1. Get rid of damaged ends
When you’re desperate to grow your hair, it can be tempting to hang on to damaged ends at all costs. This is a big no-no. While you will retain your hair length that way, those scraggly ends will make your hair appear unkempt and poorly cared for.
Rather book an appointment with a stylist whom you trust (that is, someone who won’t "get creative" and cut off more than you desire), and make the most of your healthy – albeit it shorter – locks. Remember: shorter, healthier hair beats long, unattractive hair every time.
Tip: If you have short hair, visit your salon every six weeks for a trim. For longer locks, try getting a trim every six to 10 weeks to ensure your hair always looks its best.
2. Don’t fry your locks
Heat is good: it helps you create the style you want and can make your hair appear shiny and healthy by “defrizzing” strands. Over time though, excess heat from blow-drying and using a flat iron will compromise the quality of your hair, leaving it dry and lifeless.
To limit damage, allow hair to air dry for a while before applying heat at the end to achieve the look you want. And always use a protection product on your hair before you apply heat to it, such as Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist.
Tip: Make sure your hair is at least 80 percent dry before using a styling tool like a curling tong or straightener. Your heat protection mist holds onto dry hair much better, and you'll get the style you want much quicker (thereby minimising the heat on your hair).
3. Replace moisture
Winter can really give your hair a beating. Dry air and heaters strip it of moisture and give it a lacklustre appearance. Combat winter's drying effect by using a moisturising hair mask like Dove Intensive Repair Deep Repair Treatment Mask on a regular basis for shiny, glossy locks.
Tip: In between your weekly hair mask, be sure to use a nourishing conditioner every time you shampoo. Try one that has built-in protection against heat styling and split ends, like Pantene Repair & Protect Conditioner.
4. Feed hair from the inside out
Your hair is a reflection of your health, so if your diet is poor, or if you are suffering from iron deficiency or hyperthyroidism, your hair will undoubtedly suffer. Deal with any nutritional deficiencies you may have and follow a healthy-hair diet to make the most of your mane.
Include plenty of protein, whole, unprocessed food, and healthy fats from oily fish, avocados, raw nuts and olive oil. You may want to supplement with a multivitamin as well to ensure that all nutritional bases are covered.
Tip: If you struggle with hair loss or undernourished hair despite following a healthy diet, ask your doctor to check your hormone levels – a disturbance in this delicate balance (which can occur due to pregnancy or medication) is one of the major causes of hair concerns.
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