Growing out bad bangs or just getting more length is doable – it just takes some simple daily tricks and the right tools. Oh, and a fair bit of patience.
Whether you’ve become victim to a bad isolation haircut, have noticed the impact coronavirus has had on your hair, or just want shampoo-advert-worthy strands in time for the end of isolation, there’s some simple changes you can make every day to help strengthen and lengthen your locks.
It pretty much starts with you caring for your hair like you would a baby. Being SUPER gentle with every step of your routine, feeding it with nourishing and hydrating ingredients and providing it with TLC will go a long way.
Aside from care, if you’re noticing more hair fall out than usual, or early signs of hair loss and thinning like a good scattering of strands on the pillow, a clump on the shower floor, a spattering on the back of your winter coat, tangled remnants on your hairbrush (it’s normal to shed 100 to 150 hairs a day, though), that panicky feeling and tightening of your chest, not to mention the psychological and emotional impact, is normal – and you’re not alone. If you’re worried check in with a dermatologist or trichologist.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology hair grows around half-an-inch per month, so about six inches every year. But genetics, hormones, stress and lifestyle factors (drinking, smoking, diet, exercises) also play a huge role.
If length is your mane aim (pun intended) add these tweaks to your day-to-day.
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Get a haircut
Yep, you read that right. Having regular trims doesn’t just chop the length off your strands, it keeps them healthy, strong and looking schmick.
Being in isolation you may have experienced wiry, dead, wispy ends first hand, and although having regular cuts doesn’t make your hair grow faster, by chopping off split ends you can help reduce breakage – which is responsible for making strands look thin and short.
Aim for every six to eight weeks, depending on your hair type and how often you use heat styling tools. If you’re really worried about losing length, ask your hairdresser for a dusting (AKA a baby trim) to tidy up the ends.
Put your scalp first
Prioritising your scalp health can make a major difference to how your hair looks, feels and grows. Implement a weekly scalp-care ritual into your routine, along with daily massages when brushing and washing your strands.
Start with a detoxifying scrub and use your fingertips or a massaging comb to work it into your scalp working to promote blood circulation. From here, try a soothing, anti-inflammatory treatment to rebalance and hydrate the skin with nourishing ingredients.
Try: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment ($52, at Sephora)
A few drops of this detoxifying, soothing and balancing blend of charcoal, peppermint and Biotin works to cleanse the hair follicle while drip-feeding it nutrients.
Get serious about shampoo
Much like scalp-focused treatments, your daily wash can impact your hair’s health and even it’s growth pattern. A shampoo packed with scalp-compromising and drying ingredients like SLS, SLES, silicones and parabens can clog follicles or cause irritation – and if you wash every day, it’s likely to be doing more harm than good.
Look for gentle formulations that work to cleanse the scalp while restoring it with good-for-you ingredients or, those that promote growth.
Try: Madara Grow Volume Shampoo ($40, at Nourished Life)
Formulated with a special fungi extract rich in vitamins B3 and B7 both essential for hair growth and B5 to help thicken strands.
Gentle when wet
When your strands are wet they’re weak and more susceptible to breakage and damage, so think twice next time you go to give your ends a good scrub with shampoo, avoid sleeping on damp hair, brushing it and especially rough-drying it with a towel.
Unless you use a microfiber hair wrap, your towel-drying routine will most definitely be causing damage (along with frizz). Avoid rubbing your hair with any towel and instead gently blot.
Try: Aquis Waffle Luxe Long Hair Towel ($72, at Mecca)
Made from layered, ultra-absorbent fabric fibres that quickly suck moisture from hair without damaging the cuticle, so strands stay smooth.
Boost your brush
Next time you pick up your hairbrush be sure to start by working from the ends up, this way you’re removing and knots or tangles in the gentlest way possible and ensuring a smooth finish.
Most hairdresser will agree, boar bristle brushes are best. Pair those with a rounded, cushioned-base and you’ve got a tool you can use for every day tangles and styling.
Try: Kevin Murphy Smoothing Brush ($59.95, at Adore Beauty)
Boar and ionic bristles help support hair and scalp healthy by transferring the scalps natural oils through the hair shaft for shiny, nourished strands.
Stop with the styling
If you haven’t already embraced a low-maintenance hair lifestyle over the isolation period, now is your chance. Put down all of the gadgets and all of the products from heat tools to hair spray, the more you leave your hair alone the better condition it’s going to be in for growth.
Instead of high, tight ponytails and sleeping in elastic-secured buns choose silky scrunchies and low, loose plaits or ponies to help reduce breakage and tugging on the scalp.
Try: Lujo Home Silk Hair Tie ($17.95, at Myer)
Silk fabrics secure hair without indenting or pulling on hair. While we’re on silk, if you’re not already you should think about sleeping on a silk pillowcase, too.
RELATED: FYI SORRY BUY YOUR HAIR IS GETTING DAMAGED WHILE YOU SLEEP
Getting the right dose of vitamins and minerals can seem overwhelming, with most of us turning to supplements over the fresh variety. But in this case, it seems sourcing these from your regular food-intake can work wonders.
If you’re eating a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and foods rich in protein, zinc and iron you’re likely getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need for good hair, without having to seek supplementation.