Grow Your Hair Faster and Longer (Yes, Really)
Having nice hair isn’t enough. We want the coveted long beautiful hair. So it’s no wonder we’re always searching for the ultimate in healthy hair tips that will help us to keep it growing. I got good news and bad news. The bad new is, no matter how many hair vitamins you choke down every morning or how many trims you get every month, you can’t grow butt-length hair overnight—or even over many nights. The good news? If you feel like your hair isn’t growing fast enough—at least half an inch per month—you can, actually, speed up the process a bit.
Protect hair like you would skin
Hair is a huge part of our identity – which gives it a lot of power, so look out for it like you do for your skin: weather, the sun and pollution could wreak havoc on your hair, too. Shield it from the sun with a UV spray and use a moisturising conditioner in cold seasons.
Consider hair-growth vitamins
Okay, let me put it out there: hair supplements are not a miracle cure!
If you follow a somewhat balanced diet, your body will be loaded with the hair-strengthening ingredients you’ll find in supplements (think: biotin, folic acid, vitamins D, A, C, and E), and doubling (or tripling!) your dose won’t actually make a difference. “Your body only keeps what it needs and then it gets rid of the rest.
That said, if you don’t eat balanced meals or you’re in an intense period of stress or trauma, you might not be getting the proper amount of nutrients you need to grow healthy, long hair. If that’s the case, “your body will shut down your hair growth first and redirect nutrients and energy to the organs that need it most.
Get Regular Trims
Some may find this counteractive to growth, but trimming your hair gets rid of broken and split ends that could lead to more damage. Nipping damage in the bud with a trim about once every season (or as needed) will keep the hair at its healthiest.
It’s shocking how several people skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair—especially when you’re trying to grow it long. (Hear that? Please, load up on the conditioning hair masks to prevent those split ends.) “In reality, it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible.”
Here’s why: The purpose of shampoo is to wash away dirt and product buildup, but most shampoos are filled with harsh soaps called sulfates, which strip away natural oils you need for long, healthy hair. When you do need to cleanse your hair, make sure to choose a sulfate-free shampoo (I swear by Aveeno Pure Renewal Hair Shampoo or Ogx Coconut Milk Shampoo) and only lather up at your scalp, letting the suds slide down the rest of the hair as the water rinses the formula away.
Load up on conditioner
Let’s just say your conditioner should be your best friend when you’re trying to grow your hair fast. You should moisturize your hair every single time you get it wet in the shower. Over time, “coloring and heat styling cause strands to get thinner at the bottom which can lead to more breakage and shorter lengths.
So to get your ends back to good health, load up on conditioner, which helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft as well as seal the outer cuticle. Basically, it’s your first defense against the damage that threatens your long-hair goals.
Use DIY deep-conditioners
If your hair is shoulder-length or longer, it’s already about two to three years old (weird, right?), which means it likely needs more TLC than a normal conditioner can give. And that’s where DIY deep-conditioning masks come in. I make a natural oil treatment and trust me: It’s very easy. Just mix together the following ingredient hair-oil recipe:
Because oils can leave behind a residue, I recommend applying it to damp hair—rather than soaking-wet hair—and leaving it on for 10 minutes before shampooing and conditioning to remove the oil. “These oils are able to fill strands with fatty acids, even after they’re rinsed out and those fatty acids help strengthen and protect your hair as you grow it out. Not into DIY? Try this pre-made oil treatment instead:
Rinse with cold water
Washing your hair with cold water at the end of your shower can give an added boost of hair-growing power. Cold water lays down the outer layer of your hair more smoothly, which helps prevent moisture loss, snags, and heat damage. You only need to do it for a few seconds, but this one extra step can make a huge difference over time. Yeah, cold showers suck, but anything for longer hair, right?
Avoid heat tools
Please put the hot tools down for a hot sec, ok? Hair straighteners, curling wands, chemical relaxers, or any other treatment or style that causes a lot of damage will not help your long-hair cause. The healthier your hair is, the longer it will grow, and overuse of these tools is not conducive to long hair. And if cutting down your heat-tool use isn’t a viable option, make sure you’re using a heat protectant every time you style.
