Is it possible to grow your hair longer, faster?
Stellar Magazine’s Beauty Editor, Sherrine Youssef, caught up with Apotecari Founder, Simone Abaron, to find out.
Sherrine: At the Prada’s last autumn/winter shows, there was a tendency toward extremely long hair. Is it really, truly possible to make your hair grow faster? Or is your growth rate something that is individual to you and something you can’t change?
Simone: The short answer is ‘yes’.
Understanding that hair growth is determined by a number of different factors is a paramount ‘step one’.
Genetics, scalp health, your nutritional status, hormones, the environment you’re enveloped by and your overall health all influence hair health, which in turn generates sustainable growth – the key word here being sustainable.
Each system inside our body works with the next – and it’s our responsibility to support these systems so they can perform at their optimum. If we can manage what’s happening on the inside, watch the transformation on the outside.
Hair health and growth is not an overnight transformation (1-3 months is a typical window in which to expect results), but there are certainly ways to support the hair growth process to reach your hair goals as fast as possible.
That beautiful Prada-esque hair isn’t as far away as some might think.
Where to start? A qualified naturopath or naturopath-made product and an educated salon stylist are a duo a long-haired beauty cannot live without.
Sherrine: What are your best tips for those trying to grow their hair? Can we break it down according to specific styling methods and product?
Simone: Sure! But before we break things down into categorical tips, think of your hair health as a puzzle: each piece needs to be in place to complete the picture. Equivalently, there are elements that need to be in place to maximise hair health and length.
If a single piece of our puzzle is missing, there’s something missing. If more than one piece is missing, we are further from our complete picture; that is, hair health and the ability to generate growth. Achieving really beautiful, healthy hair for optimum growth needs to account for each piece of the puzzle – including external treatments as well as internal nourishment, targeting your strands on a cellular level.
Sherrine: Breaking it down: Products to use/avoid
Simone: Before commencing your journey to hair health, it’s paramount to understand that your hair and beauty regimen is specific to you; your needs will change over time and even week-to-week.
Just like your skin’s, your hair care regimen will need to change, for instance, if you find yourself in European summer versus Australian Winter (and especially after that dehydrating long-haul flight!).
Choosing your shampoo, conditioner, treatment and serum should be based on how your hair is feeling and how you’ve been treating yourself. Consider:
- dehydration from air conditioning and office environments;
- the diets we’ve been keeping, are they as balanced and nutritious as they could be?
- The sun impacts hair health on a major scale too, as does salt water and stress.
Avoid products containing nasties like sulfates, parabens, silicone, alcohol, diethanolamine, mineral oils, petroleum-based ingredients, phthalates, and propylene glycol.
Try to keep dry shampoo and volumising powder use at ‘occasional-only’ because it can clog your pores which will affect your hair health and growth. There’s also a lot to be said for washing your hair frequently (but not too frequently!) to cleanse away product, dirt, oil build-up and slough away dead skin cells which clog your pores and affect growth. Hair spray also has a tendency to dry out the hair and scalp. If you can avoid using it, I’d recommend it.
Always consult with your hair stylist too to make sure your colour choice and cut are well suited to the condition of your hair. They should be your hair doctor at the end of the day, so when looking for a new stylist, do your research.
Sherrine: Breaking it down: Supplements to take/avoid
Simone: Supplements are a super-effective way to feed your body the nutrition required to sustainably build strong, healthy hair, targeting your strands on a cellular level.
Since our hair is made up of protein (keratin and collagen), consuming rich sources of good-quality protein is really helpful for promoting hair growth. Micronutrients zinc, silica, selenium, vitamin C, activated B vitamins, biotin and iron are preeminent in promoting growth AND supporting the health of the hair. There are Australian-made supplements that have a comprehensive formulation and target hair health specifically. Holding premium-quality standards and addressing the complexity behind hair health and growth simply and conveniently are:
Apotecari’s Hair Food – a daily smoothie combining 3 nourishing plant-based proteins, vegan collagen and native Australian superfoods – for strength, build and structural reinforcement
Apotecari’s Mane Event – 2 capsules delivering ingredients which actually make up the structural components of our hair – for intensive repair and growth
Sherrine: Breaking it down: Tools and techniques – for example how and what to use when brushing your hair to minimise fallout and breakage, and which hairstyles to avoid
Simone: Avoid high heat tools if you can, or if you need a little heat in your life, adjust the heat setting on your flat iron and curling tong – it should be on the very lowest temperature setting. Styling may take a little longer, but not as long as it will take to counteract the damage caused by high heat in the long-run.
Wearing your hair in a very tight braid, bun, pony tail too often is also a big no-no, it can result in hair breakage which will seriously delay those hair goals.
A good scalp massage each week might seem a little decadent, but is helpful at distributing your natural oils and stimulating blood circulation for increased health and consequent growth.
Sherrine: And finally, is it still necessary to get regular trims? Or should I cut back?
Simone: Regular trims are a must for beautiful long hair. Split ends travel up the hair shaft, and snipping them before they travel too far will ensure you’re able to preserve the health of your hair and stop it thinning at the ends.
A trim every 8–12 weeks for long hair, supplemented with your salon-prescribed external products and naturopath-made internal hair-health products, is perfect.