By Olivia |
My hair struggled to make it to my shoulder blades. It looked terrible, was hard to manage, was dry and dull, tangly and frizzed out. But that was then. Read on to learn how I got my hair to grow faster and longer than I ever had before.
I have three tips on how to make your hair grow faster based on my personal battle with hair growth.
Get Frequent Trims
Yes, this seems counterintuitive. (“I want long hair, so I’ll go get it cut!”) But as I’ve said, my hair always struggled to grow, and maxed out around my shoulder blades. Because of this I almost never cut it. Like, once every two or three years or so, if that. One, I was unwilling to lose even a smidgen of the growth that took oh so long to achieve, and two, I feared that even if I insisted on half an inch at the most, the hair dresser would invariably snip off way more.
Yet, what do you think happened once I began getting regular trims — or, more accurately, “dustings,” as my stylist called them? Let’s put it this way: my hair is now swinging sweetly a little past my waist. It’s actually flirting with my bottom a bit.
The reason this works — and I’m forever indebted to the friend-slash-hair magician who convinced me to let him do dustings on me — is that if your hair is anything like mine, it’s breaking off. The neglected ends get frayed, splits travel up the shaft, weakening the strand as it goes. These split ends tangle and knot more easily, and inevitably fall victim to even the gentlest of brush strokes. So it’s not that your hair doesn’t grow; it just doesn’t end up where it would if it were healthy and strong. Regular dustings keep split ends at bay, preventing damage that leads to breakage, not to mention fuzzy-looking, unmanageable hair.
Discuss your hair goals with your stylist. Tell him or her exactly what you want to achieve in time. I told my guy D: “I want hair down my back*, all one length, completely straight across.” ( * I was a little vague because at that time I had kinda given up on my dream of waist-length hair, but he got the idea, which was basically that I wanted it as long as it can possibly grow. I say to you, however, dare to dream and spell it out exactly. There’s power in declaring your intentions, but that’s another story…)
If your hair is in really bad shape, you may have to lose more than you wanted at first. After he explained to me how not cutting my hair had made my hair worse (see above), I initially allowed him to cut about four inches off. Thereafter, he’d give me a dusting about every six to eight weeks. And what he meant by this is that all I’d see on the floor when he was done was what looked like dust — that’s how little he’d be snipping off. He’d then hunt down bad split ends and cut them off individually.
I was stunned — I’m actually still in disbelief almost, even though I lived it! — at how quickly my hair reached new lengths. I almost wrote how quickly my hair was growing, but that’s not accurate. My hair was always growing — of course it was — it just never got to reach its potential.
My hair also looked the healthiest it ever looked. When I think of all those years jealously guarding every straggly-looking lock, I could just kick myself. Learn from my mistake!
Get a Brazilian Keratin Treatment
This might be what was called in my college course on logic “jumping to conclusions.” However, this is what I have personally experienced and observed:
All my life I wanted really long hair. Well, almost all my life. I did go through a rebelling stage that involved me taking our little dog’s hair clippers and buzzing my mane off in a punky ‘do — long bangs and short sides and back. Real short. See-my-scalp short.
I actually buzzed my hair this way for a couple of years during my teens. But when I was finally done torturing my parents (in this particular manner, anyway), I put down the clippers and decided I wanted it long again. Well, longish – it had barely reached past my shoulders before. Growing out what was basically a crew cut, I had to wait ages for my hair to be long enough to fashion into a bob.
So if you read the tip above, you know that I became so fiercely protective of every little millimeter that I almost never got a haircut, and this turned out to be the worst thing a person with fine, curly hair like mine could do. My hair, which was already fragile given its texture, resembled a rat’s nest. It was tangled all the time. I’d eventually get impatient detangling and knotted strands would snap off into my comb. It looked frizzy and frayed and didn’t curl right, so of course I had to straighten it! So then it became fried, too. But still I hung on to it.
