I have spent most of my life growing out my hair. In the last decade I’ve taken growing it out to cut it off and donating it to Locks of Love, then repeating. (My sweet eldest daughters have done it a combined total of 4 times!) I feel like I should preface this by saying that I am not a hair stylist or an expert by any means; however, I have learned a thing or two about growing long, healthy hair. 🙂 So, I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the years!
Here’s my current hair length, just for reference. It’s nearly long enough to chop off and donate a fourth time!
Tips for Growing Long, Healthy Hair
- You have to be healthy on the inside to be healthy on the outside, and that includes your hair! Drink plenty of water and take a good multivitamin. You’d be amazed at how quickly and effectively this can help make your hair healthier.
- Don’t wash your hair every single day. This thought may make some people cringe, but it’s true! Washing your hair every single day will wash out the natural oils that make your hair healthy and strong, and weaker hair is more susceptible to damage. Wash your hair every-other-day at the most. To avoid greasy-looking hair between washings, only use conditioner on the ends of your hair, not on the roots. You can also use some dry shampoo in between washings to keep your roots looking fresh. (This is my favorite brand.)
- Be sparing with the heat. Only use your blow dryer, curling iron and flat iron on special occasions. Let your hair dry naturally as often as possible to keep it healthy. When you simply must blow dry it, use the provided attachment to direct the air flow just where you need it, and pair it with a round brush with holes in it to let the air flow through as you dry it. Use warm air as opposed to hot, if your dryer has the option. If your hair is naturally curly or frizzy, I recommend using the diffuser attachment. I also recommend using a heat protectant, such as Nexus Heat Protexx Heat Protection Styling Spray.
- Be picky about the products you use. Try to avoid anything that has alcohol in it, as alcohol will dry out your hair and over time will damage it. Avoid perms and/or dyeing your hair, as the chemicals can be very damaging.
- Use a good brush. Natural bristle brushes are the best. Definitely avoid plastic bristles.
- Brush daily, but don’t over-brush. If you’re old enough, you may remember those movies and TV shows with women brushing their long locks 100 times a day. That’s a definite no-no! Only brush as many times as it takes to get out all the tangles, then call it good. Avoid brushing soaking wet hair, as that is when your hair is at its most vulnerable. Always brush hair from tips to root, to work out any tangles without ripping your hair.
- Trim often to avoid damaged ends. Talk with your stylist about how often you should trim your hair, as they will know best. (Personally, when I am actively growing out my hair I only trim it every 3-6 months, or when I start to notice split ends. I only trim it every 6-8 weeks when I am trying to maintain a certain length.) You can also cut your own hair at home, if you’re comfortable enough. (This is the tutorial I use.)
- Use safe hair accessories. Use hair ties and clips that won’t rip or damage your locks. Avoid rubber bands or metal snap clips as they can catch and tear your hair.
- Braid it before going to bed. (My personal favorite is a Dutch braid.) Not only will this provide you with some great loose waves if you don’t have time or don’t feel like styling your hair, but it will also keep your hair from getting messy and knotted as you toss and turn at night.
I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any other recommendations, feel free to share in the comment section below!