Some women seem to be blessed with hair that quickly grows to be as long as they like. For others, growing your hair can seem like a waiting game which leaves you wondering if it will ever reach past your shoulders.
If you’d love tresses that even Rapunzel would be envious of, read on for seven tips on how to grow hair that is long, thick and healthy.
1. Time your haircuts right
Hairdressers would have you believe that you should be getting your hair cut every six weeks. In that time, most people’s hair will have grown around 1.5cm. If your hair grows slower than average, it could well have grown less than a centimetre. So, visiting the hairdresser to often will leave your locks getting shorter and shorter with each visit.
That said, avoiding the hairdresser for a year likely won’t do your hair much good either. Without regular trims, your hair will develop split ends which will travel up the hair shaft and ruin your hair.
Every three months might be the ideal compromise. Just make sure you tell your hairdresser that you’re growing your hair and ask them to only take off what’s needed.
2. Be careful with heat styling tools
There’s no faster route to hair breakage than over-use of heat. If you can let your hair dry naturally, do so. Otherwise, let it air dry for as long as you can before finishing it off with the hairdryer, rather than blasting it when it’s dripping wet.
Hair straighteners can heat up to 240 degrees Celsius, which can be much too high for fine or fragile hair. If you have delicate hair, be sure to invest in a pair of quality hair straighteners with a temperature control. This will enable you to use just the right amount of heat to set your hairstyle.
3. Don’t wash your hair every day
Those with fine hair can certainly feel like they need to wash their hair every day to stop it looking greasy. But over-washing can make this problem worse, as well as causing damage.
Once your hair is long enough to go into a short ponytail, try washing a maximum of every other day. On the second day, if your hair is too dirty to wear down, you could add a spritz of dry shampoo and put it into a ponytail or bun.
4. Rinse your hair with cold water
You may love a hot shower, but your hair prefers it icy cold. We’re not suggesting that you turn the temperature down for your whole shower, but a cold rinse after washing can do wonders for your hair.
The cold water will seal the cuticles, which protects your hair from the dreaded split ends which can cause a need for more frequent haircuts.
5. Step away from the bleach
Colouring your hair is always damaging, but going blonde is a sure-fire way to damage your hair to the point of breakage. Bleach is the strongest chemical you could put on your hair and it can damage hair cuticles quite severely.
If you must colour your hair to hide greys, try to stay closer to your natural colour and only colour the roots.
6. Take care of your diet
To have long hair, you must think not just about what you put on your hair, but also about what you put into your body.
Hair is essentially made of protein, so be sure that you’re getting enough of that in your diet with foods such as fish, beans, pulses, nuts and green leafy vegetables.
7. Take your vitamins
You can buy special vitamins which promise to make your hair grow. However, these are most likely just standard multivitamins with slightly different amounts of each of the vitamins and minerals and fancier packaging.
Taking a multivitamin will ensure you have everything you need to maintain not just healthy hair but also skin and nails. Vitamins C, E, biotin and zinc will all help your hair to reach its full potential.
Hang in there
Whether you’re longing for hair you can sit on, or would just be happy with a ponytail, remember that growing hair naturally takes a long time. Be patient, don’t give up and with a little bit of care and attention, you’ll be able to keep your hair healthy, which is the key to being able to grow it long.