i’m obsessed with long hair. if i think about cutting mine, my soul gets a little sad. if see a girl with long, luscious locks, i get Serious hair envy. creepy? sure, i guess… but who can’t resist long, beautiful hair?! here’s my take on getting those long, strong locks you’ve always wanted :) i grew mine from shoulder/collarbone length (what’s the correct term for that length anyway?) to below the middle of my back in about a year and i never want to cut it! haha. i’m a fan of concise lists, rather than long paragraphs, so here goes my do’s and don’t’s: (dont’s…do not’s…)
- wash your hair every day. this is a biggie! you’re stripping your hair of its moisturizing oils.
- brush your hair while wet. this is so so so bad for it! it strains it and can lead to breakage. please stop!
- use a blowdryer. i know it’s a hard habit to break, but you’re killing your hair. stop it right now.
- use hair dye. permanent, demi, whatever. please stop. you’re doing irreversible damage.
- use a straightener or curling iron every day. or most days. only use them on occasion, and protect your hair when you do! try using a natural heat protectant.
- dry your hair with a towel.
- neglect getting your hair cut. you don’t need to trim it every month or “x” weeks, but you do need to trim when you have split ends. they WILL continue to split and your hair will not be pretty nor will it be long and strong.
- pull your hair back into a tight ponytail or bun every day. this will cause breakage! and NEVER use rubber bands! eesh!
- *if you can, drop traditional shampoo, conditioner, and styling products all together. your hair doesn’t need to be coated in chemicals to be pretty!! i’m this way with my hair and i don’t even need conditioner or styling products anymore. you’d be surprised at what your hair can do/looks like when there aren’t chemicals clinging to it! check out all my natural hair posts Here
- let your hair air dry.
- wash your hair somewhere between every other day to every 4 days. but please still shower. i do it every 4.
- take biotin (and fish oil) supplements. it’ll strengthen your hair and nails. not to mention help with adding moisture and shine!
- use coconut oil hair masks at least every other week. i can’t express to you how wonderful these natural masks are for your hair! check it out here. and i’ll just lay a fun fact on you. i’m convinced my hair grows faster with coconut oil. maybe i’m just psyching myself out. but man, my armpit hair sure does (since i’ve switched to homemade deo)!
- tame fly-aways and nourish your dry ends with argan oil. that stuff is liquid gold! you can use coconut oil, too! just be careful with the amount you use. it takes very, very little to get the job done! check it out here.
- use a wide-toothed comb instead of a bristle brush. it’ll catch and pull your hair less and lead to way less breakage and damage. here’s the proper way to brush your hair!
- massage your scalp about 5 minutes a day to promote growth. (ohh, hubby??)
- abandon store-bought shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products. this is an extreme step, but please at least give it a try. you can check out how i dropped all chemicals here and here. and here’s a natural shampoo that’s great for ALL hair types!
- drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and exercise. you gotta keep your hair healthy from the inside out! i fully support a plant-based diet!
(biotin & fish oil. look at those horse pills! they’re worth it though!)
ways to “get around” the do NOTs:
- if your hair is oily and you feel like you have to wash it every day, there is hope! it’s about a week to two week process but you can train your hair to produce less oil. (i talk about it here & here. )i’ve completely dropped store-bought shampoo and conditioner and have switched to using either an all-organic shampoo (that i still heavily dilute), or baking soda/vinegar routine (check out my posts under the “hair” tab). i’ve been doing it this way for over 8 months and i can honestly, cross my heart, tell you that i will never go back to putting chemicals on my hair ever again!
- if you need to blow dry your hair, only do it half way and protect it with some sort of heat protectant.
- instead of using a towel to dry your hair, invest in a turbie twist or just lightly squeeze out excess water from root to tip, and let drip dry. you can also put your hair up in a pair of (clean) boxers to lessen the roughage if you can’t get a turbie twist and also don’t want your hair dripping all over you
- if you need to pull your hair back, try using bobby pins or a big clip that will hold it back, but with less damage potential. maybe even a loose braid will do!
- if you need to curl your hair, look up heatless ways to do so. i have a couple on this blog, with my favorite here. check out youtube, too!
- if you need to straighten your hair, you’re either going to have to save it for those few and far between days or just suck it up and do without. lol
- if you need to dye your hair, try natural alternatives… tea, black walnut hulls.. do your research! your hair will thank you in non-breakage and non-dryness. check out my post on dying with black walnuts.
(it’s dark because it was past 3am, but proof that you don’t need product or heat to have all day curls!)
overall: if you’re growing your hair out longer and stronger after being curled, dyed, straightened, teased, etc., every day or close to it, these techniques will help your hair, but your hair will have to grow out to get rid of the existing damage. there’s just no way around that. i wish there was! the amount of time your hair takes to grow depends on a lot of things, so BE PATIENT! i know it’s hard! my family’s hair grows like crazy, so i got lucky in the genetics department. but it also depends on what you’re putting into your body, how you’re treating your hair, and past damage. remember that your hair’s part of a living thing…YOU. treat it as such :)
i get asked this a LOT, so here’s the deal: UNREFINED vs REFINED COCONUT OIL:
refined CO has been through bleaching & high heat processes and also can sometimes have lye added to it or be hydrogenated, making it a trans fat. while it might make your hair feel softer, you’re not actually giving your hair anywhere the same benefits you would from unrefined. & you definitely do NOT want to eat that one! unrefined is the purest form with the most health benefits (and the kind that can be eaten!). your hair will thank you :)