1. Address your diet
Diet is very important for hair growth; you need to be eating sufficient levels of iron, B vitamins, zinc and protein. For an easy-win, add the superfood spirulina to you smoothies, it's a complete protein rich in chlorophyll which helps our hair to grow. As well as greens like kale and iron, this blue-green algae is high in iron (a very important mineral given that the deficiency condition, anemia, can be a major cause of hair loss). A supplement like the Holland & Barrett Hair Food (£10.69, hollandandbarrett.com), containing a combination of Vitamin B, Iron, Zinc and other minerals can also help to contribute to the maintenance of healthy locks if your diet isn't well balanced.
2. Stop clogging your follicles
Dirt, oils and product build-up can clog your follicles, hindering healthy hair growth. To avoid this, try to give your hair a rest from overloading the root area with styling products – dry shampoo and volumising powders are common culprits.
3. Exfoliate your scalp
If your scalp is the gateway to healthy hair, it makes sense that exfoliating it helps promote growth. Use a detoxifying shampoo like Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo (£22.50, aveda.co.uk) once a week to thoroughly cleanse and remove excess sebum from follicles – as well as the product build-up mentioned above.
4. Get a caffeine hit
Caffeine has been found to stimulate the hair shaft by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known to damage hair follicles. According to German scientists at the University of Lübeck, it can speed up hair growth by 25 per cent. Unfortunately drinking it might not be the best way to hair growth.
5. Massage your scalp
Massage stimulates blood circulation, supporting the tiny blood vessels that feed the hair follicles. Gentle pulling of the hair (so you feel tension, NOT pain) and doing a rhythmic tapping technique are two massage methods to try yourself. Alternatively book in for a professional Indian head massage – hey, stress-relief can help your hair grow too!
6. Do less
Washing, styling and chemical colouring, that is. Daily shampooing can compromise the scalp's natural essential oils that stimulate growth, while excessive heat-styling, backcombing, brushing and chemically processing the hair can leave it brittle, appearing to shorten the length from the bottom-up when it breaks.
7. Loosen tight hairbands
Another common cause of breakage is the humble hairband. Tight elastics, worn repetitively in the same place cause wear and tear on the hair which is not what you want when you're growing it. The wrong band can snag and damage strands, so pick the right type and keep them loose. Hair authority Mark Hill recommends bands without metal fasteners as these are the worst offenders, or you could try the Invisibobble (£4.75 for 3, boots.com) which puts less pressure on your hair because of its telephone cord shape.
8. Have regular trims
Not because cutting your hair makes it grow faster – sadly that's a myth, BUT when hair is freshly snipped the ends will appear coarser without their damaged, tapered points. Plus by trimming it regularly and managing damage you'll have to cut off less hair in the long run, so indirectly you're speeding things up!
9. Get a helping hand
There are many hair supplements on the market, but Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrient Tablets are the number 1 bestsellers. £29.99 from boots.com. The maximum strength tablets promise to reduce hair shedding by up to 1/5 and will reverse the effects of hair loss.