Many people who were born on the shorter side always wonder: can you increase your height after 18? It turns out that there are actually some ways you can increase your height and feign the appearance of looking taller, even after you’ve crossed over your late teens when most people reach their final height. While the results from these tactics may not be drastic, it’s better than nothing and can provide you with some very useful hacks. If you’re looking for more ways to increase your height naturally, check out our must-see tips.
First things first: can you really increase your height?
After your final adult height has been reached, it’s not possible to grow taller, even with working out and nutrition. This is because the growth plates stop growing at this time. Growth plates exist at the end of long bones, and they proliferate to add cartilage which gets replaced by bone tissue to add height. Still, some people grow to be taller than the average person, and others continue to grow until the age of 20 or so.
Factors that determine height
Genes: 80% of your height is determined by DNA, based on finding from Genetic Home Research. About 50 specific genes play a role in determining your height and growth. Mutations in genes can also hinder growth.
Hormones: Hormones that affect your final height include: Growth hormone, Thyroid hormone and Sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen.
Puberty: Although everyone hits puberty at a different age, it’s generally around 11-12 for boys and 9-10 for girls. This growth happens in two phases – first, the growth acceleration phase and then deceleration. Growth continues throughout puberty as tweens hit their Peak Height Velocity phase. For boys, the average age is 13.5 years, and for girls, it’s 11.5 years.
How eating and working out affect growth
What you eat during your growing age, along with physical activity, can help determine height. When proper nutrition isn’t provided, Nutritional Growth Retardation can occur. This is a condition where the cells start compensating for lack of nutrients with slowed growth. Nutrition during pregnancy can also have an effect on height. Nutrients like iron, iodine, calcium and folate can also help encourage a taller adult height. While working out does help promote better bone density and improves height, excessive exercising can actually stunt growth due to the stress that it causes.
Hacks to help you appear taller
- Wear heels: If you find heels uncomfortable, opt for a chunky platform boot or heel with a more stable surface.
- Get toned: toned limbs look longer, which feigns the appearance of more height. Pilates can be helpful with this.
- Wear dresses that don’t cut your figure off: super short dresses can make you look shorter than you actually are, especially if you have a curvy body type. Instead, opt for below-the-knee, tapered, or bodycon dresses and skirts. Pencil skirts are also flattering.
- A high ponytail or bun: Ariana Grande’s foolproof secret to appearing taller, both a high bun and ponytail can help add the appearance of inches.
- Wear vertical stripes: Horizontal stripes are the quickest way to make you look shorter. Instead, always choose vertical stripes, which will elongate your body.
- High-waisted jeans: Tucking a shirt into high-waisted jeans can make you look taller by creating the illusion of a shorter torso and longer legs.
- Color-blocked clothing: Color-blocked leggings and dresses can help your body look more slender and taller.
Important facts to know:
1. Nutrition before the age 18: Eating healthily and consuming nutrients like calcium, folate and iron can also help.
2. Working out: Before and after your final health is reached, exercising can help you build lean muscle and healthier bones. Some workouts like yoga and pilates can help align and extend the body, creating the appearance of being taller and even adding a 1/4 inch, according to some people.
3. Lifestyle change: If you’re not active, keep in mind that proper activity is the key to growing tall and healthy as well as remaining disease free. De-stressing, at least seven hours of sleep and self care are also key.
4. Accept yourself: If you still have time to increase your height, there’s no reason to give up. But if you’re fully grown, don’t invest all your time and energy solely into being taller. Your height shouldn’t define how you see yourself.
5. Taller isn’t always better: Peter Dinklage is proof of this – you can be short and still command a room when you walk in. Additionally, short folks like Jacob Matlala, Ariana Grande and Kate Moss all prove that short can be beautiful. Chances are that you probably know a short person who is filled with confidence and exudes attractive energy. Channel that energy in your own life!