23 Feb 2013

tips: how to grow your hair

should have probably brushed my hair before i took a photo but whatever...

i asked on twitter a little while back if you lovely readers would like to know how i grew my hair from a super short pixie cut (which you can see here) to the length it is now, and the answer was a huge yes. so, here's a few tips, from one non-professional, on all the little things that helped me...

tip one - be realistic: you can't expect you hair to grow from barely being able to tie it up to being able to use it as a scarf overnight. it just won't happen. according to super cereal (10 points if you get the reference) science, hair only grows, on average, half an inch a month. there are ways you can improve that rate slightly and some of you may be blessed with faster growing hair, but getting a grip about this fact will help you a lot in the long run.

tip two - get some supplements down you: nothing makes my hair better than taking fish oils, cod liver oil tablets specifically. when i don't take them, my hair falls out at an alarming rate, it goes brittle and awful, so i can only conclude that they must do something. the vitamins that are in these tablets seem to work wonders for hair (and your nails/skin too), so i thoroughly recommend taking some. or just eat more fish, or whatever vegetarians eat as an alternative for the same results (i can't advise on that, i` like steak way too much). they take about a month to kick in, so don't expect some amazing mermaid hair transformation after the first pill. anyways, some people also swear by folic acid, others love biotin, vitamin c also helps. there's a few to try but i would definitely vouch for the fish oils as a starting point.

tip three - eat some decent food: now, i'm not the greatest preacher of this rule and my love of pizza (and cake) will confirm this, but eating the right food can only help, surely? making sure you've got lots of protein, iron, zinc and all the other good things associated with hair in your diet is a bonus. oh and for some reason exercising really helps too! i think it's all that extra blood flow. don't quote me on it. i shall return back to eating my way through this toblerone now...

onto haircare and all that beauty jazz...

l-r: yuko anti frizz shampoo and conditioner*, john frieda full repair masque*, lee stafford hair growth treatment and philip kingley's elasticizer.

tip four - be nice to your hair: now, i've never dyed my hair so i haven't had to deal with all the dramaz and stress that goes with having coloured hair (ie. bleach, damage etc), so i can only go at this from a dye free point of view. buuuut, i think what i'm going to say is still valid: treat your hair well. 

use a nice shampoo that doesn't totally strip your hair (if you do, it'll just make your hair dry and it'll snap off), followed by a good conditioner on the bottom 1/3. it doesn't have to be an expensive/specific brand, but i've been using the two above by yuko* lately and, apart from smelling like fizzy apple sweets which is amazing, they are both absolutely beautiful to use. the shampoo alone is really moisturising and leaves my hair gently cleansed but so, so soft. the conditioner just tops it off and, when it's dry, my hair is smooth (but not unmanageable) and ridiculously shiny. i'd wholeheartedly recommend them!

tip five - treatments are your friends: when my hair was short, i never used to use conditioner as it turned it into a greasy mess, but when i started growing it i quickly realised that conditioners/treatments are the way forward. i've used that lee stafford hair growth treatment for years (since i was about 15, actually) and, contrary to the label it is not some miracle treatment (see tip one about being realistic), but it will keep your hair in optimum condition so it will grow at its top speed. 

i also love john frieda's full repair masque and i know others swear by philip kingsley's elasticizer (i have it but haven't tried it out properly yet). there are loads of them on the market, just try a couple out, but remember to use them at least once a week depending on your hair type. oh, and a bit of hair oil on the tips never hurt anyone.


tip six - hair tools aren't the enemy: there's a lot of people who say you shouldn't use heated tools at all when you're growing your hair, and i say that's rubbish. sure, it'll help a lot, but i sure as hell don't have a spare hour or two in the morning waiting for my hair to air dry and i'm sure a lot of you don't either. so i will say this: be sensible. you have to realise that yes, you can straighten your hair, but it will accelerate damage, your hair will snap off quicker and therefore it won't appear to grow as much.

so, just use the straighteners when you have to, if you're not going anywhere give your hair a break from them. as for blow drying, make sure you have a decent hairdryer that isn't taking too long to dry your hair. slightly hotter and quicker is better than blasting your hair for half an hour when you could realistically get it done in 10minutes. also, your hair doesn't need to be bone dry. if you can, dry the bulk of it but leave the bottom 1/3 to air dry to limit unnecessary damage. trust me, it'll help.

any other little tools that you can buy to limit damage will be a bonus too. for example, this brush from macadamia. it's got natural bristles which are gentle on your hair and distribute the natural oils evenly, which is what you want. investing in one decent hair brush will a) last you forever and b) benefit your hair. it's a win win situation.

