I am every hairdresser’s nightmare.
I have such a huge fear walking into the hairdresser that I arrive ready to defend myself and end up making the hairdresser hesitant to touch my hair at all. This is because I have spent so much time trying to grow long hair. And I feel that all hairdressers that just want to chop it right off!!
I must have had one too many traumatising experiences leaving the hairdresser that I am paranoid whenever I meet one.
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How do you Treat your Hair?
For a long time I hated my natural hair and tried to change it into something completely different. This was until I realised how much damage I was doing by not accepting what I had been given. Reversing all the bad treatment took me years, but it sure did pay off!
A long time ago, in my early teens I had long natural, honey-blonde locks. But this wasn’t trendy, so I darkened my hair, chopped half of it off and even added some bleached highlights. As soon as I cut my hair I regretted it and then waited patiently for it to grow again.
In the meantime, I hated how my hair dried naturally so I got in the habit of straightening it with a good old ghd every SINGLE DAY!! I must have done this for a good 5 years.
I used be somewhat ‘goth’ believe it or not. My hair was long, straightened with a hair iron each morning and dyed the darkest brown I could find in a box.
When I started to ‘grow out’ of this phase and dress colourfully again, I decided to let my natural colour grow out, to see what that looked like. It was much darker than before I started dyeing it and I quite fancied the tone, so I kept it. This was the first step towards accepting my natural look.
Chemicals and Heat
It’s one of those things… If you have straight hair you want some curls and curly-haired people just wish for naturally straight hair! But do you know that whatever kind of hair you were blessed with is suited to your exact unique look? The authentic type and volume of your hair is supposed to compliment your face shape. Your natural hair colour is suited with your natural skin tone.
Of course there are times when other styles or colours look absolutely gorgeous on a person. But I encourage you to not rush to change who you are naturally, rather explore ways to embrace it and get the most out of your genes.
Chemically or straightening with heat can cause so much damage to your hair that it will start to disintegrate. It will break or fall out before it has the chance to grow.
I once went for a Brazilian blow-wave (a chemical straightening treatment). When they started to iron the treatment on my hair, they were absolutely shocked at how broken and damaged my hair was. You are not supposed to put that much heat on your hair that frequently!!
So I found a very well reputed hairdresser and asked her how I could fix my hair.
The first thing she made me do was promise to pack away my ghd so that I couldn’t use it. If I wanted to straighten my hair I had to use a good old-fashioned hairdryer, but a very good quality dryer such as the Parlux 385.
I find blow waving my hair to be very time consuming so I started to let me hair dry naturally again and got used to my face with my curls again. This was the first step towards improving the condition of my hair.
Not Cutting your Hair
With all the harm I had done with heat and all the haircuts I had skipped, it was really in awful condition. No amount of treatments could reverse it. We decided it was best to chop off the most damaged length of my hair. This left me with half the length! My hair was now on my shoulders and all the years I had tried to grow my hair, discarded.
So now I started from scratch again on my quest to grow long hair. It was my own fault so I took on my fate and followed all the right ways, patiently, to grow long, healthy mermaid hair.
I hated the thought of cutting it in between because it seemed like every time it grew a bit, I would just have to chop it back off. So I made a deal with the hairdresser to stretch out the growth time as much as possible and took really good care of it in between.
It is counterintuitive but trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks encourages faster growth, keeps your hair healthy, and your ends neat. Take my advise and don’t leave it too long! The longer you leave the ends untidy, the further up they split and the more you will need to trim off.
Now this is where I became a nightmare because I always insist on the tiniest bit to be trimmed off. I have had a few hairdressers roll their eyes at this my emphasis on this.
Easiest way to Grow Long Hair
There are a few reasons that cause hair growth to slow down. In a world of consumerism there are so many products on the market that promise you Rapunzel-like hair. Few can deliver on what the packaging states it can do.
Once I got rid of all the damaged hair, these are the steps I used to grow my hair, to where I can say I have long hair again.
