Speaking from experience, growing hair out can be very frustrating (I decide yearly to grow my bangs out and always give up). Our genetics, diet, and even our lifestyles all affect hair growth. With warmer weather hopefully in our future, wearing hair a bit longer can actually be easier than short hair. It requires less work to maintain, and if all else fails a ponytail is always viable option. The only problem is achieving your desired length. Let’s start with the way your treat your hair.
Hair is actually very delicate, and its health requires proper care. When you are trying to grow it longer, avoid or reduce the amount of heat you apply to your head through the use of blow dryers, straighteners, or curlers, which all damage hair and cause split ends. If you do regularly style your hair make sure to use a heat protectant first. Staying away from heat also includes avoiding hot shower. Rinsing with very hot water makes hair brittle and dry. Rinse with lukewarm water instead, which will smooth the cuticles of your hair. Also avoid treating your hair with color or chemicals. This can be very damaging to hair and slows hair regrowth. Finally, avoid tight hair-dos and avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet, opting instead for a wide-tooth comb. These two activities lead to hair breakage, which we are trying to avoid here!
When it comes to washing your hair, less is more. When we wash our hair everyday, we are stripping the follicles of their natural oils, which promote hair growth and strength. Ideally, we should only wash our hair three times a week, but every other day will do. A note on cleansing: opt for the more natural shampoo. Many products contain harsh chemicals like sulfate that can dry hair out and strip it of oils. The less we take out of our hair the better!
Remember to trim your hair regularly, which is usually every 3-4 months. These regular trimmings keep split ends at bay and actually make hair growth easier. Yes, hair growth starts at the scalp, but if your ends are always breaking off, you are likely to get stuck at one length. Once your hair gets longer, opt for fewer layers. This is important, because layers actually thin and expose the ends of your hair. The thicker the ends of your hair are, the less likely they are to sustain damage.
Living a health lifestyle is not only reflected in your annual physical, it is also reflected in the health of your hair. Our poor choices in diet and activities actually harm our hair. To keep hair healthy, make sure not only to eat well, but to also incorporate food with Omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts, olive oil, and fish.
Also, drink lots of water!
Sometimes it is even beneficial to add a supplement or two along with your diet. Of course, you should consult your doctor before starting any dietary supplement! Some that help promote hair growth are fish oil, vitamin B-7, and vitamin B-12.
Quoting the Broadway musical, Hair, I leave you with one last thought. “Oh say can you see my eyes? If you can, then my hair’s too short!”