So… until about the age of 17, I had shoulder length hair, no matter what I tried to do, to grow it to the lengths of Rapunzel I just couldn’t get past the Shoulders. THEN, suddenly one year I cracked it, so I thought I would share what worked (and continues to work) for me, with you.
1. Sleep with your hair tied up
This might seem like a strange one. When my hair was growing if I slept with it down I would end up with a knotted mess come the morning. Not only a knotted mess but any split ends seemed to be super obvious as my hair had that scare-crow-esque style to it. When I started tying my hair back to sleep or using a hair clip, it put an end to frizz central!
Why it works? Healthy hair has all those tiny cuticles facing in 1 direction, if they aren’t they are prone to damage. By keeping hair tucked up in your sleep, you limit the damage to the hairs cuticle.
2. Less heat/half heat/half hair
Not a shocker to those of us who have suffered from GHD addiction before. Limiting the amount of heat on your hair will do it wonders! Some tricks I use are only straightening the top 3-4 inches of my hair & ONLY the top layer, this means I don’t look like I have a birds nest on my head, but yes to a tousled wave lower down! Through hours (ok probably days cumilitivley!) of GHD use, I have found I can put in curls using only 6-7 sections of hair, takes less than 5 minutes and therefore a lot less heat!
Why it works? By using lots of heat we damage the hair cuticle and stress the hair protein inside. If you think about applying heat to anything it eventually will break… the sun fading a painting, an iron over time on a shirt collar, toast left too long in the toaster. Breaking the cuticle and damaging the protein inside your hair causes it to look dry, dull and to break easily. It will also reduce your hairs natural elasticity and cause it to break instead of spring.
3. Cold air
This was a tip from a hairdresser, after you blow dry, switch really quickly to the cold air and use this only from the top down.
Why it works? This one helps to seal off your hairs cuticles, blowing the cold air down the hair shaft ‘sets’ the cuticles in one direction – the healthy one!
4. Use coconut oil to seal off cuticles
This is one I wrote about earlier in the week, ‘HAIR hero‘. Coconut oil used the night before you wash your hair will reduce breakage and damage caused by brushing. The best bit as I mentioned is this is scientifically proven.
Why it works? Coconut oil is one of only a few oils which can penetrate the hair instead of just sitting on top of it. If you use it before washing, it will stop your hair from absorbing water and swelling. If you brush hair which is ‘bloated’ in this way there is maximum chance of breaking off cuticles.
5. Brush your hair – Less
Looking back I am shocked at the amount of time I spent styling my hair! Now I try to go low maintenance or use quick styling tricks, probably mostly down to prioritizing sleep!!
Why it works? If you want to grow your hair long, you need to minimize damage. Brushing is actually really stressful to your hair, and is a very risky time for all those individual cuticles on each hair. Many of these get broken off causing your hair to become weaker and dull looking.
6. Find other ways to LOVE wearing your hair
This one is probably a no-brainer, but I thought it deserved its place in the line-up. For me I think this made a huge difference as I was a self-confessed GHD addict. I found a couple of ways I could wear my hair that didn’t involve GHDS, my most trusted was to plait by hair before bed, so that it still had an overall straightness but with a nice tousle (haha – might sounds strange, I don’t think anyone has ever understood my past addiction to straightness!).
Why it works? GHD rehabilitation – need I say more?
7. Head massage
If it’s the night before you wash your hair, give yourself (or get a loving partner – haha) to give you an Indian head massage. Feels great and gets your scalp releasing its natural oil, as you’re going to bed, no need to worry about the greasy look! Making your hair greasy may not sound sexy, but it does do good.
Why it works? The natural grease your scalp produces (sebum) will work like the coconut oil tip!
With all this said, once your hair is damaged, it is damaged, it can’t repair itself as it is not living, only the root is. So before you embark on hair growth, it might be worth a trip to the hairdressers for a trim.
Do you have any other tricks to long healthy hair?