Growing out waist-length hair can be a long, tedious process. Poor hair care habits can cause breakage and damage that can set back your efforts by months, or even years. To get the length you want as fast as possible, follow these hair-growth tips.
1) Cut Off Split Ends
The first thing you need to do when growing out your hair is to remove all damage from your ends. When you have a split end, the damage can actually move up the strand; two inches of damage can easily become three. It may be painful to remove several inches in length, especially when your goal is long hair, but it will be worth it. Once your split ends are under control, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain the length back–and how much healthier your hair will look.
2) Make Split-End Maintenance a Habit
Some split ends will happen, no matter how well you care for your hair. If you notice a split end, avoid the temptation to pick at it. Instead, cut it off above the damage with professional-grade hair shears. This will help you maintain length and keep your ends looking healthy.
3) Change Your Ponytail Placement
Ponytails are an easy go-to hairstyle that is suitable for almost any occasion. However, wearing a ponytail in the same place everyday can cause strain on hair shaft, leading to breakage, or pull on the follicles, leading to thinning. To avoid this, switch between high ponytails and low ponytails. Take a break from ponytails and wear a braid instead. Remember, if a hairstyle feels too tight, it might be causing damage to your hair.
4) Wash Your Hair Less
Your hair doesn’t need to be washed everyday to look clean and presentable. Over-washing can weaken strands and cause breakage, halting growth progress. People with dry hair can especially benefit for a more minimal washing routine. If you currently wash everyday, cut back on your washing routine so that you only shampoo every other day. For best results and healthier hair, use shampoo no more than once a week.
5) Never Apply Heat
Hair dryers and flat irons may help you style your hair temporarily, but make no mistake–heat causes damage! If your goal is length, you will have to be patient and allow your hair to air-dry.
6) Deep Condition
The longer your hair gets, the drier the ends will be, and the more likely they will break or split. Combat dryness through a regular deep conditioning routine. Make sure to apply the conditioner thoroughly to your ends. (In general, your scalp does not need conditioner.) You will notice lower incidence of breakage and split ends, and you will gain length faster.
7) Use Protective Styles
Long, loose hair can look very pretty, but when growing out your hair, it can be helpful to tuck away your hair into a protective style, such as a braid or a bun. Wear your hair down for special occasions to retain length.
8) Use Gentle Hair Accessories
If a hair accessory tears out a clump of your hair every time you remove it, never use it again. Stick to gentle hair accessories, such as terry elastics or cloth scrunchies to avoid damage.
9) Comb From the Bottom
When combing your hair, always start from the bottom and work your way up. This will help you avoid putting necessary pressure on the strands. Also, remember that hair is more delicate when it is wet; avoid brushing or combing wet hair whenever possible. If you must comb wet hair, use a wide-tooth comb only
Growing Long Hair Takes Patience
Hair grows at an average of half an inch each month. Using these tips will help you retain as much of this length as possible. However, remember that it is very unlikely to grow more than six inches of hair in one year. Be patient, and avoid temptations to get a bob or a pixie cut. Hair trends come and go, but long hair is timeless and beautiful.