It’s a question everyone wants to know the answer to – how do you make your hair grow faster?
Unfortunately longer locks don’t happen overnight; for most people, hair grows only half an inch a month. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help your follicles along.
Whether you want to grow out a haircut you regret or you’ve dreamed of mermaid-like locks but have long given up, here are the tips you need to know for faster hair growth:
1. Give your scalp some love
The scalp is where it all starts. Unsurprisingly a healthy scalp equals healthy hair, so looking after it is essential if you want long, healthy locks. Scalp exfoliation may be the crucial step your hair care routine is missing, making your hair healthier in the long run and creating the best environment for hair growth. Scalp exfoliators, of the chemical or physical variety, will also help treat a dry and itchy scalp.
But another way to give your scalp some love is daily scalp massages. Spending 5 minutes massaging your head (or getting your significant other to do it) helps stimulate blood circulation. Scalp massages are even proven to increase hair thickness, according to a recent study.
2. Condition, condition, condition
Hair won’t grow past a certain length if it’s breaking off – caused by all number of factors including heat styling and washing your hair too much. Preventing this damage now will mean you reap the rewards in the long run.
For those that skip conditioner, or don’t do regular hair treatments, you’re missing out – and not giving your hair the best chance at growth. Conditioner replaces the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft and seals the cuticle – not to mention it gets rid of frizzy hair.
To minimise breakage and ensure your tresses are healthy from root to tip, try using a weekly conditioning treatment to load the hair shaft with moisture, improving its strength and elasticity.
We love: 3 More Inches Pre Wash Treatment, $63; OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment, $18.99, from Life Pharmacy; L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Restoring Masque, $11.00
3. Skip the daily shampoo
Washing with shampoo just two or three times a week will allow the natural oils to penetrate your hair, allowing time for your strands to repair and hydrate. While you don’t have to go quits on shampoo, limiting your usage of it will do the world of good for healthier hair.
4. Get regular trims
It may seem counter-intuitive, but getting regular trims will stop your ends from splitting and breaking off – after all your hair will never grow longer with this breakage. To keep strands strong, you could opt for something called an ‘invisible trim’ every three months, where your hairdresser will skim the ends without taking any length off.
5. Look at your diet
While a good shampoo and conditioner will promote healthy, nourished hair there is another way to keep it strong and shiny. A well-balanced diet high in protein, vitamins and minerals is vital to maintaining a good hair growth cycle.
Increase your protein intake by eating more fish, beans, nuts and whole grains. Salmon not only promotes glowing skin, but aids healthy hair too. It’s loaded with omega-3 and antioxidants, which can reduce hair loss and increase hair density.
6. Try supplements
If not diet, consider supplements – a healthy level of the right minerals will encourage hair growth and help prevent breakage. Look for a multivitamin that’s formulated for healthy hair, skin and nails.
7. Go darker
Blondes take note: as good as your strands look, the bleach doesn’t do your hair any favours and platinum hues will suffer from the most damage. If long hair is really on your wishlist, you might want to consider going darker – if even a couple shades – as the fewer chemicals, the better hair will fare.
Words: Emma Gordon
Photos: Getty Images