For those of us who have been rocking short or medium-length hair for quite some time, the desire to make your hair grow really long can be strong. Unfortunately, wanting long hair is not exactly as simple as just waiting a couple months and seeing what happens. The older we get, the more products we use, and the more heat-styling and coloring we subject our hair to can make it exponentially more difficult to achieve the length we want. There are few things as frustrating as wanting your hair to grow and have it move at a snail’s pace!
I’ve been trying to grow out my hair for a full year. It’s a few inches below my shoulders now, and I’ll be damned if it won’t be mid-back by the summertime. I want to live in braid crowns and high buns — and I don’t care what it takes to make it happen! I am also patiently waiting to see a master stylist who I believe will turn my hair into the beautiful mane I am truly meant to have. The problem is, I want to go lighter and that means risking damage that could result in needing to chop off a few inches.
Now, I’m no amateur here, I know that when you bleach your hair you usually have to also lose a couple inches. I just want to prepare for that inevitability by getting my hair as long as possible before my July appointment so that if heaven forbid I do lose an inch or two, it won’t be the end of the world.
To that end, I’ve been a maniac about growing out my hair — and if you want to grow your hair out, then you need to be one too! The most important thing you can do is take care of those ends. We get split ends as a result of dryness, excessive heat-styling, and being rough with our hair. So it’s insanely important that you take care to deep condition once a week, use heat protectant, avoid heat-styling whenever possible, and keep those ends hydrated every day. The healthier you can keep those ends, the longer you can go between hair trims, thereby ensuring the longest hair possible. And vitamins! But we’ll get to that a bit later.
Let’s take these steps one at a time.
Ideally, you are deep conditioning once or twice a week — either in the shower or before with a hair mask. You can definitely DIY a deep conditioner by using coconut oil or olive oil, but there are plenty of great deep conditioners and hair masks available for you to purchase, if you prefer going that route. I use the Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque twice a week after I wash my hair. I just leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes while I shave my legs, have a good cry, or just stand there in a daze. Not only is the smell absolutely divine, but it leaves my hair feeling extra soft without leaving any residual greasiness. Make sure that you especially work this baby into the ends of your hair.
Here are a few of my favorite hair masks and deep conditioners:
2Lush Damaged Hot Oil Treatment, $10.95
It seems like the beauty world just eternally keeps going back and forth on how much we should actually be shampooing our hair. For those with especially oily scalps, it might not even be a possibility to skip a day. But for those who feel they can skip a few days and only wash their hair two or three times a week, dry shampoo is a must-have. The thought process is, the less we shampoo our hair, the more our natural oils strengthen our hair and the less we damage our ends with heat-styling. Makes sense! But the thing about dry shampoo is, it’s extremely drying. Overuse it or use one of poor quality and you might as well be breaking your hair in two. So, the rules are: use a good dry shampoo, and use it sparingly. If you have bangs that get greased up nightly, consider just washing them in the sink in the mornings instead of spraying yourself every day. And when you do use dry shampoo, be sure to just apply it to the roots of your hair!
Here are just a couple of my favorite dry shampoos!
It goes without saying that the quickest way to destroy our hair is to use heat-styling, like blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. Nevertheless, I can’t quite seem to quit them, especially during the cold winter months. I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend all day in wet hair when it’s cold-as-hell outside! Not to mention the fact that the growing out process can at times be not pretty, and styling it is pretty much the only thing that makes it bearable. So, heat protectant is absolutely vital! It keeps your ends from splitting and helps them grown intact without leaving your hair feeling oily. Work it into the ends of your hair before blow-drying and styling for max protection. That said, try to keep the heat-styling to a minimum, and don’t have your irons on too hot!
Here are some of my must-have heat protectants!
1Lush R&B Hair Conditioner, $25.95
Now here’s where we get a bit ~ controversial ~ according to many who think vitamins don’t do anything. First things first, I am not a doctor, and you should def talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about adding to your vitamin regime. If you grow a third arm from between your eyeballs, I am not to be blamed! But there are many who truly believe in the power of vitamins. My thoughts on the matter are that as long as they don’t hurt you, why not throw them in the mix! I will admit that I’m wary of those hair gummies that we’re seeing being touted on Instagram, but from what I can see they’re really just combinations of what I’ve taken. Lots of women take prenatal vitamins, and I’ll admit that I’ve dabbled as well, but for the sake of not giving bad internet medical advice I’d say to steer clear unless you’re actually with child. My old standby are the following: Biotin, Turmeric, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin B12.
It is important to note that Biotin is a member of the B-complex family, so if you’re already taking one you don’t necessarily need to take the other! And your turmeric doesn’t need to come in pill form necessarily, if you’re a fan of golden milk tea, just drink a spoonful every night!