Trying to grow your hair? Here’s our easy-to-follow guide for shiny, healthy, longer hair.
Tip 1: Change up your diet
Create a healthy hair menu. To help nourish the hair follicle and stimulate hair cell renewal, chow down on brown rice and oily fish such as salmon or tuna. “Salmon is loaded with strong hair supporters like vitamin D and protein, plus omega-3 fatty acids to keep your scalp healthy,” says award-winning BIBA stylist Mariam Enegd.
Oily foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut – try Bioglan Organic Coconut Oil, $ 11.50 , goodpricepharmacy.com.au – will help strengthen cell membranes while high-protein foods like eggs, poultry or beans are great for adding flexibility to your hair, which means less breakage and dryness.
Also, up your intake of almonds and walnuts, as they are rich in biotin, a natural growth supplement that also enhances your hair’s natural colour. And don’t forget to add a little heat to your meals – spicy foods and soy products, which contain capsaicin and isoflavones, encourage the production of keratin.
Tip 2: Don’t over-wash your hair
The natural oils that linger on your scalp are great for your hair and washing them out too frequently can cause serious damage. “I always recommend for my clients to wash their hair twice a week,” says Enegd. When you do shampoo, consider using a product that will help protect against hair fall, like L’Oréal Paris ELVIVE Arginine Resist X3 Anti Hair Fall Shampoo, $ 5.95, lorealparis.com.au. You may also switch your shampoo to an anti-thinning formula like Joico Cliniscalp Cleanse for Natural Hair, $ 32.95, joico.com. Gently massage it in for a minute or two, pushing and moving the skin around your head to stimulate blood flow around the hair cells. And instead of relying on dry shampoo in between washes, Enegd recommends rinsing your hair with vinegar.
Tip 3: Make a date with your hairdresser
Stop avoiding the chop chair and book in that appointment! Cutting a quarter of an inch every six weeks prevents split ends, keeping locks healthy from the get-go. “The longer you leave it, the longer the split ends – and the more you’ll need to cut off!” warns Enegd.
Tip 4: Take supplements
Championed by models who use it in the lead-up to fashion week, hair growth-promoting supplements like Viviscal Maximum Strength for Women, $ 89.95, viviscal.com.au may be the way to go when it comes to preventing and repairing damage. This is packed with biotin, zinc, fish oil and AminoMarC, a marine protein that’s been shown to reduce hair loss as well as stimulate growth. Another supplement you can take is Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails (100 Tabs), $ 26.00, goodpricepharmacy.com.au, rich in biotin to repair brittle hair texture and vitamin C to hydrate dry locks.
Tip 5: Don’t tug at your hair
Brushing your hair when it’s wet stretches the strands, making them highly susceptible to breakage. Also, ditch your plastic brush, which can be harsh on your sensitive scalp, and opt for a brush with 100 per cent natural boar bristles instead. We recommend Brushworx Natural Woodgrain Boar Bristle Cushion Brush, $ 19.95, datelinecity.com. The softer bristles won’t create split ends. Also, look for snag-free hair elastics such as Gliders Snag Free Hair Elastics, $ 4.45, hairgliders.com.au to ensure your hair doesn’t get tugged at and stays crease-free. Avoid using too many bobby pins and clips, which also cause hair breakage, and never sleep with your hair tied into a ponytail or braid.
Tip 6: Use at-home treatments
An intense, leave-in treatment will help to repair heavily damaged, dry and dyed locks. Try Kevin Murphy Body Mass, $ 49.95, kevinmurphy.com.au, which uses eyelash-lengthening technology to help nurture your hair and make it appear full.
Got a bit of extra coin? Invest in Kerastase Densifique Density Activator, $ 128, kerastase.com.au.The three-month program promises to improve the density of your hair by optimising stem cell activity.
If you’re after a more natural treatment, rub the ends with Davroe Moisture Senses Certified Argan Oil, $ 23.95, davroe.com. “My secret is Loving Earth’s coconut butter. I put it on clean hair and rinse it out with warm water. The oil itself forms a protective layer on the hair shaft – strengthening the hair, reducing frizz and preventing breakage, especially when using irons and blow dryers,” says Enegd.
Tip 7: Don’t overdo it with the styling
Using too many products dries out hair and builds a chemical layer on the hair that can prevent your natural growth processes. “Silicones in products form a film that gives hair gloss and shine – but the more you use them, the worse your hair will feel. Eventually, it will start to dry, frizz and strip your hair colour,” says Enegd.
Blow dryers and heat stylers can also wreak havoc on your locks, increasing the likelihood of breakage. Try wearing your hair natural more often. When picking products, opt for water-soluble formulas and apply a heat protecting spray such as VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray, $ 7, 1800 061 027 before any styling takes place. If you want to make your hair fuller, Enegd recommends Nioxin Diamax Thickening Xtrafusion Treatment and Energy Serum by Wella, which both contain caffeine to stimulate the scalp.