and my final, but biggest tip is - cut your damn hair: you can't expect to have a lovely, long mane if what you're growing is damaged and dead. before you even begin your little hair growth adventure, get all the crap cut off! that's an order. it might feel like a step backwards, but you're gonna have to get it cut off eventually and i wouldn't want two years of gross, wrecked hair staring back at me in the mirror every day. once you've done that though, keep getting it chopped (just by half an inch) every 2-3 months, depending on how much you abuse the straighteners. the longer you leave it, the more you'll have to get cut off so it's best to keep on top of it.

so, that's all my tips. you don't have to take them as gospel, but they're the things that have worked with my hair so hopefully they'll work with yours too. if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments!


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52 comments:

  1. Good tips!
    www.live-love-fashion.com

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  2. Great tips! I love the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer but I use heat on my hair every day! So bad :)

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  3. love this post!x

    makeupmusicfashion.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. Great post Helen! I love the pixie crop you had - v cute :-)

    How long did it take for you to grow your hair to it's current length?

    I've just started a blog and, if you've got a few minutes, would love for you to check it out & would appreciate any feedback you may have.

    Tania x

    http://taniad5786.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. it took me about 3-4 months to grow it to chin length (like a bob), then i decided to grow it properly so from chin length to the length it is now took just over 2 years xo

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  5. I am so shocked (in a very good way) that you did this post. I have had chin-length hair for a year now and just today I decided I want to grow it out. I spent the entire day reading random articles found on google on ways to stimulate hair growth but all of them sound really shallow like "don't wash it everyday. use conditioner", and when I gave up and thought I would make better use of my time by just reading my GFC feed this post have just been published!
    I am really considering getting some vitamin pills supplements and trimming it a down a bit now!
    These tips sound so useful to me and I'm really glad you posted about this today haha
    x

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  6. Great tips and tricks! Just been to the hairdresser last week because the dead-ends ;)

    xoxo

    http://sarandasuzannaadriana.blogspot.com

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  7. Great tips! Just over two years ago I had the same length hair as you, now it's almost boob length! I've only had a proper cut at the hairdressers once in that time, but every couple of months I snip off any split ends myself, and always use some good hair masks once a week. xo

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  8. Oh Helen, haha your posts always make me chuckle! Great tips, especially the 'cutting your damn hair!' haha :)

    Kate xxx

    Fashbox Beauty & Style

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  9. This is so useful! I am literally the worst for getting my hair cut because I'm always scared it will go wrong haha xx

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  10. I love love love your hair
    xx

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  11. Wow, you looked so different! :D I'm growing my hair at the moment. I love my hairdryer, it has a diffuser and it dries my hair so quickly.

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  12. Great post! I'm trying to grow my hair at the moment, I'm trying to use as little heat as possible and getting it cut as often as I can so hopefully it will be long and healthy soon:) x
    graciousghost.blogspot.com

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  13. I agree with everything you've said :) especially about keeping it trimmed! Great post lovely xx

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  14. great tips! i defo need to go get my hair cut!
    taylorpluslife.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Been waiting for this post ;) Really want to try the Lee Stafford Hair Treatment now, great realistic tips xx

    betweentodaytomorrow.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I've been waiting for this post since you were talking about it on twitter! I've been trying to grow my hair for about a year and I'm getting impatient because I don't see that much difference :( for the last few weeks I've been trying to avoid straightening it as much which has resulted in me having afro-style hair monday-friday! going to try a few of these products out and see how I get on, your hair is lovely!
    xxx
    www.beautyspendingspreex.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. great tips! i never realised that it takes so long for supplements to kick in, i've always given up on the ones i had after about two weeks, probably should have tried harder with them! x

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  18. These were such amazing tips! I started taking supplements to help hair but i give in because it did not think it was working, im definitely going to try them aswell, especially when you mentioned they take a month or so to kick in! :)

    http://laurenlovesmakeupxoxo.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. I have been wondering whether to purchase the Lee Stafford hair treatment as my hair is a state but to know it helps to keep your hair in a good condition i think has given me the push to purchase it!
    http://styleandsplurging.blogspot.co.uk

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  20. I actually can't believe how much your hair has actually grown!!
    Fab tips I loveee talking hair growth, bleach is my enemy, but it has to be done & I'm basically on top of it now :)

    Http://throughchelseaseyes.com/ xxxx

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  21. Fantastic tips, thanks so much! I really needed the reminder to take fish oils

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  22. Wow you're hair has grown so much! Mine always seems to get to one length and stop! xxx

    www.belleetbeaut.blogspot.com

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  23. Amaze. Im following all these tips as i've been trying and willing my hair to grow as long as yours forever!!X

