Growing out strong, healthy hair is quite a challenge. It’s definitely not as easy as: “Just condition and do regular trims, it’ll grow out”. Well, how should I put this- It won’t grow on its own. At least it didn’t work that way for me. Back in high school, I used tons of styling products, changed hair colors and loved trying out different hairstyles. All of that resulted in having bad, unhealthy looking, damaged hair and same length for years. I wished it would grow out so I could do braids and other pretty hairstyles, but it wouldn’t move an inch, and this went on for around 2 years. Only after consulting with a hair expert (who gave me some very useful tips) I realized I did some big mistakes and decided to focus on repairing my hair. After following some basic rules and keeping the bleach away I noticed some amazing results. My hair started growing faster and healthier. At this time, I also went through some health issues that made me change my whole diet plan, so I think my healthy diet played a huge role in my hair repairment. So keep in mind that everything that we consume reflects on our beauty, in a good way or bad. Good eating habits will make your skin, hair and nails beautiful- I guarantee this!
Anyways, here are the 10 commandments that led me to a healthy, long hair:
- Add supplements to your diet
As I mentioned earlier, maintaining a healthy diet will do wonders for your hair. Remember to take vitamins and minerals. C, E and B vitamins are great for the hair- they boost up shine, texture and growth. Zinc is an essential mineral for hair growth, proved to help thinning and hair loss. Another essential mineral – Iron, is helping the hair breakage and hair loss. My personal favorite is protein– ever since I’ve started consuming it daily, my hair feels stronger, healthier, and the best part is: it won’t stop growing!
Also, consider including these 5 foods for long, healthy hair in your diet.
- Avoid chemicals
This is another thing that worked for me. Chemicals have been ruining the structure of my hair for years, so it took me a while to get them out of my system. And by chemicals (medicine aside), I mean ALL hair products: shampoos, masks, conditioners, hair styling products, serums, hair color, etc. I’m not saying you have to get rid of all of these, just make sure to cut down the usage. The chemicals from the hair products stay in your hair long after you’ve applied them and this absorption changes the structure of your strands.
I’ve noticed a huge change right after I threw away all my hair products except my shampoo and conditioner. The best thing I ever did for my hair was stop bleaching and coloring. I didn’t believe that this was the reason my hair stopped growing until I experienced it.
You may think: “But my hair needs all those hair products!”
-Trust me, it doesn’t.
There are so many products out there that promise repair, shine, volume, etc. The truth is: they work great on the outside- making your hair look better, while only adding damage to your hair – just so you buy and use more. My advice is: keep it simple, apply as little products as you can and use natural organic products (or make them yourself).
- Do a weekly treatment
While we’re at treating, it’s important to mention that since you’re trying to not overtreat, you also shouldn’t undertreat. Your hair surely needs some care and you can achieve this by applying DIY hair masks, oils, or by doing a deep conditioning treatment. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to put a lot of effort at all- a treatment once a week is all your hair needs.
So, choose what’s best for your hair and refresh your strands with some weekly nourishment.
I prefer a coconut oil treatment, since it’s the quickest and easiest to do, and every other week I add egg whites for some extra protein boost!
- Avoid hot showers
Long, hot showers are the best, right? I enjoy spending time in hot baths and using warm water, it’s soo relaxing! However, I did break this habit of mine after I’ve realized that super-hot water is not that good for my hair and skin (especially my hair, my scalp got oilier from washing my hair with hot water).
Hot water dehydrates the skin, leaving your scalp and hair dry. You may think the high water temperature will help wash out the products residue and buildup, but it will only make your hair brittle and dried out, which can even cause breakage. Using hot water can also lead to more oil production, as you’re washing down your scalps protective oils.
So it’s best to rinse off your hair products with lukewarm/cold water. Using cold water will close your pores and seal in the moisture, which will make your hair healthy and shiny. I’m not saying that you should actually freeze under the shower, just try to gradually lower the water temperature every time you wash your hair.