After the dustings made my hair look healthier and get longer, my stylist/new best friend (not really, but you know what I mean) told me that a colleague of his at the salon had just got certified to do Brazilian keratin treatments and that I’d be perfect for one. I didn’t know anything about Brazilian blowouts or straighteners, as they are also called, but when his co-worker explained everything to me, I decided to give it a try.
Oh. My. God. Getting the Brazilian was a life changer. (You can read more about it here.) I am absolutely convinced that my hair is the length it is today because of this treatment. So to those who’ve asked does a Brazilian straightener help grow hair long, I give you a resounding yes!
Here’s why. The Big Cut and frequent dustings thereafter improved the look and health of my hair, no doubt. But my hair was what it was — very fine and curly and tangly. Tangly hair is weak hair. Weak hair breaks easily. Breaks happen easily and often when kinky curls tie themselves up in knots. So growing my hair was still an uphill battle although less of one now that I was educated into taking better care of it.
The Brazilian, however, changed all that. Briefly, it coats each strand with a sheath of keratin, smoothing down the cuticle and fortifying the hair. It’s a coat of armor. While this temporary treatment typically still leaves a wave in your hair, unlike a permanent hair straightener such as the Japanese straightener, it makes hair virtually tangle-free. So the hair is not only stronger with that coat of keratin, it is less susceptible to damage if we don’t have to yank out knots. And straightening after a Brazilian treatment is a breeze, meaning hair is not subjected to heat styling as long as it normally would be. Again, less damage. It also minimizes frizz and leaves your hair unfazed by humidity.
Get Your Fruits and Vegetables
While all this was going on, my hair — as well as the rest of my body — was reacting to my new and improved eating habits. I’d gone vegetarian about a year before and I’m certain all the beautiful, nutrient-rich foods I’d been eating set my hair-producing follicles on fire.
My hair is very fine, which is a euphemism, really, because there is nothing fine about hair so thin you could practically see through it if you could see it at all! But never mind; it is what it is.
However, I know that all those vitamin-packed colorful foods, vibrant greens, high-quality proteins (legumes, tempeh, nuts, beans, broccoli, brown rice and on and on) and healthy oils such as coconut oil and olive oil, have fired up the tiny hair-making factories in my head. I know this because I need to color my roots more frequently than I ever used to (I’ll admit to having a few grays here and there : ).
Also, while my beloved hair wizard has moved on and is no longer in my life, I still get semi-frequent trims. Actual trims of about half inch to an inch because I haven’t found anyone who can dust like my dear D could. And yet my hair keeps reaching new lengths.
In addition to being sure that you eat high-nutrient foods, you may want to try vitamins for hair growth, too.
Final Word on How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Longer
If nothing else, eat better, take your vitamins — you’ll benefit from head to toe — and stop avoiding scissors! Your hair may end up shorter than you want but it will look better after cutting off all those fried, straggly, damaged bits. And the objective is to look good, isn’t it?
For me the Brazilian hair therapy was a revelation. But there are things to consider, not the least of which is cost and the fact that you’ll lose your curls for a while. Still, if your hair is very damaged and fragile, it may be the bandaid it needs to give you longer, better-looking hair. Get a free consultation from a stylist experienced in doing this keratin treatment. And eat your spinach!
By Tamryn |
The makers of the Brazilian Blowout line of hair straightening treatments have settled a lawsuit with the state of California, agreeing to include warnings that two of their products can expose stylists and their clients to formaldehyde gas, a carcinogenic.
California-based company GIB had previously claimed that the Brazilian Blowout products were “formaldehyde free.”
The Federal Drug Administration disagreed. Following complaints about health issues arising from the use of Brazilian Blowout, the FDA found it had levels of formaldehyde in the 8 to 10 percent range. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that anything with levels of just 0.1 percent of the cancer-causing substance have a warning.
