How to Grow Your Hair Long and Strong

Are you struggling to grow out your hair? Is your hair thin, dry, or damaged? Have you gotten a bad haircut recently? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have the advice for you!

All my life I’ve been obsessed with long hair. As a kid, my mom would have to force me to go to the hair salon and they would always cut way too much off. Then I would look at my short hair, cry, and wait for my hair to grow out to an acceptable length again. Luckily for me, my hair tends to grow pretty fast. To justify my expertise on this subject, here is how long my hair was recently. I have since opted to cut it because it was getting more difficult to maintain but I was very happy with how it looked. It was practically the length of a Kylie Jenner wig to be honest with you.

So in my experience, these are some things that can help your hair grow a teensy bit faster.

1. Shampoo Your Scalp, Condition Your Ends

I’m not sure when I started to do this, but it really helped control how oily and gross my scalp felt between washes. When you grow out your hair, you will notice that your ends get super dry and your scalp gets especially oily. I’m pretty sure it’s because the oil glands in your scalp are trying to nourish your hair but with longer hair, the oil can’t be evenly distributed all the way down. The natural oils tend to muck around your scalp and no do much other than irritate you. This is why you should shampoo your scalp and condition your ends. When you shampoo the roots of your hair close to your scalp, you’re getting that clean fresh feeling but you should not rub the shampoo all the way down the length of your hair. Instead, rinse it out but let the shampoo wash down through the ends. This will get your ends clean but not dry them out. After this, you'll want to take your conditioner and massage it into the lower half of your hair avoiding the top section close to your scalp. This will give your ends the extra moisture that they need while keeping the oily product away from your scalp. This way of washing will also give you more volume at the root since washing your scalp with shampoo and never conditioner rids your scalp of oils that tend to make hair flat.

2. No Brushing When Wet

It has been scientifically proven that your hair is at its weakest when it's wet. To avoid breakage and to keep your hair on your head longer, just wait until it's dry to brush it. This will result in much more growth since brushing your hair while wet often results in strands being pulled out prematurely. This is also a great excuse to not do extra arm work.

3. Put Down the Hot Tools

It can be very tempting to straighten, curl and blow dry your tresses every single day, but you should try your hardest to refrain from using hot tools. I used to blow dry my hair every other day when I washed it, but in the last two years or so, I started air-drying it, mostly out of laziness than wanting to grow out my hair. It just so happens that in that time my hair grew the longest it’s ever been. Coincidence? I think not! It’s also no secret that frequent heat application can lead to dry and fragile hair. Instead of heating the life out of your hair, try some heatless hairstyles. You can find so many cute heatless hair ideas on YouTube that you might not even miss your flat iron.

4. Stop With the Dye

Let me just say that I have dyed my own hair many times over the years since I have always favored a black-brown ombré to spruce up my super dark hair. That being said, I totally understand the need to switch up your hair colour. However, if you want your longest and strongest hair ever, you will probably have to give up your bleach and tone or other dye job. Dyed hair is immediately weaker and more prone to breakage than virgin hair. Hair dye can also leave your strands dry and tangled which will make your hair look visibly scraggly. Bleach, in particular, is especially damaging as it breaks hair bonds in order to remove the colour. By avoiding hair colouring agents, you will be keeping your hair at its maximum level of quality. I, myself, have pledged to let the dyed portion of my hair grow out and will refrain from dying it anytime soon in order to maintain the healthiest hair possible.

5. Don’t Trim So Often

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that supports the argument that trimming your hair frequently results in faster growth. Growth rate is controlled by the root and the scalp, therefore, the only thing that trimming does is give you a neat or blunt edge. In my experience, I’ve gone at least a year and a half between haircuts and it's atually more satisfying because you can see the growth. When you are constantly trimming and cutting off growth, it may seem like your hair isn’t growing at all. Take it from me and my extremely long hair, you don’t have to trim unless your hair is growing unevenly or you have a haircut that requires a blunt edge such as a bob.

6. Take a Vitamin E Supplement

I know these days that Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins are all the rage but you don’t have to pay top dollar for vitamins with ridiculous claims; just go to your local drugstore and pick up a bottle of vitamin E pills! Vitamin E is great for your skin and hair, and it combats against oxidative stress. I try to take one of these pills every night before I go to bed and I feel like it has helped my hair grow longer and stay healthier.

Bonus Tip: Try a Deep Conditioner or Hair Serum Whenever Possible

This is the one tip that I struggle with. I’m so lazy that I often can’t bring myself to do any “extra” steps. However, there are so many benefits to using a deep conditioner or hair serum that I'm trying to integrate them into my routine. The hairdresser that recently cut my hair told me that just as you use cream to hydrate your face, you should use serum to hydrate your hair if it’s dry. Doing this could give your hair the extra oomph it needs to look shiny and healthy, while promoting less breakage and more growth at the same time.

Photo credits to Cheryl Ng.

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