If you want to know how to grow your hair long, you’ll find the best tips for growing long hair fast as possible below but just because you succeed in growing your hair doesn’t mean that it will improve your looks. You also need to make sure
- that your long hair is healthy and has a glossy shiny look. Our tips will help with this.
- that the length and style of long hair you choose suits your face and proportions. Long hair does not look good on everyone. Does it suit you? Check out Long Hair vs Short Hair : Should You Grow Your Hair Long? if you’re not sure.
Of course, if you want long hair in no time at all like a few days or weeks for a special occasion like a wedding, prom or ball, there’s no way to grow your own hair as fast as that, but you can easily achieve a long hair style with hair extensions, and they are a great way to see if you like how long hair looks on you, how it feels and how many admiring glances you get.
50 Essential Tips for Beautiful Long Hair Fast
Hair grows all by itself as a rule whether you want it to or not. For most of us, it will grow around half an inch a month, slightly faster in the summer.
Many say that it is impossible to change that and you just have to have patience and wait for your hair to grow.
But there are many things you can do that can affect your hair and how long it grows.
- First of all, there are steps you can take to avoid damaging your hair. If you think about it your hair will be around several years and if you damage it, you either have to cut it to make it look good or the damage is going to be there to see for a long time. These steps will also maintain moisture in the hair and prevent your hair splitting and breaking off prematurely so that it can achieve a good length.
- There are also lots of things you can do to promote healthy growth which will also make your hair more beautiful and stronger as it grows.
- Finally there are the finishing touches which will give your long hair the edge and make it look perfect
Everything you need to do to have beautiful long hair is under your control! So here you go….
Treat Wet Hair Carefully
Hair is very fragile when wet and long hair can be easily stretched making it more prone to breaking off. Squeeze the excess water gently out of your hair after washing (don’t wring it!), blot it dry as well as you can by wrapping in a towel, turban style, then use a wide toothed comb to comb it. This is easier if you have used conditioner on your hair and you’ll have fewer tangles and less breakage. Never brush your hair when it is wet.
Wash Regularly but Not Too Often
Washing strips away the natural oils and can irritate the scalp. If you shower more than once a day avoid wetting your hair by using a shower cap. You don’t even have to wash your hair every day if it is clean and looks good. However styling products and even natural oil can attract dirt and dust and take away the shine so don’t leave it much longer than every other day unless you have dry hair. If your hair gets so long that it is a burden to wash it as regularly as it needs then it is definitely too long. Long dirty hair never made anyone beautiful.
|Long Shiny Hair Secrets
Hair is made from 97% dead protein and 3% moisture. Your general condition affects the condition of that protein a huge amount. If you’re not well nourished for example the nutrients are used elsewhere and your hair will be in very poor condition. Ditto if you’re ill or tired or stressed.
The dead protein, called keratin is extruded from hair follicles at the rate of half an inch a month or so. The hair shaft or cuticle when seen under the microscope looks like the scales of a fish. If the “scales” all lie in the same direction the hair is smooth and shiny but it doesn’t take much to ruffle them up and leave your hair looking dull.
Follow the tips to keep your cuticles smooth and have long shiny hair!
Avoid Hair Dryers if You Can
Using a hair dryer or other heated styling products can damage your hair by roughening up the cuticles. In shiny hair the cuticles lie flat and give a smoother surface to the hair which reflects the light. Regular drying can cause the cuticles to be permanently raised and they can peel and break affecting the condition of your hair. As long hair can be many years old by the time it reaches full length, the damage caused by daily drying with a hot dryer can really take its toll.
Air dry if you can. If not, let your hair dry naturally as long as possible before finishing off with a dryer on the lowest setting. Aim for at least 80% dry before you begin. Keep the dryer moving over the hair and hold it a good distance away for best results. Drying too fast ruffles hair and cuticles and you’re unlikely to get a shiny finish.
Point the Dryer Downwards
If you blow dry down the length of the hair you will get a smoother shinier finish than blowing hair upwards which tends to leave the cuticles ruffled as well as lot of “ends” sticking out. Remember smoother cuticles are less damage prone.
