Long hair never goes out of style, but it requires special care to keep it looking good, and even to grow it in the first place. It may seem like the only step to growing long hair is “wait,” but that’s far from true. Here’s a primer on how to grow and maintain a healthy head of long hair.
Trims: to begin the process, visit your stylist and have them trim away all your split ends. It sounds counterintuitive to start growing out your hair by cutting it, but healthy hair grows more quickly than damaged hair, and those dead cells are only holding you back. Go back for a trim every three months.
Vitamins: Vitamin E is great for keeping hair shiny, skin smooth, and nails strong, among other benefits. start taking Vitamin E caplets (they’re cheap and available everywhere), or buy a vitamin E oil to apply directly to your hair. You’ll notice a difference quickly.
Massage: Massage your scalp a couple times a week, or whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Massage stimulates blood flow and can help maintain a healthy growth rate and appearance. Plus, it’s relaxing, which is good for your whole body!
Diet: Try to eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (one of the “good” kinds of fat). Foods like fish, eggs and nuts are full of these nutrients, which will help make your hair shinier and less prone to breakage. Keep in mind that hair takes longer to register dietary changes than skin does, so you might not see results for several months, but keep at it! Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you anyway, so it’s a win-win situation.
Sleep: Like most of your body, your hair needs you to sleep in order for it to repair itself. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep whenever possible. Getting a proper amount of sleep is good for not only your hair, but also your skin, muscles, and stress levels.
Careful combing: When brushing or combing your hair, start from the bottom and work your way up, gently brushing out any tangles along the way. Use a soft touch, and don’t go too quickly! Handling your hair roughly will lead to breakage and split ends, undoing all your other hard work. If possible, set aside time during your day to brush or comb your hair. Doing it when you’re in a rush is a recipe for breakage.
Avoiding excessive heat: When rinsing your hair in the shower, use cool or room-temperature water, not hot. Similarly, when blow-drying your hair, use the “cool” setting on your blow dryer, or at the very least, use a setting below the hottest one. Heat is damaging to hair and will lead to split ends and frizziness. You can also protect your hair with a heat protectant spray. Simply spritz it on before blow drying, and it will help you avoid breakage, as well as leave your hair soft and glossy.
Patience: Manage your expectations. Know that you can expect your hair to grow, on average, 6 inches a year. So keep in mind that even if you’re doing everything right, you won’t go from pixie cut to waist-length in a week. But keep at it. Long, luscious locks will be yours soon!