I am going to begin by saying that there is no quick fix for growing out slow growing and/or damaged hair, and the endless shampoos, conditioners and what not that claim to do so, just do not work (from my experience anyway!)
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For some of us, having long luscious locks is a far away dream that just we can't reach. For sooo many years I have wanted my hair to grow past my collar bone, but the stupid stuff has just refused too, no matter what! I think it was around last November that I realized the only way I would be able to make my hair grow at least a few inches longer (not much to ask!) was to completely change everything I was doing. I'm not going to lie, it has been a long and slow process, but after 6/7 months I am finally noticing it growing quicker and getting a little bit thicker (I naturally have quite thin hair). And it's finally past my collar bone!
My hair grows extremely slowly, so some of you may not have to wait as long as I have had to, I have just been cursed with slower than snail pace growing hair. The awful condition it was in after endless dying and using too much heat definitely did not help the situation either. It was time to make some drastic changes.
Cutting blow drying and straightening out of my daily routine has 100% not been as hard as I thought it would be. And I truly believe that if you're a heat on hair addict like I used to be, stopping will MAJORLY help. I decided the best way to go would be to do it cold turkey, instead of stopping gradually and risk slipping back into old habits. Dealing with un-straightened and un-blow dried hair in the daytime is always going to be the easiest because you can just bung it all up in a messy bun on the top of your head, but the first few nights I went out were, how should I put it... Painful? Unbearable? Worst hair experience ever? Okay, a teeny bit of exaggeration there, but it was pretty hard trying to make my half wavy, half curly hair look acceptable without the help of my trusty hair straighteners.
But as time goes on you do adapt to this 'new way of life' and learn little tips and tricks to help you out. For instance, I also used to be a hair washing addict; I could not, under any circumstances, leave the house unless I had washed my hair that morning. I just wouldn't do it, and I'm pretty sure it was becoming an obsession. Washing my hair everyday was very unhealthy for it, and of course it wasn't doing it any favours in the way of helping it to grow. So one evening I thought, this is it, it's gone too far. I picked up some dry shampoo and ever since I have been managing on two washes a week! And honestly, it's really not that bad!
So, so far we have cutting out heat, and cutting down the washes. And of course, we all know how damaging hair dye and bleaching can be. Although I have never needed to use bleach, I haven't dyed my hair in months. Using regular hair masks is also a must. Now, I'm not talking about the ones you can pick up at Boots or Superdrug for a fiver. I've never really understood how putting a tonne of chemicals I have never heard of on my hair can help make it baby soft and moisturized again. I prefer to opt for the au naturel approach, making concoctions out of different oils and other bits that can be picked up cheaply at the supermarket. At the moment I use warm Extra Virgin Olive Oil, massaging it into my hair, wrapping it up in a hot towel and leaving it for half an hour to an hour, before I plan to wash it. I won't drone on about all the different hair masks I have used and found have worked well here, I'll save that for a future blog post.
Another couple of little things I do too help just that little bit more is giving myself a scalp massage for 5 minutes a day, which really helps to stimulate the growth of thick healthy hair, and having my hair trimmed every 8 weeks to get rid of split ends, which stops breakage and allows it to grow. Diet and exercise also affects your hair to quite an extent, believe it or not. Eating a balanced healthy diet with enough protein (because hair is basically protein) and getting a fair amount of exercise (exercise helps to speed up your metabolism which, in turn, will quicken hair growth) really makes a difference.
Unlike with skin, hair will take a few months to show the hard work you have put in, and changes you have made. Making this many changes in your daily routine can take a lot dedication and patience, but it really does pay off in the long run, so it's definitely worth it!
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