6 Tips to Get Long and Healthy Hair

Most young girls aspire to be a Disney Princess when they grow up.  For one, I know I’m not alone when I say that I wanted to be Rapunzel—not so much for the being-locked-up-in-a-tower-her-whole-life part, but for those astonishing, long, luscious locks so strong that a prince can climb them without breakage.  Secretly, I think many of us never grow out of this dream and use some trait or hint of the storyline to relate it to our own college life.

Now, can any of us comfortably gain these floor-length, rope-climbing locks?  Maybe not, but we can come pretty darn close.  Here’s how:

1.  Trim you hair every month

This one can be a bit tricky.  I’m sure you’ve heard that frequent trims will make your hair grow faster.  Logically, this seems like a myth since your hair grows from the follicles in your scalp.  Therefore, your split ends aren't techincally the ones at the root of your problem.

But trims are a crucial step for healthiness and appearance.  Simply trimming the split ends off every so often will make your hair look healthier and thus, when it grows longer, you will easily notice the difference.  It will also crush the urges you have to pick off split ends you spot during class.

2.  Maintain a protein-filled diet

You are what you eat…literally.  About once a month, all of your cells will be replaced based off of what foods you have consumed.  Have you noticed that during the sweet-treats-filled holidays your hair or skin look particularly dull?

Fortunately, replenishing your body with the proper vitamins and proteins to sustain healthy locks can reverse this.  Some vital foods are salmon and other fish, chicken or eggs.  If you’re not a fan of animal products, berries, spinach and other leafy greens, lentils and nuts will do the trick.  How great is it that you’re just one avocado away from supermodel shine?

3.  Get regular exercise

Although I’m sure you’ve heard that just about everything related to health is improved by staying active, the effects on your hair may not be too obvious.

When you really work up a sweat in the gym or just from walking all those flights of stairs to your dorm room, your body is releasing toxins and dirt through your pores in order to rejuvenate your cells.  Your hair follicles are no exception.  When your heart rate elevates, so do oxygen levels, and they, too, make their way to your head, providing a deep stimulation in your follicles.

As unattractive as it is to come back from the gym with oily hair and a drenched sweatband, just think that you’re one step closer to greater shine.  Also, increasing your heart rate makes you feel good overall and will give you the confidence to work that up-do flawlessly!

4.  Try not to damage hair

Let’s be honest, at some point you’ve wished you had Ariana Grande’s flaming red hair or Katy Perry’s gorgeous purple curls.  As much fun as it is to assume a temporary new identity and dye your hair a color other than your own, it can be pretty damaging to your strands.  Dye products, especially hydrogen peroxide for those faux blondes, will strip your hair of natural oils and can have a negative effect on the quality of your hair if done repetitively in a short amount of time.  It looks fun and lively, but you should consider changing the color once a year at the very most.

Under the same idea, heat products don’t exactly put your hair at ease.  A good idea is to find alternative methods to hair styling, such as using old-fashioned curlers or looking up tutorials for what you want.  If you feel that you must use a hot wand, definitely invest in a protecting spray so the heat won’t be as detrimental to your hair’s health.

5.  Treat your hair

Especially during the winter, it can be hard to protect your hair from extremities and daily mishaps like getting it stuck on the back of your chair (ouch!).  A great way to “treat” your hair is to apply a hot oil massage or deep conditioner.  Your hair follicles thrive on stimulation, which is why we scrub our shampoo in, and oil will help protect and condition your scalp and hair.  If you heat up any kind of your favorite oil, massage it in your scalp and leave it for an hour, silky and happy hair may be the outcome.

Deep conditioners are also great, especially when homemade.  Remember all those cool fruits that help your hair when digested?  Eliminate the middleman, look up a recipe, mash the foods all together and let the mixture sit on your head for an hour or so.  After a nice shower, your hair will thank you.  Conditioners made from honey, avocado, eggs, banana and yogurt are personal favorites and really work!

6.  Take generally better care of your hair

One helpful tip I’ve learned along the way is to lay off chemical-heavy products and opt for natural or organic shampoos, conditioners, etc. whenever possible.

Speaking of showers, if you have really long hair, it may not be the best idea to twist it up in a towel when it’s soaking wet, since the twisting motion encourages further breakage.  Hair, when wet, is typically extremely sensitive, and we should be careful at all times.  Therefore, brushing when wet is a no-no.  I know it can be hard to brush gently and delicately when you’re running late for the shuttle, but it can save you some pretty nasty split ends.

There you have it.  These are just a few ways you can come one step closer to having hair comparable to your favorite actresses on Oscars night.  Or maybe just a night out at a New Haven café will suffice for you.  So let down your hair and take an incalculable amount of selfies to prove how beautiful it is!