5 Tips for Hair Growth

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Growing your hair out after a bad hair cut, or just because you’ve decided you want long hair, can be a long, slow, disheartening process. It is easy to be fooled by the products that promise ‘faster hair growth’ but unfortunately they just don’t work. Nothing can actually increase the speed at which your hair grows, but what you can do is stop the ends from breaking which makes your hair look longer in a shorter time.

Usually when we think our hair just isn’t growing, it actually is growing, but the ends are breaking off at the same place. To see real hair growth, we need to protect our ends and make our hair HEALTHIER. Once your hair is healthier, it can grow to much longer lengths without breaking.

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Hair does have a terminal length however. Hair growth supplements and products will try and say terminal length isn’t a thing, but it is. Our hair grows in cycles, and after its growth cycle ends, the hair shaft falls out of the scalp. Everyones terminal length is different but if your hair is stuck at shoulder length, it is unlikely that is has reached terminal length. Its much more likely that the hair is growing but keeps breaking off.

So here are 5 tips that helped me grow my hair when it had been stuck at shoulder length for years.

1. Ditch the heat!

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If you are serious about growing your hair, you may need to make this sacrifice. Don’t blow-dry, straighten or curl it. If you are a regular blow drier your hair may look worse before it gets better. For about 2 weeks after I stopped using heat my hair was a frizzy mess, it was so hard not to just give up and style it. But I pushed through the pain barrier and I was thankful for it. Heat protecting products just aren’t enough. Of course it’s possible to use heat safely and grow your hair, but if your hair is really damaged you might have to choose between heat or growth.

2. Say no to bleach

The same goes for lightening your hair. My hair started to give up when I started going blonde. I am naturally brunette and the components of the blonde hair dye was terrible for my hair. I had highlights so I only had to go back every 6 weeks, but if you are dying your hair blonde in block colour, you may be having to re-dye every 2 weeks, reinforcing the damage. I loved being blonde, but I love long hair even more so I chose growth and let the blonde grow out. Luckily the ombre look is in fashion, and people think my grown out roots are part of an expensive hairstyle. When my hair is all healthy again, I might go back to dye but I will stay away from hairdressers that use bleach. It made my hair so brittle I could literally snap off the ends. And yes, I do mean ‘literally’.

3. Oil it up!

I never really used any oils in my hair before I started trying to grow it, as I naturally have very oily hair. But the oil our hair makes doesn’t reach the ends. To keep the ends supple, it is important to use some kind of Argon Oil on the ends. I love Lee Stafford’s Nourishing Miracle Oil (£11.99)

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One bottle lasts ages, as you only need a tiny bit. I use 1 pump on my ends after I wash my hair. Once I started using this my hair really started getting its act together.

4. Treat yo’self

Once a week, do a proper hair conditioning treatment. Not just a 5 minute conditioner, a proper treatment that you apply to damp hair and leave on for up to 25 minutes. I used Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer (£15-27.50)

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Yes, it’s hella expensive, but it made a big difference to my hair.

5. To trim or not to trim?

I personally stopped getting my hair trimmed when I grew my hair. I was getting it trimmed every six weeks and not only did it not grow, it got shorter and shorter. Trimming only helps hair look longer because it removes the damage that would have broken off, but to remove all the damage on my hair, I would have had to have shaved it. And that would probably have taken a bit longer to grow out than shoulder length damaged hair. So save your money and just let it grow, and try to prevent any more damage.

Bonus tip: BE PATIENT!

Your hair will start to grow when you stop thinking about it. For me, I just looked in the mirror one day and my hair had actually grown. I had been busy thinking about other things for weeks so it seemed like it just happened over night. Of course, that wasn’t the case. But if you obsess over it, it will seem to take forever. Follow these tips and then just put it out of your head. It is a long process and you might decide it is not worth the effort. But if you want to persevere, there really is no secret. Just time and care. Good luck!

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My new favourite shampoo: Sulphate Free!

Sulphates, usually in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), have been used in shampoos for decades. They act as a de greaser and a foaming agent, removing oils from your hair and helping the shampoo to reach that lather that makes us feel like it is really cleaning our hair. They are also used by mechanics to clean car engines. They don’t remove oils from our hair, they strip the oils away, leaving our hair dry and brittle. 

