Question: I saw on Instagram you can cover your hair in tomato ketchup and rinse it out like a mask to help it grow more. Is it true and can I use it? I want to grow my hair long.
Answer: Hi, Sinead. There is a reason people use tomato ketchup as a hair mask, but it's definitely not to promote hair growth.
Tomato ketchup can be used on blonde hair to strip any green discoloration which is fairly common after being exposed to copper in water, for instance in swimming pools. Not chlorine as many people believe. When hard metals and minerals in the water oxidise, they can leave swimmers' pale hair with a green tinge.
Using the acidic nature of tomato ketchup to remove this discolouration is essentially a cheap hair hack that can keep blonde hair bright and neutralise the green tones.
This approach is not necessarily recommended for bleached hair, however. Firstly - the hair may take on a rosy tint from the ketchup, and secondly due to bleached hair being more susceptible to damage from this type of acidic treatment.
Better advice for growing your hair longer is to ensure it is kept in its best possible condition. This is not simply a haircare issue - which products you use and how often you wash your hair or brush it, for example; it is about ensuring your hair follicles are nourished from within and you minimise any potential issues which could prevent healthy hair growth.
Following a well-balanced diet, rich in all the key nutrients needed for healthy hair, is a great place to start. Whilst not intended to replace a solid approach to nutrition via your meals, a highly-targeted food supplement, such as Hair Vitalics for Women, which contains biotin, selenium and zinc for the maintenance of normal hair growth, can be added in to your daily routine, if desired.
Having a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and plenty of sleep, can help to ensure your body is functioning properly - including good heart health and blood flow, which you need to ensure the nutrients in your blood stream reach your hair follicles.
This can also help to minimise stress - a known trigger of hair loss and something that will definitely not help if you are trying to grow your hair.
Try to avoid smoking, and minimise use of heated hair styling tools - including hairdryers! - as these can contribute to or cause thinning hair and hair breakage - again, the absolute antithesis of hair growth.
Also, whilst your hairdresser will be able to give you advice based on your specific situation, whilst it may seem counter-productive, it is wise to get regular trims when growing your hair in order to get rid of any split ends. If left, these can split further up the hair shaft, leaving the hair in poor condition that can appear lank, weak and frazzled. This can mean having to have more inches cut off in the long run.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.