This is one of those quotes that I see all over Twitter all the time and have to pretend I have a clue what people are talking about when they use it. I also have suspicions that those people who do say it don't really know what they mean either.... However, it seemed an appropriate starting point to this post: I don't have long hair yet and I really REALLY do care. About that fact. Also about other things - mainly how to make it grow faster. This is a slightly random topic, but it's something that's been on my mind more than usual lately. In fact it's becoming a bit of an embarrassing obsession. I feel like I spend half my day looking at my hair in the mirror, pulling it straight so that it looks that all important half-inch longer and generally driving everyone around me mad. I saw a quote someone posted to Twitter lately which I can't remember exactly but was something along the lines of: "The biggest mistake in a girl's life will always be that one time she cut her hair short." Oh wait, I found it: Here's a cheeky screen shot. Is it bad that I actually have no idea who this is or why I follow an account named BoobsOnBlonde??
Whether or not you agree with this, it certainly struck a chord with me, and judging from the amount of retweets, clearly a lot of other people felt the same way. Like most little girls, when I was really young I had that typical bob with a fringe from the ages of about four to six, at which point I think I started growing it longer. I've seen pictures and when I was that age it did honestly look quite cute - although I've not forgiven my parents for dressing me in a kilt and a matching bobble hat. WE'RE NOT EVEN SCOTTISH - what were they thinking?!?! Anyway, I honestly have no idea why, at the age of about 11, when my hair was actually a reasonable mid-back sort of length, to chop it all off again. Any people lucky enough to have seen my stunning Year 7 school photo will agree with me here - I look ridiculous. I then went through a phase of growing it and then cutting it short again for the next few years and also had a fringe from some of this time. I also discovered hairdye - so hey there, split ends, welcome to my life. Please move in, stick around and basically ruin the condition of my hair.
Throughout Year 10 and 11 I coloured my hair about five or six times, sometimes with friends to help and sometimes (more messily!) by myself. My hair at prom was a dark-red and in mid-length (for me) curls with a fringe and at the time I absolutely loved it. It helped that by that point I had found my amazing hairdresser who is literally the only person I have ever felt comfortable with cutting my hair and has been so full of helpful advice when it comes to growing it - mainly: Don't just stop ever having it cut. She also said: Don't bleach it, but I conveniently managed to forget that one and yeah, I tried out the dipdye look - don't judge me. I've learned my lesson and will not be bleaching it again any time soon - until I'm willing to have a good inch at least trimmed from the ends. I liked it at the time, but the main problem with bleach (as probably I should have thought about first - duh) is not even so much that it damages it at the time, but as its weakened the structure, the damage done to it by blow-drying and other heat styling as well as general day-to-day wear and tear has so much more impact.
Anway, for the last couple of months to a year, I have been, sometimes slowly, and sometimes really, really slowly, growing out my hair. This process isn't exactly fun: the awkward stage between a bob and my shoulders is thankfully over now, but the whole thing is giving me flashbacks to primary school. It's mainly growing out the fringe that is painfully slow. I loved my fringe but I'm bored of it now and the problem I can't just click my fingers and be rid of it... I wish! At the moment my hair isn't exactly what you would call long, but it's no longer short so that's something. My goal is waistlength... I can dream.This will probably take me several years and that's being optimistic so for now I'll settle with being happy with shoulder blade length. It's officially past my shoulders now even when dry so only a few more inches to go.
My haircare routine is probably pretty much the same as many other teenage girls. I don't do anything remotely special and tend to use whichever brand of shampoo is lying around our bathtub. My routine does also include using a couple of products that I swear have saved the life - or at least salvaged the condition - of my poor hair. One is a VO5 miracle oil as well as a VO5 Frizz Free Blow Dry Creme. Not only do these products smell amazing, they make your hair soft and managable even after drying and curling/straightening etc. They provide really good heat protection as well. The other main things I do are focus on mainly using repair and protect type conditioners such as anything of this type by John Frieda or Tresemme. I'm lucky in that these are the brands my mum tends to stock up on but the rest of the products I use I buy for myself.
There are also a couple of tips I've discovered that have really helped with this process, mainly from beauty blogs and magazines, so I thought I would post my own version on here and explain what has worked for me.
1) The first, and most important, is to treat your hair as if its very delicate and fragile. You want the growth that's appearing now (if you're trying to grow it) to still be strong and healthy when it becomes the ends. The length of time this takes will depend on how fast your hair grows but in any case, taking good care of your hair and getting regular trims is definitely the most beneficial thing you can do to improve the condition. You can do this by:
- Washing your hair gently. Don't scrub at it, just shampoo gently. Then wring as much water as possible out of your hair before applying conditioner. Concentrate on the ends, otherwise the roots can get greasy faster if over-conditioned. Combing through with a fine toothed comb at this point is a really good idea to remove tangles as well, although I don't know whether this works for every hair type.
- I always squeeze my hair to dry it and avoid "rubbing" with the towel with can cause damage. Wet hair is delicate and prone to breakage. When it 70% dry with the towel I comb with a wide toothed comb, find my parting and apply a little oil or serum to the ends, followed by blow dry creme all over. I give the products a few minutes to sink in and seal the cuticle before blow drying. If I feel that my hair is over-heated or getting dried out during this, I spritz on more heat protect, usually from a spray. You should always do this before heat styling as well and, in my opinion, its best to buy a cheaper brand and use a lot more spray as its essential to your hair remaining healthy as well looking gorgeous.
- Finally, don't overbrush your hair, as this can actually do more harm than good. Personally, I give it a quick brush every morning and again in the evening. I also sleep with it in a plait, if I remember, to prevent it getting tangled. If I know I have time to wash it in the morning I will apply a bit of oil to the ends before plaiting it.
2) Eat well, as your hair ( like your skin and nails) is one of the best ways to reflect the health of the rest of your body. Your hair needs certain minerals and vitamins to keep it strong and although you can get these by taking supplements, if you consume them in the form of fruits and vegetables you get all the other benefits, such as fibre, etc. as well as the fact that they are delicious. ALthough I have never eaten an oyster in my life, I eat a lot of other things on this list, such as carrots, green vegetables and whole grains, and my hair does grow quite quickly so there could be something in this. Healthy fats, like in salmon and nuts, are also good for hair.
3) Drink water. Drink water even when you are not thirsty. One thing one of my dance teachers always told us was that if you are thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Just keep drinking water all the time, especially when you exercise. Your hair will look so much better for it. And then, apparently this is the kind of growth you can be looking at in three to four years.
I just quickly want to say before I end this post that I am in no way at all an expert and to be honest you might be better off not listening to anything I say. I just wanted to talk about what has worked for me. I'm not being entirely serious when I say don't listen though - seriously, vegetables are good for you :D What are your thoughts on ways to get your hair to grow faster? Please leave any comments below! xoxo
*Also, none of these pictures are mine - I basically stole them from tumblr.*