Many of us would love to have long, luscious locks, but growing your hair can be frustratingly difficult thanks to breaking ends and overeager hairdressers.
There are ways you can help your hair grow quicker and longer, however, and finally achieve that magnificent mane you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are six tips to try before you give up on growing your hair long:
1. Use a specialised shampoo and conditioner
When growing your hair, it’s only a matter of time before the ends start to dry out, making them thin and unmanageable.
Indeed, a Pantene survey found that 50% of women who want to grow their hair longer can’t, and the number one reason is because of damaged ends.
However, there’s a new specially designed formula to help. Pantene is re-launching its shampoo and conditioner range to include a new Smart Pro-V formula, which specifically targets weak parts of the hair.
It then works to protect these weak spots against damage, repair imperfections and strengthen hair fibres. This means you can go for longer between trims and, when you do go, your hairdresser won’t need to take as much off your ends.
Dr Vicky Jolliffe, consultant dermatologist at Royal London Hospital, oversaw a 12-week study of 13 women who agreed the new Pantene formula helped them extend their cutting point and that their longer hair looked great from root to tip.
“After only six weeks I noticed improvements in her hair shine, texture at both the root and tips, and in overall hair health,” says Dr Vicky of one of the participants.
The new formula also has a creamier consistency, which allows for easier wet detangling, preventing breakage when brushing (see point 4 for more on this).
For best results, try using Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect shampoo and conditioner with Smart Pro-V.
2. Rinse your hair with cold water
After washing your hair, finish off with a blast of cold water.
It might be hard to handle, but it’s worth it because, as with the pores on your skin, cold water closes your hair cuticles. This makes your hair smoother and less likely to tangle, plus it helps it to retain moisture and protects it from deep heat damage.
You only need to do it for a few seconds and it can make a real difference, so give it a go.
3. Trade in your hair towel
If you wrap your hair in a towel turban, you could be doing real damage. Not only do the lengths get caught in the towel fibres, but the weight of the towel will pull on your hair roots, weakening them.
Either lay the towel over your hair and dab dry, or wrap it up with a lightweight or microfiber towel instead.
4. Be careful when brushing
Wet hair is weak hair, but if you have to detangle it make sure you do it gently and with a wide-toothed comb. Also start from the ends and work upwards so you avoid any excessive pulling at the roots.
5. But do brush before bed
Using a natural-bristled brush, do long strokes from roots to tip to help spread the natural oils across your hair so it can nourish while you sleep. Plus the brush will stimulate the circulation in your scalp to encourage hair growth.
6. Eat well
Your body needs certain nutrients in order for it to grow hair, so you need to make sure your levels are tip-top, particularly when it comes to Omega-3, protein, iron, zinc and numerous letters of the vitamin alphabet.
Enjoy meals including salmon, spinach, lentils, eggs, sweet potatoes, walnuts, carrots, chicken and turkey to give your hair a boost.
You can also top up with a vitamin supplement, such as Swisse’s Ultiplus Hair, Skin & Nails.
Do you have any tips for helping your hair to grow long and look great? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below…