by approximately 70%. Dutasteride 0.5 mg, on the other hand, can inhibit all 3 types, lowering DHT by over 98%. This leads to significant improvements in hair count and diameter [13]. 

However, Dutasteride is not yet FDA-approved for hair loss and can only be prescribed off-label. And since it works in the same way as Finasteride to regrow hair, it is not recommended for premenopausal women either. 

Patients with alopecia areata before and after treatment with tretinoin steroid cream
Patients with alopecia areata before and after treatment with tretinoin steroid cream


Steroid creams can help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disorders that can cause hair loss, such as alopecia areata, scalp psoriasis, lichen planopilaris or discoid lupus. They are applied topically to reduce scalp inflammation and prevent white blood cells from attacking your hair follicles

In some cases where topical creams are not sufficient, intralesional steroid injections can have excellent results. Studies found that they can improve symptoms in 60-80% of alopecia areata cases [14][15] and they can lead to full remission in 83% of patients with lichen planopilaris [16].

3. Try an evidence-based hair growth therapy

Not all advertised therapies can help your hair restoration. But some of them have proven merits showcased by clinical trials. Here are some safe and effective options that can be used on their own or alongside other treatments:  

30-year-old patient with Norwood stage 5 hair loss before and after six months of microneedling

30-year-old patient with Norwood stage 5 hair loss before and after six months of microneedling

Derma-rolling for hair growth

Using a small tool covered in fine needles on your scalp can have unexpectedly good results for your hair growth, comparable or even superior to those of topical Minoxidil [17]. That is because it creates very small punctures in your skin, which elicit a natural healing response. This involves attracting platelets that contain growth factors to the area and activating stem cells in your hair follicle bulge. Also known as microneedling, derma-rolling can successfully promote hair regrowth in conditions such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and telogen effluvium [18]

Moreover, this therapy can significantly increase the absorption rate of topical hair growth medication. Research shows that using Minoxidil together with a derma roller can increase hair count by 12.3 hairs/cm2 compared to 5% Minoxidil alone and by 7.6 hairs/cm2 compared to derma-rolling alone [17]. 

Patient with male pattern baldness after 6 months of PRP therapy
Patient with male pattern baldness after 6 months of PRP therapy

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair treatments involve drawing a small quantity of blood from your arm, mechanically separating your blood components to extract the fraction enriched with platelets and reinjecting it in the thinning areas of your scalp. Research shows that the success rate of PRP treatment has been high in treating both female and male pattern baldness [19][20], and it shows promise against alopecia areata [21]. 

Moreover, there is an indication that getting PRP after a hair transplant has the potential to improve its results by making the grafts grow faster and increasing hair shaft length and thickness [22]. However, more research is needed to confirm this. 

Male and female patients before and after 24 weeks of red light therapy
Male and female patients before and after 24 weeks of red light therapy [23]

Red light therapy for hair growth 

This form of low-level laser therapy may sound like pseudoscience, but research has shown that laser hair growth caps can indeed help regrow your hair. Studies have shown that using this treatment consistently for several months can provide a 51% increase hair count in women with androgenetic alopecia [24] and a 35% greater hair density in men with male pattern baldness [25]. 

The mechanism of action for red light therapy for hair growth is two-fold. The focused red or near-infrared light with a frequency of approximately 660 nanometers helps dilate the blood vessels in your scalp, improving blood flow to your hair follicles. But more importantly, it is absorbed by an enzyme called cytochrome C oxidase. When this happens, the enzyme becomes activated, increasing the mitochondrial activity of your cells and thus improving their overall function. Having access to more oxygen, nutrients, and energy helps increase the duration of your hair follicle growth phase and prevents premature hair shedding. 

Various essential oil bottles

4. Treat your hair to essential oils that work

There is such a vast variety of essential oils for hair growth on the market, all promising stellar results, that it can be challenging to know which one to choose. It is true that due to the fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants in their composition, most of them can have some beneficial effects on your hair, such as softening and moisturising your strands.

