Even though my hair isn’t very thick, I have always been able to grow it really long. It is currently down to the bottom of my back! As I have just added a brand new treatment onto my menu – the aromatic hair & scalp ritual, designed to condition and nourish the hair, encourage growth and ease tension in the neck, shoulders, face and head – I thought it would be a good time to share my secrets for growing long and healthy hair.
1. Switch to Natural Products
There are so many hair care products on the market today, all promising to do something different. The problem is, most mainstream products are filled with a plethora of hard-to-pronounce ingredients and potentially harmful chemicals. The main offender is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is responsible for the lather when we shampoo our hair. SLS can cause scalp irritation and can be too drying for the hair.
Try to use more natural products instead, which are likely to be kinder to your hair, scalp and body. Brands I love include Faith in Nature and PHB Ethical Beauty. Opt for natural hair dye too – I highly recommend Hair Today in Falmouth, who use only organic, vegan and cruelty-free products free from parabens, resorcinol, ammonia and PPD.
2. Minimise Heat
Try to limit your use of hair dryers, straighteners and curlers - too much heat can cause hair breakage and damage. Avoid vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel too, since this can also cause damage. Instead, carefully pat your hair with a soft towel then leave to air dry naturally if possible, and leave the blow dry for special occasions only.
3. Be Careful when Brushing
It’s easy to think that lots of brushing results in shiny, healthy hair; after all, according to the old wives’ tail, we should brush our hair 100 times a day! It’s true that brushing helps to promote shiny hair as it distributes the scalp’s natural oils throughout the hair. It also helps to stimulate circulation to the scalp, feeding the hair follicles and encouraging healthy growth. However, brushing our hair 100 times a day is likely to result in breakage.
Keep brushing to a minimum, and use a quality brush with cruelty-free bristles – I love EcoTools. Brushing wet hair – which is more fragile and stretchy than dry hair – is also likely to cause breakage. Opt for a wide-tooth comb instead, working from the ends of your hair up.
4. Eat Healthily
Beauty comes from within, and eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your hair to shine from the inside out. As well as drinking plenty of water, be sure to eat lots of nourishing whole foods. Vitamins and minerals needed for strong, healthy hair include:
5. Reduce Stress
One of the many negative effects stress has on the body is hair loss. Learn how to reduce and manage your stress levels to feel healthier and happier. Taking time out from your busy routine to do something for you will help to reduce your stress levels. Enjoy spending a little time each day doing something that relaxes you, whether that’s having a bath, reading a book, listening to music or unwinding with a massage or spa treatment.
6. Massage your Scalp
Regular scalp massage stimulates hair growth by boosting the circulation, which strengthens and feeds the hair follicles. It also spread the hair's natural oils, boosting shine. A study showed that daily scalp massage resulted in increased hair thickness. Massage your hair as often as you can using a hair oil, when you work shampoo into your hair, or book a professional head massage.
7. Use Hair Oils
Don’t be afraid of getting your hair oily! Oils are so beneficial for the hair and scalp, and if you can use them regularly you will soon notice softer, shinier, stronger hair. Oils can be applied all over the hair and scalp for a deep-conditioning treatment once or twice a week, or a couple of drops can be used daily to add shine and nourishment to the lengths and ends of your hair. The best oils for healthy hair include argan, sweet almond, coconut, macadamia and jojoba.
Essential oils also help to enhance the condition of the hair, and may even help to stimulate hair growth. A study showed that daily scalp massage with a blend of thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood essential oils (in a base of jojoba and grapeseed) was a successful treatment for alopecia areata (spot baldness). The study also showed that massage using these essential oils was significantly more effective than massage with the jojoba and grapeseed oils alone.
I can make you a personalised hair oil incorporating a blend of base and essential oils selected according to the needs of your hair and what you would like to achieve, whether that's to balance your scalp, repair and condition your hair or help encourage growth. Please get in touch to find out more.
time spent relaxing on one's own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
When did you last schedule some me time? Chances are, you've been so busy that you've barely had time to stop and take a proper break to re-balance your mind, body and spirit.
For most of us, life has never been so hectic. Long working days, household chores, looking after children or maybe elderly relatives, appointments and meeting up with friends mean our days are packed with various activities, leaving little time to focus on ourselves. And even if we do find a small window of opportunity to do something to relax and recharge, how many of us feel guilty for doing so?
The Guilt Factor
Never feel guilty for enjoying me time; health is paramount. Being constantly on the go can result in a build up of stress, which can lead to health problems if not dealt with. Doing something regularly for yourself will help to reduce stress levels and prevent them from building up again.
If you aren't used to having me time, it may feel strange at first, but once you get rid of the notion that you should be doing something else instead, you will wonder how you ever lived without it!
Ways to Enjoy Me Time
We all have our own ideas of what me time means. For some, it could be a whole day out including shopping, lunch and a manicure; for others, it could be something as simple as curling up with a cup of tea. There are so many ways to enjoy me time - why not try a few and see what relaxes you the most? You could even do something different every day!
How to Find Me Time
If you are wondering how you are going to find time in your day to take a proper break, the answer is you are going to make time! If time really is short, even setting aside just a few minutes a day to do something you enjoy will help to make a difference. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, here are some easy ways to incorporate me time into your daily routine. With practice, you should be able to fit in some me time several times a day!
Starting the day off by doing something you love is the best way to set you up for the day ahead. Mornings can be the busiest time of day for many people as the rush to get everyone ready for work and school begins. The secret to enjoying me time in the morning? Get up a little earlier.
Rising just half an hour earlier will allow you to do something to relax and invigorate your mind and body. Exercising or yoga is a great way to start the day and get you motivated. Try switching your morning shower for a bath - it will feel incredibly indulgent! If you feel like it's too early to get out of bed, why not take the opportunity to relax and read a book or magazine?
The journey to work is a great opportunity to listen to some music and put you in a positive mood. If you drive, make a CD of your favourite songs and play it in the car, or if you walk, cycle or use public transport you could listen to your iPod.
Instead of spending your lunch break in your work environment, get outside and spend some time in nature. We are extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country, and we are never far from a beach, park or woodland.
Enjoying a holistic therapy treatment is the perfect way to melt away any stresses that have built up during the morning and leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and ready to face the afternoon. Shorter treatments, such as a 30 minute massage, an express foot ritual or a Sea of Tranquillity stress-busting treatment can easily be incorporated into your lunch hour.
If you aren't able to get out, use your break to do something fun such as a spot of online shopping or playing a game on your computer.
Enjoying me time in the evening is the ideal way to unwind after a busy day and set you up for a great night's sleep. Make cooking fun by trying something new, or go out for dinner instead. Read, write or paint, or curl up and watch your favourite film whilst painting your nails. Have a relaxing bath with candles and essential oils, or spend time meditating before you go to bed.
If you aren't able to fit a treatment into your lunch break, book one for after work to help relieve tension and restore balance. Longer treatments, such as massage, reflexology, facials or holistic back rituals will all help to promote feelings of deep relaxation and boost your wellbeing.
Finish your day by relaxing with a cup of herbal tea and thinking of all the positive things that have happened since you woke up. Even if you think you haven't had the best day, you will probably surprise yourself by finding little things that you are grateful for. Go to bed feeling calm and happy, and ready to do it all again tomorrow.