- Don’t wash it daily
Talking about showers- of course you must take a shower or two daily, but remember to keep your hair dry. Your hair doesn’t need a daily wash – by washing it daily you are just overtreating. The scalp produces some natural oils that need to reach the ends – and a daily wash gets into their way. If you’re doing this, your hair will likely get dry and damaged. Stylists suggest you should shampoo your hair every other day or every third day. I have absolutely no problem with this commandment! I just put my hair up in a bun every time I shower, and when I notice some bad looking greasy strands at day two or three, I fix them up with baby powder as an alternative to dry shampoo.
- Brush it out!
Brushing your hair doesn’t only make it look good – it also improves the health and structure of the hairs. I’ve mentioned the natural oils earlier- these scalp produced oils need to get to the ends and leave your hair nourished. So, instead of only brushing your hair when you’re styling it and getting ready to go out, make sure you do some brushing when you wake up and before going to sleep. This is a part of my hair routine and it’s working great- very simple and not time- consuming!
However, avoid brushing your hair while it’s wet – at this point the hairs are tangled and this is causing breakage and hair loss. Let it dry a little and use gentle, careful strokes.
Another tip for avoiding the breakage: choose the best brush for your hair. Not every brush works great with all hairs so try to find one that will run smoothly through your hair. I have long tangled hair and this detangling brush works best for me- my hair doesn’t fall or break anymore and brushing it got so much easier!
- Avoid styling with heat
Hair styling tools that work with heat are BAD for your hair. Your blow dryer, flat iron and curling iron will definitely make your hair look great, but will also damage it. Treating your hair with heat is causing breakage, split ends, thinning, drying and after a while- a dull, unhealthy look.
However, if you use these tools right, you can reduce the damage. Try to use the blow dryer as quickly as possible – don’t blow your hair right after you leave the shower, keep it in a cloth until it’s damp instead. To keep your hair strong and healthy, make sure you use the lowest temperature on your styling tools.
*Extra tip: don’t hesitate on spending some more money on styling tools- look for high quality ones with temperature settings – it’s so worth it on the long run!
- Change your pillowcase
If you’re using a cotton pillowcase, maybe it’s time to consider changing it. Laying on different fabrics can have negative or positive effects on your hair, so it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones. Cotton absorbs the moisture and leaves the hair dry, while silk and satin retain it, keeping your hair nourished. Also, satin makes less friction than cotton. Silk is the best choice for healthy strands- by sleeping on a silk pillowcase you’ll avoid breakage and tangles.
- DO NOT trim it regularly
When we talk about hair growth, there’s this myth that a haircut will actually make your hair grow. Unfortunately, this is false. Your hair won’t grow out if you trim it once a month- you will only end up having shorter hair. Trimming the ends will make your hair look and feel refreshed, but it will also slow down the hair growth, just because the hair grows from the roots – not the ends.
Basically, by cutting your hair you will remove the split ends and improve the appearance, and that’s okay, but if you want to achieve some length, you have to stay away from the scissors.
Once I’ve noticed that my hair got longer, I refused to get a haircut. I wasn’t going to get rid of even an inch, so I kept it that way for months. My hair did just fine, although I had breakage. After a while it grew longer and longer, so I finally decided to get rid of those split ends.
All I’m saying is, having split ends won’t slow down the growing process, however trimming it regularly will.
Last but not least, have patience. The truth is, growing out your hair is a long process and there aren’t any shortcuts or magical products that will make your hair grow in two weeks. There are only little growth boosters that I mentioned above. Same goes for hair repair- you will have to give it time so it works out. Just follow some simple rules, love and take care of your hair- and in time you will notice some great results!
I’ve learned most of these tips from a hair expert, and from my experience, they’ve helped me grow out and repair my hair. That’s why I call them commandments – they just have to be followed.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful, and I’d love to hear from you! Please comment and share your experience, also feel free to ask me anything. I’d love to help and I’m sure that we can solve any hair issue together.