However, only a handful have been scientifically studied and proven to have a significant impact on your hair thickness and density. Some of these hair growth oils that really work include: 

Rosemary oil

Rosemary oil

Clinical trials have shown that rosemary oil for hair growth can achieve the same results as Minoxidil when it comes to curbing hair loss and increasing its density in androgenetic alopecia [26]. That is because some of its components are natural DHT blockers and because this plant contains carnosol and carnosic acid, which have antioxidant properties.  [27].

Moreover, the best rosemary oil for hair growth can also strengthen your strands and keep them moisturised, reducing the symptoms of a dry scalp such as dandruff and itching.

Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil

The effects of pumpkin seed oil on reducing hair loss and increasing hair count in both male and female pattern baldness are very promising. A clinical study conducted on 76 men with androgenetic alopecia showed a 40% increase in hair count in those who took pumpkin seed oil capsules compared to placebo after 24 weeks of treatment [28].

Similarly, a decrease in hair miniaturisation and increased strand regrowth was observed in 30 women with female pattern baldness who were treated with pumpkin seed oil for 3 months [29].  

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil

While human trials are needed to confirm this effect, animal studies have revealed that peppermint oil for hair growth improved hair growth rate in mice by 92% in one month of use. These results are comparable to those of Minoxidil [30].

Since this oil contains menthol, it works by improving your scalp circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. At the same time, it can soothe an inflamed or itchy scalp, relieving the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis [31].  

Black seed oil

Black seed oil

This essential oil has been found to have a significant effect in curbing telogen effluvium and regulating your hair growth cycle [32]. This can keep your hair growing for longer and reduce unnecessary shedding.

Moreover, in vitro studies show that black seed oil for hair growth may also possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties [33]. However, human trials are needed to determine if this effect persists when applied to your scalp. 

Lavender oil

Lavender oil

While many favour it for its pleasant, relaxing smell, lavender oil may also increase hair count when used topically. While human studies are still needed to confirm this, animal testing revealed that after 4 weeks of consistent use, this oil increased hair follicle number and depth in mice [34].

It may also have some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, research shows that the calming smell of lavender oil can lower your levels of stress and anxiety which can cause hair loss [35].  

5. Make lifestyle changes for happier, healthier hair

Sometimes, growing thicker, healthier, happier hair can require adjustments to your everyday habits and routines. The good news is that making these lifestyle changes will not only be beneficial for your hair but can also increase your overall physical and psychological well-being. 

Food types that constitute a nutritious diet

Eat a nutritious diet 

You may have heard that hair loss can happen during weight loss. That is because your follicles are not getting all the nutrients they need to produce new, healthy strands. Certain mineral and vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss. That is why it is important to eat a well-balanced diet for healthy hair, which includes hair growth foods rich in:

Having a nutritional deficiency that affects your hair often manifests as diffuse hair loss. And while supplementing the needed nutrients may lead to hair regrowth, that is not always the case. So it is better to avoid getting to that point entirely. 

Different types of alcohol

Cut back on alcohol consumption

It is a well-known fact that drinking plenty of water can help keep you healthy and can contribute to beautiful hair and skin. However, fewer people realise that frequently consuming significant amounts of dehydrating substances such as alcohol can dry up your scalp and hair. This can make your strands fragile and easier to break off.

However, you can still feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee instead, as there is no link between coffee and hair loss. In fact, using caffeine shampoo on your scalp may actually help stimulate hair growth [37]. 

Young woman out in the sun

Avoid overexposure to the sun

While long walks outdoors can be pleasant in summer, excessive sunlight is not good for your hair. That is because it can lead to dry, brittle hair which breaks off easily. Summer hair loss is a well-documented phenomenon, so protecting your head with a hat in hot weather can help it grow healthy and strong.

Senior man lowering his stress level in the pool

Lower the stress levels in your life

Stress can wreak havoc on many processes that take place in your body and hair growth is no exception. Going through a period of intense psychological pressure can trigger telogen effluvium, a condition that causes diffuse hair loss [37].

Engaging in relaxing activities, such as exercising, reading, meditating or expressing yourself artistically can reduce your stress levels and help you regain stress-related hair loss. Moreover, it may improve your quality of life as well as that of your hair.  

