The key to how to grow your hair long isn't a magic pill or instant answer: for sleek long locks the best approach is healthy care with a diligent regimen of strengthening and protection.
About Long Hair
Long hair may seem simple to grow, but as many people discover, hair has a natural "terminal length" that is genetically determined based on the growth cycle of individual follicles and the shape and width of the hair shaft. Beyond that length (which may be shoulder length for some people and ankle length for others), it is difficult to grow hair even with superior care, but it is not impossible.
The best method for how to grow your hair long is to have patience while applying different care tips for encouraging length. Hair grows an average of six inches per year, so cultivating waist-length locks can take from four to seven years even with assiduous care. At the same time, treating the hair properly inside and out is critical for healthy hair. As hair gets longer, dull, limp strands are more noticeable than with short styles, making proper care crucial for a stylish long look.
Tips for How to Grow Your Hair Long
There is no instantaneous method for growing hair, but conscientious application of sound hair strengthening practices will help your locks achieve their longest potential.
Prepping for Long Hair
To begin growing long hair, the hair must first be healthy. It may seem counterproductive to start a quest for longer hair with a severe cut but it evens out the hair and ensures stunning results with minimal damage. Hair that isn't trimmed prior to long-term growth may look ratty and uneven, and as the damage worsens, more drastic cuts may be required.
To prep your hair for long-term growth:
- Cut damaged areas, including split ends or poorly maintained layers.
- Revert to your natural hair color if possible, or begin using low-impact coloring and dye. Harsh chemical coloring damages hair and can restrict growth.
- Find a stylist experienced with long hair care and appropriate products. If they insist that you cannot grow long hair or that it's not the style for you, politely decline their services.
Hair is delicate and more easily damaged when wet. These tips for washing long hair will help you avoid damage and painful snarls that can stress and break carefully cultivated strands.
- Do not pile the hair on top of your head when washing - this creates tangles. Instead, work the shampoo from the scalp through to the ends carefully with your fingers.
- Choose a shampoo that won't weigh your hair down. Long hair has significant natural weight, and heavy shampoos will make the hair flat and listless.
- Rinse the hair with cold water to seal the cuticle, thereby minimizing damage. A cold water rinse also leaves hair shiny and sleek.
- Do not towel-scrub wet hair - squeeze moisture out carefully and wrap the hair gently with a towel to remove excess water.
- Do not wash the hair too frequently: letting long hair get dirty occasionally helps spread natural oils through to the ends.
Long hair needs regular conditioning to rejuvenate strands that may be years old. Conditioning tips for how to grow your hair long include:
- Use a leave-in conditioner with SPF protection to safeguard against sun damage.
- Opt for occasional deep conditioning treatments: once a month for healthy hair; more frequently for delicate or damaged hair.
- Avoid applying conditioner to the scalp where it can clog follicles and inhibit hair growth.
Certain hair styles can be extremely stressful and damaging to hair. Styling tips for long hair include:
- Avoid tight styles such as micro braids or severe twists that apply pressure to the roots and may damage follicles.
- Avoid styles such as perms or straightening that require harsh chemicals - those chemicals frequently dry and damage hair.
- Opt for loose updos, ponytails, or thick braids to keep hair under control without damage.
- Avoid metal, rubber, or plastic accessories that pinch or snag. Coated accessories are best for encouraging growth.
- Use a natural bristle brush for styling without tugging or pulling. Avoid brushes and combs with bulbous tips or coatings that can break hair.
How you care for your hair daily can determine whether or not you can grow it long. Additional care tips include:
- Using a satin pillowcase to avoid nightly snarls.
- Trim hair to eliminate split ends every month; regular trims every 2-3 months are recommended to smooth damage.
- If trimming ends yourself, use extremely sharp scissors. Dull scissors can rip the ends of hair and exaggerate damage.
- Avoid heating tools like hair dryers or curling irons as much as possible.
- Opt for natural products whenever possible to avoid excessive chemicals on your hair.
- Avoid contact with chlorine or saltwater - both dry hair out.
- Don't brush hair too frequently; doing so risks broken strands and stripping protective oils.
How to Grow Your Hair Long from the Inside Out
No matter how well you care for your hair, it must be healthy on the inside as well as the outside to grow longer. To keep your hair healthy…
- Drink plenty of water for natural moisture.
- Eat a balanced diet or consider taking a multivitamin, particularly one with beta-carotene to encourage hair growth.
- Exercise regularly to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Avoid stressful situations that may prompt hair loss.
Above all, be patient. The best way for how to grow your hair long is to find what works best for your hair and lifestyle. Your diligent efforts will have "lengthy" rewards.