How to grow long healthy hair
There is still no scientific way to accelerate the growth of hair. But there are a number of ways to stimulate healthy hair growth, as well as a range of conditions that should be avoided if you want your hair to grow faster.
1. Air dry hair or limit the use of direct heat.
Avoid using heated appliances whenever possible. No blow dryers, flat irons, or curling irons! These burn the hair and cause breakage and heat damage. Let your hair air dry overnight. If you absolutely must blow dry and flat iron your hair, do so minimally, on a low heat setting and always apply a heat protectant such as grape seed oil before. But keep in mind that every time you apply heat to your hair you are likely to cause some damage no matter how careful you.
2. Don’t over shampoo
Use gentle sulphate free shampoos that don’t strip your hair of its natural oils. Apply the shampoo to your scalp only, massage to remove build up and let it run down your hair as you rinse. Alternatively you can skip the shampoo and co-wash to retain moisture during washing.
3. Low Manipulation
The less you do to your hair the more it flourishes. Constantly touching, playing with and picking at the ends of your hair all time causes knotting, breakage, splitting and therefore loss of length.
Leaving your hair alone and wearing styles that aren’t too tight will reduce wear and tear and allow it to grow. This one I struggle with because I have HIH syndrome, I just love playing with my curls!
4. Protective Styling
Wearing your hair in protective styles will help your retain length. Protective styles keep your ends (the oldest and often driest parts of your hair) from rubbing against clothing, shoulders or back and keeps them protected from the elements. By keeping these ends up and out of sight, you hold in the moisture your hair needs and prevent dryness that can lead to breakage. (Click here for protective styles you can try).
Your natural hair breaks easily when it’s dry that is why it is crucial to keep your hair moisturized at all times. Because the ends of your hair are the oldest and are more prone to breakage you should focus on moisturizing and sealing your ends every day. (Click here for how to moisturize hair)
6. Deep Conditioning
In order to prevent breakage and to keep your hair moisturized you should deep condition your hair weekly. You can either deep condition your hair with plastic cap under the dryer for a 20-30 minutes or without heat for at least one hour. You can also do a protein treatment every 6 weeks or whenever your hair feels very limp, mushy or overly soft. (Click here for DC recipes).
7. Protect your hair at night
Always sleep with a silk/satin scarf or bonnet or sleep on a silk/satin pillow case. Sleeping with a cotton scarf or pillowcase will cause the hair to dry out. Cotton is very absorbent and will absorb moisture from the hair.
8. Don’t dry comb hair
You should only comb your hair while it’s wet. This will remarkably cut don’t on any breakage that you may be experiencing and result in a thicker head of hair. Always use a wide tooth comb.
9. Trim when necessary
Trimming helps to get rid of dry, damaged hair and split ends which work their way up the shaft of your hair, causing even more damage. The better you care for your hair on a day-to-day basis, the less often you'll need trims. The frequency of trims varies from person to person. Trim about ¼ of an inch to a ½ and inch every 3 to 6 months.
10. Live a healthy lifestyle
You need to take care of your body from the inside out. What you eat, drink and how you treat your body has an effect on your hair. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise and drinks lots of water. If your body is hydrated then so is your hair.
About the Author
South African. World citizen. Currently based in Paris.
Traveler. Writer. Model. Teacher.