12 Tips For Growing Long, Healthy Hair

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12 tips for growing long healthy hair

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During my trip to New Zealand I observed a beautiful trend, girls with silky, waist length hair.  I’ve always been fond of long hair but this was longer than I’ve gone before.  At some point my hair seems to get split ends and lose it’s healthy appearance.

I’ve decided that I want to try to grow my hair out longer than I’ve gone before.  I’m not sure if I’ll make it to my waist but I’m going to give it a shot.  If I don’t like it I can always chop it off, right?

I still have an issue with getting split ends but this time I’m going to try some new techniques to hopefully keep my hair looking healthy, longer.  I already have decently long hair, somewhere past the middle of my back, so I probably only have about 5-6 inches to go.  

I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure how it will go but here are some of the techniques I’m experimenting with.  They seem to be working so far.

12 Tips for Growing Long, Healthy Hair

Condition Well
I go back and forth between different conditioners but I try to use decent name brands like Herbal Essence or L’Orial.  I use the products generously (not excessively) and I’m going to let them sit in my hair longer before I rinse it out so all of the goodness can have a chance to soak in.

Washing With Cold Water
This is something pretty new for me but I’ve read that washing or at least rinsing with cold water instead of hot will close the cuticles and give hair a shiny, more healthy appearance.  I’ve been doing this for the last couple of days and it really seems to be working!

Towel Dry Carefully 
Wet hair can very easily be stretched or broken, more so than dry hair.  I like to towel dry my hair after washing and I used to wrap my hair tightly in a towel, turban style.  I would squeeze it tight to wring out all of the water.  I still like to towel my hair but after learning about the possibility of stretching and damaging my hair I now do it much more gently.

Drying on the “Cold” Setting
Drying your hair with a blow dryer isn’t the greatest for your hair health.  This practice can easily dry out your hair making it more susceptible to breakage.  My hair is very flat and not terribly thick so I really like the body the blow dryer gives me (I also like to use volumizing shampoo).  I knew that heat was the biggest issue with blow drying so I made a compromise, I’ve started drying on the “cold” setting.  Yes, it takes longer but I feel like it’s safer and leaves my hair shinier.

Oil Treatments
There are many options when it come to oil treatments.  Some like to use olive oil, almond oil or vegetable oil but I’ve been liking coconut oil.  You can read about all of the benefits and steps to using coconut oil on your hair here.  I love the shine, the nourishing qualities and the growth stimulation.

Hair Skin & Nail Vitamins 
I like to use hair, skin and nail vitamins to help my hair grow faster.  This really works well for me.  My hair grows twice as fast!  Just make sure the vitamins you choose don’t have any negative side effects.

Brushing With a Pick
Hair is a delicate thing and harsh brushing with a traditional brush can damage it greatly.  I like to use a wide tooth pick to gently comb and detangle my hair.  This has cut down on a lot of breakage for me.

Using Heat Sparingly
I have pretty straight hair after it’s combed and dried so occasionally I like to give myself a new look by adding curls.  Heat from a curling iron can be harsh on hair. The heat can dry out or even burn your hair if you aren’t carful.  I still curl on occasion but I try to do so sparingly, no more than once per week but I like to go longer than that if I can.  When I do curl I try to do it gently and quickly so my hair isn’t exposed to as much heat.  I’ve also been experimenting with more natural curling options like putting damp hair in a bun and letting it dry or just not combing or blow drying my hair (I’v found that I naturally have curl if I don’t brush it out).

Styling and UnStyling Gently
As I mentioned before hair is delicate and needs to be treated gently.  I try to take extra care when styling with hair scrunchies.  Using them can cause breakage especially when you take them out.  I do put my hair up in a ponytail at times but I try to style and take it down with great care.  Bobby pins are much more gentle and I opt for them over a hair tie nine out of ten times.

Message Your Scalp
Gently giving your scalp a daily message has been said to stimulate hair growth.  I’m not too sure if it works but I have tried it.  Just be careful not to be too rough.  Finger tips are better than fingernails for messaging.