Stomping cigarettes to reduce or quit smoking

Reduce or quit smoking

Smoking can cause hair loss in several ways. The most important is the fact that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. This means it can shrink the small blood vessels in your scalp, restricting the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your hair follicles. Moreover, smoking can cause systemic inflammation, which can trigger or worsen inflammatory conditions of the scalp.

Finally, it can increase oxidative stress, which can actively damage your hair. Cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day can improve your overall health and help your hair growth at the same time. Switching to e-cigarettes may also help, as vaping may cause hair loss as well, but to a lower extent.

6. Avoid common hair styling mistakes

Good hair styling practices can promote and support healthy hair growth, while poor ones can stifle it. Here are some mistakes to avoid when designing your look:

Woman applying a hair product with harsh chemicals

Overusing hair products that contain harsh chemicals

Colouring your hair is fun and trendy. But using too much bleach or hair dye can cause hair loss because they contain chemicals that can dry and damage your strands, such as ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. Switching to safer alternatives can help. For example, semi-permanent hair dye is less damaging, and toner is unlikely to cause hair loss.

Moreover, even shampoos and conditioners for hair growth that contain lauryl or laurethsulphate, alcohol, silicone or parabens can strip your hair of its natural oils. So be sure to keep your strands moisturised, and whenever you can, choose the best hair growth shampoos and styling products over harsher ones.

Woman wearing a tight hairstyle

Wearing tight hairstyles for too long

You may have heard that braids or ponytails can cause hair loss if worn too often. That happens because pulling on the roots of your hair for extended periods of time can damage your follicles, causing traction alopecia. This is incidentally also why manbuns are not a recommended hairstyle for men with thin hair: a top knot can cause hair loss even though it could work well to disguise crown thinning.

Woman heat-styling her hair

Frequently heat-styling your hair 

Excessive heat applied to your hair – as you would get from a blow dryer with a high heat setting or a hair straighter – can dry out your strands, making them brittle, frizzy, and prone to getting split ends. It can be challenging to fix heat-damaged hair, and in some cases, it may require trimming. Using heat-styling tools sparingly and conditioning your hair well afterwards can reduce some of this damage and give you fuller, healthier hair.    

Woman being rough on her hair strands while brushing

Being too rough on your strands

Brushing your hair too vigorously, pulling at knots instead of patiently untangling them and rubbing your hair dry with your towel can all lead to friction-induced hair breakage. In time, this can thin out your hair, and the broken strands can make it frizzy and difficult to style.

Treating your hair gently and using softening and moisturising products regularly can make it healthier, happier and easier to comb. 

2,400 graft hair transplant patient after ten months
2,400 graft hair transplant patient after ten months

7. Consider getting a hair transplant 

If you are experiencing advanced hair loss, the recommendations above may not be sufficient to provide significant hair growth. Once your baldness has become extensive, even the most effective medications become powerless in curbing your alopecia. That is when you may want to start considering surgical options, such as a hair transplant

While it may sound daunting initially, getting a natural-looking hair transplant can be fast and easy, requiring no hospitalisation. The surgeon first performs a local anaesthesia which makes the entire procedure painless. Then they extract healthy hair follicles from parts of your head where you still have plenty and insert them into slits made into the balding areas of your scalp. 

The Wimpole Clinic has an excellent success rate for both FUT and FUE hair restoration surgery, with results you can see for yourself in our before and after hair transplant gallery. And the most important benefit is that a hair transplant is permanent. This means that while other hair treatments and therapies work only while you are actively using them, you can still enjoy your hair transplant after 10 years or more.   

What can stifle your hair growth and cause hair loss?

