Many people secretly want longer hair, but since their knowledge on the topic is embryonic, they try to ignore it. Instead of taking care of your hair, you could opt for extensions but they can be very painful and may cost over $500 to install in a professional salon. You could also invest tons of money in hair growth products that may or may not yield results. Depending on how much hair you have it can take a while, but the good news is that anyone can grow long and healthy hair naturally.
The Basic Hair Routine
They say that the average person gains about six inches of hair per year. You may be thinking, well I am 30 years old which means I should have about 180 inches of hair minus the few I clip during a haircut. Most 30-year-olds probably don’t have anywhere near that much hair unless they’ve never gotten a haircut AND have been very cautious in handling their tresses. To ensure that your hair gets the tender love and care that it needs you should have a hair routine. I am sure your hair ritual already includes shampooing, conditioning, detangling, and styling but are you performing these steps correctly? Let me give you some insight.
Washing your hair
Neglecting to wash your hair is sure to create issues like excessive product build-up, itchy scalp, flakes, extremely oily hair, lice, and infection. Most people clean their hair, but many aren’t doing it correctly. The first thing you should do is invest in a good product because not all shampoo is created equally. The inexpensive shampoo is loaded with inexpensive ingredients that can ruin your hair. Sulfate is one of the things that strips your strands of moisture and fades your color. This ingredient is what makes the product bubble up, a feeling that convinces people their hair is getting clean. The truth is that sulfates don’t have to be included to achieve results, in fact, there are tons of sulfate-free shampoos on the market (Wen for example). Some brands create products using natural sulfates that are less harsh. For those that love the feeling of the suds and can’t image washing your hair without them just be sure not to leave the formula in for too long. After about 3-4 minutes your shampoo will become acidic and begin to dry your tresses. You should only shampoo your hair once per week even if you don’t use sulfates because you need to retain adequate hydration
Condition those strands
I know a few people who stay away from conditioner because they claim it makes their hair flat. No one, no matter their hair type should ever skip this step since it is where your hair gets additional moisture and nutrients. If you do not have thick and course hair that is generally dry, you may not need a heavy cream masque, but a spray instead. Be sure your conditioner doesn’t contain too much protein, if it does use it once a month for deep conditioning. When the hair absorbs too much protein, it can ironically begin to break. Everyone should be deep conditioning at least once per month; twice if you are someone with a course or kinky texture. When shopping, analyze the ingredient label of your product to ensure your product is made with conditioning ingredients, instead of silicone that only makes it feel softer.
I wanted to put detangling and styling in a separate section because these are the steps people get wrong most often. When detangling, never rake through the hair from the root, instead, begin and at the ends and work your way up. Pulling the hair too tightly when combing can remove strands and even damage your hair follicle. Always prep the hair with conditioner if it is wet to provide extra slip. A simple leave-in conditioning mist will do; a heavy product isn’t needed if you wet your hair simply for styling.
The way you style your hair can actually contribute to hair loss. Those who wear their hair tightly pulled back often experience hair loss around the hairline and even at the crown. Weaves, braids, and ponytails are all examples of detrimental styles. It is perfectly safe to get these hair-dos as long as your strands aren’t pulled too tightly. Also, limit the number of times you change your hair, repeatedly brushing or combing the edges of your hair can cause them to break. The scrunchies and headbands with a non-slip grip are great when playing sports, but if you slide them through the hair daily, they will tear your hair away.
Supplements for Hair Growth
You could take supplements for hair growth. If you don’t want to buy into ready-made brands like Hairfinity, try taking basic vitamins. The best ingredients for hair growth are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B
You could also use essential oils. Massaging them into the scalp can help regenerate your hair follicle and promote growth. The best essential oils for longer hair are:
- Vitamin E
- Tea tree
As I stated earlier, it will take a while for your hair to grow as long as you want it, especially since healthy hair only grows a half inch each month. Don’t give up and always remember the big picture. A great way to stay motivated is to take pictures of yourself every month, so it is easy to see how much length you’ve gained. Some brands make shirts with a ruler printed on the backs so you can see how many inches your mane is overall!