How To Get Long - or Really Long - Hair
Did you know?
When you think that your hair is not growing, it is because the ends are splitting. This means that either the ends are snapping off as quickly as your hair is growing or that they are becoming more wispy, both giving the illusion that the hair is not growing at all!
There are many reasons why you might want to grow your hair, and probably just as many products on the market that claim to help you to achieve such growth. These can be pricey, however, and the effectiveness of these products can sometimes be varied. You may also be worried about the chemicals that these products use and the long-term heath of your hair.
Whilst you may want to try such products out, these tips are on how best to grow - and keep - your hair long and healthy.
If you are not looking for extremely lengthy Rapunzel-style hair then these tips will still help you along in growing your hair an extra inch or two.
Growing your hair is the simple part of 'growing your hair' - you're doing it right now! The enemy to this is loss of length to the ends of the hair. By getting and maintaining all of your hair in good condition, breakages will become less likely and length can be gained. Splits don't just occur at the ends of your hair, so maintaining all of it is vital so that that you don't experience breakages. The idea of maintaining your hair might sound laborious, but these tips can easily be followed and as long as your hair gets healthier and stronger, you will be on the right track for lengthier hair.
Is My Hairdresser To Blame For My Hair Not Growing?
A hairdresser being asked to trim your hair is obliged to get rid of bad ends - otherwise they might have unhappy customers that are still finding split ends or in some cases feel a risk to their reputation if a customer of theirs is left with hair that does not look healthy at the ends. If you feel that your hair is not growing and that trimming is to blame, this could possibly be because your hairdresser hears 'trim' and removes what they feel is a standard amount (remember that they're not examining your hair as closely as you are to see how much needs to be taken off) or that the ends of your hair are a little worse-for-wear and your hairdresser is actually giving you a helping hand since sometimes splits can sometimes form other types, or more deeper splits.
Check your hair before you go to the hairdresser and assess how much you think needs to be taken off to remove your split or damaged ends - you can even measure if it helps. Communication with your hairdresser is key - let them know that you are growing your hair and offer your opinion on how much you think is needed removing. Between you, you can agree on what is best for your hair in terms of its health, strength and your desire to grow it.
So What Are Split Ends?
Hair splits when it gets dry. The longer your hair is, the older your ends will be. This means that they are more likely to be dry, especially if you apply heat to it a lot. The same can be said for some products, treatments and hair dyes which can contain chemicals which dry out the hair.
Another cause of split ends can be the way in which it is handled. Since splits are the signs of everyday wear and tear on hair, the more wear and tear that it experiences will have a reflection. Rough brushing, combing or styling, for example, can cause damage to your hair.
De-Tangling Your Hair
Especially when your hair is wet, a wide-toothed comb is best. If you find that your hair is particularly knotty, you could try using this as your first step in de-tangling, using another, smaller-toothed comb afterwards to loosen the remaining tangles.
When combing your hair, start from the very ends first. From here, work your way upwards - if you find a tangle, do not struggle but simply start from lower down again which helps to tease the knot apart. Combing from the roots of the hair can tighten knots which, particularly when your hair is wet, can cause breakages.
Washing Your Hair
Many people suggest that it can be beneficial to wash your hair less when you're growing it - this helps to retain natural oils and is also helpful as it may cut down chemical (from washing or styling products) or heat (from hair driers or styling devices) application. Consider whether your hair might last another day between washes.
Some shampoos can strip the hair of natural oils and can contribute to it drying out. Think about how the quality of some clothes can change over the course of time and many washes and compare this to your hair. You may want to consider, especially if you do not want to wash your hair less, using less shampoo when you do wash it. Many people with long hair choose to only shampoo their scalp as part of their general routine, washing the entirety of their hair only once every couple of weeks or every month. The shampoo gets washed through the rest of your hair when you rinse it anyway, and it tends only to be the scalp that shows signs of greasiness or dullness. This tip not only gives your hair a break, but also saves on spending!
Similarly, not all of your hair needs conditioning - use around the same amount of conditioner as you used shampoo for your scalp and work this up the hair from the ends. The roots of your hair don't need conditioning so much and using conditioner on your scalp might also contribute to your hair becoming greasy-looking. You may want to try deep-conditioning treatments once a month, though. If your conditioner is all-natural then you can leave it on for 10-15 minutes in place of a conditioning mask!
Are There Any Styles That Will Help My Hair?
Protecting the ends of the hair from too much exposure or movement can help in your growing process. Try:
- Different up-dos
Styling Your Hair
Can you cut down on - or even stop - applying heat to your hair? This could be hugely beneficial as applying heat dries the hair out. Many people find that stopping application of heat alone yields them better results in growing their hair. If you do use any heat products, use a heat protector. There are many on the market for you to choose from and these will cut down the amount of damage that your hair undergoes when you apply any type of heat. This includes using a hair drier on your hair - if possible, air dry it.
Using bleach, dye or having treatments such as perms or relaxers can all cause damage to your hair, too, as well as many chemical products. If you can't do without these, try to cut down your usage or, if possible, look for a more natural solution.
When wearing your hair in up-dos, use soft bands designed for hair - never elastic bands. Try to use ones without a metal joining strip or anything else that may snag on, pull out or snap hair. The thicker the better when it comes to what band to use, generally. Also be careful with grips and clips as some can also tug on and snap hair.
Trimming Your Own Hair
Many people suggest that you take the scissors to your own hair - don't be too afraid, though! This doesn't mean attempting an entire cut, but trimming some of your split ends from time to time. If you decide to seek out splits and snip them off, remember to use good quality, sharp scissors (be careful) on dry hair only. Otherwise, your hair may split again - and this time, it's shorter. Cut your hair flat (not angular), also. By removing some of your own split ends and keeping them maintained, you may be able to extend the period between trips to the hairdresser.
What is your favourite hairstyle for long hair?
Be Patient! Or Don't!
Growing your hair takes time and patience but this can be incredibly rewarding for those that have always lusted after long hair. If you decide that you can't do it, never fear! Wigs, extensions and weaves are options for a temporary fix of fairy-tale hair (although these might sometimes contribute to damage of your own hair - do your research beforehand if this is a concern to you!).