Switching to a shorter hairstyle seldom takes longer than waiting for an opening with your stylist, but growing out a cut requires patience and persistence. Although your genetic makeup plays a major role in determining the rate of your hair growth, proper styling procedures, as well as a nutritious diet that contains adequate vitamins, can help your hair grow at the fastest rate possible.
Most people grow hair at an average rate of one-half inch per month. The fastest rate of growth occurs between the ages of 15 and 30 and tends to slow down between ages 40 and 50. Normal aging can lead to hair loss as well as a decrease in the rate of hair growth. A healthy diet that supplies adequate amounts of nutrients including vitamins helps to protect the health of your scalp and hair follicles.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating foods high in B-vitamins and consuming adequate amounts of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine are types of B-vitamins that are important for the growth and health of your hair. Vitamin A helps protect the cells in hair follicles from damage due to free radicals, notes the Huntington College of Health Sciences. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause dry hair, a condition that may lead to hair breakage. Vitamin C helps produce and maintain connective tissues within the hair follicles, and vitamin E provides physical stability to cell membranes.
A well-balanced diet can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies. Eat a diet that contains whole grains, dark leafy greens, squashes, peppers, blueberries, cherries and tomatoes. These food sources help to supply your body with the antioxidants and B-vitamins needed for good health.
Multivitamins may help you address and correct any nutritional deficiencies that affect the growth of your hair. The Huntington College of Health Sciences recommends consuming daily between 5,000 and 25,000 IU of vitamin A; 100 to 200 mg of vitamin C; 50 to 400 IU of vitamin E; and 25 to 50 mg of each of the following: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Taking more than 100,000 IU of vitamin A each day over a long period of time can lead to hair loss. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin supplements, especially if you take medications or suffer from a health condition.