Avoid Towel Drying
Wrapping your hair in a towel turban style is good to get rid of excess moisture before you dry it, but rubbing your hair with a towel is going to damage it even if it will get your hair to dry more quickly. That will only ruffle up the cuticles that you want to stay smooth.
Finish Drying with Cold Air
If you are drying your hair with a dryer, finish on the cool air setting to smooth down cuticles and give a shinier finish to your hair.
Trim Away Damage
The ends of your hair are the oldest part and are the most susceptible to damage which can then travel up the hair to affect more and more of it. I don’t think I have seen a split end since I started having my hair cut regularly but as a teenager I had waist length hair and could spot them all over the place.
Have your hair trimmed whenever you need to (probably every few months) to remove any damage. If you do this as soon as any damage occurs, it should not be necessary to remove more than a quarter to half an inch or so each time. If you find split ends, then damage has already occurred. You can remove them one by one but you’ll not find them all. It’s time for a trim.
Of course, you’ll get to your finished length more slowly if you have your hair trimmed regularly but you’ll still get there and you will have beautiful long hair instead of a damaged mop.
If you want to maintain the length of your hair rather than grow it, then have it trimmed every 6 weeks or so to keep it in the best condition.
Use Sharp Scissors
If you trim your own hair, use a sharp pair of hairdressing scissors which you keep only for that purpose.
Use Mild Shampoo
Choose a gentle cleansing shampoo rather than one that is highly perfumed or with a lot of harsh oil stripping chemicals.
Wash in Warm not Hot Water
Avoid using very hot water on your hair to keep cuticles smooth but rinse your hair with water that is as cold as you can take. That’s easier if you are washing you hair over a sink than it is in the shower, but even if you only make the last 10 seconds very cold water it will help your hair shine. (And it will wake you up!)
Use Plenty of Water Before You Shampoo
Wet your hair and dilute the shampoo with water before adding it to your hair. You need less shampoo (read fewer damaging chemicals) if you make you hair thoroughly wet so don’t skimp on water. Add the shampoo only to your scalp and work it through there then work the lather through to the ends of your hair without piling it on top of your head.
Change Your Shampoo Often
You may have a favorite shampoo but it is not a good idea to constantly use the same one. This can cause a residue of particular chemicals to build up in the hair damaging it and making it dull and lifeless. Rotate your brand ever couple of weeks to prevent this. You often find new favorites that do great things for your hair in this way too.
Use a Detox Shampoo Once a Month
If you use styling products, use a detox or clarifying shampoo every month or so as these are specifically designed to remove build up of products which can cause damage to your hair. Alternatively rinse in a mixture of cider vinegar and water. Try Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo by Aveda or Neutrogena Anti-Residue Formula Shampoo.
Condition Your Hair
Conditioner smooths the outer cuticles and also seals them to help protect the hair from the damage of combs, brushes, heat and styling products as well as environmental damage. Just apply to the length of the hair after squeezing dry and avoid the scalp if your hair is fine or oily. Leave on for at least two minutes before rinsing off. I like to comb the conditioner through my hair using a wide tooth comb to make sure it reaches every strand. Consider using a special leave in conditioner if your hair is very dry.
Don’t Use Too Much Shampoo
A small blob (about a desert spoonful) is enough chemical to be adding to your hair and unless your hair is excessively dirty you don’t need to rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat is designed by shampoo manufacturers to get us to use more product and hair dressers do it because it’s expected and they can’t exactly shampoo the dirty heads twice and the others only once!
Just like a glossy coat is a sign of a healthy dog, your inner health is important to your hair. You need to feed you hair from within with a healthy diet including plenty of vitamins and minerals. Also, don’t choose a very low fat diet as you need essential fatty acids found in things like nuts, seeds and oily fish to make your hair shine. In fact any fad diet is bad for your hair as an imbalance in nutrients is bound to affect it.
Stress can cause huge problems for hair even making it fall out in extreme cases. The problem is that you conserve vital nutrients to cope with any stresses on the body and your hair and scalp will feel that neglect. The more you can relax the better it will be for your hair. Try yoga, meditation or relaxation classes.
