Do you feel like your hair gets to a certain length and then just stops growing? Well there are countless reasons why that may be and I’m going to go over the basics on why your hair isn’t growing. It actually amazes me how many people don’t know your hair growths from the roots and not your ends. As a licensed cosmetologist, and someone who has had hair down to my waist for most of my life, I will share my professional input as well as my personal experience.
Number 1 You Don’t Get Regular Trims
You probably avoid getting your hair cut like it’s the plague. It does seem like counterproductive thinking right? You’re trying to gain length not take more off. The reason us hairdressers tell you to come in for regular trims isn’t because we love watching you have panic attacks over losing any length in our chairs. We don’t have a secret vendetta to prevent you from ever reaching your long hip length hair dreams. The reason we tell you this is because we need to trim your split ends off before they start splitting up your hair strand. Let me repeat that: if you do not cut off that split end it will break off higher up now leaving you with both shorter hair and breakage. I know you are overly attached to those 4 inches off completely fried ends, I have been there I promise you, so I understand your volatile behavior at me. Hairstylist are not the bad guys for cutting your hair, we are giving you the only real chance of reaching your length goals.
So this is what you can do about it, you need to schedule an appointment with your Hairstylist and have an initial cut before you can start your growing out process. If you have minimal split ends it may only be an inch, in extreme cases if your hair is highly compromised it could be up to 6. This is the first step to growing it out because you will no longer have split ends working against you. From then on, go every 3 months ish and get what’s called a micro trim or dusting. This is removing only about 1/4th of an inch to keep those ends fresh.
Number 2 You Are Combing Your Hair Wrong
Hair is hair, how can you possibly be combing it wrong? I mean it’s not hard right just brush it through. You are most likely being too rough on your hair. Hair is very fragile and should be treated as such. Do not rip through your hair with a brush after a shower, or ever. Hair is actually much more fragile while wet and can stretch up to 50% more so use extra care. When I say stretch it’s the elasticity of the hair stretching do not try to do this on purpose it will not dry longer it will just break your hair strand off. Use a comb and start from your ends working in small sections and work your way up. Use this method on your dry hair too but you can use a hairbrush instead of a comb now. BE GENTLE TO YOUR HAIR!
Number 3 Give It The Extra Nourishing It Needs
The longer your hair gets, the drier your ends get. This is because your ends are now so much further away from your scalp and not getting any of those essential oils it needs. So throw some oil in those ends. You can do overnight treatments or leave ins. I like to use argan oil in my hair every day and unrefined virgin coconut oil as a weekly overnight treatment. Argan oil and coconut oils are actually the only 2 that can 100% be absorbed into the hair strand. Now that doesn’t mean you’ll wake up in the morning with dry hair and all that coconut oil absorbed. You will still have to wash it out because your hair can only take in so much, and the overnight treatments is soaking your hair. You can run some argan oil through your ends when getting ready in the morning and it should be soaked in and dry looking by the time you run out the door.
My favorite little combo to use is actually Moroccan Oil Original Argan Oil Treatment mixed with OGX Renewing Argan Oil Of Morocco Penetrating Oil. The reason I mix them is because my hair is pretty porous and sucks it up a lot of product, and Moroccan Oil brand is more expensive, so by mixing it with a more affordable brand it last me much longer. Occasionally I will also mix in L’Anza Keratin Healing Oil to create the perfect cocktail to run through my ends. I even use it to help style my hair on days I use my natural texture by scrunching it into my ends.
Number 4 Stop Washing Your Hair!
Okay that sounds gross but let me explain. Shampoo is meant to strip your hair of dirt and oils. You should only be shampooing your roots, and the run off while rinsing is enough for your ends. It’s not necessary to wash your hair every day. It’s actually not good to wash your hair every day because your sebaceous glands are now working overtime to try and replace the oil barrier you keep stripping daily.The less you wash your hair, the less oily your hair will become. You have to train it to stop over producing oils and it takes about 6 months. Dry shampoo is your new best friend.Spray it in your hair before going to bed and let it absorb overnight so you only have to do a quick touch up in the morning. This will get you to start washing every other day, and then every 2 days. I wash my hair 2 or 3 times a week and since starting this I have noticed my hair has gotten so much healthier.
