THE L ONG G AME

ELLE (Canada) - - Beauty -

THE SEEM­INGLY COUN­TER­IN­TU­ITIVE beauty adage of hav­ing your hair reg­u­larly trimmed if you want it to grow has its mer­its—split or frayed ends make hair look stringy and un­healthy. So how can you speed up the grow­ing process if you’re in the mar­ket for mer­maid hair? Tech­ni­cally you can’t, says Pas­cale Guy­on­net De­ber­sac, sci­en­tific com­mu­ni­ca­tion di­rec­tor for hair prod­ucts at L’Oréal Paris In­ter­na­tional. “The only thing that can con­trol hair growth is the hair fol­li­cle it­self,” says Guy­on­net De­ber­sac, not­ing that hair grows be­tween 0.8 and three cen­time­tres per month, de­pend­ing on your eth­nic­ity. “It’s where cell mul­ti­pli­ca­tion is at a higher rate than in any other or­gan in the hu­man body; it is not pos­si­ble to ac­cel­er­ate this process by much.” You can, how­ever, cheat the ap­pear­ance of long hair with healthy ends. When de­vel­op­ing the new Dream Lengths collection, re­searchers at L’Oréal Paris found that an al­tered cu­ti­cle and un­pro­tected cor­tex, as well as the loss of ker­atin-associated pro­teins, were the main is­sues with aging hair. So they for­mu­lated a cock­tail of veg­etable-based amino acids—the build­ing blocks of pro­tein—that are present in the hu­man hair fi­bre, as well as cas­tor oil and vi­ta­mins, to re­pair dam­aged sec­tions. (Cas­tor oil has been said to pro­mote hair growth, but there’s no sci­en­tific proof that it works that way, says Guy­on­net De­ber­sac; it has, how­ever, been found to be ef­fec­tive at strength­en­ing ends.) At L’Oréal Paris’ lab in France, the treat­ment was ap­plied to hair sam­ples of vary­ing eth­nic­i­ties and put through tests us­ing equip­ment from the tex­tile and au­to­mo­tive in­dus­tries. They found an im­pres­sive 87 per­cent re­duc­tion in hair break­age and 30 per­cent re­duc­tion in split ends af­ter one ap­pli­ca­tion. In other words: Start re­search­ing ways to style long hair now. n

“THE ONLY THING THAT CAN CON­TROL HAIR GROWTH IS THE HAIR FOL­LI­CLE IT­SELF.” How to grow your hair, once and for all.

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