I go through these phases. I really want to have long hair (Think like to my boobs kinda long hair…) and I try desperately to grow it out. Spending months leaving it be and only to see it grow to about an inch past my shoulders. Definitely not the length I want it. I then get frustrated that it stops growing and chop it to a bob and start the whole process over again. I really have zero patience for it.
In the past I tried nearly everything I could think of to help it grow. Vitamins, treatment masks, hot oil treatments, and different shampoos and conditioners. I’d get hair cuts but not regularly and sometimes I’d go 6 months without a cut. I was treating my hair like utter shit. Straightening it regularly, blow drying it, dying it every 4 weeks-6 weeks. My hair was parched, breaking everywhere and super unhealthy.
Then in June, I got my hair colored (at the salon, which I NEVER do) for my birthday and went on my health kick of eating right and eliminating alot of crap food. I wanted to make a concious effort to grow it out this time, really make the change with my diet and treating my hair with a little more care than I normally do. I still actually have a long way to go, I wear it back wet waaaayyyy too much. So when it came time to dye my hair again, I skipped it. I used laziness as an excuse the first few times of me needing to really do a touch up, but then I started noticing something. It was growing, alot, fast. It may not seem a lot to some, but from the middle of June to now, my hair has grown about 3.5 inches. For me…thats a ton. And even better…it continues to grow. So what did I really do to help it?
I didn’t use vitamins, or special shampoo, or hair masks or haircuts every 4-6 weeks.
- I stopped heat styling it. I typically only straighten it maybe once a week. I’ll leave that style for a day or two, get the kinks out the second day and wear it back the third day. Before I’d wear it down a little more often (especially when I was going out more).
- I changed my diet. I started eating more fresh veggies, proteins and fruit. I eliminated sodas, juices, and anything pre-made/overly processed.
- I get it cut every 10-12 weeks. This is by the recommendation of my stylist. Even she was astonished how much it had grown between haircuts! I had my hair cut in June then again in August, and again in October. She couldn’t believe how long it had grown and how healthy it was!
- I stopped dying it. To be honest, I think this was the main reason why its gotten so healthy. Every time I dyed my hair it got more brittle, more breakage and more crispy at the ends. I haven’t colored it in over 5 months. And even though the roots drive me crazy, my color has faded to a point where its not super noticable anymore. Its also kind of nice to see how far I’ve come! I’ll eventually dye it again, probably for my sister’s wedding next summer. But I’m hoping that sticking to this no-dye route for the next 9 months will keep it growing long and strong!
- I drink a lot more water. I don’t know if this is helping my hair, but its certainly helping my skin. Which I’m guessing is also helping my hair.
- I don’t wash every day. I never actually have, but now I’m more aware of it. I usually wash every other day. Sometimes every two days, depending on where I’m going and the weather.
- I try to buy shampoos that are good for your scalp. I had a really bad dandruff problem. Like really bad. And I had tried EVERYTHING. Nothing worked. I finally caved and bought Nizoral (retails for about $15 at Walgreens, which is A LOT for a tiny bottle of shampoo). But damn did it work. The beauty is you don’t need to use it every day, once a week works just fine. I also really like shampoos that are good for your hair (the Clear line is good and I love Mane & Tail) I’m 100% a person who isn’t going to spend $20 on a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. Although I’ve had fancy shampoos and they’ve worked great and I’ve loved them, my standbys work just as well. I’ve also had fancy shampoos that completely dried out my hair (and it was supposed to be moisturizing!) But finding one that works on your scalp, not just the hair is key to helping it stay healthy.
- I try to do a deep condition a few times a month. This is something I’m not very consistent with but I occassionally will get some deep conditioning masks in my Birchbox and will try to incorporate them at least once a month. I’m not good at doing it all the time though, I’m used to getting ready pretty quickly in the morning and that extra 5-10 minutes to sit with conditioner in my hair is seriously cutting into my coffee time. I actually have done a coconut oil treatment as well. It doesn’t sound as fancy as you think…its literally solid coconut oil…rubbed into your hair…and you sit with it for 30 minutes then wash it out. Its been awhile since I’ve done one, but a jar of coconut oil is cheaper than deep conditioning masks, smells great and lasts WAY longer.
My one goal for the next few months is to stop wearing it back completely wet. My typical hairstyle is to roll back my bangs and throw it in a low bun. But my hair is always wet, which can cause a lot of breakage and damage on my hair. And I’ve noticed it does, the hair at the base of my scalp is shorter when in reality if it were growing at the same pace, it wouldn’t be, it would in fact be much longer. The wet ponytails is hurting my growth. So I’m going to give washing my hair at night a shot, letting it air dry and seeing how that works for a few weeks.
I realized though that growing my hair out is going to take awhile…Even by the time I get to my sisters wedding in August its likely that it still won’t be as long as I’d like it. It’ll probably take another year for it to really be as long as I want it to be. But 3 inches every 3 months is pretty optimistic for my hair!
What other tips and techniques do you have for growing out healthy hair?