I had practically no hair until I was five years old. When it finally did come in, it was instantly destined to be shoulder-length, frizzy/curly, light brown and totally boring. After several traumatising incidents as a child (my mother’s decision to give me a pageboy haircut, and my best friend’s attempt at a makeover in which she chopped off one chunk of my hair and hid it under the couch) it had remained at almost the same length throughout my younger years and into my teens. I don’t remember the exact moment I decided that my goal in life would be to have long hair, but I do remember putting nude-coloured tights over my head as a child and letting the legs float down my back as I pranced around the house. That may have been the beginning of my obsession. Several years later I was trying everything humanly possible to make my hair grow and although I’m sad to say none have really worked, I am always happy to shed some light on a few hair-growth myths that might save you time and money…
Online Hair-Growth Products
If I could get back all of the money I have spent on hair-growth products over the years, I’d have a small fortune. There are tons of special shampoos and conditioners, leave-in conditioners, scalp oils and even tablets to buy online which claim to be the secret to amazingly fast hair growth. While I would never recommend taking tablets that have been ordered online (and never have myself) I have ordered many a shampoo that definitely did not work. ‘FAST’ is a brand that promises you the world in hair growth, but after using it for several months I can’t say that I witnessed much difference, except in my bank balance. Each person’s success with these products will differ however, and I only speak from my own experience. Lee Stafford’s hair growth shampoo is another product that falls short of the fantastic results it promises. I spent money on many more weird and not so wonderful products over the years, including something called ‘Snake Oil’ which comes in a pink bar (thankfully not made from real snake…), however I drew the line at the Placenta Hair Mask…yup. Ew.
Don’t overdo it on the vitamins. While vitamins that compliment a balanced, healthy diet are most likely the best thing for hair growth, I was known to take two or three of these a day while desperately trying to make my hair grow. Definitely not clever, and not healthy despite the fact that they are vitamins. Too much of a good thing…does not make your hair grow!
One of the best things you can do for your hair above all else is limit the heat you apply to it, or better yet remove it altogether. This means no blow-drying and no straightening/curling. Many of us will use a daily heat protection spray when styling, but even this is no match for simply having a day off from frying the hair ends. If you can get away with giving your hair a break from styling every now and then, you are guaranteed to see less breakages and split ends, which can lead to better hair growth.
I convinced myself that a scalp massage could work after reading testimonials online, but in fact I looked a bit weird hanging upside down from the sofa each night prodding at my head.
While I can’t praise the benefits of a healthy diet enough, it won’t give you long hair in a hurry. Making healthy choices such as certain vegetables can boost the body’s natural vitamins, but these effects will probably not be too visible in terms of hair growth unless you have been living this way for several years. Ditch the junk food now and see the benefits later!
After many conversations with many hairdressers over the years, I have had to accept the fact that hair growth can also sometimes be hereditary. As strange as it sounds, if your mum has had short hair all of her life then this could potentially be the reason why yours has never grown as long as you’d like. This certainly seems to be the case for me, and while I’m told that a combination of a healthy diet, low amounts of styling, daily vitamins, and generally keeping my hair in good condition will change that, in all of my twenty-three years it never has. All you can do is keep your hair as healthy as possible, and if it was meant to grow, it will grow.
If all else fails, tie a pair of tights to your head.