If you are trying to grow your hair long, or recover from a bad haircut, you know it can be a very arduous process, particularly if your hair grows slowly. On average, hair grows about a half inch a month, but you can speed it up by making changes to how you treat your hair. Keeping hair in optimal health will ensure it is getting longer, faster.
Lay Off the Hair Dryer
Heat styling tools, such as hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons weaken and can damage your hair, which slows hair growth. Try not to use them daily if possible, and always use a heat protectant spray before starting. Flat irons should be used at lower settings because high heat can be especially drying on hair, and repeated use can cause breakage.
Less is More
While hair product makes your hair look good temporarily, it can be drying as it is filled with chemicals and alcohol. Limit the number of styling products you use on a daily basis, and try to find products with more natural ingredients.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you want your hair to grow long, you have to cut it once split ends appear. If split ends are not trimmed, they will work their way up the hair shaft, creating more damage. If you do not take care of them regularly, you may be forced to cut off more than you want to remedy the situation. Aim to see your hair stylist every 10-12 weeks for a trim. This will ensure the ends of your hair are in good shape, enabling your hair to grow.
Wear Your Hair Down
While it is convenient, pulling hair back into a ponytail often can cause breakage, especially if you place it in the same place every day. When you do wear your hair up, use a fabric hair tie rather than a rubber band, clip or pin to decrease the amount of stress on your hair.
Don’t Shampoo Daily
Shampooing too often can strip hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry. Try using a gentle shampoo and be careful when shampooing your ends. Use your fingers to lightly massage your scalp, which is said to improve blood flow to the area.
You should condition hair after every shampoo. Conditioner strengthens your hair by replacing protein in your hair shaft. Finish with a cold-water rinse, which will help the outer of layer of hair to remain smooth, which prevents moisture loss and heat damage. A few seconds of cold water should suffice.
After shampooing, don’t wrap your hair in a large bath towel, which can pull and tug hair, causing damage. Instead, pat your hair gently to get rid of excess moisture. Or, purchase a soft microfiber towel to wrap your hair in instead. These types of towels cause much less damage than the larger cotton ones.
Keep hair healthy with a weekly deep conditioning treatment. There are many products on the market for different hair types, but one with protein will improve your hair’s health. Look for one that won’t weigh your hair down, especially if you have fine or thin hair. For best results, apply to damp hair and wrap in a plastic cap. Leave on for several hours, or overnight, and wash out.
Homemade Hair Masks
If you prefer to use a natural hair mask, heat a half cup of coconut oil (or less if your hair is shorter). Massage oil into the scalp for several minutes, and wash out.
If you want to use a hair mask you can make right in your kitchen, this one will make your hair look shiny and healthy. In a small bowl, mix one egg yolk with a tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Leave this mask on for about 30 minutes and wash out. These natural hair treatments will rejuvenate dried out locks and boost hair growth.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will eliminate dirt, grime, and product buildup on your hair. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water and pour over wet hair that has been shampooed and conditioned. Your hair will be softer, shiner, and stronger.
Your hair’s health is affected by what you put into your body. If you do not nourish your hair from the inside, it will not look healthy on the outside.
Foods that are rich in protein will stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss due to poor diet. Protein is the building block for faster hair growth so be sure your diet includes lean meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and whole grains. Choose nuts that are high in Omega-3’s such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts.
Vitamin A is another important nutrient for hair growth. Vitamin A, which can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins, helps to stimulate the production of natural oils in your scalp. Remember to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily as well.
Take Care of your Hair While you Sleep
Don’t let your hair care routine go while sleeping. Never sleep in a tight ponytail because this can cause breakage as you move around. If you have to sleep with your hair off your face, gather hair in a loose ponytail with a fabric covered hair tie. Investing in silk pillowcases will help to keep hair healthy as well. Cotton pillowcases can pull at your hair while you sleep, leading to tangles. Silk, on the other hand, keeps your hair smooth and tangle-free.
Be Careful When Brushing
Brushing your hair constantly can actually cause damage. When hair is wet, use a wide tooth comb and start at the ends and work your way up. If you start at the top, the chances for tangles and knots is much greater. For dry hair, try a boar bristle brush, which gently distributes hair oils down your hair.
It is possible to get long, healthy hair as long as you take care of it. With a little patience and diligence, you can grow your hair to the length you desire.