It is a myth that braids grow hair. Hair grows from elements done to the inside of the body or to the scalp, so braiding hair won’t necessary make it grow or make it grow faster. What braids do is help to retain more hair. Braids shield the hair from breakage and shedding, so that any hair growth is retained—and hair is longer and thicker. While the hair is braided, there are several things you can do to increase the amount of hair growth and the hair’s growth rate.

Things You'll Need

Moisturize your hair daily. Use an oil-based moisturizer to moisturize your hair while it is still in the braids. There are oil-based braid sprays that not only keep the braids looking good for months, but also moisturize the natural hair to keep it healthy. It is best to moisturize the braids twice a day—once in the morning and once at night before going to bed.

Massage your scalp with olive oil. While in the shower, use your fingertips to massage the scalp with the olive oil. Olive oil helps to moisturize the scalp and cleans the pores to allow new hair to grow. Scalp massages stimulate the scalp and increases blood circulation. This leads to faster hair growth because oxygen and nutrients are carried to the hair roots through the blood. Increasing the amount of blood that circulates in the scalp ensure the roots are getting the necessary nutrients.

Drink eight or more glasses of water a day. Water is vital for hair growth. It cleans the body of free radicals and provides better circulation of the nutrients in the blood.

Take vitamin supplements. Vitamins like biotin and B-complex vitamins helps hair to grow faster by supplying the body with the nutrients necessary for hair production. Biotin specifically generates new hair cells.

Exercise regularly. Exercise raises the metabolism, which stimulates the thyroid gland. The thyroid releases hormones into the body that generate hair growth. Getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week, is enough to see a significant increase in the hair’s growth rate.

Eat plenty of lean protein. Hair is made up of three different types of proteins that bind together. To keep hair strong and prevent breakage, your body needs protein to maintain the natural connectivity of the proteins in the hair. Eat skinless chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables and egg whites to supply the body with enough protein for increased hair growth.