How To Grow Your Hair In 2 Months, According To A Trichologist
Hair care can be tough to keep up with, especially if you're super busy. We all want healthy hair, and, for some, that means long, luscious locks that we can swish around and feel fabulous about. But how do we achieve that look? It certainly seems harder than the women on the adverts make it seem. Here are nine tips for hair growth in just two months from a trichologist who has seen it all.
"On average, hair grows a half an inch a month. So, in a year, it generally grows six inches," says Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist and hair guru at Philip Kinglsey. "There are three stages of the hair growth cycle. Anagen (the growth phase), Catagen (an intermediary phase), and Telogen (the shedding/resting phase)."
Some of Kingsley's top tips may seriously surprise you. I mean, who knew so much comes down to what we eat? Speaking about the science behind this, she says: "As hair is non-essential tissue, it’s the last part of our body to benefit from what we eat and the first to suffer when our diet is lacking. A balanced diet containing all essential food groups is therefore essential."
But else should we be thinking about when we're trying to grow our hair in a short period of time? Read on to find out.
1. Foods To Eat
It seems that health and wellness are intrinsically linked to hair growth. When your diet suffers, so does your hair. Kingsley says you should “avoid cutting down on protein and nutritious foods. And [avoid] fad diets. I recommend everyone takes a daily protein supplement. This is because your hair is made of protein. Hardly anyone eats enough protein, at least from a hair-health standpoint.”
She continues: "Your hair is made of protein, and protein-rich foods help to ensure strands are strong. Hair cells are the second fastest growing cells the body produces, meaning they require a steady supply of energy to grow."
So, what other nutrients do you need to look out for to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for hair growth? Kinglsey advises you need to get enough complex carbohydrates and iron to help hair grow. She says: "Complex carbohydrates provide a slow and sustained release of energy. Ferritin (stored iron) helps to keep hair in the anagen (growth) phase.”
2. Foods To Avoid
Not all foods are good for hair growth, but it’s not your Friday night take away that's inhibiting it. Kingsley says, “try to avoid mercury-rich fish, such as tuna and swordfish, where possible. High mercury levels can affect the hair growth cycle."
Then she adds this helpful tip: "If you suffer from dandruff, cut back on full-fat dairy products, such as cheese. This can trigger flaking and itching."
3. Don't Miss Breakfast
Starting your day with a big, healthy breakfast sets you up for success, but it also might be the key to hair growth. Kingsley says, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your hair as it’s when energy to form hair cells is at its lowest."
But what sort of breakfast should you be having" A ‘hair-healthy’ breakfast will include a portion of protein and a complex carbohydrate," Kingsley explains. "For instance, eggs and whole wheat toast, smoked salmon on a bagel, or quinoa porridge with nuts and berries."
4. Manage Stress
Stress can affect your body in all sorts of ways, from giving you stomach cramps to raising your blood pressure. But did you know your hair growth cycle is also affected by stress?
"It's important to find ways to reduce stress levels," says Kingsley "Yoga, meditation and Pilates are all good options."
5. Wash Your Hair
There's no clear cut answer as to how many times a week you should wash your hair. While some like to leave it as long as dry shampoo will allow them, others wash their locks every other day. You may have been told otherwise but Kingsley says "don’t be afraid to shampoo your hair." She explains: "Contrary to popular belief, shampooing does not cause hair loss. It’s the opposite. Frequent washing helps to keep the scalp environment healthy which is essential to hair growth."
6. Going For A Trim & Avoiding Breakage
I love nothing more than a relaxing trip to the hairdressers, but when you're trying to grow your hair out, it seems counterproductive to go and get it chopped. This may not be the case, and your hairdresser will be your best hair pal through the growing process. As Kingsley explains, “having a trim gets rid of split ends, and so prevents them from splitting further up the hair shaft. It can also make the ends appear healthier, thicker and bulkier."
However, Kingsley points out: "Cutting your hair has no effect on hair growth from your roots."
Maintaining healthy hair is a sure fire way to help it grow. If you really want to see results in two months, Kingsley recommends using "a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment to strengthen strands." Her go to? " I recommend our Elasticizer," she says.
7. Look After Your Scalp
When it comes to hair care, don't assume that the TLC should end with your locks. Your scalp's just as important when it comes to growing out your hair. Kinglsey says: “Scalp health is key to healthy hair growth. A flaky scalp can cause hair loss. Once weekly, use an exfoliating scalp mask to gently lift away dead skin cells. Like the skin on your face, your scalp benefits from gentle weekly exfoliation.”
8. Styling Secrets
It seems obvious, but the more wear and tear your hair sees, the slower it'll take for it to grow. It might be tempting to blast your hair with your hair dryer on the hottest setting in the morning to save yourself time but you'll pay for it in the long run. "Avoid being rough when you style," Kingsley says. "I.e., don’t pull harshly at your hair with a brush or comb or use the highest heat setting on your dryer. Hair that is finer is naturally weaker and will therefore snap quite easily."
9. Ingredients To Look For
Finally, there are certain ingredients you can look out for in your hair products that can help to ensure your scalp is healthy so your hair will grow. Kingsley suggests finding products that include:
• Menthol: a stimulant.
• Piroctone Olamine: an antimicrobial that helps to clear flaking and itching.
• Methyl nicotinate: a vasodilator that can also help to aid in the effectiveness of other ingredients.
• A combination of Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin B6 and Azelaic Acid: combined in topical drops they can help to block the conversion of testosterone to the more damaging dihydrotestosterone. (Tricho 7 stimulating Scalp Drops — these also contain piroctone olamine and methyl nicotinate).
• Betaine salicylate or salicylic acid: exfoliants that can be formulated into scalp masks to gently remove dead-skin cells.
It's natural for your hair to shed as part of your hair growth cycle. Ensuring that your scalp and body is as healthy as possible will encourage your hair to grow fast, long, and healthy. Products are only effective so long as you use them properly. So, follow these instructions, treat your hair to some TLC, and watch it grow.