Yoga for Hair
Actually yoga can help in another way other than by helping you to relax. Many of the exercises involve inverted postures where you bend forward or back. This improves the blood supply to your head, scalp and hair. There’s one movement I do regularly which further enhances the blood supply to the scalp, a movement just for the hair. It is called scalp tugs. Grasp your hair in your hands between your fingers holding it very close to the roots and tug your scalp gently but firmly forward and back to improve circulation. Do this a few times at the front of your hair near the temples, on the crown of your head and at the back of your hair every day.
Choose Shampoo To Suit Your Scalp
Choose a shampoo to suit the condition of your scalp if it tends to be either on the dry or the oily side to keep it healthy. You can then choose your conditioner to suit your hair and keep both scalp and hair happy. It’s best not to use an all in one shampoo and conditioner product especially if your hair is on the thin side or your scalp is oily as your scalp does not need conditioner and this can cause your hair to go limp. Use a conditioner on the ends of your hair only if necessary.
Spend Two Minutes Shampooing Your Hair
Unless you spend a couple of minutes massaging the shampoo into your hair and scalp you are wasting the benefits of a good shampoo. For even more benefit try to combine this with a scalp massage. See point 30 below.
Make sure that you rinse your hair until the water runs clear as residues of shampoo or conditioner are a common reason for dull hair. This will take about FOUR minutes with long hair – no less. Don’t wash and rinse your hair in the bath. You’ll never get it properly rinsed. Always use a hand shower spray to rinse your hair if you take a bath rather than a shower.
Give a Hot Oil Treatment Once a Week
Warm a small cup of almond or jojoba oil by placing the cup in hot water. Comb the oil through your dry hair (not the scalp) and leave for five minutes before washing and conditioning as usual to boost the condition of your hair. Or massage a teaspoonful of coconut oil into your palms and run it through your hair and leave overnight before washing the next day.
Use an Intensive Conditioner Once a Month
This will help replace some of the moisture your hair loses in styling and day to day living. Unless your scalp is oily your hair will really benefit from a hair mask as an occasional treat. Apply generously, comb through and relax for the time required while it works its magic. Here are some good ones to try.
- Redken All Soft Heavy Cream
- Phytologie Phytokarite Hair mask
- L’Oreal Serie Expert Intense Repair Mask
Use the Right Brush and Comb
Natural bristle brushes can make long hair static and fly away. A purpose made styling brush like the Denman classic styling brush is best for styling or use a paddle brush such as the one by Aveda if you just want to brush and smooth your long hair. Brushing can be therapeutic and it also helps stimulate circulation and feed natural oil through the hair as well as remove loose hairs. You definitely don’t need to brush it 100 strokes a night though as girls used to be taught.
A wide toothed comb is great for grooming hair at regular intervals throughout the day to avoid knots and tangles building up. Choose a smooth molded comb without any sharp seams which can damage hair.
Keep Combs and Brushes Clean
You should wash combs and brushes as often as you wash your hair otherwise you are adding dirt or product residue to clean hair which will reduce shine. At least make sure that you do this once a week as a minimum.
If you use a silicone serum styling product it can boost the shine on long hair enormously. You can add the serum to dry or towel dry hair but use just a few drops otherwise you risk making the hair look oily, heavy and limp – not the effect you want at all.
|Going From Short to Long Hair
Growing out a short hair style is the worst thing about achieving long hair especially if your hair was cut into layers. You almost just have to get through those days and come out the other side. Your friend will be a packet of hair pins or kirby grips which can hold back the layers when you don’t want them to layer any more. It won’t be an elegant look for a while but it will keep you from going mad with hair all over the place while your hair grows.
If you want your hair to be shiny avoid having layers cut into it. The exception to this is where you having shaping cut around your face to make a long hair style suit you.
Deal with a Problem Scalp
If you have an itchy or scaly scalp see a trichologist (a doctor for hair) who can diagnose the problem. You can make your condition worse by treating it yourself. First of all though make sure that you are washing and rinsing your hair properly because not rinsing thoroughly enough is the prime cause of an itchy scalp.
