Many of us have had a daring experience in chopping off our long locks. For some, it was a good decision. As for the others, we are left missing, and wishing, and praying for our gorgeous tresses to be just as long and luscious as they used to be. I fall into the category of wishing and praying for my hair to be just as long and beautiful as it once was.
So my journey began. I did my conditioning treatments. I used professional hair products. I got my trims every 6-8 weeks as time allowed. Months go by and I experienced very little growth. So why is my hair not growing??? And why does another stylist who had even shorter hair than I did currently have longer hair than me?
These questions motivated me to research what other factors assist in proper hair growth. And to my surprise the key factor was a healthy diet and regular exercise. I read from Web.MD that a balanced diet is necessary for healthy hair growth because your hair needs these nutrients just as much as your body does. So here are some key things you should incorporate into your diet:
Protein! Protein! Protein!
This one made me laugh, because as a hairdresser, I know that your hair is composed of none other than the protein keratin. So if your diet is lacking protein, you’re depriving your hair of support and strength that is necessary for it not to break or become brittle during growth.
Lipids are also necessary. Lipids are fatty oils (healthy ones) that give moisture and shine to your hair. You can find this in vegetable oil, avocados, whole milk, cheese, fish and other select meats.
Iron is actually very important for hair growth as well. Clams, beans, whole grains, tofu, and leafy greens (spinach or kale) are safe sources of iron. 14-15 mg are recommended for daily intake but do not exceed this amount, extra iron will do more harm than good and if you have other deficiencies and medication, we advise you to talk to your doctor about what levels may be appropriate for you. The reason iron is important is because it carries oxygen to your scalp and strengthens your hair follicles. Without it, your hair follicles may close or go into a resting phase which results in hair loss.
Now I also consulted with our stylist and salon educator, Arielle. She went from having a pixie cut to now currently, by textbook definition, long hair. I asked Arielle because as I mentioned, her hair growth went from 0-100 and she surpassed my length at a rapid pace. She has a strict diet and exercise plan, and also takes care of her hair with in-salon services and take -home care.
Here is Arielle’s journey:
How long have you been growing your hair?
“I have been growing my hair out for about 3 ½ years.”
When did you start to notice your hair growth?
“When I kept up with regular trims every 4-6 weeks I noticed my hair starting to take a different shape; if I did not get it maintained it would have just become wider in width rather than a lengthening feel.”
What diet changes have you made?
“Rather than going to Biotin, I just put more b5 vitamins into my diet via Salmon and Yellow Bell peppers.”
How often do you exercise?
“I try to exercise 4x’s a week.”
What is your in-salon care?
“In salon maintenance consists of receiving a blow out once a week; we use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner along with a scalp massage to increase blood flow. We use heat protection to preserve health and integrity of the hair that has been living longer.”
What is your at-home care?
“ Deep conditioning treatments every other week .”