In August 2011, the FDA, in a letter to the makers of the popular hair smoothing product, said: “Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol, the liquid form of formaldehyde, which, under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling, releases formaldehyde when hair treated with the product is heated with a blow dryer and then with a hot flat iron.”
According to the FDA, health problems reported by users included eye irritation, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, cough, nasal irritation, wheezing, throat irritation, chest pain, vomiting and rash, among others.
To smooth things out, as it were, GIB will also pay $600,000 in fines, according to the settlement.
The company first took some heat for their keratin hair treatment in 2010 after an Oregon hair stylist complained about health problems from using the Brazilian Blowout and tests revealed it contained a whopping 10.4 percent of formaldehyde, a known cancer causer. The state of California sued GIB, and last year more lawsuits followed.
GIB made changes to the labeling of their products in advance of the settlement.
But despite the health concerns over the Brazilian Blowout, many salons and stylists continue to offer it, for which their clients, who swear by the frizz-free results, are grateful and happily don gas masks to protect themselves if that’s what it takes to have silky, shiny, nearly care-free hair for three to four months.
There are many brands of keratin straighteners and not all contain formaldehyde. At least some say they don’t. But so did GIB. So if you want to get a Brazilian treatment done on your hair, it’s probably best to be safe than sorry and take precautions.
By Olivia |
For people dealing with hair loss the foremost thing on their minds has to be figuring out how to grow hair back. Throughout history one hair loss remedy after another has been imagined and devised to stop, or even reverse, the unhappy shedding of hair. For the most part, these so-called hair loss cures, which often involved bizarre ingredients from boiled scorpions to urine and worse, only added insult to injury. They didn’t work, and you ended up looking or smelling pretty bad.
Hair Loss – You Are Not Alone
These days about 65 percent of all men and 25 percent of all women are affected by hair loss. This can be devastating. For good or bad, society in general is hooked on physical appearance and hair is a person’s crowning glory. This is especially true for women, of course, but thinning hair is difficult for men too and can affect their self-confidence, and personal and professional lives.
There are many reasons why we start to lose our hair. But they can be grouped into two categories – genetics and everything else. Genetic hair loss is self-explanatory; everything else includes stress, illness, hormone imbalance, side effect of medication, infection and more.
The most important thing to do when faced with hair loss is to determine the cause. Only then can you make an educated choice about a hair loss remedy. Avoid self diagnosing – see your doctor because sometimes serious medical conditions can be the cause of the fall-out. You can also consult a trichologist, which is a hair and scalp specialist but not a medical doctor.
Finding the Best Hair Loss Remedy
The best hair loss remedy is going to be the one that addresses the exact cause of your problem. Often people will try something, find that it doesn’t work, and after being frustrated and disappointed, condemn it as a scam, when in fact it does work – on someone with a different type of hair loss. This is why getting a professional answer to the question “why am I losing my hair?” is key.
For men suffering from male pattern baldness Propecia is now considered the “first-line” treatment. That is to say, it is the therapy recommended to treat the initial appearance of a disease, in this case male pattern baldness. Propecia is one of only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for its treatment. The other, Rogaine (minoxidil), may be used as an additional therapy alongside the Propecia (finasteride) after a year. Male pattern baldness has the best chance of being stopped or slowed down when treatment starts in its early stages, when hair begins to recede.
Hair loss in women is more difficult to treat as there can be so many different causes that it is difficult to pinpoint which one is the culprit. And often women are too embarrassed or ashamed of losing their hair to seek help. Women don’t as yet have a magic hair-growing drug – Propecia shouldn’t even be handled by a woman let alone taken by one; it’s exclusively for men. But there is Rogaine for women. As in Rogaine for men, it is a topical treatment that can be quite effective, but in order to maintain any hair regrowth, it must be used regularly. Hair implants can be an option for many balding men, but only a tiny percentage of women will be good candidates. Other possible hair loss remedies are hormone replacement therapy and steroids. Again, proper diagnosis is of the utmost important in treating hair loss in women.