“Anja, how did your hair grow so quickly?” is a question I get asked on social media so frequently. I wish I could tell you that there is some magic solution to hair growth, that I have discovered a tablet or supplement that made my hair grow fast. I know that is what you’d like to hear.
However, it takes a lot of patience, and truthfully there is no exact science. I’ve met women who haven’t been able to grow their hair out past shoulder length, and then I have met people who have standing appointments at the hair salon to prevent looking like they howl at the moon at midnight. It is unfair that the latter usually happens to men who don’t even want long hair. This, along with long lashes and nipples, is just another thing that is wasted on them.
So, how did I grow my hair? It comes down to 5 things.
My nails and hair grow very quickly. It’s a good thing, but it also means that the hair on other parts of my body grow at the same pace…
Brazilian Cacau Treatment
In July of 2017 I went for my very first Brazilian Cacau blowdry. It was a big leap of faith for me, as I’d read very good and very bad reviews online.
My hair has never been dead straight, but it has also never been super curly. It is just poofy for me to not be able to towel dry it, and frizzy enough for it to not be tamed by a paddle brush. As a result, I always ended up using a straightener after blowdrying it. This, along with bleach from highlights, meant that my hair was eternally damaged.
Enter the Brazilian Cacau Treatment.
A.) It took 3 hours to do, and it burnt the shit out of my eyes. I won’t lie to you guys. It is a very boring process and the smell is so pungent it makes your eyes water.
B.) Your hair gets oily very quickly. The Brazilian Cacau treatment essentially like having leave in conditioner in your hair for 8 months. So when you haven’t washed it in awhile, you’ll really feel it.
C.) You can only use sulphate free shampoo, which is cool if you don’t have a dry and itchy scalp like me. But I unfortunately, need Head & Shoulders to get by, otherwise my scalp gets so itchy that I go a little bit mal. Head & Shoulders strips your hair, which in turn strips the Brazilian. I also found that sulphate-free shampoo doesn’t cleanse my hair enough, which in turn causes build-up on my scalp and irritates it even more. I discussed this with my hairdresser, who recommended that I use a moisturising shampoo – with sulphates – to wash my hair.
I use TRESemmé Moisture Rich Luxurious Shampoo and it works well to maintain my Brazilian and still have clean hair. However, if you’d like to preserve the treatment fully – you have to use only sulphate free shampoo.
D.) The treatment can be very expensive depending on where you go, and it might be costly to replace your current shampoo with a good sulphate-free one.
My hair was beautifully glossy afterwards and looked healthier instantly. Suddenly my hair was naturally straight, and I only needed to use a hairdryer and a paddle brush to get it to look like I’d just stepped out of a Pantene ad.
I not only didn’t have to straighten my hair again – I didn’t want to either. In fact, I became so obsessed with not having any heat tools close to my hair, that I only used a curling tong about 3 times in the time preceding my first Brazilian. And when I went to the hairdresser for a colour, I always told them to only use the hairdryer. No straighteners, no curlers, niks.
This made a significant impact on my hair. I could feel it getting thicker and longer at a rapid rate. I know you don’t want to hear it, heck I still don’t even want to either, but this is the truth: hair straighteners always damage and break your hair. Sure, you can decrease the damage by using a heat protector. But there will be damage nonetheless.
I know we all have different hairtypes, and straightening your hair might be the only way you can manage it at all. If this is the case – see if you can do it less. Instead of straightening it all the time, try a plait or an upstyle to give your hair a break. I promise that you’ll see a big difference.
When you do use your straightener, don’t straighten the same piece over and over again. Take a strand and comb it through. Once you’ve done that, take the comb and the straightener and pull it through your hair at the same time. Take note of how many times you straighten the same piece – don’t do it mindlessly. You’ll save your hair so much heat!
But if you can avoid heat tools altogether: DO IT. The Brazilian helped me to do it, but the treatment doesn’t work for everyone. Like I said, this isn’t an ad for the Brazilian Cacau treatment. It’s more an advertisement for trying to use less heat on your hair, as I honestly believe that most of my quick hair growth can be attributed to it.
I didn’t choose the bleach life, it chose me.
Okay, that’s a lie. I willingly chose to bleach my hair to death. The regrowth, along with the damage, made me go a more natural blonde which I now only have to touch up at the roots every 7 weeks. Bleach isn’t good for your hair. Ombré isn’t good for your hair. Does it look hot though? Yes, it does. I know this struggle!
It took me ages to find a good conditioner, but when Hask came into my life – I nearly made our relationship Facebook official. This is a phenomenal conditioner, guys. I really believe it will nurture bleach or heat damaged hair back to health if you use it regularly. (You can buy it at Clicks.)
I cut my hair in a bob in 2015, and even though I think it made me look like a soccer mom 60% of the time – it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done for my hair.
Before that, my ends were straggly and thin. My hair really wasn’t healthy anymore, but I was clinging to it because I didn’t want to let go of my length. I’m not saying you should cut your hair off, but I think it’s important to go for regular trims. There really is no point in having #mermaidhair when half of it looks like dry seaweed. Trust me. I’ve been there.
If you are struggling to grow your hair, first start by evaluating all the tools and products you’re using on it. Do you really need all of it? Can you sometimes plait your hair rather than curl or straighten it? Have you been colouring your hair too often? Is it possible for you to wait a bit longer between colours to give your hair a break? All of these things may seem small, but together they will make a big difference – I promise you! Good luck, and be kind to yourself. Your hair is beautiful.