When I look back at how I used to treat my hair, I cringe. Frying it with flat irons, using curling irons every single day, never deep conditioning it and using the cheapest hair products I could find was my MO for achieving a head of lacklustre hair.
I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t really care to research good hair care either. When my hair started breaking and half of it was inches shorter than the rest, I knew I needed to make a change.
Now, I could have done “The Big Chop”, but I was too chicken to even out my hair into what I thought would have looked like a hideous bowl cut. Buckling down one Saturday afternoon with my best friends Google and YouTube, I started learning about how to take care of my hair. I also sat with my hairstylist Gloria and picked her brain for the best tips I could apply for growing a mane I could be proud of.
After much trial and error, I’ve found a few tips that really work for me that boosted my hair’s growth, increased shine and doubled its thickness. Read on to see how to speed up your hair’s health!
How To Grow Long Hair
Figure Out What You Are Doing Wrong
Have you been wearing your hair in a bun in the exact same place every single day for the past three years? Do you never condition your hair? Have you never gotten a trim? These are all conducive to making your hair look like Harry’s from Dumb and Dumber. Pinpointing the problem is the first step towards achieving babe hair.
That perma-bun is breaking your hair in the same spot leading to stunted growth due to broken ends. Your hair needs moisture, so use a conditioner each time you wash. It makes your hair more manageable and soft. Trimming your hair is a must. It’s the only way to get rid of split ends which lead to breakage…which leads to unevenness, dullness and thin hair.
Your genetics dictate whether your hair will be lush and gorgeous, or thin and a little mousy. They also control how long your hair will get. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t achieve “Pantene Hair”. And don’t pine after celebrity hair either. Almost all celebrities wear extensions to thicken and lengthen their hair.
Joico’s Moisture Recovery Line has been a favourite of mine forever. The minute I started using this suite of products, my hair recovered from the torture I was putting it through. The Moisture Recovery Shampoo is thick, rich and loaded with moisturizers. When I use this shampoo, it doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and dry.
The conditioner is the best detangler I’ve ever used. I simply coat my hair with the conditioner, leave on for about five minutes, and my hair is so easy to comb out. This leads to minimal manipulation which is key to preventing breakage.
I believe that you get what you pay for. Not always – but most times. If you want healthy hair, it pays to research which products will work best for you and invest in them. A $2 bottle of shampoo from the dollar store probably won’t contain the moisturizers, proteins and topnotch ingredients that will promote hair health.
If the products you want are out of your budget, do some research on the internet to find similar ones containing the same ingredients for less money.
Massaging your scalp on a daily basis not only feels amazing, it boosts blood circulation which in turn speeds up hair growth a little!
I can’t stress this enough – deep conditioner is your best friend. If you colour your hair, relax it, perm it, flat iron it…you name it, you are sucking the moisture out of your hair. Dry hair leads to breakage and shedding, therefore making it really hard to grow.
I knew a girl who had the thickest, shiny blond hair. She began bleaching the life out of it and within a year, she lost all of her length. Once she found a deep conditioner that worked for her – and stopped bleaching the life out of her hair – her hair bounced back.
Once a week, treat your hair to a good deep conditioning treatment. I use Joico’s Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm. It’s thick and rich, and leaves my hair super soft and shiny.
I leave it on my hair for about half an hour after washing then rinse out with lukewarm water. I’m left with hair that is so soft and manageable, that tangles are non-existent.
As this balm is very thick, I would say it is more suitable for those with hair on the thicker side. It is particularly great for those with thick and coarse hair.
Getting rid of split ends is the best way to get your hair healthy and see growth. I see many people who never trim their hair. Half of them cannot grow it to the length they want, and the other half have long hair that looks ratty.
Do yourself a favour and have your ends trimmed and even out your hair as best you can. Start treating it with care if you want to see positive results. Remember, your hair growths about half an inch monthly. If it isn’t growing, that means half an inch is breaking off each month. Ouch.
Get A Wide-Tooth Comb
Do yourself a favour and get a wide-tooth comb. They are so much more gentle on hair than fine-toothed combs and do a better job at detangling, especially if you have black hair. You can get them anywhere and they are a must if you detangle your hair while wet (be gentle on your hair if you detangle in the shower).
Give The Heat Tools A Break
This is probably one of my top tips to help you grow your hair. Give the heat tools a break. Turn them off. Put them down. Tuck them away. Embrace air-drying your hair. You don’t need pin-straight flat-ironed hair. Gorgeous beachy waves on a daily basis if you aren’t a surfer? NO.
Applying direct heat to your hair saps the life out of it. It promotes dryness, increases split ends and speeds up breakage. Trust. And if you can’t quit the heat tools…
Use A Heat Protectant Spray
Heat protectants coat your hair with *usually* a silicone-based product to reduce the amount of damage caused by heat styling. They work by lowering heat conduction and reducing water absorption. Remember – they don’t completely protect your hair from heat damage. Also remember that silicones aren’t great for your hair in the long run either. They eventually coat your hair leading to dryness, so remember to use a good clarifying shampoo once a month.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
If your ends are dry, rub a little almond oil, coconut oil or some other moisturizer into them nightly. It will condition your ends and reduce breakage greatly!
Stop Twirling Your Hair
It was cute when you were five years old. Stop it. It’s breaking your hair!
Buy yourself a satin pillowcase. It reduces the friction and won’t suck all of the moisture out of your hair like a cotton pillowcase will. They also feel like a dream. My hair looks shinier too after using satin pillowcases because it isn’t sucking the life out of my hair. I love mine.
I hope these tips help you. Got any more to share? Please do so in the comments or email me!
*A huge thank you to Joico for making my day and sending me this box of goodies to test out!