Why is it that so many of us find our hair grows to a certain length and then stops? Beautypress has some top hacks for optimal hair growth. (Image credit: melancholiaphotography/Pixabay)
Food Is Your Hair’s Best Friend
It’s true that healthy hair begins from the inside out. Nutritional deficiencies are often to blame for brittle hair and your diet is in fact one of the most important elements for maintaining good hair health.
Keratin, which is what your shaft is made of, is basically made of protein. Make sure your diet includes sources such as seeds like flax, lentils and quinoa as well as fish and lean meats to help boost growth. Omega-3 is important too because they contain essential fatty acids. This makes it especially useful for preventing breakage and giving hair a healthy shine. In addition to fish and algae sources of Omega-3, chia seeds and walnuts are fantastic natural sources of Omega-3 and easy to add to a morning smoothie or morning snack. If you are sensitive to a group of dietary proteins called lectins (which can cause gut symptoms) found in some seeds, nuts and legumes, opt for flax and sesame seeds, pressure cook lentils, and quinoa, which inactivates the lectins in them.
Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins for maintaining and growing healthy hair. Sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados and green veggies, are all excellent sources so try to pack these into your diet. If you’re suffering with hair loss, you may be suffering from a zinc deficiency – pumpkin seeds and kidney beans are great natural sources of zinc or alternatively you could take a zinc supplement.
Check the Labels
Forget what it says on the front of the pack – it’s time to play label detective with your beauty products as many shampoos and conditioners could be causing you more harm than good.
Not only are some unfit for human use, they also have a negative impact on the environment. Just because a chemical is legally available doesn’t mean it should be used. Ingredients to avoid include any derivatives of lauryl alcohol, myreth sulfate and parabens, which can all damage and dry out the hair, making hair growth more difficult to achieve.
DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine) are hormone disrupters that are legal in the US but prohibited in the European cosmetic industry, so try to avoid these if buying in the states.
Seek Out Natural Ingredients
If possible, try to select hair care that uses organic ingredients from all-natural sources. Essential oils, such as tea tree and rosemary, are great for hair as well as aloe vera and castor oil.
If you’re looking to lock in more moisture for stronger and shinier hair, then coconut oil could also be highly effective. Apply it lightly to split or brittle ends or as a pre-shampoo treatment over the whole head.
Locks lacking volume? Then rosemary essential oil is particularly good at battling thinning hair. Shea-derived products and avocado are also great natural sources of moisture for your locks.
Cutting down on your number of weekly hair washes will also help and many people who switch to all-natural products, which could be sulphate and paraben free. Trying to cut down how often you wash your hair a week is also another great hack, as washing every day can strip hair of its natural oils causing further damage.
Out with Dry Shampoo
Although popular and convenient, dry shampoo can cause more issues than it cures for hair. If used too often in place of wet shampooing, dry shampoo can cause a build-up of residue on our scalp, which can lead to itchy scalp, inflammation and in some cases – hair loss.
Turn Down the Heat
As well as using all-natural products there are other ways you can support the health of your tresses. Letting your mane dry naturally whenever you can also help as hairdryers can also cause damage.
Try and ease off on the heat styling tools too, as straighteners and wands can have a detrimental effect to your hair, encouraging splitting and breakage and making the ends look dry and brittle – so you end up having to cut them off.
With the effective combination of a healthy diet, natural products and care, you should be well on your way to getting long hair. So next time you’re looking for new products to tame your mane, be sure to check the label for any nasty ingredients that might damage your strands. It’s what’s inside that counts, after all.