The more we find out about the effects of sulphates on hair, the more popular sulphate-free shampoo becomes. The worst effect they have? Stopping hair growth. Sulphates can cause scalp irritation and blockage of pores, blocking your hair from growing. It’s no wonder when you find out that dermatologists use sulphates to simulate a skin condition in order to test treatments. 

I am currently using this inexpensive shampoo which my hair just loves

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I love the way this shampoo makes my hair look. It almost looks instantly thicker and longer. The last shampoo that did this was John Frieda’s Full Repair. 

This particular shampoo from the Everstrong range focuses on dry and brittle hair, making it supple and less prone to breakage. I’ve only used it for a couple of washes so far, but I think my hair can tell the difference. Sometimes hair gets used to a certain shampoo, however, and it stops working after a few weeks. I have heard that this is because of sulphates, so this one shouldn’t stop working, but I’ll let you know. 

My Hair Growth ‘Secrets’

DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal experience on how I managed to grow my hair after I had killed it with bleach so badly that it wouldn’t grow past my shoulders. When I say I no longer dye my hair, that doesn’t mean I don’t think anybody should dye their hair. I love hair dye but my hair just personally couldn’t hack it. All hair is different and has different tolerance levels to dye and heat. Unfortunately my hair had reached saturation point so this is my extreme hair detox that happened to work for me. 

I knew my hair could grow long because at school it was down to my waist. However when I started to dye it blonde that is when it started to go downhill for me. At first I only had natural highlights which didn’t seem to damage my hair. It was when I started getting it bleached that the damage began. Of course at the time it seemed to be in it’s best condition yet, as I was also getting it trimmed regularly. I went back every 6 weeks for more bleach and a trim. However after time the damage caught up with it and each time I got it trimmed it wouldn’t grow back. I ended up with shoulder length hair that had been waist length.

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Eventually I had to choose: length or colour? I loved being blonde but I also missed my long hair. I decided to take a break from dying and give it a chance to grow. However it still wouldn’t  grow. It was so damaged that my hair would just break whenever it reached a certain length. I stopped using any heat on it. I had previously blow dried it every day because it made the colour look better, but since I had decided to let the colour take a back seat I stopped blow drying, straightening and curling. I even wrapped it up when I went on sun beds. At first it was a frizzy mess and it took a lot of self control not to go back to blow drying, but I pushed through the frizz barrier and after 2 weeks it started to dry in loose waves. 

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This is argan oil, and this is what really saved my hair. I started applying this to the ends of my hair after every wash and that is when it really just seemed to grow back over night. The damage was repairing and growing out, allowing my hair to grow without breaking. Seeing some growth gave me hope, and I began to take an active interest in hair care. A key to healthy hair is doing one deep conditioning treatment a week. 

One of my favourites is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (£28) however a more affordable option that worked for me was the John Freida Full Repair deep conditioning treatment (£7). And of course stick to the ‘comb wet hair, brush dry hair’ rules. Unless you have a Tangle Teezer (£10) in which case you can use that all the time.

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This has got me up to where I am now. But one thing I do worry about is my hair reaching it’s terminal length. When I was at school it reached a certain length and never grew past it. This wasn’t due to breakage, this is because hair grows in cycles. Once my hair reaches my waist it stops and any more growth just falls out. To make sure my hair was still growing I took a photo of it last month and then another photo exactly 1 month later and..

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It’s still growing! I have never taken hair supplements, but I do try to eat a healthy diet. If you eat well enough you should provide your hair with all the vitamins it needs. And that’s all those fancy hair supplements are; vitamins. Two natural products that are also great for hair growth are Aloe Vera and Coconut oil, but as I explained in my hair porosity post, because my hair is low porosity they just dry my hair out which can cause breakage. 

So there are my ‘secrets’. I just avoided heat and dye and use a lot of argan oil. I haven’t had a trim in about 2 years so those who say you need to trim your hair in order for it to grow are liars. The hardest part was pushing through the frizz barrier when I stopped blow drying it but it only lasted two weeks and I just kept my hair tied up. Now that I know more about caring for it I am thinking about dying it again, what do you think to blue?

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