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How to grow long beautiful hair

Updated on January 5, 2013

Long beautiful hair is an undisputed sign of health and beauty. Having long hair feels great and looks great on almost every man and woman. But getting the hair to grow long and healthy is quite a challenge. I will be honest with you from the start: Not everyone can grow their hair as long as they want. However there are also many people who think they can't grow long hair but actually could if they put enough effort into it and kept to a couple of basic tips and tricks.

Basic facts about hair and hair growth

This section is just to set the ground for the rest so you can skip it if you know this already:

  • We have averagely 100 000 hairs on our heads. This can vary considerably
  • Each hair grows about half an inch per month.
  • The hair itself is made of dead protein cells.
  • Everybody's hair has a so called terminal length - which is the longest it can possibly grow no matter how well you care for it. This varies greatly from person to person and is typically much longer for women than it is for men.
  • Hair growth is influenced by genes, diet, illnesses, toxins, hormones and indirectly also haircare.

More detail about hair growth

Each hair grows for a few years, then it stops for another period after which it falls out. Then, after a pause, the follicle starts producing a new hair. This is called the growth cycle and the reason why some people have a much greater terminal length is that their growing phase is longer. Typically it is around 2 years but some people have a growing phase of more than six years and people with hair loss may have a much shorter growth phase resulting in them having only very short, fine hairs.

This growth phase will be what ultimately determines your terminal length and therefore how long you can grow your hair. However, other things also influence your hair growth.

Because hair is not living tissue, it cannot heal and therefore any damage done to it is permanent. If you want your hair to grow 20 inches, then you must understand that each hair at the tip will be exposed for years and that, unless it's treated very delicately, it will wear down and break.

Treating your hair roughly such as rubbing it with a towel or blow drying may not seem to do any harm from one day to the next and it doesn't. But over a period of years, the hair will be worn down and the damage becomes very noticeable. 

If you want to grow your hair long, don't cut it

There is a huge myth going around the hair care fanatics and experts all seem to agree that you need to trim your hair regularly if you want it to grow long. NOT TRUE

This rule of trimming comes from the facts I mentioned above. They assume that damaged ends are best cut off because the damage has a tendency to spread down the hair which is particularly true with split ends. Then the trimmed hair will grow healthily as long as you care for it properly. However there is a major flaw in this reasoning that stems from a misunderstanding of the situation:

You're not caring for one individual hair, but for many thousands that are all at different stages in their growth cycle. When you trim the ends, that only affects the oldest hairs that are soon to fall out anyway while the younger hairs that really matter aren't trimmed at all. When they say that the trimming is done to prevent the split ends (or other damage) from spreading, it only prevents the damage from spreading across one single hair down towards the root. But it does not spread from one hair to another anyway - trim or not. So saving your longest hairs from damage does nothing for the other hairs which are the majority and the more important ones as they are the hairs that you need to care for most.

Trimming is of course necessary for your hair to LOOK cared for and groomed but it does not help you grow it longer.

So it's up to how well you treat your hair over the years. No brushing or any kind of physical rough handling like back combing or blow drying and avoid aggressive styling products and shampoos.

Long beautiful hair is most people's dream and some people just cannot fulfill that dream no matter how hard they try. Here is more detail on how to grow long hair.

Good Luck!


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    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 5 years ago

      This is just my personal preference but the most beautiful hair in the world to me would be long naturally white hair oh God I would loose my mind if I could met a woman with naturally white hair.

    • Lucy83 profile image

      Lucy83 5 years ago

      Well happy (belated) birthday Sam! Hope you had yourself a great time.

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 5 years ago

      Thank you Lucy oh and it was my birthday yesterday I am now 21. :)

    • Lucy83 profile image

      Lucy83 5 years ago

      Hi Sam,

      this is different for everybody, depending on how thick your hair is and how fast it grows - same as with your face really.

      And the problem with shaving is that it almost immediately leads to stubble which most people hate. So they turn to things like hair removal cream (quite a hassle and only a little better) or waxing/epilators. The last work best and last longest but you gotta take some pain. But you get used to the pain. It's always worst the first time. But I think the results are worth it. Smooth skin has always been what people like best. And there's nothing unmanly about it (bodybuilders all do it).

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 5 years ago

      Hey Lucy (this comment is not about growing hair but I didnt know where else to put it) but how often should I shave my body because I just tried shaving some parts of my body (behind my dads back) and I actually feel more comfortable with it shaved off.

    • profile image

      dreamreachout 7 years ago

      Wonderful hub promoting long hair, a subject very dear to my heart!!