I was very lucky to have been gifted with thick hair (God bless Indian genes) which I have nearly always kept long ... I made the decision early last year to cut it to shoulder-length and although I loved my new look initially, I began to miss my tresses pretty damn quickly.
For the last two or three months, I've been trying to get those precious last few inches back in time for a friend's wedding in late July. I have been somewhat successful, with just under 9 weeks to go 'til the big day I definitely think my hair is looking nearly as long and healthy as it did before I hacked it all off.
So, for girls who are trying to grow their hair, here's a couple of things that I think will help to speed the awkward growing process and hopefully give you luscious, long locks!
1. Go for the chop
Seems a little contradictory to our purpose here, but, put simply, your hair just won't grow effectively without a regular trim every 4 to 6 weeks (and it'll end up looking unhealthy and full of nasties like split-ends). If you're scared your hairdresser will get scissor-happy, be sure to mention you're growing your hair out and are just looking for a trim and tidy-up.
2. You are what you eat...
... so eat good stuff! Your hair (and skin!) will reap the benefits. Aim to eat lots of mono-unsaturated ("healthy") fats that can be found in oily fish, nuts and avocados for enviably shiny tresses.
3. Conditioner x 2
Along with your regular conditioner each time you shampoo, aim to use a conditioning hair treatment once a week. At the moment, I'm loving Bumble & Bumble Deeep Treatment, which you can purchase here. It's pricey but seriously effective and a little goes a long, long way. Simply slather it onto the mid-to-end lengths of the hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off.
Shhh, don't tell anyone, I'm going to let you in on a little secret here... ever wondered why Indian girls have such gorgeous, shiny hair?! The secret is amla oil, which is regularly (1-3 times per week) massaged into the hair and scalp to promote hair health and growth. I found head massages seriously improved my hair condition and definitely helped my hair grow a little more speedily. Amla is an Indian gooseberry fruit (that smells divine!) but you're unlikely to find the oil on a normal supermarket shelf. You can stock up here.
Massage it into your scalp for about 5 to 10 minutes before spreading through the lengths of the hair and leave it on overnight (put a towel on the pillow or you'll make a bit of a mess!), then simply wash it out using your normal haircare routine (shampoo, conditioner...) the next morning. Even though it's an oil, I promise this won't leave your hair looking lank or greasy... just make sure you wash it all out!
5. Put down the ghd's!
Yes, straighteners and curling tongs make our hair look fabulous, but they cause serious damage too. If you insist on using them, make sure you use good heat protection - I absolutely love the Aussie range, and this spray not only protects your hair, but also smells incredible. If you can, resist using styling tools when you don't have to, and give your hair a break from the stress of high heat. Allowing your hair to air-dry as often as possible is also helpful, although if you have thick hair that takes forever to dry on its own, help it out by partially drying your hair off before leaving it au naturale.
Employing these five tips into your haircare routine should help to improve the overall condition of your hair as well as enhancing growth. And in the mean-time, feel free to get seriously green-eyed at our future Queen Consort (and my hair idol), Catherine Middleton.
I. Want. Her. Hair.