Having long, swooshy rapunzel-esque hair has been at the very top of my (trivial) agenda for the past decade. Aged 11, I melted a plastic hair piece into my own hair (using straighteners) in a bid to achieve luscious locks – which as you can imagine, didn’t work. I’ve also attempted massaging my hair with coconut oil every day – which I wouldn’t recommend as it takes a week to wash out of your hair completely. In other words – I’ve tried pretty much EVERY product, tip and trick under the sun and although they haven’t all been successful, the good news is that I have found a couple of speedy solutions which really DO work.
- Don’t wash your hair everyday. This was the stage I found the most difficult, as I prior to my ‘shampoo strike’ I was finding that my hair would get greasy after just a few hours which didn’t make for the prettiest of Scarlett’s. However, a month’s perseverance not only means you’ll be able to go longer between washes but it also speeds up and assists hair growth. When you shampoo, you strip your hair of all the essential oils it naturally produces which means that it becomes dry, dehydrated and works harder to produce more and more oils (which makes it greasier) instead of growing. My summary is a rather succinct and shorthand way of wording it – but essentially washing your hair too much is a bad thing. I try to go three or even four days without shampoo-ing (I’m currently in my second month of my shampoo strike) and already I’ve seen an improvement in the condition of my hair and the speed of the growth. If you have to venture out anywhere important during your eek-phase, rinse your hair with luke-warm water (the colder the better), condition and spritz a bit of dry shampoo into the roots.
- Braid. One of the best tips I was ever given was to braid – or plait, however you like to say it – your hair each night before bed. I don’t know about you but I toss and turn in the night (so much so that I often wake up with the duvet on sideways and my pillows thrown out of bed) and the damage all the tangles can have on your hair is far greater than you’d think. Not only does a braid keep it out of the way from being pulled, tugged or damaged, but it leaves you with hassle-free silky waves for the next morning, especially if you plait it when it’s still damp.
- Don’t cut it! I haven’t had my hair professionally cut for six or seven years, which probably explains the differing lengths of my hair all the way round – however I attribute the majority of my hair growth to the fact that I haven’t followed the usual ‘trim every three months’ rule. Despite the everlasting myth of your hair being like grass – the more you cut it, the faster it grows – I found that the best way to maintain hair growth I was happy with was to trim it myself. Not only does this save me lots of money, but it means that I don’t leave the salon feeling scissor un-happy. If you prefer blunter ends (which I’m gearing towards), have it cut once a year instead – as you’ll allow for the re-growth to overtake anything taken off during a trim.
- Less heat. If you’re not washing or getting your hair wet as much (see step one) then technically, this step should follow suit. I honestly can’t remember the last time I use a pair of tongs or straighteners, but when my hair was shorter – I’d use them practically every day. In fact, I didn’t feel like myself unless I’d run a pair of ghd’s through them, so I know how difficult it is to wean yourself off them! If you find frizziness is the primary factor and reason you use heat so much, a life-changing product for me was the KMS TameFrizz Conditioner (link), which used with the Taming Creme (link) made achieving super-sleek straight hair a much easier task. If you look at my hair beforehand and what it’s like naturally now – this is evidence enough that you can tame your hair over time!
- Go Brazilian! Nope, I’m not talking about the much disputed wax, I’m referring to the Brazilian Blow dry – which I was lucky enough to review for my blog last summer (read the post here). Although the effects wear off after 8-12 weeks (I’m convinced mine lasted far longer), the nourishing benefits of this treatment have sped up my hair growth like nothing else – allowing new, healthy hair to grow from the roots and mending the ends so that they weren’t prepared for the chop!
- Colour treat-less. Before I started upon my healthy hair expedition I tended to have my hair highlighted every three months, which although covered the re-growth fantastically – was really starting to take a toll on the overall condition. Now, I have more highlights put in each time – in two alternating colours, a honey blonde (which gives it more of a creamy look) and a bleach blonde (which gives it shine and depth) and only visit the hairdressers three times a year (December, April, August). The mix of colours means that it takes longer for the roots to show – not only saving me money – but allowing for new, undamaged and untreated hair to grow before it gets colour whacked on. In order to preserve the colour, I use the Osmo Silverising Conditioner (link) which brightens the blonde and gives it an extra couple of weeks!
Other products I use include:
Let me know if you have any tips for speeding up hair growth!