Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 7/1/2021
Your hair is one of the first things you’ll notice when you look at yourself in the mirror, and naturally you’ll want it to appear strong, healthy and thick.
Yet while some people seem blessed with strong hair that’s packed with volume, for many of us, a thick head of hair is more of an aspiration.
Growing healthy hair requires lots of time, meaning that regardless of how much you spend on hair care products or salon treatments, there’s no way to flick a switch and suddenly wake up to a thick head of hair.
However, there are several things that you can do to enhance your hair’s appearance and give it a stronger and healthier look over the course of one month.
Below you’ll find six proven, science-based techniques you can use to grow thick and healthy hair.
While it’s impossible to promise instant results (your hair needs time to grow, you know), many of these tips and tactics can produce real, visible improvements that start to appear in a month or less.
Before getting into specific tips to help you grow longer, thicker hair, it’s important to get a few things out of the way.
First, let’s have realistic expectations. While you can improve the appearance of your hair in a month, it’s important not to expect a miracle.
Your hair needs time to grow, meaning you won’t go from having thin strands to a hefty mane in 28 to 31 days.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the hair on your head grows by about six inches every year, or around half an inch each month.
Put simply, growth requires more than a little warm water and good hair products; it requires patience.
While a month of good habits can improve your hair’s appearance, fullness and structural integrity, adding length is a slow process that really can’t be avoided.
Second, there is such a thing as caring too much for your hair.
While the right hair care products can make a difference, relying too much on products can actually damage your hair and prevent it from growing properly.
For more on the hair growing process along with information about the factors that can interrupt it, check out this guide to why your hair may not grow.
These six techniques can help you grow hair that’s thicker, healthier and better looking, with a visible improvement in a month or less.
The shampoo and conditioner you use can have a huge impact on your hair’s thickness, strength and overall appearance.
Shampoo cleanses away sebum, a type of oil that’s secreted by your skin. Regularly washing your hair with shampoo also reduces your risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis, a common scalp condition that can make your skin itchy and inflamed.
To keep your hair looking its best, wash it when it feels oily. This could mean every day if you have oily hair, or significantly less often if your scalp is dry.
Make sure to condition your hair after every shampoo. Conditioner increases the strength of your hair and enhances its appearance, giving it a thicker look.
Apply conditioner to the ends of your hair, which are often the first place to take on a dull, thin look. Avoiding too much conditioner on your scalp can also help keep your hair from looking too weighed down.
For best results, pick hair care products that stop hair shedding. Our Shampoo and Conditioner are formulated specifically to control shedding and keep your hair looking soft and full.
Growing thicker, fuller hair comes down to two things: The first is promoting hair growth, and the second is making sure that your existing hair is shielded from damage that can cause it to break or fall out before it grows to its full length.
While some hair damage can be caused by the environment, a lot of hair-related damage is a byproduct of bad hair care habits. These include:
Heating up your hair using a straightener, curling iron or hot comb. This can cause damage to your hair cuticle—the protective outer layer of your hair, which may weaken your hair and increase breakage.
Drying your hair at high heat, or using the hair dryer close to your scalp. This can also affect your hair, with research showing that damage increases as the temperature of the hair dryer rises.
Brushing your hair excessively. Contrary to popular belief, brushing your hair doesn’t seem to stimulate growth. Instead, research shows that brushing can be associated with hair loss.
Tying your hair back overly tightly. This can cause a form of hair loss called traction alopecia. This is also a risk if you style your hair into braids, cornrows or dreadlocks, or if you wear a weave or hair extensions.
To keep your hair strong and healthy, try to limit your use of hair straighteners, curling irons or hot combs.
When you use these devices, use the lowest heat setting and limit the amount of time the heating element touches your hair.
If you use a blow dryer, make sure to hold it at least six inches from your hair and move it in a continuous motion. Research shows that this reduces damage to your hair.
If you normally dry your hair with a towel, take care not to rub it. Instead, briefly wrap your hair up in a towel to absorb any extra water, then let it dry naturally.
While these habits won’t transform your hair immediately, they can reduce damage and help it grow to its full potential.
