Have you ever heard the myth that your hair grows faster in the summer? According to Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, trichologist (hair doctor) at the legendary Philip Kinglsey Clinic in New York City, the myth isn't necessarily true. "This is a very old myth that's been around for a long time," says Elizabeth. "Historically, the myth developed because people had more access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and sunlight in warm weather, which would make hair grow in healthier and stronger." But Elizabeth says it's important to note that genetic factors play a more vital role in the bigger picture of how fast and long your hair grows. "Growth rate is directly related to your genetic code," explains Elizabeth, "One person might be pre-coded to grow hair to their ankles, and one to their shoulders." With environmental factors, hair can sometimes grow more in the summer, but the amount is small. "UV exposure, a healthier diet, and hormonal changes can all affect the growth rate of your hair, but the actual length is pretty insignificant. If hair grows a quarter of an inch a month and increases five to ten percent in the summertime, we're talking millimeter differences."
We asked Elizabeth if hair texture plays a role in seasonal hair growth, and it's just not true! "Hair growth isn't at all affected by your hair texture. Whether coarse, fine, straight, or curly, the action happens in the follicle, not the hair itself—even split ends aren't related to hair growth. There's no scientific evidence that one hair texture outgrows another. That's just the biology of hair."
While more light exposure, naturally increased estrogen levels, and a better diet may help the overall health of your hair and scalp, the growth rate difference is so small in summertime that we're putting this myth to a halt.