The following tips for growing luscious locks will help you achieve the tresses of your dreams without resorting to expensive (and high maintenance) hair extensions. Whether you have to grow a few inches or closer to a foot, you'll get there much quicker if you follow this basic hair advice.
Where Should You Begin?
Luscious hair is more than just long. It's healthy, shiny, and very strong. Unless you're blessed with gorgeous hair that you've maintained with proper care, you'll need to help your tresses along.
Growing out a short style or a bad haircut can take forever when you're not happy with it. You may have even considered (or worn) hair extensions to help you through the growing out phase. The problem is that hair extensions are heavy and uncomfortable. They're also a costly option if you opt for a professional extension service. From the first investment to routine maintenance, hair extensions are not a miraculous answer to your short hair woes. While they can be a temporary fix, you're better off investing in making your natural hair healthy by providing it with all the vitamins and nutrients necessary to support growth and prevent breakage. These tips will help.
1. Opt for Regular Hair Trims
If you aren't getting regular haircuts every 8-10 weeks, you're risking split-ends. Just think of all the damage you're doing to your hair from daily heat-styling. Regular trims will remove breakage and split-ends, before they have a chance to split further up your hair strand. You don't need to have a significant amount cut, especially if you're trying to grow out your hair, but you should ask your stylist to lightly dust the ends. A fresh haircut also helps hair look its best. Even if it's not the length you prefer, a well-maintained hairstyle is more attractive, no matter how long.
2. Protect Your Tresses
Don't even think about blow-dry styling without protecting your hair. Heat damage is one of your greatest enemies when you're trying to grow out luscious locks. A protein spray or sealant will help close the hair cuticle before you turn up the heat. In addition, never use a heated tool on damp hair. Make sure your tresses are 100 percent dry before wrapping ends around a curler or flattening iron. Damp hair and a hot iron is a recipe for a hair disaster.
Are you a permanent resident in singe-city? A low-quality hair dryer might fit the bill, but it could also be damaging your locks. Inexpensive hair dryers are not as powerful as professional ones. Because they have to work harder and longer, you're actually exposing your hair to more damage. Your best bet is to invest in a salon-quality hairdryer with a powerful motor. Work smarter, not harder.
3. Don the Detergents
Using a sulfate-free shampoo will help your hair become healthier. You might even try a cleansing conditioner that works without foaming detergents. Either way, make sure you're using a cleanser and conditioner formulated to protect hair. When in doubt, a color safe shampoo and conditioner are your best option.
4. Stop Wearing Hair Accessories
Are you a fan of the messy bun? Are you sleeping with a pony tail? While hair accessories can help secure your style, they're damaging when worn often, and especially while you're sleeping, when tossing and turning can pull your hair from the accessory, causing breakage. Opt for cotton or fabric accessories when you can, and limit your use of metal hair accessories. If you simply must go to sleep with your hair tied back, a loose braid without a hair tie is an option. Added bonus...morning waves.
5. Stop Playing with Your Hair
If you're a hair twirler, you need to stop this bad habit. While playing with your hair might help ease stress, twirlers can suffer from alopecia, also known as loss of hair. Constant hair pulling (trichotillomania) can be caused by depression or stress. It's habit-forming and may need treatment if you can't self-manage. If you're trying to grow out your hair while suffering from trichotillomania, you might seek psychotherapy to undergo habit-reversal treatment.
6. Don't Brush Wet Hair
You've probably heard this warning before, and there's a reason for it. Brushing wet hair causes breakage. Unless you're using a hairbrush designed for use on wet hair, untangling hair with a wide-tooth comb is always the best and safest option. Make sure you are combing your hair from the ends up, and not from the scalp down. Inching your way up the strand will remove tangles more efficiently, and without the added stress.
In addition to not brushing wet hair, stay far away from metal barrel round brushes. They might boast a faster drying time thanks to the vented design, but they will wreak havoc on your tresses, because the hot metal will break your hair as you're wrapping it around the barrel. Always use a quality boar bristle brush for smoothing out your locks while you're heat styling.
7. Ditch the Hair Color
If you really want to reach long lengths, you might have to ditch the color for a while. No matter what type of hair color service you're opting for, it's still harming the condition of your hair. Highlights, permanent colors, temporary colors, and even vegetable dyes can cause irreversible damage to your tresses. Seek out other options in the meantime such as clip-in colored hair extensions if you MUST have a pop of color. If you have gray roots that need touching up, ask your colorist to use the gentlest coloring option when possible. If you can't bear the thought of going without highlights, you should, at the very least, book your coloring appointments further apart. Learn to live with a bit of roots and understand your hair will be all the healthier for it.
8. Protect Your Hair From the Sun
Your hair should be protected in the sun just like your skin. This is especially true if it's bleached. Worse yet? Bleached and highlighted hair submersed in a chlorinated pool, followed by sunbathing. Eek! Invest in a sun-protectant hair spray or wear a sun hat when you're lounging poolside. You can also wear a headscarf or bandana for a look that's functional and chic.
9. Air-Dry Your Hair
If you've got natural curls or waves, learn to embrace them, and air-dry your hairstyle from time to time. Everyone's hair needs a break. You can help support and shape your natural curls by applying a hair gel or styling lotion on your damp tresses. Wrap hair around your finger in one-inch segments and twist ringlets all over your head. Once your hair is dry, you can shake your head to release the waves. If your hair is straight and you use a blow dryer, go natural and use a shine serum instead.
10. Hang Your Hat
With the exception of the sun hat worn primarily for sunbathing or when you're outdoors, it's time to hang up your baseball hats. Wearing hats will often cause damage and even hair loss, especially around the hairline. When you're trying to grow out your hair, you need to keep as much of it as you can. Give your boyfriend his hat back. You won't miss it (but he probably does.)
Supporting Hair Growth with Supplements
In addition to these basic tips for growing out luscious locks, you might consider taking dietary supplements to support your efforts. Mother Nature has the upper hand when it comes to fixing common hair woes.
Zenwise Labs Hair Growth Vitamins + DHT Blocker is formulated with Biotin to prevent an abundance of DHT from restricting the blood supply to the hair follicles. This causes the follicle to die and hair to fall out. Zenwise Hair Growth mixes 27 essential ingredients, all of which revitalize the hair and support its growth. Our formula blends vitamins H, A, B3, and D, to nourish and promote regeneration. Vitamin C is beneficial to the hair because it protects it from free radicals. The antioxidant Vitamin E neutralizes the free radicals and helps increase the scalp's blood circulation, reducing the risk of hair loss. These vitamins are not only good for the skin, but for the hair as well, as they work together to support a healthy immune system.
Patience is a Virtue
Are we there yet? Remember, patience is a virtue. Your hair wasn't damaged overnight. It took a long time for daily damage to occur. Getting your hair back on the growing track is a process that involves healthy hair habits, a small investment in quality hair products, and even a hair growth dietary supplement.
While these tips may seem insignificant, when paired together, they can produce magnificent results for your hair. Growing out your locks to Rapunzel length will still take time, but imagine the reward. In time, you will have healthy, strong, and shiny tresses. And that's better than long hair that's dry and damaged, any day of the week.