Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Increased Rate of Hair Growth

Q: I recently, like within the last month, relocated from Michigan to Colorado Springs, moving from 400 feet above sea level to 6500 feet. I trimmed my hair, beard, and nails just before I left my home, and I have already had to do it all over again. In Michigan I got my hair cut about every three months. Do hair and/or nails grow faster at higher elevations? Or am I just imagining things?
A: While there is no evidence I can find that such a change in altitude could cause an alteration on your hair's growth rate, it can result in a slight change in your hair's behavior. The increased altitude means lower air pressure and can result in the hair reacting differently. Curly or wavy hair may hang straighter because of a diminished ability to retain moisture. This may make the hair appear to experience a sudden growth spurt.
But it's merely a trick of perception. It may even be a matter of the distortion of events as a result of your personal changes. Usually, moves are a busy, stressful time in a person's life. All of the events may seem to run together and can seem to happen very rapidly. It's possible that you're actually on schedule, but that it seems to be happening faster because of the rapidity of the other changes in your life.
If you want, you could make a note of the specific date of the last haircut/nail trim you performed and track the rate of growth. If you start showing a rate of growth that is significantly greater than one-half inch per month for your hair, or one-quarter inch per month for your nails, you can talk to your doctor about possible causes for your increased rate of growth. I know I would be interested to know if there is indeed an increase in the rate of hair/nail growth that comes from changing your altitude geographically.
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Does hair grow more in one season than another?
Does washing your hair every day affect the growth rate?