Whether you’re growing out last season’s lob or looking to add a few centimetres, is it possible to grow longer, stronger hair – faster? The experts weigh in.
The trichologist: David Salinger, director, International Association of Trichologists
Genetics will determine how long your hair will grow and the rate of growth.
However, if you’re suffering excessive loss or breakage, your hair is falling out prematurely and therefore not growing to its full potential. Some genetic conditions can affect the hair structure and the length of the growth cycle, so see a professional.
Diet is critical to healthy hair.
A well-balanced intake – protein with every meal, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grains – should be enough, but malabsorption can lead to nutritional deficiencies, so the cause would need to be pinpointed.
Protein, iron or zinc deficiency can slow the rate of hair growth. Once blood tests have confirmed this, supplements can make a big difference and results should be apparent in three to four months.
Other ways to encourage healthy hair growth
Increase your intake of sulphur and silica (if there is a deficiency), and reduce exposure to excessive heat (from styling tools), ultraviolet light (from sunlight), and chemical processes (like hair colouring).
The hairstylist: Caterina Di Biase, L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador
In the same way a tree needs healthy roots to flourish, you need nourishment at the scalp to help hair grow healthier and stronger. Massage also keeps the scalp and root fibre healthy.
Use good-quality heat-styling tools and brushes, and replace them occasionally as tools can become extra hot over time and damage hair more easily. And always use a heat-protecting lotion or spray, preferably one that also hydrates.
If you’re growing out a lob, working in a few layers and framing the face takes the edge off the squareness. For fringes, ask your hairdresser to angle the edges so they blend into the side lengths; with longer fringes, feather the edges to create softness and control the shape.
Not cutting your hair and thinking that will make your hair grow longer is wrong – regular trims remove any damaged or split ends, and help hair to grow stronger and healthier.