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Miraculous things have happened to my hair over the past few months. I bit the bullet and had about four inches off the length at the beginning of September. This followed me taking my permanent blow dry custom back from Trevor Sorbie (disappointing) to Daniel Hersheson (amazing). In the intervening months, I've tried some new products, thrown in a few supplements, adapted my diet, and changed up my routine a little bit. The result? Unprecedented growth, shine, and most exciting of all, no split ends (it's been seven weeks since my cut and normally we're seeing signs around week five!) So, what's in and what's out?
I've read so much about Phillip Kingsley's Elasticizer over the years and yet weirdly, I've only tried it in the past few months. All I can say is that if you haven't tried it yet, don't wait another minute. Applied to damp hair for 20 minutes before you shampoo, it leaves hair silky, revitalised and strengthened. I had the privilege of meeting the man himself a few weeks ago and he told me the story of how he created this wonderful product for Audrey Hepburn, who tried it, loved it and used it for the rest of her life. My life isn't quite as glamorous, but anything that brings me a little closer to Audrey can only be a good thing.
My criteria for shampoo is that it should be as natural as possible and SLS-free, which means it's all round more gentle on hair. Australian Natural Botanicals is a new player on the market and the divinely scented shampoos and conditioners are 98% natural. I've tried both the normal and dry shampoos and have found them both excellent. Dry would be my usual choice, but the scent of the normal shampoo is so delicious and the results lovely and lustrous, they're both contenders.
Ojon's Damage Reverse has been my staple over the past few months, closely followed by Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme. Both are rich, moisturising and beautifully scented - perfect for hair that needs a bit of extra TLC.
Toni & Guy's Heat Protection spray has well and truly replaced Aussie's Take The Heat. Both are great products but T&G just seems to have given my hair weeks longer between cuts, making me think the defence is a little more robust. It also has a great little button on the head to stop it leaking if you pack it and I now have a bottle in the three places I'm ever likely to be styling my hair!
Tara Smith's Shining Moment Glossing Spray is a complete revelation to me. Another of the recent M&S beauty hall additions, it gives mega watt gloss without weighing hair down. The beautiful botanical scent means it's gender neutral (I observed a bewildered man being spritzed by Tara and then admiring his newly sheeny crop!) and the product really performs.
Supplements and diet
After reading an article in Elle magazine, I've been taking biotin, cod liver oil and vitamin B12 for two months. It apparently takes three months to see results in your hair, but the unusually quick growth makes me think these additions to my routine are already contributing.
Besides this, I've added more good fats to my diet, including oily fish, ground flaxseed (added to porridge) and avocado. This has been a constant in my routine for five months and after years of low fat eating and what I thought was naturally dry hair, my new growth is glossy and silky: to say I'm delighted is an understatement!