My hair and I, we go through cycles.
I have it long and wear it up every day, too many school lunches to pack in the morning and zero skill for tonging it into beachy waves. So, I cut it off, usually quite short (I’m currently sporting a poor man’s Jesinta Franklin come Elsa Pataky bleached bob) and love myself sick – for a little while.
Then I get itchy … I convince myself short hair makes me look old/fat/mumsy and I miss my topknot like a phantom limb. I experience physical withdrawals for the feeling of pulling my hair up on top of my head.
And so, I begin the painstaking process of growing it back again. Imagine the crescendo of Circle of Life from The Lion King soundtrack here.
With my next growth-phase inevitably on the cards (the other day my three-year-old daughter informed me I don’t look like a princess anymore), I recently asked trichologist David Salinger if there is anything you can do to make your hair grow faster.
To which he answered; “No.” Oh.
That said, there are definitely factors which can influence hair growth to its greatest potential. And avoiding hair loss and breakage is the best place to start.
According to Salinger, the typical adult female can expect 1.25cm of hair growth per month. If your hair doesn’t grow as long as it used to, this is due to one of two causes; either your hair isn’t staying in the anagen (growing) phase long enough or your hair is breaking off, says Salinger. No matter the cause, there are ways to get it back on track.
Your hair is made of high-sulphur protein [keratin] and suffers if your protein intake is not adequate enough, says Salinger. Layman’s terms - you gotta eat protein to make it.
If you want model hair like Gigi Hadid, focus on including foods that provide the amino acids essential for human health, says naturopath and medical scientist Annalies Corse.