8 tips for growing long and healthy hair
So many of you ask me about my hair. Is it real? Do I wear extensions? How is it so thick and long? I have to say, I think I got some great hair genes from my dad (he used to have a big afro!) and my mom (her hair was nearly down to her butt!). Beyond that, I have learned, from working in hair salons throughout my teenage years, how to enable my hair to grow and be healthy and thick. I'm sharing what I think are the most important tips below. Hope you enjoy!
1. Maintain Fresh Ends
First and foremost, you must have healthy ends to grow your hair. Trim your hair at least every 8-10 weeks to keep it fresh. Healthy ends allows your hair to actually grow longer over time. Forget the fact that you are trimming it (in the end, it is such a small amount that it doesn't take away from your length). Split ends will break off, so your hair won't end-up growing. If it does grow some, it will be uneven and strangely. Keep it fresh and trimmed and your hair will instantly look healthier.
I also use the Fresh Cut Split End Mender every time I wash to keep my ends sealed and extra healthy. I typically go the full 10 weeks before cutting because of how little I wash my hair (it's usually really healthy) and how long it is (shorter hair usually requires more frequent trims to maintain the style).
2. Brush Techniques
In general, always brush gently so you don't break off your hair! It can be hard to be patient, but this is worth it. Take your hair in small sections to get the job done. This is especially important for those of you that tease your hair. First, brush your hair prior to showering, to remove any tangles. Second, post washing, when your hair is still wet, brush through with a Wet Brush or wide-toothed comb. I always spray in this product while my hair is wet, and before brushing. I think it helps with tangles.
3. Washing...(or not)
Don't wash it! :) The less you wash your hair, the less you add heat to it, the less damage it encounters. Investing in a great dry shampoo will allow you to go upwards of 5 days without washing (without it being noticeable or feeling super gross). I prefer the PhD Dry Shampoo over all others. This even works on sweat after workouts!
When you do wash, use quality shampoos & conditioners. I love the PhD line for my every-day styling. If you color your hair a lot, a restoration line may be best. Play around to find what makes your hair feel the most rich and smooth.
4. Drying & Air Drying
The best option for your hair is to let it air dry as much as possible. I combine air-drying with a final blow out to speed-up the process since my hair is so thick. Using an ionic blow dryer is good for keeping your hair healthy, like this one. Sometimes, it just isn't possible to wait for any air-drying, which is when the next step is really important!
5. Proper Protection
Use a heat protectant every time you are going to apply some type of heat (such as that from a blow-dryer, flatiron, wand, before any curler touch-ups, etc.). I use this one as soon as I am out of the shower. Also, you should use a weather/UV protectant to guard against harsh elements. Like your skin, your hair can be damaged from wind and sun. I use this protectant and love it.
6. Investment products
Using good products makes all of the difference. Invest in quality products that help keep your hair healthy, but also help maintain its style. If you think about it, the longer your style lasts, the less you need you apply heat/fuss with your hair. It only helps in keeping it healthy and strong. I love the 5 in 1 styling treatment & the fresh cut split end mender. PS: Though it can seem like a lot to buy many products, they will last you for so long, because you really won't style all that often.
7. Weekly masking
Apply a mask or leave-in conditioning treatment once a week to seal your ends, hydrate your hair, and fill it with rich proteins. The difference you will feel after using a mask is incredible and so worth the investment. You can find many at Sephora. I use the nightcap once a week and it works wonders.
8. Vitamin Boost
Take Biotin (a vitamin for hair, skin & nails) to help boost your growth. You'll notice your nails grow longer too! I think this helps a lot with thickness. Though I don't use it regularly, I do have many friends who swear by it!
Eat healthy proteins & use a protein-rich product to keep your hair healthy. I think using this protein-product has made the biggest difference in my hair's overall health. This is what I currently use and I used damage remedy for many years before too.