The long and short of it

Long hair seems to have eternal appeal – Perhaps it’s because our childhood fairy tales were full of longhaired princesses, or perhaps it something more evolutionary. Either way, the trend for long, luscious hair is going nowhere. But if you wonder why some people can grow their hair to their waist, while yours struggles to pass your shoulders, the answer lies partly in your DNA - The speed our hair grows is genetically determined.

For most people this is a quarter to half an inch a month. And though there’s not much you can do to speed this up, you can take steps to ensure your strands are growing at their optimal rate and not snapping or falling out before they should. Here are my tips for being a modern Rapunzel!

TRY SKINCARE FOR HAIR Our hair grows from our scalp, so looking after it is a must if you want yours to be long and strong! Skincare for hair is a big trend right now. I love Hair Rituel by Sisley Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp, £135, Kerastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate, £44.70, and Redken Recovery Sheet Mask Cap, £12.
EAT WELL A healthy diet is as important for your hair as it is your skin. Eating protein and complex carbohydrates (like brown rice, chickpeas and sweet potato), maintains a good hair growth cycle. Consume these at breakfast and lunch when our energy expenditure is greatest.
CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTATION Ensuring your body has healthy levels of certain minerals encourages hair growth and helps prevent breakage. Biotin, part of the Vitamin B family, plays an important role in hair health and has transformed my hair. Fulvic acid is also proven to provide significant improvement in hair thickness and condition, while iron deficiencies affect 15% of the world’s population and can suppress hair growth too.
SHOWER RIGHT It horrifies me how many women skip conditioner – The worst thing you can do when growing your hair. Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, as well as sealing the cuticle to prevent moisture loss, snags and heat damage. In reality it’s shampooing that you should skip when possible. Here's why: Shampoo washes away not just dirt and product build-up, but also the natural oils that keep our strands soft and healthy. Reduce the days you shampoo, and do a cold rinse after you do - This smooths and protects the hair cuticle as above.
TRY TREATMENTS Hair can't get long if it keeps snapping off, so invest in products that strengthen it. To minimise breakage I recommend a weekly pre-shampoo treatment like Oribe Gold Lust Pre Shampoo Intensive Treatment, £62 to plump the hair shaft with moisture, improving elasticity and strength. Or try our Kerastase Extentioniste in-salon treatment, £45. It helps reduce the appearance of split ends and minimises breakage to promote sublime lengths.
BE SCISSOR HAPPY Having an invisible trim whereby your hair tips are skimmed without removing length doesn't make your hair grow faster, but does prevent the split ends that cause breakage. Our in-salon hot scissor cuts are great too. Heated scissor blades round off and seal the hair tip to lock in moisture and minimise the damage caused by pollution, sunlight and heat styling.
BRUSH RIGHT Never brush your hair from the roots as this causes friction and damages the hair shaft. Instead start at the ends and work your way up.
QUIT PONY CLUB If you have bleached, dry, or fine hair wear it down when your can. Ponytails break off hair where the elastic holds the tail in place. Instead twist your hair into a bun and clip it with a claw clip or pin. Slip Silk Skinnies Hair Ties, £39 and Popbands, £8 are gentler on hair than traditional ties too.

Sleeping Beauty

My resolution this year is to go back to basics and be better at the simple things - sleeping, eating and moving. I truly believe that this can make us happier, healthier and more able to achieve our greatest desires.

Terrifyingly, two thirds of adults claim that they are sleep deprived and experts say regularly getting less than seven hours a night can seriously affect our health, concentration, productivity, and appearance. The health and beauty of our hair and skin, of course, relies on good sleep too.

Here are my top ten tips for sleeping better so you can look and feel fabulously refreshed and alert.

Stop all tech-related activity 60 minutes before bed, especially using devices that omit stimulating blue light. Oh and absolutely never take them to bed! The bedroom is for sleeping reading and romance.
Deep sleep or REM, which makes up about 20 percent of our time in bed, is very beneficial for our health. Sadly not everyone achieves it. Lowering stress levels, avoiding alcohol, snoring partners (!), uncomfortable beds and overheated bedrooms will help.
90 minutes before bed start lowering the lights – Quiet and darkness stimulate the sleep hormone melatonin.
Establish a sleep routine and repeat it every day – These habits tell our brains and bodies that it’s time to turn off. I personally take a bath, wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, and do some reading. Meditation helps many people too.
Stop drinking caffeine after 3pm and always avoid alcohol in the hour before bed.
Our bodies like habit - Try to keep your bed and wake up times the same every day where possible. It’s tempting to sleep more at the weekend but don't. This upsets our body clocks and will actually make you feel less rested.
Regular exercise promotes good sleep. We were built to move but many of our modern jobs involve sitting for hours, so making extra effort is essential. My office is at the top of 8 flights of stairs and I often have to run up and down them (usually in heels) many times a day. I love pilates and yoga and have a very energetic little boy who I chase after a lot.
Breathing properly can reduce stress, improve sleep quality and enhance our physical and mental health. Download Pranayama and Headspace apps to try it.
Visualisation helps clear and calm the mind. Imagine a shining light and beginning at the top of your head envision it scanning down your body to your toes where negativity departs through your feet.
Essential oils are one of the most powerful and proven natural remedies to help aid sleep. I spray This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £18 onto my pillow at night. It's a powerful blend of Lavender, Vetiver and Wild Camomile.

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