The Twenty-First Century has brought with it all number of technological advances that allow us to style, colour and extend our hair almost effortlessly; super hot irons and tongs, at-home bleach kits, temporary and clip in extensions all seem like a good idea at the time, but the impact they can have on your ‘do in the long-term can be incredibly detremental. I’ve been dying my hair for as long as I can remember in an attempt to cover the mousy brown shade I was born with, while straighteners and tongs have been a part of my daily ritual since I first discovered that an iron for your hair could actually rid me of those kinks and curls that became the bane of my life. The control these aids provide is almost life changing, but that endless dying and heat styling can leave hair looking lacklustre, feeling dry and struggling to grow past a certain point. So what can you do to easily help to strengthen and grow damaged hair? I guarantee these six easy-to-implement tips will have you on your way to a healthy looking and strong ‘do in no time.
CHANGE YOUR HAIR TOWEL
Rather surprisingly, the majority of damage to the hair shaft is caused by the friction when towel drying; hair is most delicate when wet because the cuticle is open, making it stretchy and prone to snapping and tangling. I’ve been using Aquis microfibre hair towels for years (I wrote about them first here) because they not only help to absorb so much more water from the hair, but the soft texture doesn’t cause friction or leave hair broken from too much rubbing. These handy towels reduce the time needed for drying and styling too, as your hair is only damp (rather than sodden) when you pick up the hair dryer. An easy way to help strengthen and grow damaged hair, without having to change your regime.
USE HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY
Absolutely the number one most important thing you can do for your hair, a heat protection spray will help prevent any further damage. These super clever sprays, creams and oils form a protective layer around the hair shaft, essentially forming a barrier that prevents it from being exposed to extreme temperatures. This means the heat is absorbed by the product and not the actual strand of hair, helping you to style effectively without completely knackering your look. (I wrote more on the importance of heat protection here.) Spraying this on hair before every drying, straightening, tonging or styling session will absolutely help to strengthen hair in the long-term.
EXPERIMENT WITH UP-DOS
It may seem obvious, but if you can cut the amount of washing and styling sessions by 50% a week you’ll be on to a good thing. Start experimenting with up-dos and embracing the dry shampoo, because the less you’re faffing the less your hair will be exposed to potential damage. Although it may seem like an impossible task to go from daily washing to once a week initially, if you take baby steps by trying to extend your style by a day at a time you’ll soon get used to having ‘day two’ or ‘day three’ hair – and the enjoyment of extra time in bed that comes with it. I’ve gone from daily washing to two or three times a week if I can get away with it; thank goodness for top-knots!
INTENSELY TREAT & NOURISH
Not exactly rocket science, but intensely treating your hair to some nourishing and strengthening goodness at least once a week will help to inject a lot of the essential nutrients its lost. Find a treatment that includes keratin (what your hair is naturally made of) and includes nourishing ingredients such as cocoa, shea or coconut butter; look for phrases including ‘anti-snap’, ‘restorative’ or ‘reconstructor’ to be sure it contains the ingredients to help strengthen each strand. If your focus is more on growth, then investing in something like Nanogen (which I used before my wedding to get my hair in tip top condition and wrote about here) will help to ensure you’re awakening every strand of your hair and ensuring it grows to its full potential; the result will be thicker and fuller feeling hair – and it works!
TAKE STRENGTHENING SUPPLEMENTS
A super popular area of health and beauty thanks to the launch of brands including Hair Burst, Hairfinity and Sugar Bear Hair, supplements can really help to give your scalp the boost it needs to grow healthy and full hair. You’ll have to be patient though, as it can take up to three months to see results – and it won’t have an impact on the lengths of hair, only the stuff that’s growing from the scalp. These vitamins provide ingredients including iron, collagen, biotin, Vitamin C, D and E to help boost the health and performance of the scalp, which in turn helps to strengthen and grow damaged hair; because after all, healthy hair starts at the root.
GET REGULAR TRIMS
Although there’s absolutely no truth in the fact that getting a regular trim will help your hair to grow, it will help to keep your ‘do looking much healthier and rid you of those damaged ends quicker. A trip to your hairdresser every eight weeks for a professional hydrating and strengthening treatment will help leave your hair looking far healthier – while a quick trim will give the illusion of a fuller and stronger overall look. Sometimes it’s also worth getting the input and advice of a professional too, as they’ll be able to give you care suggestions and product recommendations, as well as in-salon treatments and processes that may give you the boost you need.
Great hair takes a lot of time, energy and often money to get right – but if you start to make small changes you will definitely see the benefits. You can easily help to strengthen and grow damaged hair, if you just know how.
If you’re looking for a few things to help you on your journey, below are some of my fave products and top recommendations too. Here’s to all the hair swishing!
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE HAIR SAVIOURS