Protect Your Hair from the Sun
Wear a hat in the sun so that your hair is protected from the damaging effect of both heat and UV rays. If you are doing a lot of swimming then comb UV protection through your hair to avoid damage and drying out your hair. If you are going to dip into a chlorine pool or the sea, tie your hair up out of the way. A bathing cap would actually be better, but I’d never be seen dead in one of those and prefer to keep my head out of the water in my “elegant” swimming style. My family finds it funny that I don’t want to get my hair wet when I’m swimming but I know my hair thanks me for it LOL.
Scalp Friction Massage
As an alternative to the “Hair tugs” yoga movement (see point 18 “Yoga for hair” above) you can massage your scalp. You can do this daily while you are applying shampoo and you will be amazed at the change this will bring to the condition of your hair – particularly important for long hair you are going to live with for a long time.
To do a scalp friction massage, place you fingers over the crown of your head and rotate in small circles applying a little light pressure to the scalp as you massage. Move your fingers down the back of your head massaging in each position every inch or so until you reach the nape of your neck then move round to do each side of your head making sure that you cover all your scalp inch by inch.
Sleep With Loose Hair
Never sleep with hair clipped or tied as you can damage and weaken the hair that way. If you toss and turn a lot in your sleep you may need to braid it loosely to prevent tangles but leave it loose if you can.
Use a Silk Pillow Slip
Smooth silk or satin avoids ruffling up the hair shaft and leaves your hair in better condition. (Good for preventing wrinkles too).
Supplements for Healthy Hair
If you have been ill or your diet has been a bit lacking in nutrients you can try taking supplements of Vitamin B, essential fatty acids (in the form of linseed oil, fish oil and gamma-linolenic acid), antioxidants (vitamins C and E and beta-carotene) plus minerals selenium and zinc.
You can find supplements for healthy hair which contain these substances in one formula but if you are already taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement you don’t need to take more.
Add Body With Large Rollers
If you want to add extra body to long hair, put in one or three large rollers at the crown of your head while you dry your hair and do your makeup.
For Gentle Curls
Learn the ancient art of tying your hair in rags for a gentle way of curling your hair into ringlets. When you take out the rags you can leave the ringlets as they are or comb them out a bit for softer curls or waves.
If You Have Frizzy Hair
Long frizzy hair can be difficult to deal with but growing your hair long can help you add weight and keep it under control. This type of hair can look good piled casually on your head once it has some length to it.
You can make your hair smoother with serum (try John Frieda Frizz-Ease Serum) as long as you don’t add too much. Use the tiniest bit at a time (dime or euro cent sized amount) starting at the back and working forward so you never overload the hair at the front. Aim to coat every strand while your hair is still damp without overdoing it. Leave in conditioner is a good alternative to this.
Avoid blow drying your hair if you can but you may find that hair straighteners or curling irons (to create smooth curls rather than frizz) no matter how damaging they are might be just what you need to make your hair look sensational.
Protect Hair After Coloring
Long hair benefits from color just as much as any other style – in fact you have more hair so you had better get your color right! That does not mean that you have to color your hair, if your natural color suits you.
Just remember color treatments can affect the condition of your hair. You should avoid peroxide or ammonia based colorants as they can leave hair in a weak brittle state although it will look fine when first treated.
Some colorants are beneficial, however, such as those based on henna and they can help the condition of your hair. Even the semi permanent color my hairdresser uses on me gives my hair a wonderful shine and it makes the hair feel thicker too as well as covering up the touches of gray I have. Whatever you use though, if it has any kind of chemicals, it does affect the structure of the hair.
Choose shampoo and conditioner specifically for color treated hair to help counteract any damage and prevent washing out the color too quickly.
Home Hair Dye
Avoid dyeing your own long hair at home unless you are an expert and especially if you want to change the shade rather than enhancing your own natural color. It is too easy for novices to use a shade which is too dark and end up with a length of unnatural looking hair all in one shade when natural colored hair has a multitude of color tones in the individual strands.
Also long hair is more porous on the ends than at the roots and the ends will absorb more color so you have to take that into account when applying the color and leave it on the ends for the shortest time.
After the first attempt, you need to tailor the color application to where your hair needs it. The ends of your hair will retain some color while the roots will have grown out so you may only need to apply the color to the roots. All very complex.
