Would you like to have long hair, but don't seem to be making any real progress? You might feel like your hair is just taking too long to grow, or that you're still dealing with the consequences of a drastic hair cut you no longer like, and you need to give your hair a boost. Here are some tips from celebrity esthetician Mark Townsend, who tells us that healthy hair grows about half a centimeter (maximum 1 centimeter) per month, so patience is the key to achieving your goal.
1. Keep the ends trimmed
Having voluminous, strong hair is essential to ensuring its growth, and to achieve this you need to keep it free from split ends. This is why a handy pair of scissors will become your greatest ally! You need to keep the tips healthy, and this can be achieved with regular cuts; although this won't actually make your hair grow faster, it will prevent the ends from splitting and opening up and you then having to cut more of your hair off later when you finally do get it cut. The solution is to go to the hair stylist every two or three months to get the tips trimmed, about a centimeter in length.
2. Conditioner is a must
Skipping the conditioning step in your shower routine is a huge mistake, says the expert, and this is something that a lot of women do.
Instead, he recommends cutting back on shampooing, because its purpose is to eliminate dirt and hair product build-up, but it can also remove natural essential oils from the scalp that keep hair soft and healthy.
The trick –when using shampoo– is to gently massage the scalp and let the foam run down the locks of hair while rinsing the product with water.
3. Use cold water at the end of your shower
When it's time to wash your hair, remember to do so with cold water at the end of your shower. The cold temperature will help to stimulate growth and keep your hair healthier for longer. According to what the celeb approved stylist said to Vogue, this happens because it seals the hair fiber, thus smoothing the cuticle and trapping in moisture, which helps to prevent snagging and the damage caused by heat.
4. Avoid wrapping your hair in a large towel
No matter how soft your towel is, stop using it to wrap your hair in after every shower, because it's causing a lot of damage. When you repeat this action –which you've surely been used to doing since you were little– the hair gets trapped in the towel's woven fibers, and the pressure you exert when rolling your hair up in the towel will make each strand prone to breakage.
A good alternative for removing excess water from your hair, without damaging it, would be to use a fine, soft microfiber towel and wrap your hair gently, as if it were a turban.
5. Brush carefully
Wet hair should be detangled from the bottom up, i.e. starting from the tips and progressively moving upwards. Generally speaking, people tend to brush in the opposite direction–from the scalp downwards–which causes large knots to form, and a lot of hair gets lost in the process.
Another important recommendation is to apply treatments or masks with natural oils once per week, such as a pre-shampoo treatment, with the purpose of hydrating your hair. Each one of these tricks requires care, patience, and dedication; with time, you'll notice that your hair is growing just the way you always dreamed it would!