Men’s vs. Women’s Hair Growth: The Same or Different? Simple Answers to Consider

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Elena

12/03/2023
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Does Women’s Hair Grow Faster Than Men’s?

The rate at which hair grows is roughly the same with every individual, but it can vary depending on the person’s age, hormones, heredity, and several other factors. If you’ve ever wondered if women’s hair grows faster than men’s, the general answer is no, it does not.

If you read articles about hair growth, you’ll discover that some of them claim that women’s hair does grow faster than men’s, while others will claim the opposite. The truth is usually somewhere in between these two claims, simply because not all hair grows at the exact same rate.

Hair Growth 101: Some Basic Facts

In general, hair grows at the rate of a quarter inch to half an inch per month on both men and women, but there are factors that can make it appear that women’s hair grows faster, and factors that can make it appear that men’s hair grows faster.

For one thing, since men tend to wear their hair shorter than women do, it can look as if it’s growing faster once it starts to grow out each month. This is especially true if men don’t regularly get their hair trimmed because it can look a lot longer than it did earlier in the month.

In addition, the male hormone testosterone, which women also have but in smaller amounts, can make the hair thicker, which can make it seem as though a man’s hair is growing faster than that of his female counterpart. But this isn’t necessarily what’s happening.

Things That Can Affect Hair Growth

Even though both men and women grow hair at roughly the same rate, as mentioned earlier, different things can affect that growth and here are some of the most significant ones:

  • The treatment you give your hair. Women tend to dye, blow-dry, and treat their hair way more than men do, and that can make their hair thinner and sometimes even cause it to fall out more often. This makes it difficult for the strands to grow the length they should each month.
  • The medications you take. There are lots of medications that can cause hair to grow slower, including those for acne, depression, blood pressure, and many others. If you’re taking one or more of these medications, your hair may grow at a slower rate than usual.
  • Hormonal levels in the body. One of the reasons it sometimes appears that women’s hair grows faster than men’s is because estrogen can stop the natural shedding of your hair. This can give the illusion that women’s hair is thicker and longer.
  • The foods you eat. Believe it or not, certain foods can cause an increase in hair growth, especially those foods with ingredients such as omega fatty acids, zinc, biotin, vitamin E, and iron. Foods containing these ingredients include kale, salmon, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and oysters, among others.
  • Your age. As people age, their strands of hair usually become a lot thinner each year even though they continue to grow your entire life. Because the diameter of each strand is smaller, it can look as if your hair is not growing at the same rate it once was.

So now that we know that both men and women’s hair grows at roughly the same rate, let’s take a closer look at one of the main factors that affect hair growth in both men and women — hormones.

The Role of Hormones in Hair Growth

While a lot of things can affect hair growth in both sexes, it’s good to understand the specific role that hormones play in the process. Everyone has heard of testosterone, and testosterone is a type of androgen, which is responsible for the characteristics that make men, well, manly.

Testosterone specifically affects hair growth on the male body, but all androgens directly affect the hair follicles underneath the scalp. DHT, which is a male hormone that is even stronger than testosterone, is thought to have a negative effect on hair growth and in fact, it is thought to be one of the main reasons why men become bald.

DHT can cause the hair follicles to shrink, which causes the hair strands to be thinner. Eventually, it is thought that the follicles become so small that the strands cannot fit through them at all, which causes hair to stop growing.  A lot of hair-growth products for men stop or slow down the process of DHT so that hair can grow.

In other words, while gender doesn’t directly affect the growth of hair per se, hormones and other factors can affect it. For instance, women naturally tend to have thicker and softer hair than men, which can make it look as though their hair grows faster. And men’s hair growth can be negatively affected by certain androgens, making it look as if their growth is slower.

Do Women’s and Men’s (Head) Hair Grow Differently?

We now know that as a general rule, men and women have hair that grows at basically the same rate, but hormones can affect the specific growth amount. Once again, DHT is the bad guy when it comes to hair growth in men. In both men and women, hair grows in three distinct phases:

  • Formation and growth phase
  • Resting phase
  • Fallout phase

It has been proven that DHT specifically lengthens the resting phase of the hair-growth process and shortens the growth phase, so in reality, the hair doesn’t grow for nearly as long. Do all men have this problem with DHT? No, but most men do seem to have problems with baldness as they age.

Do Girls Naturally Grow Hair Faster Than Guys?

Just like adults, both teenagers and young people have hair that grows between one quarter of an inch and half an inch per month. In other words, it doesn’t matter what your age is because age doesn’t affect the growth rate of a person’s hair.

Conclusion

Women and men grow the hair on their heads at the same rate, but keep in mind that that rate is an estimate only and not set in stone. In addition, things such as hormones and diet can directly affect that number, so it can seem like one gender has hair that grows at a faster rate.

Once you learn more about what can affect hair growth, you can sometimes change habits in order to do something about it.

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