Anyone who’s tried to grow out a bob or pixie cut knows how snail-pace it can be. It’s bloody boring as hell, and that’s not even remotely an exaggeration.
Thing is, you can make your hair grow faster. Well, grow at a “healthy” pace, at least and be less prone to hair loss and breakage, the key reasons you can’t get it past your shoulders. It’s all – according to Christophe Robin, super famous French hairdresser and the guy responsible for most of the amazing supermodel hair in the 90’s.
We picked his brain about the biggest culprits when it comes to scalp unhealthiness.
Scalp oil is a natural part of your bod, but if you don’t keep it under control and, well, let your hair get so greasy it can hold ITSELF in a ponytail, you’re running the risk of hair loss.
“The scalp is the beginning of your hair. Like the roots of a plant, you need to treat it with great care or it will die. Like your skin you should always try to keep it clean, healthy, moisturised and hydrated,” says Christophe.
The reason oil buildup is so bad for your hair is because dandruff or an overgrowth of a normal scalp fungus (ew) called malassezia can wind up blocking your hair follicle, which makes them ‘inactive’. And an inactive follicle? Hello, hair loss.
Another thing that can block your hair follicle is dry shampoo. If you’re reaching for the dirty hair saviour a liiiittle too much, you could be in some deep shit.
“Dry shampoo, like anything, should always be used in moderation. If you use it like crazy, say every day or every week, then in 6 months you will no doubt have hair loss,” says Christophe.
If you’re going OTT on the dry shampoo, try wearing your hair up at least the day before you wash it, to give your scalp a break.
Yep, another thing that can block the hair follicle is colour – especially if it isn’t washed out properly or, as Christophe says, applied to a hot scalp.
“You should never apply your colour if you’re hot. Say you’re rushing to the salon because you’re running late, never go straight into colour, you should sit and relax and have a cold drink for a minute,” he says. “In my salon I get a cold towel compress from the freezer and I apply it to the head to seal the pores.
Christophe also says it’s better to go in for colour right before you’re about to wash your hair.
“Always do a hair colour on dirty hair and scalp – don’t wash it before you go to your appointment. A dirty, oily scalp will help to protect the scalp from the product.”
If you do find your hair is itchy post-colour, it’s probably because there’s still some on your scalp. Christophe actually has a sea salt scrub made specifically for this kind of situation.
If you’re ripping into your hair with your brush, hair straightener, or hairdryer, you could be causing major damage and – yep – promoting hair loss or weakened strands. Ditto if you’re going mad with styling products and then leaving ’em in there forever.
If you love a sleek blowdry or forming tight curls, use heat protectant and try not to style every day. Also, the type of brush you use is major – go for bendy bristles that don’t tug your hair or rip through knots.
Finally, don’t brush your hair when it’s wet to detangle. Wet hair = open hair follicle = more likely to get damaged. Instead, wait til your hair is dry (or at least just slightly damp).