Don’t Twirl
Ok, well this is one that I’m not very good at.  Hair twirling is kind of a habit for me I guess.  If you must twirl do so with care.  Don’t stretch your hair or pull pieces out.

Trims
If you are caring for your hair well and using some of the techniques above you probably wont need to trim your hair as often and that’s a good thing.  The point is to grow your hair long.  Sometimes you do need to go in for a trim though.  Split ends do happen even when you are trying to be careful.  Make sure you tell your hair dresser your plan to grow your hair long and that you only want you hair cut to get the split ends off.  Let her know that you want to leave as much length as possible.  That being said sometimes you do have to take a good chunk off if the splitting goes too high up.  The trick is to try to get a trim before the splits get bad so you can take only the minimum off your tress.

Well, that’s about all I can think of.  I’m still experimenting  and waiting to see how far I actually can grow my hair out.  I’m giving it a shot and hoping that by January I’ll be able to see a significant difference.

What about you?  Do you have long hair?  Do you want long hair?  Any other tips you could share with us?

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Comments

  1. You should try using a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate free and stuff like that. It will be better for your hair in the long run, instead of the chemical-laden ones like Herbal Essences and L’Oreal. That being said, those do feel wonderful on your hair (even if they’re not great for it). I don’t wash my ends to keep them from drying out too. Make sure you’re only washing the roots of your hair. Also, try using a microfiber towel, or a t-shirt. Those are gentle on your hair and won’t pull it. It’s part of the curly girl method (I have curly hair) but those will be good on straight hair too. And, if you’re able (I know some people get oily hair easily), go a day or two between washing. It will mean less styling, less chemicals, and less towel drying for your hair. Use a shower cap in the shower, and a sleep cap or a satin pillowcase at night. Less damage that way too.

  2. Great advice! I was just going to Google how to make my hair grow longer!

  3. I’ve heard that, also, about cool/cold water opening the cuticle and along with that that washing beforehand with hot water actually opens it, which is best for applying the conditioner – the purpose is to get the conditioner well into the cuticle and then close it inside. So you wash in hot and rinse in cool to accomplish that!
    I have long hair, a bit past my hips now. I’m blessed with really thick hair and I don’t “have” to worry about being as careful of my hair because it still manages to look decent at the ends even if I am rough on it and get breakages here and there but I really need to take better care of it because, regardless of how it appears, it could definitely be healthier and that would be even better, right? Pin curls are a great option, both for curl or for body, I’ve also read about curling your hair by wrapping it up in a stretchy headband… this doesn’t work for me because I have too much hair and the weight pulls it out before I even get to appreciate the curl but I was thinking that would be a great way to get curl/body without blow-drying.

  4. I had waist-length or almost that long for quite some time, and just recently cut it to my shoulder blades. It’s great fun. :D

    I wash my hair with baking soda and raw egg, alternately. I wash it before going to bed at night, and let it air dry as I sleep.

    I brush it gently with a boarhair brush, which distributes the natural oils, producing a ‘self made’ conditioner (since my hair is already rather oily, this works wonderfully!)

    I have not tried washing with cold water– I may start using lukewarm when I wash. So far my protocol seems to work! :D

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Ashley. My daughters and I have long hair, but my hair seems to fall out too quickly. I know that coloring does do damage, but I’ve had lots of gray hair since my early twenties, so I’ve had to color. We are definitely going to try the coconut oil treatment this weekend. Any suggestions on hair color treatments that aren’t so harsh, yet cover grays?

    • Jackie, I posted your question on the stay-at-home daughter Facebook page and this is the response I got: My stylist said you can make your own… walnuts, spices… would have to google it.