Stay away from bleach
I’ll give it to you straight: When you bleach your hair, it opens up the cuticle of your hair strands, causing significant damage—especially for those with darker hair—every single time. And hair that’s been color- or chemically treated is more likely to break off or split, which means more trims and less length for you (sensing a theme here? Healthy hair = longer hair). If you want your hair to grow longer and faster, you might want to reconsider that platinum dye job.
Brushing or combing your hair is essential, obviously, but just keep in mind that aggressive brushing can cause physical damage to your hair that will prevent it from ever looking long. Basically, if you can hear the sound of the brush crunching through your strands, you’re being too rough. Be especially careful when your hair is wet and more susceptible to breakage.
When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up slowly. We often instinctually brush from the scalp down, but that just pushes small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair. Instead of using whatever janky comb you’ve had since high school, reach for a natural boar-bristle brush, which helps gently distribute your scalp’s natural oils down the hair shaft (which means healthier, more moisturized strands). To further help with detangling, try out this peppermint dentangler conditioner that will leave your hair soft, silky and manageable.
Use a silk pillowcase
Guess what? If you wake up with matted hair and tangles, your cotton pillowcase could be the culprit. Switch to a silk or satin pillowcase—it has a softer surface that won’t cause friction with your hair the way that regularly woven cotton does. Bonus, they look and feel super freaking luxe.
Dry your hair with a microfiber towel
What could be so bad about putting your hair in your super-plush bath towel? A lot, actually. It causes so much breakage. Your hair gets caught in all the woven fibers, and since most women almost always wrap it too tight around their head, all those tiny, fragile strands around your hairline are pulled taut and prone to breaking. Opt for a t-shirt or a super-thin microfiber hair towel instead (like this Aquis microfiber hair towel), which are much safer for wrapping.
Swap out your hair elastics
One ponytail–one!–can give you what stylists refer to as a “chemical cut.” This might sound like a new, edgy cutting technique, but it’s actually what happens when your hair breaks off at the point of tension where the elastic hair tie is wrapped. YUP. But that doesn’t mean you’re banned from ever wearing your hair up again. Just switch out your hair elastics for claw clips, bobby pins, or larger pins instead. You can find a variiety of these at Chandarana Foodplus.
Change up your hairstyle
Wearing your ponytail or topknot in the same place on your head every day causes your hair to break over time from the constant tension. Frequently changing your pony or bun placement is an easy move that can help maintain the strength of your strands, which means they’ll continue to grow out strong and damage-free.
Protect hair when swimming
Protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine by wetting and conditioning your hair before swimming. Wear a tight-fitting swim cap and use a specially formulated swimmers shampoo and deep conditioner after swimming to replace lost moisture.
Use Hair Masks Before Working Out
Typically, people like using hair masks after hitting the gym to revive their strands. But according to one stylist, the opposite is actually more beneficial for your hair health.
“Did you know the salt from your sweat can actually dry out your hair? If you apply a mask before your workout, the ingredients push moisture into your strands and seal it in before the salt has a chance to dry your hair out. The heat from your workout will allow the mask the work deeper, then all you have to do is rinse and go!”
Invest in scalp care
When you take care of your scalp, you’re actually ensuring that blood and nutrients can easily flow to the hair follicle, which then helps minimize shedding and loss. Ensure your scalp is clean to avoid buildup of oils clooging the hair follicles. Give yourself a “proper shampoo” once a week, i.e. where you apply the product directly on your scalp—not just your hair—letting it sit for five minutes before rinsing and conditioning.“You can even buy a hair-color applicator bottle at a beauty supply store to help easily distribute the shampoo through your scalp.”
Massage Your Scalp
A soothing scalp massage every few nights will help stimulate the hair follicles and help with blood flow to the scalp to encourage healthy growth.
This is easier said than done, but the best thing you can do for your hair is to simply relax. Whether it’s worrying about your hair length or anything else, stress will often show up in our skin as well as our hair. So try to reduce your stress as much as possible.
Once again, the health of your hair is more important than how long it is. Focus on its health and before you even realize it, the length will come!Which tips do you think would benefit you most?