For the past several years, I have primarily had long hair. I did ‘the big chop’ when I returned from Australia in 2016, and grew it right back out again afterwards. I love having long hair, and I don’t think that will ever change. Since being in London however, my hair has been dry, damaged, and brittle. After getting married I made the decision to start growing out my natural hair colour, since it really is a lovely strawberry-blonde shade and I know that in the long run, it will be hard to keep up with because I am honestly someone who rarely goes to the salon for upkeep. I adore my hairdresser, she is phenomenal, but I simply get so busy that I forget to book an appointment and get lazy, and just end up going in once a season or less. I always say that I will grow out my natural hair colour but halfway through the process I end up getting fed up with how it looks (being half one colour and half another) and I give up and get it dyed again. This time however, I am determined!
My hair naturally grows quite fast, and is quite oily, but I’ve found some great tips and tricks on how to help grow your hair faster, and to keep it healthy while you’re doing it! The first thing I did this time around was get it cut. As I mentioned before, I’m not the biggest fan of short(er) hair on myself, I much prefer having long hair, but part of what helps hair grow faster is to cut off the dead and dry ends. With the difference in water in the UK versus back in Canada, my hair become incredibly dry and brittle – to the point where it was difficult to brush or style. I went to a salon in London that was recommended to me a couple weeks ago, and just went for it, cutting off a good 5-6 inches of my hair. It’s not ideal, but it helps in the long run. If you’re comfortable with cutting off even just a couple inches of your hair to get rid of the dead and dry ends, it really does help!
I mentioned that my hair is naturally quite oily, and washing it every second day (as most beauty experts will tell you is beneficial for your hair) proves to be quite difficult, but what helps is a shampoo that Megan recommended for me, L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and conditioner for oily roots and dry ends. It helps to manage your hair when it has two different textures and oil levels, and leaves both parts equally hydrated. I always will shampoo primarily the roots of my hair when I wash it, and not the ends, which helps as the dry ends do not accumulate as much oil as the roots do, and would dry out even more with frequent washing. If you find that the roots are still oily on your non-wash day, then a little dry shampoo goes a long way!
Similar to that, I find that the ends of my hair that are dyed need a lot of hydration, so I use this L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil balm/mask once or twice a week if I feel it is needed. I apply this only to the ends of my hair, and not the roots. Whether I am using the mask or just my regular conditioner, I apply it to the ends and up through the dyed part of the hair strand only, and let it soak in for the remainder of my shower before washing it out at the very end. This allows more time for hydration, which helps keep the ends of my hair healthy as I grow it back out again!
Another thing that is helpful is what you eat. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and it couldn’t be more true here. Omega 3, Vitamin B, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E all help with hair growth, as does biotin, however I would not recommend biotin. Biotin can cause acne and hormone changes depending on your body and, when I tried taking it, I found it did not work for me – though it could work for you, so be sure to talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are interested in taking biotin. Eating healthy and being sure that you take a multivitamin daily can really boost your hair growth! Be sure that you speak with a doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure about taking a multivitamin.
Heat, heat, heat. Putting heat on your hair can damage your hair greatly, and I would completely recommend air-drying your hair and using as little heat on it as possible. Be sure that if you do use heat on it, you use protectant spray, and use the lowest temperature setting, and limit the frequency that you use heat if possible. I tend to wash my hair at night and let it air dry, and then I will embrace my natural hair texture and style as much as possible. I also have some velcro rollers that I use when my hair is still damp, which helps when I want to have a curlier style but don’t want to use heat. Some people also will braid their hair when it is damp, and then either wait until it is dry or sleep on it overnight and then take out the braid for a wavy look.
For those who do a bit of a chop to get off unwanted dry ends but miss your long hair, clip in extensions can make all the difference! I would recommend either Locks and Mane for those in Toronto, and Barefoot Blonde Hair for anyone international, as well as Canadians who want to pick their shade themselves! Having clip in extensions is a fun way to play around with your style, without compromising the health of your hair.
Overall, it’s all about taking care of your hair. Getting it trimmed regularly will help (I would say every 2-3 months if your hair is very damaged, 6 months if it’s moderately damaged, or 1 year + if your hair isn’t really damaged at all, though be sure to ask your hairdresser their professional opinion on your hair damage, and their recommendation for more accurate advice), and making sure you give it what it needs is vital. Keeping it healthy is what helps it grow and, despite what all of the hair gummies, secret masks, and clickbait posts online tell you, taking care of your hair and giving it what it needs to be healthy will ultimately be the best thing to help it grow faster and healthier! Keep it healthy, and before you know it your hair will be long and luscious enough to perfectly blow in the wind. Goals, am I right?