Almost everyone wants longer, thicker and stronger, but the question is, how? It’s a question that eludes many of us and, try as we might, it can be a difficult mountain to climb. But where there is a will, there is always a way…and here are not just one but many ways.
Hair grows an average of one centimeter every month, so about 12 cm a year. But obviously, this is an estimate and is different from person to person, mostly depending on our genetics so there’s not much one can do about. However, you can certainly take steps to ensure your strands are growing at their optimal rate, are resilient against breakage, and don’t fall out before they should.
In this article, we’ll give you the details you need to know to ensure your hair is healthy from roots to ends and to nourish it from the inside out. By caring for it properly, you can optimise your hair’s ability to grow longer and stronger at the fastest rate possible for you.
A healthy scalp means strong, healthy hair.
For hair to grow longer and stronger, it needs a healthy place from which to thrive, so neglecting your scalp will come at a price. We recommend shampooing regularly to effectively remove dead skin cells, sweat, environmental pollution and oils that accumulate on its surface. If you don’t shampoo enough and they remain on the scalp, this can lead to flaking and irritation. And when the scalp isn’t healthy, the health of your hair can be affected. In fact, a flaky scalp can actually cause hair loss.
Yes, your diet affects your hair growth.
A healthy diet is as vital to the health and appearance of your hair as it is to your skin’s. Protein and complex carbohydrates are key to maintaining a good hair growth cycle. We recommend a palm-sized portion of protein – think fish, eggs, lean meat, pulses and quinoa – at breakfast and lunch. These are the most important meals of the day for your hair as that is when energy expenditure is greatest.
Don’t cut the carbs.
Your hair follicles need to receive enough energy to grow, so include a portion of complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, wholewheat toast, or oatmeal, with each meal.
Supplements boost hair growth.
Being a non-essential tissue, your hair has especially high nutritional requirements, which can be difficult to meet through diet alone. Supplements can be very handy in that they provide hair with easily accessible nutrients. Ensuring healthy levels of certain minerals in particular will encourage hair growth and help prevent breakage.
There are six key nutrients we need to help hair grow longer:
Studies have found that iron deficiencies affect nearly 25 percent of the world’s population, and it’s an essential for healthy hair. Ferritin, which is stored iron, is needed to maintain a healthy anagen (growth phase) of the hair growth cycle.
Helping our bodies to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, a biotin deficiency can result in hair loss.
Zinc and Vitamin B12
These two are hair essentials. Both help produce and repair new hair cells, i.e. longer locks.
Essential Amino Acids
Our bodies can’t make these on its own. Amino acids are proteins, and our hair is made of protein, so we really recommend a protein supplement for a great daily hair booster.
Vitamin D has a profound impact on the hair growth cycle as every hair follicle contains a Vitamin D receptor hormone. Vitamin D deficiency is also very common.
Prevent hair breakage.
Restrictive eating deprives your hair of nutrients and energy, both of which can cause excessive hair shedding. Also, steer clear of tight ponytails (they can cause traction breakage and pull hairs from their follicles) and limit your intake of high-mercury fish like tuna as they can cause hair fall.
Choose the right hair brush.
Ensure you choose a brush that won’t damage your hair’s outer cuticle, which will leave strands vulnerable to damage. Opt for rounded, plastic prongs and a cushioned base, and avoid boar bristle brushes. Plus, never brush your hair from the roots as this can cause friction on the hair shaft and damage it. Start at the ends and gradually work your way up.
Trim your hair regularly.
Have an invisible trim every three months. This is where we skim the ends without taking off length. Follow this with regular strengthening treatments to prevent it breaking and always use a thermal heat protection product on your hair when using hot tools.