6 Things You Need to Do If You Want to Grow Your Hair Long
There are a lot of different tricks, ideas, and tips out there to grow your hair long and I'd be lying if I said I'd tried, well, really any of them. The fact of the matter is, most of us will find that our hair grows a certain way and at a certain speed for most of our lives, and there aren't a ton of things outside of hormonal changes that alter that.
What I have found is that the way you care for the hair on your head, however it ends up there, can make a huge difference in your ability to grow it long and strong.
My hair very nearly touched the top of my bum until a week ago (I chopped 8 inches and you better believe it's still long and healthy!) and to get it that long and healthy, I've picked up a trick or two - and had to change my whole hair routine.
Here's what I've learned, what you need to do, if you want to grow your hair long:
A few things that will help, and a few things you would otherwise have to learn the hard way ;-)
1. Make Hair Oil Your BFF
I don’t even want to think about who I’d be where my hair would be without discovering hair oil. It's a serious game changer, frankly, for long or not-so-long hair.
Not only is it amazing as a styling aid for adding a bit of definition, gloss, and sleekness to any look (straight, curled or wavy), but it’s heaven for sealing ends and eliminating, or at least reducing the intensity, of split ends.
I recommend playing with a few oils to find one that suits your type of hair best (you definitely don’t want it to make your hair feel heavy, or find that it’s not doing much) because there are quite a few options. There’s argan, coconut, jojoba, almond, moroccan, shea, and like a million more including every combination of these oils imaginable.
For straight, fine hair like mine, I highly recommend Moroccan or Argan and suggest staying away from coconut (it’s too heavy for fine hair).
This is the one I use most often because the price point is hard to beat, I love the light smell, and I swear it works.
Make sure to warm the oil up in your hands a little before applying, then pull through the bottom half of your head with a focus on the tips.
I do this after a wash when my hair is about halfway dry, after I’ve taken out a braid or used a curling iron to smooth and seal the cuticles, and many days just to keep things shining and smooth and healthy.
There’s no bad time for a little bit of hair oil. And a little does go a long way so don’t worry about using it up too quickly.
All photos in this post by Andy Nichols
2. Learn to wash less often
This might mean a different thing to you, but I'd say definitely no more than every second day and likely less. If I’m being real, since my hair started to get long, I dropped down to washing it twice, max 3 times a week, and it’s awesome.
Water and most shampoos are actually quite drying to hair and strip away your scalp’s oils, which are essential to healthy, happy hair.
Chances are when you wash, you style. And especially if you’re using heat to style, you’re damaging your hair every time. Even cutting this amount in half will make a difference.
Plus, as your hair gets longer, you’ll find that it’s a TON of work to wash and style, takes a million years to dry (see below, you’re gonna need to avoid heat), and uses a gallon of conditioner, which starts to add up 💰
3. Find no-heat styles you like
Refer to the points above. If you want to grow your hair super long, you need to keep it healthy. And we know the single worst thing you can do to your hair is style it with heat tools. Meaning you’re unlikely to continue doing a daily blow-dry if you truly want super-long locks.
I can't stress enough that the picture-perfect long and styled locks of Pinterest are a guaranteed rarity in real life - you'll never manage to keep that hair strong enough to stay long if you style it with heat every day.
Find a few no-heat styles you like the look of and get used to them ;-) I have a few styles that always get me 3 days of looks and I just rotate them! Let me know if you want a post on those!
4. Stop brushing your hair when it’s wet
This puts too much tension on just-weakened hair and can cause your hair to snap, pull, and break more easily. Plus, anytime you have more knots, the chances of getting broken and split ends increase.
Wait until your hair is about half dry, then pull some oil through with your fingers (I sometimes follow it with a bit of leave-in conditioner, too). Wait until your hair is at least 75% dry before you brush!
I highly recommend a super wide tooth comb like this one first, to get any tangles without snapping or breaking the hair, then follow with a wide bristled brush if you want more sleekness (and assuming you don't have quite curly hair you're trying to preserve).
5. Wrap your hair in a loose bun at night
Not only does long-ass hair get SUPER annoying when you're trying to sleep and roll over, but it also creates too much friction and can lead to more damage, dryness and breakage by leaving it down.
On the flip side, you definitely don't want to put it in a tight, skinny elastic all night.
Braids are an okay option, though not the best. I've found that winding your hair into a big loose, bun on TOP of your head, and securing it with a scrunchie or coil band to be the absolutely best way to keep your hair safe (and your sanity in tact) throughout the night.
As a bonus, this also preserves the longevity of most styles - from a full blowout, to loose waves, to sleek and straight - meaning you can style and wash less and still look great!
6. Satin (or silk, if you fancy) pillow cases are a must
I know, you think I'm being silly. But trust me when I tell you that for me, especially living in a drier clime, the difference when I switched from a basic cotton pillow case to a satin one was immediate and noticeable. Even taking into account that most nights my hair is in a loose bun, there were less gnatty, knotty bits at the back and overall.
Well worth a minimal investment if you're serious about growing your hair long.
To sum, growing your hair long is an investment of time and money. Where you might save in trips to the salon (I always find I can go longer between visits with long hair), you will pay in terms of upkeep and adjustments.
Is it worth it? I mean, I've had a super fun time having wild woman, long locks for a couple of years! But if you crave low-maintenance and super easy this probably isn't the route for you.
All that said, do all of these things, and you should have long(er) hair in no time!
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