If I could travel back in time and have a chat with 18-year-old me, one of the first things I would say would be stop messing with your hair.
I ruined my hair. Absolutely, mercilessly, undeniably ruined it. When I started at Uni 4 years ago, I had fairly long, thick hair, which fell below my shoulders. I didn’t wear extensions, I didn’t dye it – in fact, apart from a half-hearted back comb now and again, I pretty much left it alone.
Cut to me, 5 months on, pouring peroxide over my head at my dorm room sink. Can you hear that? It’s all my hair strands screaming in agony.
april >> august
My hair went orange, then a bit crispy, and then started falling out. I looked a joke, and that was when I learnt hairdressers are trained for a reason and watching a YouTube tutorial does not qualify you as a colourist. Seriously.
I had to have my hair dramatically snipped to just below my ears (vom) to allow it to grow back, and I’ve been paying for that mistake for the last two years. My hair simply refused to grow for the longest time, so I’ve become worryingly reliant on my trusty extensions to give me volume and length. However, over the last six months I discovered some pretty basic ways to get my hair growing, which has drastically improved the length since April…
1. Don’t colour your hair
This is a seriously basic rule, but needs to be said. Even once my hair was back in vaguely good shape, I dyed it copper for about a year. Whilst I loved it (I will be a proud ginger one day), it dried my hair out and frazzled the ends horribly. I went back to my natural brunette after I realised it was going more damage than it was worth, and have seen dramatic improvements in feel and growth.
ginger >> brunette
2. Don’t shampoo too often
Gross, yes, but sort of necessary. Excessive hair washing can be damaging for hair and slow down growth and cause breakages. I used to wash my hair every day but switched to every other after reading this in some beauty magazine.
3. Heat protection is key
Seriously, how obvious are all these points? Heat protection is a must when styling – my ends used to get so dry and split after using curling irons, but now stay nice and sleek with a spritz of protector spray.
4. Eat your hair long
Eating well, staying healthy and feeling stress-free are all easy ways to keep hair growing. Plus, you’ll feel super virtuous Instagramming your quinoa salad after a night at the gym – bonus.
5. Take vitamins
Get yourself some Biotin, the cheaper alternative to Hairfinity vitamins. Biotin encourages hair growth and I saw great results when I used this just after dying my hair back to brown.