For most of my life, growing my hair long was literally impossible for as long as I could remember: growing up in the United Arab Emirates with desalinated water and extreme humidity coupled with adolescent hormones, made it impossible to even de-tangle my hair in the shower, and needless to say get my hair past shoulder length.
By the time I had moved to London and taken on a highly visible corporate job, expensive blow dries were replaced by at home straightening iron sessions with a GHD appliance. Given the water was slightly softer and I could hide my hair under a hooded coat, my hair did grow by a couple of inches more but not to the length I always dreamt of.
Until I moved to Dubai again and my hair was subject to daily washing because of the heat, the beach and exercising. Nevertheless , something unexpected happened simply out of cheer laziness: three months into my pregnancy, I decided that life was too busy to spend it in a hairdresser’s chair or slaving away with a hair dryer and iron at home.
Here is the short story of how I managed to grow my hair long from shoulder length to the middle of my back in one year:
1- Start by making sure you are washing your hair with the cleanest most filtered water possible , of course you could spend a fortune on Evian bottles and struggle with rising off that shampoo , but you could invest in a Blu filtering shower head. Simply replace your existing shower head with Blu’s , it has a dual filter one in the handle of the head to clean out any bacteria and another mechanical filtering disk in the head itself that will trap any sand or dust or other particles , giving you a cleaner more purified water stream. It will do wonders to your skin as well.
2- Leave the straightening and curling irons once and for all and embrace your curlier side. You will suffer for about a week of unruly frizzy hair and untameable irregular waves or curls . The key is to be patient and just ride out this ugly phase until your hair becomes more elastic again and is able to retain moisture better.
3- If possible at all, try to dry your hair naturally without using a hair-dryer, keep your hair tangle free and less porous by putting up your hair in a loose low bun.
4- Even when your hair is dry and you are out and about, remember to tie your hair loosely to keep it from frizzing, picking up any fluff from your winter coat and other pollutants. You will soon realise the importance of keeping your hair isolated from external aggression.
5- Never underestimate the power of a leave-in conditioner or sealant to help your hair retain moisture, choose a product that is suitable to your hair type. We won’t cover any products in this post, as we are focusing on changing your hair washing and handling habits.
6- Go easy on the highlighting and colouring, try to opt for a colour that won’t require frequent re-colouring such as red (with washing the colour will fade inevitably and will require frequent colour refreshes) or several shades lighter than your roots because that will mean having to colour more frequently. If grey hair is a real issue, then try as much as possible to stick to colouring the roots only and leaving alone the rest of you hair.
7- Last but not least, what you put into your body makes a huge difference to the way your hair and skin look: take a multi-vitamin supplement or enrich your diet with Protein (the building blocks of hair), Vitamin B12, Folic Acid (usually prescribed to pregnant women) and found in leafy greens , zinc (found in beef, nuts and eggs) , vitamin D ( found in Greek yoghurt) and Omega 3 found in salmon and nuts , Biotin found in walnuts, Vitamin C found in spinach and citrus fruits. For more detailed medical information, we recommend reading Web MD’s Top 10 healthy foods for hair and The Huffington Post’s Vitamins & minerals for hair that’s healthier , stronger and shinier, since nutrition alone can not solve hair problems and there may be some underlying health issues.
The tips described above are a result of a tried and successful method which we and our friends and family have followed.
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