I’ll begin at the end. My hair is damaged. I heat style. I comb it when it’s wet. I do not wash it every day. And my normally snail paced hair growth kicked into high gear last month. After a trim, I hadn’t lost any inches comparing my hair measurements in April to May. How, you ask? I incorporated eight tricks into my life–all at the same time. And what do you know, it worked! The picture shows my hair in its current condition, after sleeping overnight in oils and sponge rollers. While I do not recommend rolling hair every night, as it can be damaging on the ends, it is a safer way to style the hair.
Tip 1)-Leave the diva hair for Mariah. Sometimes we want to look ravishing. Sometimes we need to remind an ex-boyfriend of our cuteness. Other times, we are doing too much. Using a curling iron, flat iron, blow dryer or any other heat styling product every day is inevitably causing damage, no matter how expensive or highly rated it is. Instead of straightening every day, try once a week and maintaining the style, or use rollers on damp hair overnight to create curls. This will prevent more hair damage and help to bring life back to the hair.
Tip 2)-Health starts within. After copious amounts of research (actually just using the top three links from my Google search) I learned that our body converts Beta Carotene into Vitamin A which in turn feeds our scalps, helps to produce healthy scalp oil and prevents itchiness and flakiness. Find this in super foods like spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. Add in more healthy foods like walnuts, avocado and various beans.
Tip 3)-Conditioning is your hair’s best friend. Even if you are eating healthy, food is absorbed into the body and distributed not just sent up to the hair. Once a week or as needed apply a hair masque, deep conditioner or hot oil treatment. I recommend doing this on one of those rare days off where all you plan to do is watch Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and cuddle with your pet.
Tip 4)-Double, Double, Oil and Scrubble. Massage the scalp as often as possible. This stimulates blood flow which brings food to your scalp and helps hair to grow faster. Use oils like cinnamon leaf or peppermint which generate either a cooling or warming sensation and delivers lots of blood and oxygen to the scalp, tea tree oil which is anti-fungal to prevent bacterial buildup or argan oil which is naturally fragrant and nutritious for the hair.
Tip 5)-Look, look with your special eyes! Know what is in your hair products. You wouldn’t eat chemicals or synthetics, don’t wash with them. No, phymoneum bionitrate does not grow on trees. Try blending an at-home hair cleanser with lemon juice to strip dirt and brighten the hair, olive oil to deposit fatty acids and shine and yogurt for protein. But if that’s too DIY for you, only use products with ingredients you can understand.
Tip 6)-Speaking of ingredients, do you know one little product that is jam packed full of things that the body needs? Vitamins. More specifically in my case, prenatal vitamins. If pregnant, nursing, on birth control or trying to prevent pregnancy do not use prenatal vitamins. Stick to biotin which I’ve heard mixed results. I take a PN vitamin twice a week with my breakfast. But for a kick start in hair growth try taking one daily for a week and none for the rest of the month.
Tip 7)-Sleeping Beauty. Unlike the skin, the hair does not jibe well with cotton. I wrap my hair every night in a silk scarf to protect the cuticle of my hair from damage. This keeps the hair shaft smooth and gives hair an overall silkier and shinier appearance. You can also try sleeping on a satin pillow or with a silk pillowcase.
Tip 8)-Try a little protection. Instead of the Sofia Vergara-esque long, flowing, heat styled locks try a chic ballerina bun or romantic side braid. The harsh sun and cold air can dry the hair out, cause dullness of color and frizz all over. Wearing it back keeps hair out of the way which helps to prevent pimple causing hair oil on the face, shoulders, chest and back. It also gives a defined look and keeps it away from the sun and air as much. Be sure to change it up so as not to put stress on the roots or hair shaft, but a sleek bun provides the perfect cover-up when the scalp and tips are saturated in deep conditioning oils.
A few more things I’ve learned along the way:
–do not use a comb with small teeth. It snaps through tangles causing breakage and split ends. Instead use a comb with wide teeth and detangle hair from the tips upward toward the scalp.
–rinsing or washing hair in warm water opens up the hair. This can cause loss of natural oil and dye. Try using cool or cold water to give hair more shine.
–for five to ten minutes daily invert your body on the couch, on a bed or a chair, especially while massaging the scalp. This really helps to direct blood flow.
–when bunning the hair use bobby pins to secure it in place instead of a hair elastic. Bands put stress on the ends of hair causing breakage and splitting.
What I Like to Use:
Blousey Shampoo (Lush) *does contain minimal synthetics
Retread Shampoo (Lush) *does contain minimal synthetics
International Collection Sweet Almond Oil (Vitacost.com)
SheaMoisture Deep Repair Masque (Sally’s Beauty Supply)
Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil (Vitacost.com)
One A Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamins (Walgreen’s)