In most cases, you notice you have a hair growth problem when your strands are falling out faster than new ones can replace them. This often happens due to a form of hair loss or hair shedding. Here are the most common types and how you can recognise them [38]:

Type of alopeciaCausesThe most common symptoms
Androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness)age, genetics, hormones

Female pattern baldness:

Male pattern baldness:

Telogen effluviumphysical or psychological stress
Alopecia areataautoimmune
  • Smooth, circular bald patches
  • Broken hairs shaped like exclamation marks
  • Black, white or yellow dots on the scalp
  • Sometimes, pitted, brittle nails
Common scalp problems (e.g dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, scalp psoriasis, ringworm, scalp folliculitis)yeast infections on the scalp, bacterial infections, parasites, autoimmune

Depending on each condition, symptoms may include:

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Silver, white or yellow flakes or plaques on the scalp
  • Dry, cracked skin (sometimes bleeding)
  • Tenderness, itching or pain in the affected area
  • Sores, pustules or lesions on the scalp
Hormonal imbalancesmenopause, illness, genetics, medications, thyroid disorders

Excessive male hormones:

  • Development or worsening of androgenetic alopecia symptoms

Thyroid disorders that cause hair loss:

  • Diffuse hair thinning
Medication-induced alopeciaunwanted medication side-effects
  •  Diffuse hair thinning

Are you concerned about hair loss?

If you suspect you may be experiencing excessive hair shedding, have been noticing thinning spots on your scalp or simply have more questions about hair growth, we are here to help you. Book a consultation today with one of our experienced trichologists, and they will provide you with all the answers you need.

They will examine your scalp and hair thoroughly, perform hair loss diagnosis tests (e.g. a hair pull test, a dermoscopy or order blood tests for hair loss) and tell you exactly what is at the root of your hair hardships. And, once diagnosed, they will work with you to create a treatment plan completely tailored to your needs.

7 Expert Hair Growth Tips Recommended by Hair Specialists, Wimpole Clinic

  1. Physiology, Hair
  2. Hair Disorders
  3. A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men
  4. Comparison of low-level light therapy and combination therapy of 5% minoxidil in the treatment of female pattern hair loss
  5. Comparison of Efficacy of Various Topical Treatment Modalities in Alopecia Areata
  6. Treatment of chronic telogen effluvium with oral minoxidil: A retrospective study
  7. Treatment of traction alopecia with oral minoxidil
  8. Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth
  9. Long-term (10-year) efficacy of finasteride in 523 Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia
  10. Finasteride for hair loss: a review
  11. Efficacy of Topical Finasteride 0.5% vs 17α-Estradiol 0.05% in the Treatment of Postmenopausal Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Retrospective, Single-Blind Study of 119 Patients
  12. Superiority of dutasteride over finasteride in hair regrowth and reversal of miniaturization in men with androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled open-label, evaluator-blinded study
  13. A randomized, active- and placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of different doses of dutasteride versus placebo and finasteride in the treatment of male subjects with androgenetic alopecia
  14. Intralesional Steroids for Alopecia Areata
  15. Alopecia areata
  16. Individualizing treatment and choice of medication in lichen planus: a step by step approach
  17. Microneedling for hair loss
  18. Microneedling and Its Use in Hair Loss Disorders: A Systematic Review
  19. Patient Satisfaction and Clinical Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Pattern Hair Loss in Male and Female Patients
  20. Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia Using PRP to Target Dysregulated Mechanisms and Pathways
  21. Platelet-Rich Plasma in Alopecia Areata—A Steroid-Free Treatment Modality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials
  22. Outcome of Intra-operative Injected Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy During Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant: A Prospective Randomised Study in Forty Patients
  23. Low-level laser therapy for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in Thai men and women: a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, sham device-controlled trial
  24. Novel Approach to Treating Androgenetic Alopecia in Females With Photobiomodulation (Low-Level Laser Therapy)
  25. The growth of human scalp hair mediated by visible red light laser and LED sources in males
  26. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial
  27. Antioxidant activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil and its hepatoprotective potential
  28. Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
  29. Pumpkin seed oil vs. minoxidil 5% topical foam for the treatment of female pattern hair loss: A randomized comparative trial
  30. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs
  31. Mechanisms and time course of menthol-induced cutaneous vasodilation
  32. Evaluation of a Therapeutic Alternative for Telogen Effluvium: A Pilot Study
  33. Nigella sativa seed, a novel beauty care ingredient: A review
  34. Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice
  35. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity
  36. An Open-Label Randomized Multicenter Study Assessing the Noninferiority of a Caffeine-Based Topical Liquid 0.2% versus Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia
  37. Telogen Effluvium
  38. Common Hair Loss Disorders
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)Updated on May 9, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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