The secret to growing healthier and longer hair faster, according to an expert
It’s the most common question hairdressers get asked: “how do I grow my hair longer?”. Whether you’re wanting to add length or just see healthier growth, it’s a question we’ve all pondered at some point during our hair journeys. So, we tapped one of Auckland’s top stylists and blonde specialists—which also happens to be the most fragile of colours when it comes to length—Elizabeth Mann of Hair at Boston.
When you're trying to grow your hair thicker and longer, the process can seem to take forever. According to The American Academy of Dermatology Association, hair grows about six inches each year on average (roughly 15cm), but that doesn’t factor in that most of us will lose 50-100 hairs each day. Yikes.
In addition to frequent trims (obviously), below Elizabeth Mann shares her top tips for healthier, longer hair.
To really encourage length, you have to think of it in two steps, according to Mann. “Stimulating growth and keeping the hair you do have healthy. Then, alongside your typical haircare advice, you need to put in a bit more work: you have to go internal.”
As a starting point, Mann believes there are four key non-negotiables for healthy hair:
- A balanced diet - your body needs protein, carbohydrates and oils.
- Lots of water
- Good haircare
- Healthy stress levels – exercise helps here!
Following that, she recommends integrating vitamins into your daily routine. Here's what she recommends...
"Amino acids are essential to nearly all of your tissue, including your hair. But, the body cannot produce this on its own,” explains Mann.
Try: Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
Cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D. “Vitamin A helps with sebum production, which moisturises the scalp to keep the hair healthy and in turn helps stimulate growth.” Meanwhile, vitamin D helps promote hair growth by stimulating new and old hair follicles. “On the contrary, a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, and other autoimmune disorders that cause bald patches.”
Try: Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Gel Soft Capsules
Omega 3,6,9 Helps with overall immunity. It helps with hair density and can reduce hair loss.
Try: Solgar Omega 3-6-9
Zinc is very important for hair growth and repair. “It helps keep the oil glands around the hair follicle working properly. Hair loss is common in zinc deficiency.”
Try: ZDC zinc complex
Vitamin C is integral for collagen – a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. “Vitamin C helps the body create collagen while also assisting in iron absorption, another factor important for hair growth.”
The key to getting the best results out of the above though? "Be consistent and commit to them daily for at least six months,” reiterates Mann.
Try: MFL C-1000
Of course, haircare also plays a crucial part in healthy hair growth. It’s important to shampoo regularly so you are getting rid of dead skin cells, sweat and environmental pollution. “If you don’t wash away flaky dead skin, it can cause irritation which can lead to hair loss and lack of hair growth,” cautions Mann.
Now what everyone wants to know, what products do hairdressers *actually* use?! Below, Mann reveals her go-to products for healthy, radiant and enviably long tresses.
- Kevin Murphy Plumping.Rinse and Body.Mass - "This range stimulates circulation on the scalp while keeping the strands of the hair nourished without weighing the hair down.”
- Nioxin - “There are a few ranges that are specifically designed for different hair types and thinning.”
- Treatments! “I also strongly recommend using treatments once or twice weekly. This helps to prevent breakage, which results in longer, thicker hair.” A few of Mann's favourites include, Olaplex no. 0 and no. 3 and no. 8, as well as Nioxin 3D intensive deep protect density hair mask, Kevin Murphy Re.Store and Hydrate.Me Masque.