  6. Sheila Cristófano Johnson says:

    Dear Ashley,

    Good tips for growing hair. I was aware of all of them. This is a subject that I’m always trying to be updated, since I do have a long, thick and curly hair. Not easy to take care of it… :-(

    I’m going to give an advice that has helped me A LOT to keep the split ends away and also, give some hydration to your hair. Look for a leave-in according to the type of your hair. There are many of them!! I use one for long and damage hair. It helps my hair to not be dry and no split ends. I can’t leave without the leave-in.
    Wash your hair with the appropriate kind of shampoo to your hair. Before using the conditioner, use a towel to dry out the excess of the water. (I learnt in a beauty salon) then, you use the condionater from the half of your hair to the end. Use something to keep your hair up, with the condionater on it, while you finish taking your shower. This way, you ate going to give enough time to work. After taking your shower, take the excess of the condionater from your hair with cold water. (Just like you said) ;-)

    After brushing your hair, you can use the leave -in in your dry or still while humidity. You can choose ;-) You use it in your hair the same way the conditionater, from middle to end.
    Then, take some of the oil (probably two drops in your palm hand) and put it only in the ends of your hair.

    Every 15 days, use an specific hydration crime for your hair. Use it between the process of the shampoo and condionater, since the condionater is the one who is going to close the “cuticulas” (I don’t know how t say n English) of your hair!!

    I hope. Have helped somehow! ;-)
    I have a question please, what s the name of the vitamins you are taking to our nails and hair??

    Thank u for your post again!
    God bless you,
    Sheila.

  7. Well, one thing I can say is that long hair is BEAUTIFUL! I happen to love my almost waist length hair, and just this February made a promise to myself that I’ll never, ever let it be cut. What??? (you say) Well, I learned that if you take care of your hair it doesn’t need to be trimmed. I hardly ever shampoo my hair, and the thought of putting awful chemicals in my hair everyday is just about sickening. I ofen run coconut oil through my hair; it helps with split ends a good deal. One other comment mentioned spreading hair oil, and for long hair, its the best thing you can do.

  8. Great tips! If you guys would like some more, check out my friends blog. She has had a lot of posts about how to help thin hair lately, and also some general body and hair care using homemade soaps and stuff. She also has a etsy shop where she sells a lot of her things such as dry shampoo, lotion bars, and shampoo bars.

    http://thelivingoilsproject.com/

    This might not be a good link, but you can just copy and paste the URL.
    Here is her etsy shop as well. She just updated it!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLivingOilsProject?ref=l2-shopheader-name

  9. I am so happy to hear about all of these healthy hair tips everyone has been sharing! So many great ideas. I’m learning so many new things! Thank you all for sharing with us!

  10. Fun post, Ashley! :)

    I have a question, and a comment. First, which kind of coconut oil do you use in your hair? I’ve tried it before, and I initially used refined coconut oil, because it’s cheaper, but…..it stunk TERRIBLY. Really awful. The oil itself didn’t stink, but when it mixed with my hair, the odor was awful, and it was really hard to rinse out! Have you ever heard of that happening? I’ve thought of trying the organic unrefined oil….but I can’t stand the thought of having that smell in my hair again. :) :) Oh well. My hair is pretty well conditioned naturally, so I suppose I don’t really need the oil treatments, but I just thought I’d ask if you’ve heard of such a thing happening, because I’m really wondering why my hair reacted that way.

    Second, I thought I’d pass on a tip I learned recently, connected to drying your hair. I “towel-dry” my hair all the time, rather than blow drying, but regular towels are rough on your hair. They can actually cause friz. So….use a big old T-shirt! It works great. The knit fabric is so much smoother and gentler on your hair. One of the best hair tips I’ve ever tried. Cotton is really absorbent, too, so it dries my hair better with less squeezing.

    Have fun enjoying your hair as it gets longer and longer! :) :)

    • Hmmm…. That’s really strange. I’ve never heard of a reaction like that before. Did you google it? I don’t remember the brand I used (we are out right now) but it was something very inexpensive from the grocery store.

  11. I live in NZ. :) Although I’m not certain that having longer hair is a ‘trend’ as such.If it is, then it certainly has existed for a long while.
    I wash my hair with this soap (http://palmoilfreesoap.com), and occasionally with baking soda diluted with water and vinegar (also diluted with water.) I find that commercial hair products tend to trigger my dandruff, so as a family we stay away from them.
    I’ve never commented before, But I’ve been back and forth a few times over the years (?)

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