Hair growth can be somewhat of a mystery. How fast does it grow? How does it grow? Can you make it grow faster? How many hairs do you actually have?

You can’t grow more strands of hair, but you can support the healthy growth of the ones that you do have! Understanding more about how your hair works can help you achieve your hair growth goals. So here’s what you need to know.

1. Each Strand Is Nourished by Blood Vessels

You might’ve heard that you need to nourish your hair from the inside out, right? That nourishment happens in the follicle where blood vessels carry nutrients to your hair. If you give your follicles everything that they need, then they can work better and support strong, healthy, fast hair growth.

Which nutrients are important to natural hair growth?

Vitamin A is important not only to your hair, but to your skin, teeth, and soft tissues too. Vitamin A can also come from carotenoids, which are antioxidants that protect the body from damage. Protecting cells from damage plus supporting healthy cells equals healthy, strong growth!

B vitamins are crucial to your overall health and, especially in the case of vitamin B3, also support a healthy head of hair. There are several B vitamins, and in general they support your body’s functions, growth, and metabolism. This includes hair growth!

It’s important to note that B vitamins are water-soluble, which means that your body doesn’t store it and any excess leaves the body through the urine. This means that you need to replenish your body’s stores of vitamin B every day. The easiest way to not only get your B vitamins, but to also get other nutrients that support natural hair growth, is by taking hair vitamins.

2. There Are Three Phases of Hair Growth

The anagen phase is when hair is growing, and the length of it varies depending mostly on genetics and where the hair is located on the body (hair on the scalp will have a longer anagen phase resulting in a longer strand than, say, your eyebrows).

Most of your hair is in this active phase, during which it grows about 6 inches per year. If you’re looking to grow your hair longer, it’s important to support your hair during this phase with nutrients, like the vitamins listed above!

The catagen phase is basically a transition to the telogen phase, where the follicle takes a break and the hair eventually falls out. About 6% to 8% of your hair is in this resting phase at any given time, which means (thankfully) that only a small percentage of your hair is on its way to shedding.

3. You Have 5 Million Hair Follicles

Have you ever looked at the amount of hair in your brush and wondered how you have any hair left on your head? Well, 100,000 of those hair follicles reside on your scalp, so the 25 to 100 hairs that fall out every day are not a big deal.

By the time a fetus is 22 weeks old, it already has all of its hair follicles. We don’t grow new hair follicles, so you have all of them before you’re even born! Some follicles stop working with age, and various other factors can affect follicle health and hair growth.

4. Trimming Doesn’t Make Hair Grow Faster, But You Should Still Do It

It’s a myth that trimming your hair makes it grow faster. But it does help with its overall health! Regular trimming helps prevent split ends, which can travel up the shaft of the hair and make it appear thinner and more prone to breakage.

So, no, it won’t make it grow faster, but it will help keep your hair healthier and prevent breakage, which will make it grow longer and stronger.

5. You Can Support Natural Hair Growth With Essential Oils

You’ve probably heard of essential oils at some point, but may be unsure as to which ones to use or how they can benefit you. Essential oils are derived from plants and have a variety of household, beauty, and health benefits, including helping your hair grow long, strong, and healthy!

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, tea tree, and horsetail stimulate and support hair growth, keep the scalp healthy, and prevent hair loss. You can mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba and apply directly to your scalp and hair.

Now Go and Love Your Hair!

Your hair has several parts to it that work through the three stages of growth. You can nourish those ever-important hairs on your scalp through supplements like hair vitamins and topical treatments like essential oils.

While you have an astounding 100,000 strands in your mane, you won’t grow any more, so take care of them and reap the benefits of strong, shiny, healthy hair!