If there’s one thing I feel like I’ve earned, it’s the right to tell you how to grow your hair out. Over the years, I’ve taken my fair share of tours around the vicious hair cycle. You know, the one where you get tired of your long hair and crave change, so you make the rash decision to drastically chop those beloved inches off. You love it and feel like a brand-new person for all of three days before regretting everything and frantically scouring the internet for cures and hacks to miraculously grow those luscious locks back. I’ve owned wigs, I’ve spent hundreds on clip-in extensions, I’ve familiarized myself with every DIY hair mask recipe under the sun, but never saw the results I wanted.
Over the last year, I have worked hard at transforming my hair. It became about more than just length. Before I started taking haircare seriously, my strands were thin, brittle, and dull.
I’ve compiled a list of all the things I’ve done to grow and transform my hair in a little over a year and a half, and the products I can’t live without. Of course, every hair type and texture are different, and you can modify these tips to suit your needs. This is just what has worked for me, and what could do the trick for you if you’re patient and committed.
DRINK MORE WATER
I can’t stress this one enough. It seems to be the first on every self-help list literally ever. Whether it’s for weight loss, clearer skin, and yes even longer hair, drinking more water will do wonders for your mood, your digestion and will quite literally clear you up from the inside out. I’d be willing to put a large sum of money down on the fact that you’re not drinking enough water. I’m confident in this because I know I wasn’t. Treat yourself to a trendy water bottle, add a squeeze of citrus or sprig of mint and sip away. A general rule of thumb is to aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water on any given day.
P.S. Your 3 daily coffees or endless green teas don’t actually count as water. Caffeinated beverages are dehydrating to the body and its cells.
HOLD THE HEAT
Trust me. I was addicted to the blow dryer and straightener too. On a typical night out, I would blow dry my hair right out of the shower, then I would straighten it (to get the frizz out) and then I would curl it. The thought of frying my hair three times in one sitting makes the fur on my arms stand up now.
My biggest tip? Get to know your natural hair texture and stop fighting with it. Embrace your curls, your frizz, or your pin-straight strands. There are tons of useful links and videos out there to guide you in the right direction depending on your particular hair type and texture. Check THIS one out by Brad Mondo to get started.
For me personally, French braids became my very best friend. I sleep in some form of braid every night. Not only is this a heatless way for me to get the same beachy waves I used to weld into my hair with an iron, but it also prevents breakage and tearage throughout the night for all my fellow tossers and turners.
QUIT THE COMB
I don’t know about you, but if I so much as look at water, my hair gets tangled. For years I battled with my wet hair. I tried different brushes and detangling sprays, but nothing was truly able to combat my relentless knots. My solution to post-shower brushing? Don’t. If you have hair that is particularly prone to tangles and snags, let your hair air dry, and don’t brush through it when it's wet. Plan your schedule accordingly and give yourself enough time to shower and let your hair dry before you have to head off to work or go to bed. This is probably what caused the biggest change in my hair. You would be shocked at the amount of damage and breakage caused by brushing through it when it’s wet.
If life doesn’t permit you to let your hair air dry completely before brushing through it, make sure you stock up on detangler (the kid’s one works best) and a hairbrush that is specifically designed for wet hair. THIS one’s my favorite.
This might feel counterintuitive but hear me out. Even if you never brush your hair when it’s wet or use heat to style it, your hair will inevitably break and face some daily wear and tear. If you don’t maintain this by getting regular trims, your hair will continue to break and split all the way up the shaft of the hair until it inevitably breaks off. No matter how much your hair grows at the root, if it breaks off at the end, you won’t see results. Hairdressers suggest getting at least an inch trimmed every four months. If the chop freaks you out, try booking micro trims every 4 to 6 weeks instead to remove any unwanted split ends.
TRY A SERUM OR MULTIVITAMIN
I recommend some form of vitamin to everyone because nowadays it’s tricky to get in all our daily requirements. I take a daily multivitamin, but you could also look into Biotin and other hair, skin, and nail supplements.
You might also want to add a serum or leave-in conditioner to your routine. If you’re anything like me, you may have skipped over these products in the past for fear they would break the bank. I love The Ordinary’s multi-peptide serum for hair density because it runs for 18$ and doesn’t leave a greasy finish in my hair.
When it comes to leave-in conditioner, I absolutely cannot live without Marc Anthony’s GROW LONG leave-in conditioner. I add a few pumps of this to my hands and run it through the ends of my hair as I get out of the shower.
If I can send you off with one final tip, it is to be patient. Hair growth is a slow and steady process. But if you stay steady with it, and implement some of the above tips into your routine, I can guarantee you will only love the results. Let us know which tips you decide to try in the comments!