Growing long hair can be quite a challenge especially for those with fine fragile hair. However, it is not impossible. Here are a few steps that can be taken towards growing long healthy hair.
Growing healthy hair in 7 steps
1. Get rid of the damage
Unfortunately in order to grow long healthy hair, one must do the contradictory thing first: cut the hair. You are probably wincing right now .:-) Why? Because removing areas of the hair that has suffered significant damage is the first step to give the hair a chance towards growing healthy. Otherwise, all your effort into growing your hair will be in vain. What you will end up with is random overall breakage over time which usually displays itself as flyaways. The effect is unhealthy looking hair.
2. Keep friction to a minimum
Adding smoothness to the hair is crucial for everyone regardless of the hair condition. This can be as simple as using a styling cream, or more intense combinations such as using oils, leave-in conditioners, masks etc. The fact is that you will want to minimize the friction between hair fibers, between your fingers and the hair and between the comb (styling tools) and the hair. Friction is probably the number one damage trigger. By causing damage to the cuticles it also removes the hair’s first line of defense against internal (cortex) damage.
3. Avoid/reduce further damage
In our hair routine, we expose the hair to various treatments: heat styling, coloring, perming, etc. Once you have cut the damage as the first step, you will need to evaluate how you are treating your hair. Changing your routine even slightly can have a positive impact in the long run towards growing healthy hair. For example: instead of full head coloring, you could attempt other processes such as lowlights or using semi-permanent hair dyes.
4. Handle with care
Most of us go about our hair rituals without paying attention to how we handle the hair. In the shower for example, do not lather aggressively, or wet comb. On dry hair for instance, do not brush 100 times. All of these actions actually cause things like cuticle lifting or removal, cracks along the hair fibers or even breakage.
5. Get regular hair trims
While you are growing hair, you still need to have trims to keep those split ends away. Split ends if left unattended can creep further up the hair shaft, and eventually breaking the fiber. Since your goal is to grow inches of hair, you will obviously only remove 1/2 inches or so every 3 months (sooner depending on your needs). Hair grows at a rate of about 4-6 inches per year. After 4 months you will have grown on average 1.3- 2 inches. If you want to extend the time between trims, use technologies designed to seal split ends temporarily.
6. Try supplements
Some supplements have been said to help strengthen the hair fiber, and in some cases thicken the fibers making them less prone to breakage. Some examples are biotin, or a new silica complex from Biosil which has been said to do wonders on hair and skin. Obviously make sure you don’t have any underlying medical conditions that is causing your hair to thin, or that can have adverse reactions with the supplements.
7. Take care of the scalp
While trying to grow healthy hair, you also want to make sure that you are taking care of the scalp. The scalp needs to remain clean and unclogged. Otherwise, problems can arise such as skin irritation, that can eventually lead to issues such as hair thinning. Hair thinning will facilitate breakage of the hair fibers.
Note that there are no miracle growth serums for hair to grow longer. Growing long hair requires patience, dedication and a lot of TLC.
Updated July 2016