Growing your hair longer isn’t as easy as simply not cutting it. Which might explain why you seem to be struck with terminally shorter hair.
Fact is there are many things that can sabotage your efforts to go long like summer and winter to name but two — and who can avoid those? Yet you can protect your locks from whatever the seasons throw at them and end up with endless stunning hair days in the process.
What follows is based off this video that reveals more than 12 hair care tips long or otherwise, you might want to start to follow now. Although there are one or two you probably should ignore if visions of long hairstyles are in your head.
#1 Less Heat – Less Hot Tool Styling
Why do we hot style? To look hot, naturally. These tools can level the playing field for those who were not touched by the magic wand of the good hair gene fairy.
But the irony of ironies is all that heat is doing just the opposite leaving your hair perched somewhere between disappoint and disaster. It’s sapping the life out of our hair. (That steam you see is your hair dying right in front of your very eyes.)
No, you obviously won’t see the damage overnight. But over time it builds up incrementally. So that the cumulative effect is to fray, dry and suck the essence out of the strands. That leads to it not looking great naturally without hot styling, which just creates a vicious cycle of having to hot style to look acceptable. Adding the shine and smoothness you strands now lack on their own.
Solution. Slowly wean your hair away from those cherished hot styling tools. With some of them, like say your blow dryer, you can simply lower the heat settings over time. Believe it or not you can get a better than decent style with the cold setting. Saving the heat for those special occasions weddings, holiday galas, things like that. Otherwise learn other ways to style your hair that work with letting it air dry.
If you use a straightener for your work or school hairstyles, instead of running it the entire length of your long strands, just focus on a much smaller section of hair, like say the top half. That part can be styled, but leave the rest untouched by the heat. Gradually over time reduce the amount of hair you are using the tool on. Maybe just doing the hair around your part some days. You will still get a polished and refined look to your hair. But many days you won’t need it at all. Like the times you put your hair up in a cute braid for example. Or a messy bun.
Pull back the curtain will reveal the obvious. What will happen in the coming weeks or months, as it recovers, your hair’s natural sheen will come back. You won’t need the hot styling tools to generate the smoothness and refinement as you did with your previously stressed tresses. That will be the day you’ll be freed from all the hot styling enslavement hairstyles for long hair can sometimes trap us in.
#2 Easy Does It Hair Styles
Hairstyles that don’t require heat to pull off would be your next smart move if you are looking to grow your hair longer. Sure sleek long hair with bangs may be the standard for some, but things like beach waves or heatless curls can look cute too.
A suggested technique if you want to go straighter, is just when your hair is reaching the almost dry stage, at that point you could run a little oil over your strands giving them a bit more than a gentle tug. What this does is seal the strand. It has a smoothing effect and enhances the shine.
Bonus Tip: If your weekend hair style is a pony remember to never pull wet hair into a pony tail under any circumstances. As you know wet hair is at its most fragile state. The hair tie, even those without any metal on them can slice through the middle of the hair shaft leaving you with thinning hair and possibly wondering why.
#3 Loving Your Natural Hair color
It can certainly be addictive to frequently get your hair color either redone or refreshed. (Addictive and costly – both for your wallet and your mane.) But what is surprising to many is how their eyes light up and their skin tone comes to life when their natural hair color is revived. Returning to your God given color is much easier on your hair too.
Anyone looking for insights on how to grow long hair should certainly be paying attention here. Since anything that is easier on your hair means less splits, less breakage, and more healthy growth.
This doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey with coloring – although you can and maybe should. You can color some yet embrace your natural shade. Taking less than a quarter of your hair up or down a shade depending on the season. Remembering to focus a bit of a coloring effort on the hair line around your face.
REMEMBER: The low maintenance approach discussed in this video frees you to worry less about your hair and what you will need to do to it to get the look you want. Embracing your natural texture and color can be very liberating.
#4 Meal Matters
Yeah, what you eat matters. This is probably the most critical yet most overlooked tip of the lot. Like it or not, your hair is what you eat. Literally. And even if you are about to zone out or speed read past this paragraph, please don’t. That’s because what you put in your mouth determines what grows out of your scalp. It’s as simple as that. And the fresher you go for with what you put on your plate the more beautifying the food is. Especially when compared to those empty calories found in sugary soda, glazed donuts, or the lard like fats found in things like pizza. Besides there are creative ways to make good for you things like veggies appealing.
Yet don’t be afraid of fats. They are critical to your overall health and to your hair. Be sure you are eating things like avocado, flax seed, Omega 3 fats found in fish, all these are good for you fats.
If the mere thought of such an eating lifestyle makes you break out in hives, know that there are various ways you can eat these too. For example you can have your avocado in a smoothie. You can dice it up and have it with your salad. Or you can just cut it in half, remove the pit and dig in.
Bonus Tip: Need to fortify your tresses? Hair is composed of keratin which is a protein. Eating more lean protein, seafood, soy and nuts can help to strengthen it.
Try it. And if you notice your nails, skin and hair are looking better maybe it’s the change in diet from highly processed foods that really offer your body little to fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins.
#5 Say Hello to Hydration
Regardless of your opinion here, this one is super vital because our bodies are basically about 70% water. Again being advised to drink plenty of water is not new. You’ve heard it before. Probably plenty of times I’ll bet. But if you aren’t acting on it you are cheating your body and your hair of something it needs to be healthy. Some feel spring water is best. Followed by filtered water if spring water isn’t readily available.
Did you know? Properly hydrated hair is less likely to frizz up on you. If things get super humid during the summer where you call home be sure to run a dehumidifier at night in your bedroom to suck frizz inducing moisture out of the air.
#6 Filtered Showering
Not something you might think of off the top of your head when it comes to how to get long hair but filtering the water cascading out of the shower head can give both your hair and skin a break from some of the chemicals that aren’t doing either of them any favors.