Number 5 Deep Condition
So because I only wash my hair a few times a week, I deep condition my hair with a hair mask every time I wash it. One common mistake people make is skipping conditioner in the shower. The conditioner is not only detangling so you don’t have to struggle to comb it out after, it is also restoring lipids, proteins, and moisture that your hair strands desperately need. Deep conditioning is taking that one step further and dramatically improves the health of your long tresses. It does require extra time so plan accordingly. My favorites to use are Moroccan Oil Repair or Moisture masks. They are both really amazing and I switch between them depending on if my hair needs protein or moisture. Another great treatment is L’Anza Trauma Treatment, it is magical. Cheaper alternatives I also like are both the Redken Extreme and Redken All Soft Heavy Cream masks.
Number 6 Ditch The Towel
Towels actually cause breakage. What?! Yes your hair gets stuck in all those little nubs and can also cause breakage around your hairline if you wrap it turban style too tight. So how should you dry your hair? Curly haired girls have been using old t shirts for years to dry their hair because it’s gentle and prevents frizz. They also make microfiber hair towels which are really great. Remember you are being as gentle as possible to your hair to get it to grow, and preventing breakage at all cost. Which brings me to my next point.
Number 7 Switch Out Your Cotton Pillowcase
Cotton pillowcases not only can suck some moisture from both your hair and skin, but they also create friction when you sleep at night, resulting in the lifting of your hair’s cuticle. and waking up to big knots. Instead you should opt for a satin or a sateen pillowcase. I tell my extensions clients to pull their hair back into a loose braid or pony at night to keep it from tangling. The key word here is loose. Don’t be putting your hair up in a skin tight high pony, that is causing just as much harm at night from the pulling. Also recommend to use those ugly cloth 80’s scrunchies to prevent those hair kinks when you take your hair out in the morning.
Number 8 Let Up On The Heat Styling
Seriously stop straightening you hair every single day. I did that back in highschool and it was just unnecessary damage done to my hair. You should not be styling with hot tools every day if you are trying to grow your hair out. Curling your hair at 400 degrees is just as bad for your hair as it would be for your skin to touch that iron. Now that you aren’t washing your hair every day there is no reason for you to have to blowdry it daily anymore. Your style should last you a few days now. I love working with my natural texture to my advantage. Every night I either will place my hair in one loose braid, or in 2 twisted buns, and in the morning wake up to big loose waves. The dry shampoo adds volume to my roots and I scrunch my argan oils into my ends to define them more. When I need to be polished for formal events I will curl a few strands through out the waves and it looks as if I have those big loose curls with minimal heat to my hair. Remember when you do use heat to always use a heat protectant.
Number 9 If Your Hair Still Isn’t Growing…
If you have been doing everything listed above for at least 3 months and still haven’t seen any improvement with your length, there are a few other options for you. On average hair grows anywhere from ¼ inch to a ½ inch a month. The above steps should help you actually keep that new growth and stop breakage. If you notice your hair grows much slower than that (your root color is an easy way to track it if you hair is colored,) you may need to take extra measures. Your first option is to take supplements. There are many expensive hair growth supplements on the market but the main ingredient of them and the most effective is Biotin. You can buy a bottle of Biotin at a drugstore near the other vitamins for exponentially cheaper than the hair growth products. Another step you could take would be to start massaging your scalp regularly. The massage stimulates more blood flow circulation to the area and over time has been shown to aid in hair growth.
So now that you know some ways to help your hair grow longer, grow your hair out to the length of your dreams. I hope this article helped anyone who has been struggling to get past a certain length for an extended period of time. Your hair needs to be healthy! Just remember, it is fragile, so treat it gently for better results. Stay Glam