Have you always wanted to have long hair? These hair tips can help hair grow faster and – more importantly – stay healthy and smooth at whatever length. All it takes is a few changes to your daily hair routine, from changing the way you wash and brush your hair, or investing in the right kind of hairdressing cutting scissors. After this, you’ll have the longest (and strongest) hair of your life.
Trim your hair often
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want your long hair to be healthy and look good, you actually need to trim the ends often. This helps get rid of split ends that can travel up the hair shaft and ruin your hair texture.
If you’re going to trim your hair at home, invest in hairdressing cutting shears. Never use regular scissors to cut your hair, because the blunt edge can damage the hair. Look for high quality hairdressing scissors that are sharp, rest comfortably in your hand. They may be more expensive, but they’ll last a lifetime!
Avoid harsh chemical treatments
Hair dyes, perms or hair straightening treatments damage the hair cuticle and irritate the scalp. That makes you more prone to hairfall and split ends. If you really want to color your hair, pick the gentlest treatment possible, like natural dyes and henna treatments. Avoid bleaching your hair!
Minimize heat styling
Maybe it’s time to break up with your blowdryer! Heat styling also damages the hair cuticle. Dry your naturally, or if you really do need to style your hair, use heat protectants.
Get a boar bristle brush
Before you go to sleep, brush your hair with a boar bristle brush. This helps stimulate your natural hair oils and distribute it evenly from root to tip. It also encourages blood circulation in your scalp, which can help promote healthy hair growth.
Change the way you wash your hair
Overshampooing strips your hair of natural oils, which keep your strands moisturized and healthy. Just wash your hair twice or thrice a week, and use dry shampoo to minimise grease.
Other shampoo tips? Never wash your hair in hot water. Use only lukewarm water, and always end your shower with a cold rinse. That’s because hot water opens the hair cuticle (making it more fragile) and cold water seals it.
Lastly, apply conditioner before shampoo. This allows the conditioning agents to deeply penetrate the hair. The shampoo then rinses off any build up that can clog your hair follicles or weigh hair down.
Be gentle when you brush out tangles
Wet hair is very fragile, so don’t force a comb through it when it’s dripping wet. Instead, use a wide tooth comb and start from the bottom of your hair and work your way up. Applying a hair oil can also help protect your hair strands and make it easier to remove knots.
Use a scalp scrub
Scalp scrubs stimulate blood circulation and unclog hair follicles. You can make your own scalp scrub by mixing brown sugar, olive oil or almond oil, and a little lemon juice. The sugar is a natural exfoliant, the oils are full of antioxidants that can nourish the scalp, and the lemon juice is a natural anti-bacterial that can help fight scalp irritation and dandruff.
Do a weekly hair and scalp mask
These are much cheaper than salon keratin treatments, and you can do them at home! You can find a lot of affordable hair and scalp masks in beauty stores, but you can also make DIY hair treatments from ingredients in your own kitchen. Try mixing one egg with one egg white, then leaving in your hair for 10 minutes. You can also use extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil; just massage into your hair and scalp, leave in your hair for about 30 minutes, and shampoo your hair.
Eat a high protein diet
“To promote hair growth, you need to ‘feed’ the hair from the inside,” explains Dr. Francesca Fusco, an NYC-based dermatologist.
To grow healthy hair, your body needs protein, which your body breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of all cells. Bear in mind that different kinds of proteins yield different amino acids. So, don’t just load up on meat. Also eat fish, beans, tofu and soy products, and whole grains.
Aside from proteins, your body needs vitamins A, C, and E, minerals like zinc and iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.
You can also take a daily hair supplement that contains biotin and B vitamins. Aside from encouraging hair growth and strengthening hair, it will also benefit your skin.
Get a silk pillowcase
Silk pillowcases won’t cause as much friction on your hair, minimizing damage when you toss and turn in your sleep. You also get less tangles and frizziness.
Avoid tight hairstyles
Don’t pull your hair back into tight ponytails, buns or braids. Opt for loose hairstyles, and use elastics that won’t damage your hair. Also, never tie wet hair! If you sleep with your hair in braids (a common trick for waking up with naturally loose curls) make sure your hair is about 80% dry.
Protect your scalp from sun damage
We know that UV rays can damage our skin, but we often forget that it also irritates and weakens the scalp! Avoid sun exposure from 10 am to 3pm. If you need to go go outdoors, wear a scarf or a hat, and use a sunscreen spray on your scalp.
These are just some ways you can keep your hair healthy as you grow it longer. With the right haircare routines, hair tools like hairdressing scissors and boar bristle brushes, and patience, you’ll have long and strong hair!