It is estimated that hair grows between a quarter to half an inch each month - that’s just six inches in one year! So, growing your hair can be a painfully slow process and if you’re in search of longer locks, you’ll probably want a few tips to help you on the way. Well, look no further than this blog where, from diet tips to your hair care regime, I discuss the various ways you can help your hair to grow!
Get regular haircuts
Do you leave it months and months between haircuts in the hope that it will give your hair more time to grow? Well I’ve got bad news for you, this actually inhibits hair growth!
The more time you leave between haircuts, the bigger split ends become. Therefore, if these split ends are given the time to work their way up your hair you’ll end up needing more chopped off the next time you go to the hairdressers and, as a result, you’ll be further away from achieving long hair.
So, although regular haircuts themselves won’t necessarily make your hair grow quicker, it will keep your hair looking healthy and will prevent split ends from getting bigger. Experts recommend you should get an inch off every 10 to 12 weeks.
Foods to make your hair grow
Just as your skin or your nails require nutrients to stay healthy, so too does your hair. These nutrients are obtained through diet, in the form of a range of vitamins and minerals.
- Iron – if you fail to get enough iron into your diet it can result in hair loss so opt for red meat, chicken, fish, lentils, spinach and kale to top up your intake
- Omega 3 – this is found in the cells that line the scalp but also provides the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Therefore, lack of omega 3 could result in dry hair and dandruff. The body can’t make omega 3 on its own so it must be consumed through our diet in foods such as salmon, chia seeds and flax seeds
- Protein – this is essential for maintaining healthy hair as a lack of protein could make your hair dry and weak which, in turn, would inhibit hair growth. Chicken, turkey and fish are great sources of protein but vegetarian options include dairy, eggs, legumes and nuts
- Vitamin A – we need this vitamin to make sebum, an oil that is created by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is a natural conditioner and so a lack of it can result in dry hair and an itchy scalp. Carrots, pumpkins and sweet potato are a few everyday foods with high vitamin A content.
- Vitamin B7 or Biotin – this creates healthy hair cells which encourage thicker and healthier looking hair. If you fail to get enough B vitamins in your diet it can cause the hair to break easily and may even lead to hair loss. Liver, eggs, wholegrains and nuts are a few key sources of vitamin B7
- Vitamin C – this is another essential nutrient for the hair as it aids the absorption of iron in order to prevent hair loss. There are lots of fruit and vegetables with high vitamin C content but a few favourites include blackcurrants, strawberries, sweet potato and kiwi
- Vitamin E – this provides protection from the sun which, again, promotes healthier hair. Nuts including almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts are packed full of vitamin E
- Zinc – finally, zinc encourages cell production and tissue growth, and also repairs broken tissue. As a result, a lack of zinc can contribute to hair loss and a flaky scalp. Wholegrains, beef, oysters and eggs are all abundant in this essential mineral!
The best supplements for hair growth
Supplements are another option for those seeking a longer hair style but which one should you turn to?
Well, here at Jan de Vries we often recommend Solgar’s Skin, Nails and Hair Formula which contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as zinc and vitamin C. This unique mix promotes shiny, healthy hair but even encourages it to grow too!
So, if you wish to venture into the world of supplements for hair growth, this is a good place to start!
Don’t use too much shampoo!
Although you may think you are helping your hair by piling on the shampoo every morning, this can actually strip the hair of its natural oils. These oils are essential for hair growth and so without them, this can be reduced.
Why not try shampooing every second wash or, if you can’t give it up so easily, use only a small of amount of shampoo at a time?
Stop wrapping your hair in a towel
You come out the shower, wrap your hair in a towel and then get on with dressing, doing your make-up, watching television… This is a familiar routine for many women however, whilst wrapped tightly in a towel your hair is more prone to breakage. This, you’ve guessed it, will mean your hair grows at a pretty slow pace!
So remember, bath towels are for drying your body, not your hair!
Load up on conditioner
Although you may have to decrease your use of shampoo to encourage hair growth, you’ll need to do the opposite with your conditioner. Using lots of conditioner keeps the hair healthy and if hair is healthy it will be encouraged to grow quicker.
Here at Jan de Vries we recently got a hold of Optima’s Activated Charcoal Purifying Conditioner and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Yes, we know charcoal is an unusual hair care ingredient but we promise it will do wonders for the health and appearance of your hair!
Activated charcoal helps to remove impurities like dirt from the hair whilst the addition of argan oil and aloe vera juice in this conditioner work to moisturise the hair. This not only leaves it feeling soft, but it also looks full of life too!
Rinse your hair with cold water
Ok, this isn’t exactly relaxing but after showering give your hair a rinse with cold water and this could encourage hair growth. Cold water can help to smooth hair which locks in moisture and prevents damage.
I’m sure we’re all aware that curlers, straighteners and hairdryers have the potential to damage our hair and, as I’ve mentioned several times already, damaged hair won’t be inclined to grow. This means that if you’re trying to grow your hair, natural hair styles are best!
Ditch the bobbles
These can cause your hair to break and so again, it will take longer to grow. If you like your hair up though, here are a few simple tips to prevent breakage:
- Move the positioning of your pony tail around and this will help to maintain the strength and health of your hair
- Leave bobbles loose if you are using them
- Try investing in plastic bobbles in the shape of a telephone cord as these are a little gentler on the hair.
Use a silk pillowcase
Finally, a silk pillowcase won’t cause as much friction as a cotton one and will therefore be less likely to cause tangles. Tangles can lead to hair breakage and will therefore prevent hair growth so it’s best you take steps to tackle them carefully. For more information on this topic, have a look at my colleague Jeanette’s blog ‘6 steps to prevent your hair from tangling at night'.