Grow Hair, Grow! Tips For Growing Longer Hair

If I had a time machine, or some way of speaking to my teenage self, I'd definitely tell the younger version of me to look after my hair. I've been obsessed with growing it long for a couple of years now, and can't help to feel annoyed that if I'd have just left it alone it could have been down to my waist by now. Various bodged bleach jobs, glue-in extensions and the fact that I never gave my hair a helping hand with intensive products meant that over a five year period my hair pretty much stayed the same length even though I never had a significant amount trimmed off. My hair was the classic 'never grows past a certain length' and it doesn't take a genius to work out why. In recent months I've made significant changes to my routine and taking care of my hair,  but decided to have a little look to see if there was anything else I could do- aside from treating my hair with products. Here's what I discovered.

Often marketed as 'hair skin and nails' tablets, biotin is a water soluable B vitamin found in smaller amounts in foods like eggs, carrots and milk. If you've ever googled 'how to speed up hair growth' or something similar chances are you've heard of it. I've read quite a few reviews from people that take biotin, and the general consenus seems to be that people noticed a difference in their nail growth and hardness within six weeks, and hair growth within three to six months. You can buy biotin capsules from health food shops like Holland and Barrett. Taking biotin is also beneficial for metabolism and the nervous system too, so they're a useful thing to take even if you're not fussed about growing your hair.

This one is pretty self explanatory, proteins are the building blocks to every cell in our bodies and so to grow healthy hair we need an adequate amount of protein. The recommended daily allowance is 46g a day which you can get in the forms of poultry, lean red meat and eggs as well as some legumes and grains like beans and quinoa.

Vitamins and Minerals
It seems feasible that you're much more likely to grow healthy hair when your body isn't lacking in anything, multivitamin tablets are worth a go alongside a healthy diet. Specific vitamins in foods can also be beneficial; for example Beta Carotene (found in orange/yellow foods) is essential for growth including the development of bones, hair and nails. It and also protects the sheaths around nerve fibres and promotes healthy skin, hair and nails. Omega 3 and 6 help to stimulate skin and hair growth, and folic acid (prenatal vitamins) contain important B vitamins which support basic cell production as a result will have positive effects on hair growth. Since all women of childbearing age should be taking folic acid anyway, so it might be worth getting used to taking it either way.

Head Massage/ Scalp Stimulation
It doesn't have to be a full blown Indian head massage every night (although that would be amazing, and I think is what my life is lacking!) it can be as easy as massaging shampoo into your hair for a few minutes when you wash it. This will increase blood flow to the scalp, which will help to nourish the hair follicles.

We all know that water and exercise are beneficial to just about every cell in the body, ditch the Diet Coke and guzzle a few glasses of the clear stuff instead. Exercise gets the heart pumping which will supply nutrients to all areas of the body through the bloodstream, including the scalp and hair follicles.

Stress Less
Chronic stress can cause greying and even hair loss, where the hair is forced into the telogen (fall out) stage. When you're feeling stressed and run down your body isn't going to be running as well as it could and so hair growth is likely to slow down. Clearly you can't force yourself to stress less, but having a few enjoyable hobbies or relaxing in a hot bath at the end of the day can do wonders for stress levels.