How To: Grow Your Hair Faster, Longer, And Stronger

Woman with long hair
Eager to grow long, healthy locks? Consider these salon approved, pro-hair tips a must.

Long and flowing hair takes patience, upkeep, and effort. Aside from hair extensions, there’s no overnight way to achieve unbreakable, cascading locks. The good news is, if you’re ready to commit to the lengthy (and often arduous) process, there are tried and true things you can do to get your grow on.

First things first, prepare to wait it out. At most, our hair only grows about half an inch a month. For those with hair in less than great condition, it grows even slower than that. But if you’re serious about sending your hair in a better, more beautiful direction, it’s time to work towards reaching your hair goals in realistic ways.

Here are 13 hair hacks proven to add healthy, ongoing inches. Let’s grow, girl!

Make Trims Your New Best Friend

woman getting her dead ends trimmed off by a hairdresser

Avoiding a haircut is no way to grow your hair out. It might sound counterintuitive, but you need a trim every now and then, especially when you’re growing it out. Trims get rid of collective damage and keep your strands in tip-top shape. Without a routine trim, you’ll run into more and more split ends, which will cause your hair to start breaking off. In turn, your locks will never reach their full potential.

Haircare professionals suggest a trim (or even just a “baby trim”) every eight weeks or so. However, you may need to chop a little off more often or potentially less. Just keep an eye on the condition of your ends. And when it’s time for a trim, make sure your stylist knows you only want to take off the hair that absolutely must go, and no more!

Baby Your Hair During Bath Time

woman towel drying her hair

The more gentle you are with your locks during the hair-growth process, the more willing to grow your hair will be. One of the most important places to take extra special care of your hair is in the shower. It’s also one of the places we unwittingly do the most damage.

Start with an ultra-gentle, naturally based cleanser and always avoid products with SLS and SLES, parabens, and silicones. Putting harsh chemicals on your hair is basically hair growth sabotage. So check your shampoo and conditioner labels stat. Also, no matter how much you love a lava hot shower, your hair doesn’t feel the same. Piping hot water fries your follicles. Cooler water, on the other hand, helps your hair lock in moisture. So keep your hair washing and rinsing temperature lukewarm, and when it’s time to condition, switch to cool.

Stop Over-Cleansing

woman washing her hair in shower

Your hair and scalp could use a much-needed break from being stripped clean every day. So step away from the shampoo and give your hair a chance to produce some natural oils. If it’s going to grow healthily, it needs them.

Over-cleansing hair can lead to brittleness and constant breakage. If you notice your hair is the same length for months, you might be guilty of shampooing too often. If you feel like you just can’t go without washing your hair for long, try to cut back to every other day.

But Don’t Stop Conditioning

woman applying conditioner to hair

There’s no time like this haircare journey to treat yourself to a luxurious leave-in conditioner or a deep conditioning hair mask. If that sounds like too much maintenance, consider upgrading your typical conditioner instead.

When it comes to growing hair out, one of the most important things to do is add more moisture to plump up the hair shaft. Gradually, your hair’s elasticity and overall strength will improve. In turn, your chances for growing silky, long locks will go up significantly.

Part Ways With Your Old Hair Towel

woman wrapping hair in towel after shower

Who doesn’t love flipping their head over then flipping their head back to reveal their stylish, towel turban? I know I do. Sadly, this classic post-shower routine also involves repeatedly twisting, tightening, and rubbing our hair on fabric. And when our hair is wet, it’s at its most fragile. So no good can come of this little number.

Have you looked into microfiber hair towels? Those who’ve switched over have dubbed them a hair game changer. Towel or no towel, how we treat our wet hair is the main thing that has to change. Don’t rub it, ring it out, or do anything drastic. Blot it at most and whenever possible, just let it air dry.

Leave Your Hair Alone

portrait of fashionable red head with long hair standing in a cityscape

The fact is, most people touch their hair too often, present company included. But one of the best things we can do to improve the condition of our hair is to leave it alone as often as possible, starting right now. So let’s make a pact; hands off!

If you must brush it, go ahead. But do so gently and only once a day if possible. Repeated brushing is one of the fastest ways to create extra breakage. This also means it’s time to cut back on styling tools and products. That includes hair-drying, flat-ironing, curling, dyeing, teasing, and letting your hair soak up the sun. So put on a hat and leave your hair alone. The less you mess with it, the better condition your hair will soon be. You’ll see.