Obviously no one can promise a shower water filter will leave you with hair that isn’t as dry or brittle after a week, but longer term you should notice a difference. Chlorine may be okay for insuring your water is safe to drink but it probably isn’t the greatest for soft shiny strands. And these are really quite affordable.
Bonus tip: Too late for filtering? To rid your strands of mineral build up and/or chlorine grab some apple cider vinegar and whip up a natural clarifying rinse. Dilute it one part vinegar to four parts water. Pour over freshly washed hair let sit for maybe 30 seconds, then rinse.
#7 Going Organic
There has been a proliferation of organic hair care products. If you are seeing dollar signs at the mere mention of the word “organic” you may want to rethink that. Turns out they aren’t as expensive as you might think and their ingredients are easier on your mane. For sure they cost less than salon products and may work better on your hair due in part to the hair friendly, natural ingredients to be found inside the bottle. In addition, home-made masks, shampoos and such are another way to avoid any of the harsher chemicals found in some of the off the shelf products.
Did You Know? If your hair is of the fine persuasion you want to use a clear shampoo, organic or not. The more creamy formulations may over moisturize your strands weighing them down while cleansing which is not what fine strands need.
#8 Here Comes the Sun
This bit of advice, not to dodge the sun or to slather up to protect your skin and hair, goes contrary to what we are often told, which is acknowledged in the vid. But that non mainstream perspective goes against conventional wisdom which is to avoid excessive sun exposure. It can dull your hair and burn your skin. She disagrees and I really have to disagree with her. Sure some sun is good. But I still feel if you are going to be out in the sun all day, you are better off protecting your hair in some form or fashion or live to regret it. Because that much UV ray exposure, can burn out the natural gloss you’ve been working so hard to cultivate by eating right, foregoing the hot styling tools and things like that. But obviously it’s up to you.
Bonus Tip: Windy day? Going for a drive with the top down. Having your hair whipping in the wind may made for a great photo shoot but it will shred your ends. Avoid that by wearing a scarf or braid your hair to keep it out of harms way.
#9 Scalp Massage
It’s always a good idea to boost the blood circulation to those follicles. Healthy follicles produce healthy hair. That is full of vitality, possess extra shine and be stronger than it otherwise would be. Yes, you can get a bit of this whenever you wash your hair if you focus your attention to your scalp as you should. But you get extra bonus points whenever you bother to massage your scalp just because.
Coconut oil is one you can use without worry when doing your follicle rub down. It’s totally natural and others have many good things to say about it. Best of all it is totally moisturizing for your hair.
How much? Maybe a tablespoon’s worth. And you don’t have to bother with heating in the microwave first to liquefy it. It becomes a liquid at room temperature or a bit above. Your body heat is more than hot enough. There is no specific how to when it comes to massaging it in although one way is suggested. So that when you apply it, you’ll notice it
In fact I think this is such a good idea I’ve included another video to show you how to do this.
Note that many of the same points are made in both videos.
An alternative would be argan oil. You can massage either in and let it be on your hair over night and wash it out in the morning if you prefer.
#10 Lifting the Cover Off – Castor Oil?
While I’m not so sure there is much if anything you can do to grow hair faster, the assertion here is that castor oil can dramatically accelerate hair growth. But it shouldn’t be surprising. If look on the labels of products sold to encourage your hair to grow, you won’t be able to help but notice castor oil is high on the ingredient list of many of them. That’s because it will promote healthy hair growth and help to prevent hair breakage. Essential if you want longer hair, no?
It is a thick oil that means once you put it on you’ll have to leave it work it’s magic for an hour then wash it out. Or even better give it all night.
You also want to get a high quality product. Two brands to consider might be Tropic Isle Black Castor Oil or the one sold by NOW solutions.
Not to mention it is a super moisturizing treatment that can make your hair incredibly soft and manageable. If you like you can rub no more than a dime sized amount of castor oil over your palms and work that into your ends leaving it on as an oil treatment.
#11 Wash Only As Needed
Who among us isn’t guilty of washing our hair more often than it needs to be? Okay if you have super oily hair then daily washing may be required. But for the rest of us, not so much. Here’s why.
Your hair and scalp have to rebalance every time you lather up. Rebalance? This is a holistic approach to hair care so everything from pH to amount of oil produced has to be considered. Overwashing only stimulates your scalp’s oil glands to go into over drive.
This is why you likely want to go as many days between washings as you can.
If you are worried about the greasiness, first remember it may be that way due to over washing. If you can’t go an additional day or two, see if you can’t cut down on the amount of shampoo you use. Even if you do that over time.
It’s also smart to wash right. And that would be the scalp area and not the strands. Any shampoo that runs down them will gently cleanse them without drying them out.
#12 What’s Up With Silica?
This is deemed to be an essential mineral that is found in greens, salads or green smoothies. A great source is a green leafy vegetable, arugula, rugula, or salad rocket. It is jam packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Don’t let the fact this is a somewhat pungent, if not a bit bitter salad green, because it is considered here to be a great beautifying green. Which is why it might not be a bad to work it into your meal plan several times a week. If the idea of more salads doesn’t fill you with desire, maybe a silica gel supplement would work better. You can get them flavored although that isn’t a must. You simply mix it in with a glass of water in the morning, or since it is flavorless you could even add it to your smoothie.
Obviously no one can say how your hair will react to any hair care advice. But you can certainly experiment a bit to find out. In six months who knows how great your tresses will look? Besides we can all use with a better diet which is what much of these ideas boil down to. I know that may be hard to accept but if you want longer hair you may need to think long and hard about what you put in your mouth.
Which got me thinking. Maybe it is not how to get long hair fast but more how to get long healthy hair period. What do you think?