It took me a lot of years to get my hair to grow back out after a disastrous haircut that butchered my long thick hair into a mullet in high school. I had to sign an NDA with a salon after they reimbursed me so I can’t talk too much about that lol, but I was wearing extensions a big portion of college to try to look like myself again. Now that I’ve had my hair back that I had missed so dearly, I have a lot of tips and tricks for anyone trying to grow their hair out.
There are a lot of obvious ways to keep your hair healthy while you encourage growth. You’ve heard these four before, and they all really help so I’ll get these out of the way before I continue with ones that I think are a little more original.
- Less heat styling- find heat free ways to style your hair and air dry it as often as possible. When you do use heat, always use a thermal protectant product.
- Hydrate yourself with water. Everything on your body benefits from drinking a ton of water.
- Oils are good. The natural oils your scalp produces and adding hair oils to the ends help lock in moisture, add shine, and create a barrier to protect strands. I linked my favorite one that lasts ages and sinks in the best.
- Just like your skin loves masks, so does your hair! Coconut or argan oil, keratin, and anything strengthening works. Warming up oil a little in the microwave helps it really seep in. Use a wide tooth comb to evenly distribute the mask through your hair and leave it on as long as possible.
On to the new stuff!
Vitamins and supplements / I’m a big believer in daily vitamins. Collagen, fish oil, and prenatal vitamins or multivitamins all give a boost of the building blocks your body needs to grow great hair. Having a balanced diet helps too but that’s not always easy. Personally I do not like specific “hair, skin, and nails” branded vitamins because they always break out my skin.
Haircuts / I get a haircut every other month or so to get the damaged ends off. Getting split ends snipped before they split too far up the cuticle is crucial. I also have my hair thinned at these appointments every or every other time. This is really only necessary if your hair is thick. Having some of the weight lifted helps me to not have to wrestle with it so much. If I didn’t do this I would just have it put up all the time and deal with more knots. If you’re scared that you’ll end up getting five inches cut off when you just wanted one, be specific with your stylist. Share your future hair goals with them so they can help you create a plan to get there. Tell them you just need the ends dusted and you want to keep as much length as possible. Be a little (politely!) bossy.
Be careful with buns / Messy buns look cute, but don’t get too crazy with them. Instead of a super messy wadded up bun, aim for a ballerina bun rather instead of snapping a pony tail tightly around it in a bunch of places. I’ve had hair snap a lot less taking it down this way. Plus it doesn’t have as many kinks!
Gravity / If your hair is wadded up on top of your head all the time, none of the oils are reaching the ends or even mid-lengths. Use gravity and let your ponytail be lower sometimes or use a wide tooth comb to help the oils reach down as far as possible to the ends
Washing it once or twice max per week / I 110% believe that my hair started coming in faster and thicker as soon as I decreased washing it. You’ll save a money on shampoo and conditioner, and hours of washing and drying time. Just pop it on top of your head during daily body showers. I’m tall so it’s easy for me to avoid getting my hair wet, but if this is impossible just use a shower cap. I deal with the oils a few ways. 1. I let them distribute as much as possible by having my hair not piled on top of my hair 2. Dry shampoo. My favorite is Bumble + Bumble Pret A Powder because it absorbs quickly, doesn’t leave residue, and is travel- friendly, but anything works.
Dyeing / Instead of redoing your whole head every time you dye your hair, just stick to your roots. If your color is fading quickly, do some research to switch to one that lasts longer. Goldwell Elumen is my favorite long lasting color. Using cold water and washing your hair less helps color last! I refresh the rest of my color something like once every three or four months rather than every six weeks like my root touch ups.
Less Bleach / If you’re a blonde, consider going the stretched root/ bayalage route to go longer between bleaching. Have your stylist use Olaplex if possible.
Wet Brush / Stop ripping through your hair when you brush it. The wet brush style hairbrushes glide through so smoothly and don’t cause breakage. Ignore that it says “wet”, this is good when you’re hair is bone dry too. This is 100x better than the Tangle Teaser.
Wide Tooth Comb / I use this the most when I brush my hair. I bring it into the shower when I wash my hair and comb conditioner all the way through to make sure it hits the entire length of my hair. This method of conditioning makes a huge difference in the softness of my hair.
I hope this helps anyone out there that is struggling with getting hair back in shape. Even if you don’t want it longer, any length of hair can benefit from strengthening and reducing breakage.