Another week, another few millimetres of hair growth! Did you know that your hair, and its growing rate and patterns, can tell a lot about your health? Hair is an accessory for the body- it’s not something we need to survive anymore. Well, MOST of us- I still count on it to help pay our mortgage! :) Just like our fingernails, hair is something our body considers “a little bit extra”.. so if you notice your hair really slowing down in growth, its time to take a look at your health!
Sometimes hair growth speeds up or slows down for reasons that we can’t control: hormones, illness, different medications or medical treatments, and even the seasons can play a part in whether those roots are showing up quickly, or if those bangs are taking a lot time to grow out. Hair grows faster in the Spring and Summer seasons. Why? Well, i like to think that we’re all a big solar powered.. and really, that DOES have something to do with it! As the weather gets warmer, and as the growing season for farmers really takes off, we tend to spend more and more time outside. Whether it’s soaking up the sun on a patio at home, or heading out to a pick-your-own-strawberries plot, we all like to get outside while the getting is good! That means a LOT more fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D for us. Also, we tend to eat more fruits and vegetables in the spring and summer- particularly local, freshly grown ones. Good nutrition has an awful lot to do with healthy hair! Once the sun starts to fade a little, and things cool off, we start to move our activities back indoors for the fall and especially the winter. Sure, we get out to rake those leaves, take a bike ride, shovel the walk or build a snowman.. but most of our hours are spent inside. And when we ARE outside, it tends to be darker. The sun is farther away, so less vitamin D trickles into our systems. We get cold, so we’re reluctant to be outside as long- that’s less exercise in the fresh air as well! Also, since freshly grown local veggies are pretty much tucked away underground while they grown, we resort to pre-frozen or canned goods. Nothing wrong with that, but often out vitamin intake can take a big hit!
So, what to do? Well, aside from the other health benefits.. taking a vitamin supplement is a great way to keep your hair, skin AND nails strong and healthy in cooler weather. I know I’ve mentioned EFAs before- that’s Essential Fatty Acids. There are LOADS of different types of supplements for these: not only will they keep your hair moisturized and growing well, they can really help fight off the winter “dry skin” feeling, and keep those nails of your feeling strong, instead of brittle. I lecture about exercise, but I’m not one to sweat my socks off either- so get creative! Lots of game systems have a “dance” game.. why not invite some friends over and challenge them to a dance off? Or just get busy cleaning out those nooks and crannies while you search for that box of xmas ornaments? Also, there are different types of lightbulbs on the market these days that can mimic natural sunlight. While never as good as the real thing, replacing bulbs in your kitchen or bathroom with “natural sunlight” bulbs can not only brighten your day, they can brighten your mood! Don’t forget to make them energy efficient ones while you’re at it. Most of us here in Elgin County have been Smart Metred by now.. so when it IS a nice day out, open those blinds! Get what sunlight you can in the house, or office, and see how you feel! Putting a few plants nearby to enjoy those rays with you will also clear the air around you of different stuffy smells and toxins. It’s a little outdoors INdoors! If it’s one of those rare nice winter days, you could always crack the window for a little bit to air out the room, and/or you can look into lots of different air filter options available.
Sometimes, you do everything right, and still it seems like you get nowhere- with your hair!
Keep in mind: Growing out your hair is something most of us do, particularly women or dudes who play hockey!, several times in our lives. Its usually a bit torturous, but you’re not without options! All the guys seem to know the benefit of a good hat to skim over an awkward hair stage.. and ladies, we can do the same with some fun hair accessories. Also, hair extensions- whether attached or clipped in, offer all sorts of comfort while we’re waiting for that length to come in. We tend to notice our hair grow as it reaches certain markers on our heads and bodies. We notice when it reaches our earlobes, so we can tuck it back. We notice when our bangs get into our eyes. We notice when our hair becomes chin-length. We notice when it touches our shoulders and then….. it seems to stop growing. Right? Well- not really. Once hair hangs behind our shoulders, we often feel like it’s not growing at all- the truth is, SURE it is! But, without a visible marker to measure by (ears, chin, etc..) we don’t really notice until suddenly it’s getting tucked into our bra in the morning, or whipping into our lip-glossed lips on a windy afternoon.
Regular trims CAN make your hair grow faster- by curtailing damage! Your hair grows from the roots, not the ends, so the tips of your hair are always the oldest part. Depending on length, that can be pretty old! If you think that on average, most people have hair growth of about 1/4- 1/2″ a month, if your hair is longer than a foot, those ends are at LEAST a year old! That means they’ve been through at least one dry summer, one dry winter, a million rounds with the flatiron, hairspray, blowdryer… that colour that you think you “covered over”, that trip to a sunny location where you swam in salt water… those ends have had adventures! Because of that, they tend to dry out and split over time, and those splits- little Ys if you look closely- can travel up the hairshaft, causing more damage as they go. Hair can either break off, or get SO yucky that your charming stylist has no choice but to really chop some off! A regular trim, however, can nab those splits when they start. Instead of losing inches later, you can get a centimetre or two taken off every few weeks, and not have to worry about traveling damage. Because of that, your hair can get longer faster, and also longer HEALTHIER!
If you still find you’re in a bind with regards to hair maintenance or growth, don’t hesitate to sit down with your favourite hair-care professional and ask for ideas! Sometimes you just need a little shaping or refreshing to see you through a tough grow-out stage. We have loads of ideas ripe for the picking! And our ideas are ALWAYS fresh and in season.
Have an awesome week and see you soon!