The problem with adding a whole lot of unnecessary lotions and potions onto your hair is that they are unnatural. The product starts to build up and your scalp doesn’t know how to get rid of it.
A great recommendation by my hairdresser was to use Nioxin 3-step scalp treatment. The products are made to strip all the build up from the previous products you have used on your hair. If you have noticed any flakiness on your scalp this is inhibiting your hair growth.
I have medium thickness hair so I found the Nioxin number 5 system was best for my hair (But they have for all types. You can do a test on their website). Get the shampoo and conditioner as well as the scalp treatment to clear up the build-up. It’s not like the shampoo you are used to because it doesn’t have all the scents added to it. It’s just there to help kickstart your hair growth.
You won’t have to use it forever. After you finish the first bottle of each product, you can change to a different brand. Just check that it doesn’t contain ingredients that are going to build up again. This is where I suggest you go natural. Anything you put in your body or on your body gets absorbed into the blood stream. The more natural you go, the less unpleasant side effects you will encounter.
See treatments below for the all natural approach to remove build-up.
Natural Hair Products
You need to know what you are putting into your system. The safest way to do this is to read ingredient lists. The more items it contains that you can’t pronounce, the more harmful it is going to be. Naturally, ingredients that are closest to nature are going to mingle well with your body.
Your hairdresser may insist on you using their products but this is actually only because they make most of their money this way. It does not mean those are the best products for your hair.
The most effective products to do disrupt your naturally hair environment. They do not strip away natural oils and leave products to block up hair follicles.
- Laritelle Organic Shampoo & Conditioner and Root Treatment
- PURE Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
- PURA D’OR Advanced Therapy System Shampoo & Conditioner
Nourishment from Within
Hair health and growth starts from within. The way you feed you body and the minerals you body absorbs will affect the growth rate and nourishment that you hair gets. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Important factors to check:
Omega 3 Oils
Omegas 3 oils play a big role in keeping your hair naturally hydrated and healthy. If you hair is not nourished properly it will not be able to grow at the rate you want it to. Make sure you are taking between 2000-3000mg of a quality omega 3 supplement everyday. This will improve your skin too, as well as your brain functioning. Healthy fats are essential.
Your hair is made up of the same substance as your bones and nails. Make sure you are getting enough calcium and magnesium to support hair and bone health. This is especially essential if you are doing weight-bearing exercise. You will notice the difference if you clear up a deficiency.
I’m not a fan of dairy products so I don’t suggest you up your milk intake to increase calcium. There are too many chemicals added to milk. Rather go for a quality supplement. They are generally inexpensive and provide many benefits. Naturally, calcium is found in almonds, fish and green veggies which are always a good idea!
This has been the big game changer for my hair and skin! I have a previous post on How to get a Natural Glow for your Skin, but the benefits of the collagen in bone broth don’t stop there. Collagen is also an important factor in growing healthy bones, nails and healthy, silky hair.
No Quick Fixes!
Thankfully, one of the things I never tried was to fit hair extensions. They are a quick fix for the short term that leave you with an unbelievable amount of damage. It isn’t worth the time it takes to recover. You will literally lose chunks of your hair if you constantly add extensions.
Just be patient with what you have.
Show your hair some love by treating it with pampering once a week. Take the time to put on a rich natural hair mask to give your hair a deep dose of nourishment.
Coconut oil works wonders for this and it’s inexpensive as you probably have it in your kitchen already. Always go for organic (especially for cooking). Use it as a leave-in treatment for before you wash your hair. It is VERY oily so you don’t want to leave the house with it in your hair.
Combine coconut oil with bicarbonate of soda for an all natural scalp treatment. The bicarb detoxes your roots from any product build up and coconut oil provides natural nourishment. Massage into your scalp and leave on for 15-30 minutes then wash as normal (You may have to shampoo twice).
Another natural remedy for hair health is apple cider vinegar. It does wonders for a natural shine and de-frizz. I apply it with a spray bottle when I condition my hair. You can also mix it into your conditioner bottle to enhance the product.