If you’ve been following me for awhile you’ve seen my hair go from long to short to SHORT to long again. I’m often asked how I have the guts to chop my hair off relatively often (I get bored and chop it every couple of years or so), and my answer is always: “it’s just hair. It grows back”! I generally do one good chop and then just let it grow out and shape it along the way every 10-12 months or so. If you’ve recently chopped or maybe just want even longer hair, here are a few tips to get growing.
How To Grow Out Your Hair
Keep it healthy and avoid heat when possible.
Heat styling wreaks havoc on our hair causing breakage at the ends and even higher towards the root depending on your styling methods. This can really put a damper on the growth process. When heat styling, ALWAYS use a heat protectant. I have a few in my arsenal including sprays and creams so I have versatility to apply on both wet and dry hair. NEVER USE HOT STYLING TOOLS like curling irons or straighteners on DAMP HAIR. Be sure it is thoroughly dry. I limit heat styling to once or twice a week. I style my hair into loose waves and wear it in a very loose bun to protect the curls for the next day whilst not pulling on the root with a tight elastic.
Avoid tight hairstyles when possible.
We want to avoid pulling the hair tightly from the root such as with tight buns or snatched pony tails. Also, switch up your part. Constantly parting the hair the same orientation and sleeping on your part can cause breakage and the root. I also recommend using large, loose pony tail holders. Silk scrunches and pillowcases are great as they have more “slip” and less pulling and friction on the hair.
Care for your scalp.
Like skin health, scalp health is a balance of removing buildup and not “over-doing” it. I love to use a clarifying shampoo once a month or so to remove product buildup. On all other days I choose a moisturizing or gentle shampoo that supports the scalp skin rather than stripping it. The frequency of your clarifying shampoo will very depending on your degree of oil production and product buildup, but it should be done rather infrequently! If you’re experiencing irritation or itchy flakes, see your Derm provider to be sure you’re treating any underlying scalp or hair conditions.
Get (semi) regular haircuts.
We’ve all heard the age-old advice, if you want longer hair you need regular trims. I trim my hair just once a year when I’m growing it out. Also, I find that that’s enough and I’m continually told by my hairdressers that this schedule works for me. I do think that using the right products, protecting and caring for my hair, especially the ends, prevents me from needing more frequent cuts. Also, a good shaping goes a long way in creating the illusion of thicker hair! But one thing is for sure, completely neglecting trims all together makes for lifeless hair that is more likely to break at the ends. Sooooo,
Protect your ends.
Using a conditioner that properly nourishes strands is an important step of stopping breakage. I also recommend using a detangling spray if you have trouble combing through hair to reduce pulling and friction. If you are on the dry side, you can even add in a leave-in conditioner focusing from mid shaft to ends.
Eat a balanced diet.
It seems obvious but let’s break it down. Hair is what we call non-essential. If you’re not eating enough essential nutrients and micronutrients, your hair may pay the price. Your body cares more about providing energy source to your vital organs than it does keeping your hair in place. If you’ve ever been on an extreme diet you may have noticed an increased amount of hair loss, this is why! A balanced and appropriate diet is important here.
Ok, but do I need a supplement? Most hair supplements on the market aren’t founded in actual science. I take and sometimes recommend a hair nutraceutical that’s been shown to increase hair density and quality in clinical trials. More on my journey with it here. If you’re noticing bald spots, significant thinning or any other changes, you need to see a Dermatology provider for a workup, don’t just try to treat at home!
There you have it! 7 things I personally do to keep my hair long and healthy and grow it as quickly as possible after a chop! Above all else, these things take TIME and there is not substitution for that, but keeping our locks healthy and moisturized with all the essential nutrients they need to grow help speed up the process!
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