Accelerated hair growth can be a blessing or a curse depending on where the hair is growing. Most of us long for rapid hair growth on our heads but dread it on almost all other areas of the body.
If you’re someone who deals with fast hair growth, you need answers. Why does it grow so fast? And what can you do about it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more!
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Why Does My Hair Grow So Fast?
To understand how to deal with accelerated hair growth, you’ll need to know its root causes. In this section, we will explain several reasons why your hair grows so fast on your scalp and body.
Hormones are the control center for hair growth in both men and women. The main hormones responsible for hair growth are testosterone and DHEA. These hormones are characterized as male hormones or androgens because they are found in higher concentrations in men.
Yet androgens are still present in the female body. Moreover, the higher your androgen levels, the faster your hair will grow. It’ll grow lightning fast on the armpits, arms, legs, face, chest, and other areas. This explains why men typically have more body hair than women.
Hormonal conditions like Hirsutism can also cause abnormal hair growth. This condition affects women and causes excessive hair growth on the face, chest, and back in male-like patterns.
Though this condition is mainly caused by heightened levels of androgens such as testosterone, it can also be caused by other serious illnesses.
Pregnancy is the time in which most women’s hair is lustrous, thick, and thriving all around. During pregnancy, the female hormone estrogen skyrockets, extending the duration of the hair growth process.
As a result, hair grows thicker and sheds less for maximum length retention. Plus, some women notice that their hair is shinier and more voluminous than usual.
Unfortunately, women may experience decreased hair growth or even hair loss when estrogen returns to its normal levels after birth.
Women also encounter elevated levels of androgens during pregnancy, which tends to increase the rate of hair growth on the armpits, stomach, back, and chest.
Although this sudden increase in hair growth can be shocking, it is normal and merely a cosmetic annoyance.
A study on the diversity of human hair growth proved that healthy hair growth rates vary between ethnicities. The results of the study concluded that people of African origins typically have the thinnest hair and the slowest hair growth rates.
Those of Asian origin were found to have the thickest hair and the fastest hair growth rate among all ethnicities studied. People of European origin generally landed in the middle range.
A study on thousands of hairs of various textures found that thicker strands grow fastest. And though many people believe their hair is thick, they often confuse thickness with density.
Hair thickness is simply the width of a single hair strand, while density refers to the number of strands you have on your head—the more strands you have on your head, the higher your hair’s density.
If you have rapidly growing hair, you can determine if it is due to your hair thickness by completing a simple test. Pinch a single strand of hair between your thumb and index finger and gently roll it back and forth.
If the strand feels similar to the thickness of sewing thread, then you likely have thick hair. You probably don’t have thick hair if you feel nothing while the hair is between your fingers.
If your hair is growing quicker than you can keep up with, you are more than likely young. Research shows that people under the age of 25 experience the fastest hair growth rates.
Other research shows that average hair growth rates peak during childhood, remain steady throughout adulthood, and quickly decline in old age.
The quality of your diet can influence your hair growth rate. Vitamins and minerals such as niacin, biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamin C encourage steady hair growth.
Furthermore, certain foods, including eggs, fish, avocados, spinach, beans, and seeds, are packed with the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a consistent hair growth rate.
How To Cope With Fast Hair Growth
If you’ve been battling lightning-fast hair growth in unwanted areas, there are ways to cope. Use the tips below to choose the best coping methods for your unique situation.
If your mane is growing out of control, grab your shears and get to chopping! The best way to maintain healthy hair while controlling hair growth is to trim your ends.
You can cut off as much or as little as you’d like. Plus, you have the freedom to cut your hair into a brand new style. But if you’re hesitant about picking up the scissors, start by trimming off just 1 to 2 inches every few weeks or months.
Experiment with Different Styles
If a particular haircut is not an option for you, there are endless styles you can try to lift the burden of excess length.
Style such as buns, ponytails, and braids are great options to keep longer hair contained and out of the way. Curly and wavy styles, including twist-outs, braid-outs, and roller sets, will also temporarily reduce your hair’s length because they cause strands to draw up.
Wear Scarves and Hats
Scarves and hats are fashionable accessories that can protect your hair and keep it out of your face. Moreover, silk scarves and satin-lined hats offer extra protection against breakage and split ends.
Shaving and Waxing
To control body hair growth, you can shave or wax hair more frequently. Thousands of razors on the market are designed to instantly remove hair on the armpits, arms, legs, chest, and back.
Razors are best used in combination with moisturizing creams or foams to prevent irritation to the skin. In addition, depending on your body hair’s thickness and growth rate, you may need to shave once or twice every two weeks to maintain a clean look.
Waxing is a wildly popular hair removal solution for keeping hair away for extended periods. You can buy pre-made wax kits or make your own wax at home using natural ingredients such as sugar, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
Keep in mind that if you wax your hair repeatedly, you may notice that the hair will grow back thinner and sparser than it did initially.
A good rule of thumb is to wax the hair from unwanted areas every three weeks or so. But be sure not to do it too often, as doing so can lead to unnecessary skin irritation.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is arguably one of the most permanent solutions for unwanted hair. This method zaps hairs at the roots, preventing them from regrowing for years. This procedure uses a laser that is absorbed by the hair’s pigment.
The light is then converted to heat to destroy the hair follicles. It gradually slows the hair growth cycle until it stops completely. Unlike shaving and waxing, this procedure is a bit pricey and can take several sessions to get lasting results.
- What Ethnicity Has the Most Hair?
- How to Measure Hair Length in Inches
- Does Waxing Stop Hair Growth Permanently?
- Why Do Women Have Long Hair?
- Can You Feel Your Hair Grow?
To sum things up, hair growth rates are not the same for everyone. And the causes of rapid hair growth are largely out of our control.
But you can cope with fast-growing hair using one or more of the tips outlined in this article. We hope this article has educated you on the science behind accelerated hair growth and encourages you to take action to combat it if desired.
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.