A guide to growing out your hair

       
October 15th, 2013 | Contributed by:

A guide to growing out your hair

If you’ve ever dreamed of long, lustrous Rapunzel-worthy hair, you know that growing it out is the hard part. Considering hair grows an average of just one-quarter inch every month, getting to your ideal length could take some serious patience. Still, anyone can accomplish long locks, as long as they’re willing to put in the effort to maintain healthy strands.

There is no one surefire way to make your hair grow at a rapid pace, but there are tactics that can speed up the process. Follow this guide and you won’t have to wait as long for the mane you’ve always wanted:

Go on a ‘do diet
It should come as no surprise that your diet can have a significant impact on how shiny and strong your strands are. Still, did you know that certain foods can also help to promote growth?

Protein is the building block for hair cells, so it’s crucial to have a source at every meal, whether it’s yogurt, lean poultry, tofu or beans. It’s also important to have enough of the “good fats” – which include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated types. Find them in nuts, olive oil, avocados and oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel.

U.S. News and World Report revealed that not getting enough iron or zinc could hinder the growth of your locks, and potentially cause hair loss. Therefore, you’ll want to incorporate foods like oatmeal, lentils and oysters to get enough of these vitamins – or consider taking a supplement. A vitamin C deficiency compromises the strength of your hair, so nosh on kiwis, leafy greens, guava and chili peppers to make sure your hair isn’t dull or prone to breakage.

Don’t forget biotin – the National Institutes of Health noted that it simultaneously supports healthy growth while preventing hair thinning or loss. Look for this vitamin B complex in egg yolks, soybeans, peanuts and almonds.

Remember regular trims
It might seem counterintuitive to cut your hair frequently when you’re trying to grow it out, but this practice is key. If you neglect to trim off dead ends every five to eight weeks, you may end up having to lop off a lot more on your next visit to the hairdresser. That’s because once the ends split, the breakage begins to creep up your strands at a faster rate. It’s not that regular trims will make your hair grow faster at the root, but they will will prevent your strands from breaking off farther up, meaning you’ll be able to achieve the length you want more quickly. Besides, split ends can give the illusion that your hair is thinner at the bottom, and isn’t the point to get a full mane?

Treat your scalp to a massage
Soft, shiny hair depends on a healthy scalp, as that’s where the roots of your hair follicles are. Just as muscles need a helping hand once in a while to recover and rejuvenate, so does your scalp. This requires a massage, which can accelerate blood flow, thereby stimulating the scalp and allowing essential nutrients to travel there more quickly, nourishing hair follicles.

This doesn’t mean you have to go to a professional, either. L.A. stylist Philip B recommended to Marie Claire magazine simply using your fingers to firmly massage in a revitalizing shampoo for a minute or two while showering. Use this tactic while you’re rinsing as well, starting at the back of your head and moving forward. As added benefits, you’ll feel totally relaxed and you’ll cleanse your strands more thoroughly.

       

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