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Start Growing Long Hair

Updated on June 19, 2013
A beautiful head of long and flowing brown hair.
A beautiful head of long and flowing brown hair. | Source

© 2013 Express10

Long hair is touted by many as either an accent to or a characteristic of a woman's beauty. However, there are many women that would like longer hair or very long hair that have some difficulty growing their hair longer. Each person is different but there are things that we do that can hinder our ability to see our hair reach it's longer or absolute longest lengths. This being said, there are plenty of things that we can do that can help us grow our hair out whether we've had a bad cut, color, chemical treatment, or just want real, long, and flowing locks. I will focus on three common issues that some women forget are actually factors in treating their hair well and facilitating longer lengths.

Nutrition

While some people with long hair such as my sisters and I have had it practically all their lives, it's certainly possible to grow longer/long hair even for those that may never have before. One factor in the equation is nutrition. Many people these days are focused on convenience rather than nutrition and health and their hair suffers as a result of this just as other parts of their body such as the skin and other organs. Making sure you are getting a lot of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins is important for your overall health and the nutrients you get from these foods also contribute to your hair growth as well.

For instance, a lack of Vitamin A, E, and the B vitamins can slow hair growth and if you mistreat your hair in other ways, you are likely to believe that your hair has completely stopped growing and lose the battle of split/dried ends. Please note that the preferred route of getting enough vitamins is by eating the actual whole foods, preferably not a reconstituted/processed version. Taking supplements can be a bit dicey because not all supplements are created equal and some have other ingredients that you wouldn't even want to consume. On top of this, not all ingredients are listed and some supplements are simply not effective. Do your homework if you are going the supplement route. If you are slacking on your nutrition, you are setting yourself up for failure in your long locks quest.

Beautiful, shiny, black wavy hair.
Beautiful, shiny, black wavy hair. | Source

Avoid Heat

Flat irons, curling irons and similar styling tools are frequently overused and used improperly. If you want to grow your hair to longer lengths you must understand that minimizing or completely avoiding use of heat styling goes a long way to having healthier and longer hair. When you do choose to use heat styling, know how to use these tools properly. Many people forget that these items easily reach well over the low 300 degree range at which human hair is burned or otherwise damaged.

Packaging for various heat styling tools often clearly states that the device heats up to and beyond 400 degrees. Unfortunately, some models have temperature switches which can be accidentally changed to higher settings while you are styling and great care must be taken during use. When using these tools, often protectant sprays and creams are recommended. However, even with proper use of these protectants, irreversible heat damage to your hair is still possible if you make too many passes with a flat or curling iron or use more heat than needed with any heat tool.

The more frequently you use heat to style your hair, the more likely you are to deal with dry or damaged hair. Split ends can be trimmed but if you use heat too frequently you may feel that your hair isn't growing or you may be trimming more dry or split ends than seeing greater lengths. My hair won't grow is a common complaint and mistreatment is often one of the causes. Many people who want to grow their hair long find that heat styling is too risky for them to undertake as even one botched application of heat (by a professional or amateur) can set them back for several months or more than a year in terms of the lengths they want their hair to grow to. Particularly after many women experience a few of these bad experiences with heat, it is easy to understand the increasing number of women attempting to cut back on their use of heat styling tools.

Long brown hair in the Phillipines.
Long brown hair in the Phillipines. | Source

Hair Accessories

Many people do not understand the toll that common hair accessories can take on their hair. Many women use ponytail holders, bobby pins, headbands, and more on a repeat basis without realizing the problems it can cause until it's too late. Some realize the damage they are causing but do not change how they use them or attempt to stop for a while. Hair loss and receding hairlines are common results. Sometimes one can see a few hairs in the ponytail holder or hair clip and other times it will be noticed on a pillow, hair brush, or comb. Avoid using hair accessories on a daily basis and never use them in the exact same spot on consecutive days. Because hair accessories grip the hair and cause tension on the hair, they easily can pull out hair from the root or elsewhere on the hair shaft. Even headbands that are made of silk or satin can cause damage or lost hair when used repeatedly.

It is this tension and the weight of the hair that also causes hair loss and receding hairlines in both women and men who wear dreadlocks and braids. It's important to switch up what you do with your hair and not just for the sake of being in style or fashionable. Don't just wear a ponytail several days of the week and complain you can't do anything with your hair. Wear a headband one day and create a bang braid the next. After that, wear it loose if possible. Wear two ponytails on either side of your head (towards the rear to keep it out of your face) when working out and the next day try a french braid or loose bun the day after. Go medieval and create a braid that acts as your headband one day and wear a side part the next. The point is to get out of a styling rut when it comes to using hair accessories because as time wears on your hair just may get worn out and then fall out.

Soft and pretty sandy blond waves.
Soft and pretty sandy blond waves. | Source

When Special Care Is Needed

Those with naturally curly hair must learn that it must not be combed from roots to ends without first completely detangling it. However, it's likely that even your hairstylist may not know this and cause major damage when combing or brushing. Please note: a hairstylist working with curly hair should know that a brush should never be used on curly hair. If they attempt this, find another hairstylist. Those with the curliest of hair find that it's easiest to style it when wet and hairstylists that are familiar with curly hair know this as well. If you are a parent of a curly haired child, be sure you are combing from the ends towards the roots to detangle before you attempt to comb from the roots to the ends. Otherwise, you will likely cause some damage or pull hair out.

Fine hair is also prone to damage and should be treated with care because the hair is thinner than other hair types. Fine hair is responsive to lower temperatures when using heat styling and is often prone to damage just as easily as dry or damaged hair. Fine hair should never be put into tight buns, braids, or ponytails on a regular basis for reasons mentioned previously. Conditioners used on fine hair should be light and specifically made for fine hair as oils and silicones meant for other hair types will weigh fine hair down and make it look or feel greasy.

Dry and damaged hair needs special care beginning with a serious trim. The hair that we can touch with our fingers is dead anyway and the ends are the oldest. Dry damaged hair typically splits and will split pretty far up the hair shaft if it is not trimmed and heavily conditioned on a regular basis. The trim is what many dread because they want to keep the length, but it's a catch 22 and the splits will catch up to you and force you to trim substantially at some point. Unless you choose to live with a constant cycle of dry and damaged hair, you will make sure the trim addresses all the dry ends and is not a superficial trim.

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    • Express10 profile image
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      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      You are welcome Lady E. Many of us find a favorite hairstyle with certain accessories and that's why some have problems with receding hairlines, hair breakage, and other damage. Many don't know that heat can cause just as much damage as chemicals, if not more. And even more women don't know that the chemicals in their daily use hair products can damage their has as well. However, knowing these truth & making a few changes should help anyone grow their hair long & healthier.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Oh... I'd love to have long, healthy and shiny hair. Thanks for the useful tips, especially the safety ones.

    • Express10 profile image
      Author

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      :) Thanks for reading. There are other variables such as illnesses but these are three commonly overlooked areas that can be helpful for women and men.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      I still had... to check this out because it came down on my feed.. so voting up..:)