An Easy, Expert Guide To Growing Your Hair Out
From left: A$AP Rocky at the amfAR Gala Cannes, Cap d’Antibes, 25 May 2017. Photograph by Mr Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images. Mr Leonardo DiCaprio at the premiere of Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, Berlin, 1 August 2019. Photograph by Mr Brian Dowling/Getty Images for Sony Pictures. Mr Kit Harington at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Los Angeles, 25 January 2015. Photograph by Mr Ethan Miller/Getty Images
We’re not looking to offend here, but chances are your hair has seen better days. Hey, we get it. It’s not your fault; an endless bad hair day may be one of the more trivial side effects of a pandemic. But with no access to a barber, it’s going to happen. Whether or not you’ve fallen prey to the at-home-haircut-gone-wrong brigade (surprisingly easy to spot in public right now), your hair could probably do with some attention. Plus, unless you went down the lockdown-buzzcut route, the head start you’ve had means there’s never been a better time to try out life with longer hair. So, where to begin?
To help us out in these unprecedented times, we called upon the services of Mr Johnnie Sapong, a man once described by The Sunday Times as “probably the best hairdresser in the world” (and not without reason; Mr Sapong has helped shape many an enviable coif in his time, and has lent his hands to the heads of Messrs John Boyega, Daniel Craig, Eddie Redmayne and Lakeith Stanfield). He bestowed us with the below wisdom.
01. Hit the conditioner hard
If you’ve found that longer hair has you looking more The Revenant than Romeo + Juliet, you’ll want to invest in products that ensure your hair is in great shape. “Always use a good conditioner for your hair type,” says Mr Sapong. He recommends Aesop’s Classic Conditioner – it will work well on your hair, whatever its type, by softening it without adding weight and dragging it down. Another clever tip is to use styling products that also nourish the hair. “Oribe’s styling paste will keep flyway hairs in control as well as condition [the hair],” he says.
02. Plan with your barber (and hold out until then)
The main thing when growing out your hair, says Mr Sapong, is to “make sure you have haircuts less frequently, but have dry ends trimmed when necessary”. Despite the understandable impulse to reach for the clippers, Mr Sapong advises you try hard to ride it out and wait until you can see your barber. “But, if you’re game, it will always grow back,” he says. When you can finally get back in the chair, he recommends talking to your hairdresser about your desired longer style, then you can work out your vision and plan together.
03. Focus on scalp health
When it comes to how good your hair looks, the scalp plays a more important role than you may think. “Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so make sure you use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, always keeping the scalp and hair hydrated,” says Mr Sapong. For this, try Sisley’s fortifying serum, a miracle hair product that prevents hair loss by soothing the scalp and allowing hair to grow fuller and more healthy-looking. Or go for Oribe’s Serene Scalp Balancing shampoo, which strengthens the keratin in your hair, keeps your scalp balanced and healthy, and smells like a summer holiday to boot.
04. Style it out with a bun or braids
With more hair comes more options, but that can often throw up more confusion of exactly where to head with it. Still, once you’ve got it to an appropriate length, you can rock some cooler styles. “Longer styles on Afro hair look great braided,” says Mr Sapong (look to A$AP Rocky for inspiration here). Curlier hair will look snappy when it’s pushed back with a hair cream, (think Jon Snow-era Mr Kit Harington), and for straighter hair, Mr Sapong recommends tying it back or putting it in a man bun: “This will also keep it in great condition and away from all the damaging elements.”