I’d leave it to the professionals. It’s worth every penny to know that the color is good and hair doesn’t look dyed.
|The Enemies of Long Healthy Hair
Hair can be easily damaged by these villains if you are not careful
the list goes on and on…..
Gentle Hair Styles
Avoid wearing any style which pulls your hair so much it puts stress on the roots. I’m thinking here of a tight pony tail or braids. If you tie your hair back loosely it will do no damage and often look more elegant too. If you add tiny plaits into your hair especially dreadlock style, they are going to be difficult to undo and will cause some damage.
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
Any exercise which gets the blood pumping is going to improve your circulation and will ultimately benefit your hair.
Handle Knots and Tangles with Care
You are bound to come across knots or tangles now and again when you comb or brush your hair. Don’t force your way through them – you will hear your hair break! You have to sneak up on them from below, gently teasing them out a little bit at a time.
If you end up with tiny knots you can’t remove snip them with sharp scissors rather than tearing your hair. When combing or brushing start with the bottom few inches of your hair and comb out any tangles before moving up the hair to the next section and combing out from there to the ends before moving on again until you reach the scalp.
Avoid Getting Tangled Hair
Comb your hair frequently throughout the day so that tangles don’t get the chance to build up. Comb it before washing and before going to bed too.
Although it’s nice feeling the wind in your hair, avoid going out without a hat in windy conditions or driving in a convertible with the top down without your hair tied back. The same applies to any other activity where you hair might get blown around. It is the worst thing for tangles.
Be Careful With Hair Decorations
Prety looking decorations can do untold damage to your hair though there is nothing worse than a seemingly innocent looking rubber band for causing tearing and breakage of your precious strands of hair.
Choose special seam free elastic bands covered in fabric or scrunchies to tie back your hair without pulling. Check any decorations you are planning on using for sharp edges which might snag your hair and if any ornament pulls hair out or tears at your hair when you remove it, avoid wearing it again.
Take Care with Jewelry and Clothing
Also take care with jewelry which can snag at the back of your neck and jagged fingernails or sharp rings which can damage your hair particularly when shampooing. If you get a lot of snagging at the back of your neck although you are not wearing a necklace, it may be a blouse collar or label causing the problem.
Never tease or back comb your hair to add volume. This is asking for trouble/tangled hair and the process itself causes damage to your hair.
Pay attention to how various products work with your hair. Note what ingredients they contain so that you get an idea of what to look for or avoid in future. For instance, some hair will soak up silicone based products and look wonderful whereas it makes other kinds of hair look dull and limp. Some products may also contain ingredients which affect your eyes or skin adversely and of course you should avoid these.
Conditioner Only Wash
If your hair is not too dirty and especially if it feels a bit dry, wash it using conditioner only which is usually enough to “wash away” surface dirt and grime. Simply wet your hair thoroughly and then run conditioner through it then rinse thoroughly. You can do this once a week or so if it works well for your hair.
Avoid Perms and Relaxants
Perms and relaxants will break down the underlying structure of the hair and do more damage than anything. They leave hair weak when they grow out particularly at the point where the permed or relaxed hair starts.
Adapt Your Hair Routine through the Seasons
Hair changes throughout the year and often needs different handling in summer and winter. Perhaps you need to wash it more due to perspiration in hot summer weather and that can take it’s toll or maybe you go on vacation and your hair suffers from exposure to sand, sun and sea and so needs a more intensive conditioner. In winter, your hair may suffer dryness from central heating or tangles from the wind. Always be watching out for your hair and thinking about what you need to do to protect it.
Decide When Your Hair is Long Enough
You would think that hair grows so slowly that you have plenty of time to get used to longer hair but time passes faster than you think and before you know it you might have hair half way down your back or down to your waist. Every 6 months or so your hair might be three or so inches longer and so make a conscious effort to think about whether your hair is the right length for you and whether you should start to maintain your hair at that length.
The right length for you is
- the length you are happy with
- the length that is in proportion to your height
- the length that is easy for you to manage
- the length that allows you to create the hairstyles you want to create
- the length you can achieve while keeping your hair in prime condition
There will be a genetically determined maximum length you can grow your hair to. That is based on the growth cycle of your hair follicles but you are bound to reach the most flattering length well before you get to that point.