Embrace The Low Pony Tail (And a Scrunchie)

close up of low pony tail in scrunchy

The longer our hair becomes, the more often it gets in the way. But don’t worry. It’s okay to pull it back, just be careful. When you need to put your hair up, opt for the low ponytail. And avoid anything that pulls out your hair when you let your hair down.

High-tension styles cause damage and elastic hair ties cause breakage. Because our hair endures the most abuse during the detangling process, leave tangle-prone hair ties behind. A quality scrunchie or anti-breakage hair tie can provide an extra layer of protection with its additional fabric. And with the right low ponytail, scrunchies can be pretty cute.

Invest in a Silk Pillow Case

stack of silk pillow cases

Again, growing your hair will require next-level gentleness. To avoid unnecessary tangles and nightly damage caused by tossing and turning, invest in a silk pillowcase stat. Your hair won’t be the only part of you that benefits. Silk pillowcases are also good for your face.

Show Your Scalp Some Love

hand holding a scalp massager on yellow background

The only time you should have your hands all up in your hair (besides washing it) is when you’re giving your scalp a loving massage. “Scalp massage can boost mood and relieve the stress that has a negative impact on the hair-growth cycle,” per The Cut. And there are two common methods worth noting.

Effleurage (long, gliding strokes) and petrissage (kneading, rolling, and lifting the soft tissue) are popular massage methods that could seriously help your hair grow. If you’re looking for a little assistance, you could also invest in a scalp massager.

Here are the best scalp massagers for hair growth on the market, according to Shape.

Adjust Your Diet (And Try Supplements, if You Want)

woman with healthy hair surrounded by healthy food

Are you maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, and–your hair’s main ingredient–protein? With hair growth in mind, you 100% need to be. More often than not, an iron deficiency turns out to be the culprit behind hair loss and shedding for women. And it goes without saying, you absolutely need to up your protein intake considering that’s what your hair is made of.

So make a grocery list with your hair’s diet in mind. If your meals are already balanced, consider kicking your hair’s nutrition up one more notch. For instance, try hair-growth gummies, supplements, or wonder hair serums like Vegamour.

With all of that said, anything you ingest with biotin in it will definitely make your hair grow. But be forewarned, that promise is not just limited to the hair on your head. Many who seek the hair-enhancing benefits of biotin often wind up with new and unwanted hair that sprouts on other parts of their body, including the face. Hair growth vitamins and supplements have no control over where new hair grows, so use all biotin-boosting supplements with caution.

Rule Out Hair Loss

hair falling out due to stress

If you’ve tried everything and your hair just won’t seem to grow, you might be suffering from hair loss. But don’t panic. Long, full locks may still be in your future. Hair experts say that follicle build-up of a protein called FGF5 is often the cause of sluggish hair. FGF5 sends a signal to your hair to stop growing and take a rest, resulting in limited and slowing hair growth. If you think this might be the problem, check out these 6 pro treatments for thinning hair.

There are other factors that can lead to hair loss. Poor dieting, crash dieting, erratic sleep, trauma, shock, hormonal imbalances, hypo or hyperthyroid issues, pre-menopause, menopause, pregnancy, and PCOS are often at the root of the problem. For clarity, take your hair-growth cycles into consideration. Hair shedding is natural, but you should only be losing 50-100 strands a day. If you have excess shedding, do some reflecting. Typically, it only takes place 6 to 12 weeks after whatever caused it.

Catch Up on Your ZZZ’s

happy woman sleeping on her stomach

When it comes to our overall health, everything is connected. And so, our sleep cycle affects our hair cycle. As explained by the experts at Brioge, “a good and restorative night’s sleep is required for the protein synthesis of the hair + the release of enzymes and growth hormones that are necessary for overall hair health. … This hormone helps your body regulate your sleep cycle, and it also has been shown to increase hair growth.” So for the healthiest hair of your life, you might want to start by getting better sleep.

Read More: Proven Tips For Sleeping Better at Night

Stop Stressing

woman examining her hair

It might be easier said than done, but one of the best ways to grow your hair out is to chill out. It’s simple; stress wreaks havoc on the body. That includes our hair. When it comes to how our body takes care of itself, it’s all about order of importance. Our system tends to look after our most vital organs first, even if that means taking any and all vitamins directly away from our hair. So for truly luscious locks that go on for miles, stay calm and be kind to yourself. Your hair will thank you down the road.

Read More: 11 Natural Remedies For Anxiety

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