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OK, before we go any further lets make something clear,we're qualified stylists so we know there's no actual physical pain involved in hair growth, otherwise everyone on the planet would look like early 90s Sinead O'Connor (or worse still Greg Wallace) and we'd be looking for alternative employment opportunities.
However, for many of us who decide their hearts desire is long, sumptuous and natural tresses, making the dramatic transition between pictures 1 and 2 below can be a real emotional headache.
Three strategies for taking this journey lie before all short-haired wannabes desperate to channel their inner Rapunzel.
Firstly you can make like a mega-diva and pay a pair of Scandinavian twins an undisclosed some to stay sealed in a cave for several years living on a diet of buttermilk and wheatgrass power-smoothies, before harvesting their locks and having them bonded to you own.
Then there's option two, stay in hermit-like isolation on the same diet yourself, and don't come out until your desired length is achieved.
Finally, for those on a more limited budget who value their sanity, we'd like to recommend the third way, a strategy for growing healthy long hair devised around practical advice from our stylists with best flowing tresses. There may be moments of hiatus between styles as you grow down, but follow these tips and we're confident you'll be able to leave your house with your head held high until your desired length is achieved.
To begin, try to clearly visualise your goal, take into consideration your hair type and try to be realistic; if your hair has never previously grown beyond your shoulders, then there's a pretty good chance that is where it will stay. Then think about products, after all we're looking for glossy shampoo commercial locks here, not a stragly mane.
Now here's the plan of action. After taking all the above points on board, remember this; that the best method for achieving long hair is to initially concentrate on growing strong hair. Depending on your hair type, get a regular trim about every 8-10 weeks (more frequently and you'll be cutting off all the new growth), work on growing the layers first, then go for length, think chic bob rather than heavy layered mullet! This will keep your hair strong and prevent wispy ends.
Follow this method and combine with a healthy diet (remember hair is basically protein) so eat plenty of lean meat, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. Also try and avoid harsh styling techniques during your growing process - basically any chemical or mechanical straightening, curling or bleaching, as all these can slow growth by stressing your hair.
Mix these basic principles with a little patience, and you should be able to achieve lustrous, healthy long hair, without the decision to go for the grow leaving you in hairstyle no-man's land during the process.