Just like your skin, muscles and other tissue, your hair is made of protein. More specifically, it’s made of a strong, fibrous protein called keratin.
Research shows that your diet—especially protein, vitamins and minerals—can play a key role in growing and maintaining your hair.
Essential vitamins for hair growth include vitamins A, D, E and several B-complex vitamins, such as vitamins B2, B7 (referred to as biotin) and B9 (folate).
Many of these are either found in food or produced within your body as a byproduct of other nutrients.
Other key minerals and nutrients involved in hair growth include iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
As covered in this guide to the best foods for strong, healthy hair, many foods are rich in these compounds, including fatty fish such as salmon and herring, eggs, leafy greens, poultry, legumes, seeds, sweet potatoes and tropical fruits.
By including these foods in your diet, you can ensure that your body has the resources it needs to produce stronger, thicker hair.
High levels of stress, whether from your career, personal relationships or elsewhere, can cause a form of hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Also known as stress hair loss, telogen effluvium is a type of temporary hair shedding that can make your hair look thin and lacking in coverage. It often occurs suddenly and can affect your hair for several months at a time.
In addition to stress, illnesses, hormonal changes and even certain types of medication can all contribute to this form of temporary hair loss.
If your hair is looking thinner than normal, making changes to your lifestyle to lower your stress levels may help to stimulate hair growth and give you thicker, fuller-looking hair.
To reduce stress, try to exercise often, eat a balanced, healthy diet, avoid stimulants and limit your exposure to stressful situations.
Options such as taking part in online therapy or joining online therapy groups may also help you manage stress and improve your mental health.
Whichever option you choose, remember that your hair, skin and other parts of your body are highly affected by your mind.
Good mental health often means good physical health, including strong, healthy and thick hair.
If you prefer a once-daily vitamin supplement to legumes, eggs and salads (a preference that’s definitely not anything to feel ashamed of, by the way), you might want to think about adding a hair growth supplement to your morning routine.
Using a supplement to get your daily intake of niacin, folate and other hair growth vitamins is a good way to save time if you’re too busy to spend your day calculating micronutrients and other time-consuming details.
It’s also, frankly, easy. Products like these biotin hair loss gummies make it easy to reach your daily targets for biotin and other important vitamins and minerals for healthy hair and nails.
Finally, no guide to growing thicker, better-looking hair would be complete without at least one mention of the most effective hair growth treatment out there: minoxidil.
Originally approved as a treatment for male pattern baldness, the topical medication minoxidil (also known as Rogaine®) is also a highly effective treatment for women’s hair loss.
Minoxidil comes as a liquid solution or foam. It’s designed to be applied to your scalp, where it works by encouraging your hairs to enter into the anagen, or growth, phase of the hair growth cycle.
Research also shows that minoxidil boosts blood flow to your scalp, which may play some role in its ability to stimulate hair growth.
This has a noticeable effect on hair growth. In one study, researchers found that both mild (2%) and strong (5%) versions of minoxidil produced real, noticeable improvements in hair growth for women with thinning hair.
You can find more information about these effects in this guide to minoxidil for female hair loss.
Now, like with everything in life, there’s a small caveat about using minoxidil to grow fuller hair, especially when it comes to getting thick hair in a month.
While minoxidil works, it isn’t instant. In fact, in the short term, it may cause your hair to appear slightly thinner.
This effect is short lasting (it’s usually over in a month or two), but it does mean that minoxidil may not be ideal for growing thicker hair if your timeline is only one month.
However, as a long-term treatment for boosting hair growth and treating hair thinning, minoxidil is tough to beat. Just don’t expect overnight results.
If growing thicker, healthier hair could be broken down into a few rules, they’d be fairly easy to follow.
Use a good shampoo and conditioner. Avoid excess heat, and be careful when you apply it to your hair.
Eat a balanced diet, limit stress, and if your hair is looking a little thin, consider using minoxidil to give it a bit of a boost.
Over the course of a month, these habits can contribute to small but noticeable improvements in how your hair looks.
Over the long term, they can take your hair from thin, brittle and damaged, to smooth, shiny and full of volume.