Ask a Hairstylist: How do I Grow Out Damaged Hair?
Ever wish you had a personal hairstylist at your beck and call, ready to offer expertise on all your pressing hair dilemmas? We did, too, hence our Ask a Hairstylist series featuring celebrity hair guru Anthony Nader. (He’s responsible for styling many an A-lister, and coifs just about every beauty editor in Sydney. Oh, and he's styled hundreds of runway shows and editorials, including our very own shoot with Samara Weaving.) In this series, Nader offers up the next best thing to a 24/7 hairstylist: a seasoned pro willing to answer all your burning (not literally… we hope) hair questions.
In this month’s column, we posed a tricky dilemma—how on earth does one grow out damaged hair in a hurry? (Impatient, us?) We asked Nader to walk us through his tried-and-true methods for boosting hair growth (spoiler: vitamins are involved) as well as 7 quick fixes for helping busted strands look healthy.
Keep scrolling to see his top tricks.
Growing out damaged hair is a tough gig in many ways. If you’re unlucky enough to have this happen to you, it can take weeks—if not months—to grow your hair long enough to be able to chop off any broken areas. In the case that you don’t want to sacrifice any more of your treasured strands by getting up close and personal with a shiny pair of silver scissors, you can opt for any of the following options. In the industry these are called "Band-Aid" solutions and their goal is to help you manage the damage until you reach your goal of owning a healthy, beautiful head of hair again.
This is an excellent start to revitalising your hair and giving it new life. I also recommend investing in two different shampoos and two different conditioners so your hair never gets used to the same ingredients. (I know this sounds a little opulent but it’s a really smart move, especially if you can find a set on sale.) Treat this like a kickstart/wakeup call to your hair—your strands will lift their game each time you wash.
Another surefire way of not only improving your hair, but also your skin and nails, is adding specific vitamins to your diet. (This can help *a lot* if you’re deficient in any of the five food groups.) Biotin works a treat for hair as it promotes growth and makes strands feel thicker over time, vitamin C produces collagen and zinc helps nourish hair from within.
So many women shy away from getting a haircut, thinking they can just grow out the damage. I know this list is made up of tricks that don't require a chop, but just humour me for a second. I realise that when you’ve had a bad experience you don’t want anyone to touch your hair, but, if you have even a centimetre or two lopped off this will make a huge difference in the strength of your ends. (It can also help your treasured locks grow faster.) There’s no point in growing out split ends because at the end of the day you’ll only need them cut off anyway, and in the meantime they'll look sad and frail.
Evo The Great Hydrator Moisture Mask ($30)
Your hair will thrive on weekly moisture and protein treatments and the good news is you can do this from home. Protein is vital for rebuilding the structure of each strand and is crucial in reversing the look of damage. Moisture is also important for hydrating hair so it can bounce back to life.
Give your strands a rest until they strengthen up by foregoing bleach and damaging permanent colours. If you haven't already, think about opting for an organic or herbal hair dye brand. There are so many salons that now stock some kind of "environment safe" colour, so ask your hairdresser about what they have in stock. Work out a colour plan with your stylist for the next few months until your hair can recover.
A foolproof way to start caring more for your strands is by not roughing them with your towel after you shower. Blotting is the best way to absorb moisture from fragile hair, as this is when it is at its most delicate. Once you begin this technique you’ll notice a huge difference in styling—hair won’t look as hazy or frizzy in appearance.
Bkr Water Bottle ($50)
We're all guilty of not drinking the required dose of water every day. (Here I am preaching this to you when I should be doing it myself.) From here on in, I’m keeping a fluoro orange Post-it note on my laptop with the word "WATER" on it. My—and your—body will thank you in the long run.