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  • Writer's pictureJess Nugent

Start Growing Your Hair Today!

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

Left (me in 2016) vs. Right (me in 2018 - now)

You scroll through instagram and all you see is beautiful healthy waves, you've spent a small fortune on clip-in extensions and you have ashamedly have a collection of "Hair Growth Pills" that resembles a small chemist.


Well, that was me. And my google search history was filled with ever-so-slightly different variations of the same question.


The Back Story (aka. Hair History): I desperately wanted blonde hair when I was 15. Mum said it was a bad idea. So what did I do? I got my boyfriend at the time to bleach it - literally. Unfortunately I don't have photo evidence of exactly how that went, so I'll give you a visual. My roots were white and the lengths of my hair were a mess of orange and bright yellow patches.

Mum and I made an emergency call to our hairdresser who rushed over and said - we'll have to dye it brown and cut it off. So I went from beautiful butt-length hair to an orangey-brown bob of fried hair that fell out every time I tried to brush it *cue violin music*

My hair in 2009 - 1 year AFTER the bleaching incident

I could've left it, but I still wanted blonde hair. So over the next 6 years I continued to go from hairdresser to hairdresser getting either a full or half head of foils. I dealt with hair that looked OK for 2 days after my appointment, then the dark roots and orange tones reappeared. My hair actually seemed to actually lose centimetres in length each month, and I was spending a fortune on extensions and hair repair products. But my hair was beyond repair.

So, what did I do?

You won't see results overnight. But, here is what you can do NOW to stop the damage and get yourself back on the path of beautiful, HEALTHY hair.

1. See a GOOD hairdresser. A good hairdresser will sit you down, understand YOUR hair history and what will be best for your hair. You may not like the hair colour you were born with, but you don't have to strip it with bleach or chemicals to get a look you are happy with! A good hairdresser knows how to get amazing results, with as little treatment/damage as possible. Why is this important? Healthy hair grows faster!

Is it expensive? Yes and no. I was spending $250 on a full head of foils every 4 weeks for a hair colour that I didn't love, and hair condition that was brittle and unhealthy. I spent $500 on one appointment at a great hair salon and after a bit of corrective work I only had to go back every 3 months, then 6 months. I haven't been in just over a year now and I still get complimented on my colour! This will obviously depend on what you do with your hair.

(I visited Oscar Oscar Salons in Paddington, and I now visit Bixie Colour in Caringbah).

2014 (before seeing a "good" hairdresser), and each appointment following.

2. MYTH: Regular trims WON'T make your hair grow faster! Trims are great for your hair, but if you have a whole head of damaged hair, just getting rid of the split ends won't make a difference (each follicle is damaged and will continue to split until your hair is fully grown out!)

Your hair is growing a little and breaking off on its own, therefore it is not really growing. If you continue to cut it, you'll be losing centimetres faster than you are gaining them. Get a trim once the ends start looking ratty, but it really is a waiting game while you grow out those damaged locks. Eventually, I only had mine trimmed every 3-6 months. You'd rather have longer damaged hair than shorter damaged hair with slightly cleaner ends right?

3. Fix your diet. During that time when I started visiting a good salon, I also started weight training and I jumped on a meal plan. I don't eat red meat and I wasn't very diet conscious - so I had very little protein in my diet prior to this.

Your hair is actually made up of a protein called keratin, and they require both iron and protein (from your diet) to encourage growth and repair. If you aren't getting enough protein from your diet, I recommend a clean protein powder such as HP-100 by ASN (very little fat and no sugar). This is the only pharmaceutical protein on the market and is worth the extra spend to avoid the nasty chemicals and additives you'll find in other brands. I've been using this protein for 3 or 4 years now and it is my favourite.

I have a discount code for the ASN Website (JESS15%):

Protein Rich Foods: I am pescatarian so I get protein from Tuna, Salmon, Beans/Lentils, occasionally Tofu, and Shakes.

Iron Rich Foods: Spinach/Kale, Broccoli, Lentils/Beans & Nuts. Your body only absorbs all the iron if you have enough Vitamin C (which your body can't produce naturally) so I take a Vitamin C supplement too.

4. Stop Blow-Drying! I only just figured this one out a couple of months ago and I have seen massive improvements in hair length and quality. I'm not telling you anything new when I say this - dry and brittle hair is damaged hair. When you blow-dry, you take your hair from wet to dry rapidly, which not only strips the excess "wetness" from your hair, but it strips your hair of it's natural moisture. Ever blow-dry your hair quickly and end up looking like Hagrid? My girls with curly/wavy hair know what I'm talking about!

I know what you're thinking, you probably have hair that dries quickly though... an you are wrong! My hair takes HOURS to dry naturally as it is super porous and thick. I wash my hair immediately after the gym/work and let it dry while I'm making dinner etc, it is generally a little wet when I go to bed but it is dry when I wake up - then I used a straightener to completely straighten or just fix up the bits that never cooperate (I have naturally wavy hair).

5. MYTH: You don't need to stop heat-treating your hair (completely). As mentioned above, blow-drying damages my hair more than straightening - so I just choose straightening over drying! I don't believe you need to spend a few years walking around looking like a toilet brush in order to have your dream hair in a few years. Washing your hair less will reduce the amount of heat-styling you do. Wash, straighten, then leave it for a few days.

6. Products. You don't need to spend millions. My hair still has split ends, but it looks and feels healthy (most of the time). I use Tresemme Shampoo and Conditioner (yes, from the supermarket) - so fancy. I have used expensive salon-only shampoo/conditioner but I didn't see a huge difference in the quality of my hair. I use Argan Oil sparingly to tame the frizz, this is a good alternative to straightening your hair into submission as well.

A good product that IS worth splurging on is Shue Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Treatment - this is a hair mask that helps repair ultra damaged hair and it honestly made my gross-brittle hair feel like silk after treating! "Protects each strand from external damage by binding the hair cuticle and cortex, preventing further hair breakage and split ends" (from website). Plus, it smells absolutely divine.

7. Choose a low-maintenance style/colour. I wanted blonde hair, maybe just because I couldn't have it, but making a compromise has lead me to getting my long hair back. My hairdresser sat me down and recommended we go for a custom hand-painted balayage to brighten my whole hair colour with the least amount of bleach possible. We did it gradually and I am now at a stage where I only need it to be done once a year. I understand that bleach blonde hair may be what you desire - but I do feel you need to choose between colour and healthiness/length. I'm so happy with my hair colour, and I know the compromise was worth it.

8. Be kind to your hair. Brush it gently when it is wet, use enough moisturiser, don't rip tangled hair elastics out of it, don't wash it too much, get your vitamins from your diet or take an all-rounder multi-vitamin if you can't. There is no magic recipe but these things all helped me 100% so hopefully they help you!

Just wait it out and be patient, it does take time so don't believe what it says on the websites of these magic hair pills! I never thought I'd get my healthy, long hair back but I did and you can too! Stop abusing your hair and nourish yourself inside and out <3

As always, if you have any questions - Shoot me a DM on insta!

Love & (hair) Strength as always,

J xx

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