Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza in June? Summer is here, and it’s time for flip-flops, beach trips, and cookouts. Winter holidays are probably the last thing on your mind. Who wants to think about shopping for gifts, deciding what to wear to your office party, and figuring out what you’re bringing to your family’s annual holiday bash when all of that is still six months away? Those things may not top your “to-do” list now, but here’s something that will get you in the holiday spirit.
If you’ve noticed that your hair is thinning, now is the perfect time to start regrowing your hair. Why now? Growing hair is a process. Sure, it would be awesome if we could regrow hair overnight. Let’s be real, though. If you ever had a bad haircut that seemed like it took forever to grow back, you know that doesn’t happen. It takes a while. It takes even longer if you have male or female pattern baldness or another form of alopecia. Don’t stress, though. Starting now will get you ready just in time for winter holiday parties and gatherings. Here’s what you need to know and a timeline leading up to the holidays to help you get ahead of the shed.
Before You Get Started
How Fast Does Hair Grow?
Before we get into what you need to do to start regrowing your hair in time for the holidays, let’s talk about why it seems to take so long. On average, hair grows about a tenth of an inch per day. That equals approximately one-third of an inch per month. It will take a little over three months to grow a full inch. Every hair grows from a single follicle during your hair’s growth cycle. Those follicles need to be healthy, and the growth cycle needs to function properly for your hair to grow. If stress, hormone imbalances, or anything else interrupts the growth cycle, your hair can stop growing and can fall out. This brings us to why your hair is shedding, thinning, or balding in the first place.
Why is My Hair Thinning?
To regrow your hair, you need to figure out why there are collections of hairballs on your shower floor, or your hairline is receding. One of several conditions may be to blame. If you are over 20, the most common reason is typically male or female pattern baldness. It’s a genetic condition that happens to both men and women when their bodies convert testosterone to an androgen called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT attacks the hair follicles and interrupts the hair growth cycle.
In the past, people with male and female pattern baldness had no options. Many got buzz cuts, shaved their heads, or accepted their bald spots. Today, DHT blockers and other treatments are available and effective, especially if the condition is caught early and the hair follicles are still viable.
Your Hair Regrowth Timeline
Do Now: Find the Right Hair Loss Expert
Whether you just noticed that your hair is shedding, or you’ve been experiencing hair loss for a while but just decided to do something about it, you need to start in the same place. You’ll need an appointment to determine what’s causing your hair loss. Not all doctors are trained to diagnose the cause of hair loss, though. You’ll need to consult with a dermatologist.
In addition to diagnosing skin conditions, dermatologists are trained to treat hair and nails. During your appointment, your dermatologist will ask about your and your family’s medical history. They may also ask about your hair care routine, diet, and stress level. Some conditions like androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness) and telogen effluvium can be diagnosed through your medical history, a visual exam, and a simple pull test. During a pull test, your dermatologist will gently tug on some individual hairs to see how many and how easily they come out to determine what stage of the shedding process you are in. If your dermatologist suspects a different condition, they may use light microscopy to examine some of your hair to see any hair shaft disorders. They may also order bloodwork or take a small scalp biopsy. It could take ten days to two weeks to get the results.
If you don’t have a dermatologist or a hair specialist you trust, Happy Head can help. We have dermatologists licensed in every state to help diagnose your hair loss. Through Happy Head, you can get the most effective prescription hair loss treatments on the market from the comfort of your home. We’ll even ship directly to your front door.
While You Wait for an Appointment or Test Results
What’s making my hair thin? When will I get some answers from the dermatologist? Are certain products making my hair loss worse? Waiting to find out your hair’s fate can be stressful. Take heart, though. There are some things you can do in the meanwhile that will make you feel better and make your hair look better. Here’s how to get started:
- Hair growth supplements with essential vitamins and minerals can help strengthen your hair while making up for deficiencies you may have. Ingredients such as saw palmetto and caffeine act as DHT blockers, while biotin, collagen, and keratin help your hair grow stronger and shinier.
- Thickening shampoos and conditioners clean your hair while keeping it hydrated and healthy. Look for formulas that include ingredients such as argan oil, biotin, and keratin that moisturize and strengthen.
- Hair-healthy nutrients can be found in lean protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Free-range chicken and eggs, unprocessed, hormone-free meats, whey protein concentrate, almonds, and avocados are good sources of protein that serve as building blocks for healthy hair.
- Blowing off steam by hitting the gym, heading outside, or listening to music can help make your hair healthier. The reason why is that stress can contribute to hair loss by pushing your hair into a resting phase where new hair isn’t produced. Managing your stress will help keep your hair in tip-top shape.
- Snapping a selfie will give you a baseline photo for comparison after you begin treatment. Since hair grows slowly, you may not notice changes for a while. Taking and comparing photos over time will help you see subtle and not-so-subtle differences.
Summertime: Months 1-3
- You’ve been diagnosed and you have the prescription hair growth treatments needed to get started. Taking your medications as prescribed is the best way to ensure they will work effectively. If you’re not good at remembering, there are some tricks to help. Try setting your phone’s alarm as a reminder. Putting your medication somewhere you will see it is helpful, too.
- Remember to photograph your hair on the same date each month.
- Don’t lose hope if you don’t see the growth you hoped for. It’s still early in the game.
- If you have any side effects, be sure to reach out to your dermatologist for advice. At Happy Head, your dermatologist is just a quick e-mail away if you have any questions or need your formula modified for any reason.
Fall – Winter: Months 4-6
- This is when most people begin to see growth. Start comparing photos from now to the ones you took before you got started so you can see the difference.
- The holidays are upon us. Continue to make healthy dietary choices, destress, and enjoy the festivities.
Winter – Spring: Months 7+
- Continue your treatments and mark your progress with photos.
- If you feel like you’re hitting a plateau, speak with your dermatologist and consider adjusting your treatment plan.
- Remember, body chemistry varies from person to person. It may take some trials to determine the right medications for you.
Ready to avoid the stress of worrying about how you will look at your next holiday gathering? Now’s the time to start treating your hair loss. Simply follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll be on your way.
Don’t want to wait for an appointment with your dermatologist or make a trip to your pharmacy? Happy Head is here to help. Contact our hair growth experts for information on the best treatment option for the type of hair loss you’re experiencing. Get customized formulas based on your needs, and have your prescription delivered directly to your front door. Use the code GOHAIR and get 50 percent off on your first order.