The average rate of hair growth is half-an-inch per month. So, if you wish to speed up hair growth, start your programme at least 2 to 3 months in advance. The earlier, the better!

The most important aspect of improving hair growth is to pay attention to your diet. It should contain adequate protein, vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc. Vitamin B7, known as Biotin, is very important for hair growth. It is available in eggs, fish, liver, whole grains, nuts and seeds, avocado, yogurt, cottage cheese. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily. It contains amino acids, which promote healthy hair growth. The hair is fed by the nutrients in the blood stream. That is why the diet is so important. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

Hot oil therapy is important for hair growth. The application of oil with a light massage stimulates blood circulation to the hair follicles. Avoid vigorous massage or rubbing of the hair. Apply warm oil on the hair and scalp. Using your finger tips, actually move the scalp in small rotary movements. Oils have their own particular properties and benefits. For example, pure coconut oil is said to help hair growth.  After applying oil, dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better.

A common question that is asked is how often the hair should be washed. Generally speaking, three or four times a week for oily hair and twice a week for dry hair suits most people. Washing does not harm the hair, but use a mild herbal shampoo and use less. One application is enough. After shampoo, avoid rubbing with a towel. Allow the towel to soak up moisture by wrapping it around the head for a few minutes. Avoid brushing wet hair. Use a wide toothed comb, to comb out all the tangles, starting from the ends of the hair and going upwards.

Try these home remedies to enhance hair growth:

Beat an egg with 2 tablespoons sesame seed (til) oil. Apply on the hair and again wrap a hot towel for 10 minutes. Eggs contain biotin, the vitamin which helps hair growth. They also contain protein and add body to the hair.

Onion juice applied on the scalp is said to help hair growth, because onions contain sulphur.

Banana pulp by itself can be applied on the hair, like a pack. It nourishes and conditions dry hair, adding body and shine. In fact, banana helps dry and damaged hair. It contains Vitamins B and C and is a rich source of potassium, which actually softens the hair. Take the pulp of two bananas, one egg yolk and two teaspoons lemon juice.  Mix together and apply on the hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash hair.

Coconut milk is extremely nourishing and softening for the hair. It is said to control hair loss and promote growth, being is rich in protein, essential fats, iron and manganese. Mix one cup coconut milk with powder of curry leaves and 2 tablespoons orange juice into a paste. Curry leaves are rich sources of beta-carotene and protein, which encourage healthy hair growth. Apply and leave on for one hour. Wash off. Or, apply coconut milk at night and leave on overnight, washing the hair next morning.

In South India, curry leaves (Kari Patta) are applied to promote hair growth. A paste made from the curry leaves may be added to yogurt and used as a pack for the hair. Or, mix it with aloe vera gel and then apply on the hair. It improves hair texture and also encourages hair growth.

Twice a week, add coconut oil to the fresh curry leaves and boil them. This should be boiled till a black residue is formed. Cool the mixture and then add the black residue on the scalp. Keep it on for an hour and then wash the hair.

Remember that a healthy scalp grows healthy hair.