By Wil Strayhorn
As a hairstylist of over twenty years, I am constantly bombarded with the plaguing question that long-tress seeking clients want answered: “How can I grow my hair out!?!!?”
Ever answer is different and very unique to each client, I always stress to the client that regardless of whether you have hair that reaches below your buttocks or whether your hair just barely grazes the top of your ear, the number one priority should be to have HEALTHY HAIR. It has been my experience and I am certain that most beauty professionals will agree, healthy hair grows fastest. Even with this understanding, the frustration comes in the wait. The question becomes, how long does hair take to grow?”, the answer is, hair grows approximately one half of an inch per month. This may not seem like much of a stride, but here are my five suggestions to expedite your journey.
Check the Brush & Drain!
Check the drain after each shower for the amount of hair. The typical person loses from 50 to 200 hairs a day (out of 80,000 to 120,000 hairs on the head). It is typical to have hair strands in your comb or on your brush after styling, however, if the amount increases you should see a Dermatologist. It is quite normal to have a very small clump of hair left on the drain after shampooing. Take heed if the amount starts increasing, see your doctor because It could mean your scalp has an infection, hereditary baldness is beginning to set in, or in rarer circumstances, you may have a nutritional deficiency.
This is an area where I gain most resistance from my clients, getting regular hair trims. Getting a regular “trim”, to encourage growth, is not your hair stylist’s way to get “scissor happy” on you. It is vital that you clean up your ends every six to eight weeks to get rid of split ends. If split ends are left, they can travel up the hair shaft leading to thin, straggly, unattractive strands and frayed ends. Although it may feel like you’re taking a step backward towards your ultimate healthy hair goal, getting regular trims serve you better in the long run because your hair will be longer and stronger.
“Watch Your Mouth!”
Surprisingly enough, what you place in your mouth affects just about every element of your body and YES that does include your hair. Make sure your regular diet contains foods with rich vitamins and minerals that can help with growing your hair healthy and strong. Folic acid (usually found in soybeans and wheat) can help with hair thinning, Vitamin C (usually found in citrus fruits) can help with keratin production, Vitamin A (usually found in spinach) helps keep the scalp healthy. Lastly, Vitamin B (usually found in red meat) can help prevent hair loss.
Make sure to also talk to your dermatologist about a good daily vitamin or supplement with the vitamins above in combination with biotin and zinc. **Hint hint, I ALWAYS recommend biotin tablets, gummies or pills as part of my client’s daily regimen. (found at Walmart, Walgreens or your local pharmacy)
“Give It A Rest!”
The very instruments and tools that were created to make your lives easier can also damage your hair when they’re misused or overused. That daily flip, bump or curl with your trusty curling iron, flat iron or wand can slowly but surely fry your fragile ends. Even a one-time application with scorching heat can permanently kill your hair, so take it easy. Try gentler methods for providing curl and volume to your “crown and glory” such as wrapping your hair at night or investing in and using satin-covered rollers. Don’t get me wrong ladies, the occasional pass with a heat styling tool should be safe, but always use a quality heat protectant as a barrier between a hot iron and your hair.
“Be Proactive, Not Reactive!”
Think of deep conditioners and hair treatments as facials for your hair – something you should do to maintain beauty and look your best. The same goes for your hair. Why wait until you have damage to utilize these very valuable products to ward off any potential issues concerning your beautiful locks?
I recommend that my clients get a deep conditioner or hair treatment at minimum of once per month. This process will allow the hair to replenish some of the nutrients lost to styling and environmental damage. Hair conditioners and treatments help mend damaged hair and can be used regularly as a preventative measure against further damage.
Incorporating these tips into your hair care regimen will undoubtedly get you to your goal of healthy, vibrant, beautiful hair in less time than you think.