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  24. I like this post, thanks for the tips!
    Saadiya x


    www.thatgirlsaadiya.blogspot.com

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  25. Great tips!! I am trying to grow my hair and is growing at average speed, In a year it's grown 6 inches

    alittlebitsunshine.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. Thanks for the tips! Your hair is so long and beautiful. My hair grows really slow and I always, always get split ends after a few days of trimming my hair so essentially my hair doesn't change. Also, I have to wash my hair every day as it gets really oily and I get annoyed when I don't wash it. What should I do?!

    dreamdustx

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  27. Great tips, I'm definitely going to use some of these!

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  28. This is such a great post. I'm off to book a hair cut! xx

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  29. great tips will have to give them ago!

    http://dotofdaisy.blogspot.co.nz/

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  30. This is a great post! I've been growing my hair out for the past year as loads of my hair fell out due to bleach damage. It's still no where near the length I want it to be but these are some great top tips and an inspiration to keep growing! xx

    brutalfashionandbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  31. Thanks for sharing your tips!
    <3

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  32. Oh wow your hair looks amazing. I recently grew my hair out really long too, having had it shoulder length for about 5 years and I keep getting asked how I did it - truth is, it's down to time and patience! Hair growth doesn't happen like magic, just treat your hair really well and wait it out. I agree about the no heat thing, it would be insane to cut it out completely. Instead, I cut down the amount I wash my hair - washing it 3 times a week now means I only use heat 3 times a week. xx

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  33. Thanks for the tips, I believe them coming from you and your gorgeous mane! xxx
    http://unstitchedd.blogspot.co.uk/

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  34. the hair cutting thing is so true! i've fallen off the hair snipping band wagon as my hairdreser left but def with be getting a wee inch and a half chopped soon x

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  35. good tips :) i really need to get my hair trimmed but until i can be bothered to get an appointment the hair oil will have to suffice! your hair is soo long and pretty xxx

    http://doodleheartx.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. PS. thank you for 'heat tools aren't the enemy' because everyone says stop, but to be honest sometimes i need a straightener for that inexplicable lock of hair that wants to be a ringlet for no reason whatsoever; and i'd rather have hair that looks attractive than super-long hair that is a horrible texture! i think a lot of people forget that, and as long as you keep it in good condition and keep trimming there's no reason to forego heat completely.

      PPS. i'm a vegetarian and i take evening primrose oil - i don't actually take it for my hair but that might be a good alternative to cod liver oil for us veggies.

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  36. Super informative post! Definitely going to buy some vitamins and fish oils now.

    Amy x
    www.amodernminute.co.uk

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  37. Great tips! I've found that the tangle teezer brushes really help to grow hair as well, because it doesn't take out as much pieces of hair

    Lauren
    Fashionswirls.blogspot.com

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  38. Thanks for the tips! Now i'm looking for Cod liver/ fish oil. hahah.

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  39. I recenyly had my hair cut and every cm felt like a lifetime.
    I felt like Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, except I was only having a trim.
    Jealous of your long locks
    www.chelseasaysdoit.blogspot.com

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  40. Thank you for the tips! I've been trying to grow out my hair for ages now, so might try out those supplements and perhaps a healthier diet would be good too...! xx

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  41. Flaxseed Oil is a great alternative for strengthening hair for people who don't like/can't consume fish! :)
    Great blog post! xxx

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  42. Thank you for the tips, I recently had my hair cut short and I really hate it so am desperate for it to grow again! Your hair is so long now but looks so healthy too, I'm jealous haha! x

    www.iwishicouldwink.blogspot.co.uk

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  43. Great tips! I'll definitely refer back to this :D You have gorgeous hair too XD xx

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  44. great tips :) I am definitely going to try out some of those products. The hair drying tip was especially helpful! It's actually really smart to dry the top portion since the ends seem to dry quickly. And those are the parts that get damaged first. My hair takes forever and a day to grow so hopefully these tips help. Thanks for sharing!

    Mili from call me, Maeby

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  45. Great tips!!!)) I am growing my hair and Inneov vitamins is such a help, but you need to take them for three month at least, before they show some results.

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  46. Great tips! This has really helped!! :)

    sophie-lillie.com

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  47. I cannot believe your hair used to be that short!
    Great tips!

    I have a new post about LFW street style on my blog if you want a look :)
    www.slingback-scandal.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

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  48. My hair falls out like nobody's business! It's awful! I'm off to buy myself some supplements! Thanks girl! xxx

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