I’ve always been a long hair lover.
I’ve spent a lot of years and a lot of dollars trying all kinds of different extensions to achieve ridiculously long hair looks. Then, about four or five years ago, I had a change of taste and started experimenting with the polar opposite. Once I made that first short chop, it was like I got addicted to see how short I could go! I gradually inched shorter and shorter until I had a choppy little just-above-the-chin-length bob. I loved it for a little while but then I felt like it aged me up and it really required more styling effort than long hair did day -to-day so I started to let it grow. I’ve spent the past 3 years letting my hair do its thing, avoiding extensions and learning how to grow healthy, long hair for the first time in my life. It’s grown from my chin to my ribs in that time with several haircuts along the way to maintain fresh, healthy locks so I’d say I’m doing pretty good!
My hair feels better than ever and that’s a big one for me. I used to think my hair couldn’t grow past a certain length when really, it was just breaking at a certain point because of all the damage I was doing to weaken it. I’ve also focused on what products I use and how I use them to ensure I’m caring for my scalp as well as my hair itself. That’s where the stuff grows out of! Anyway, enough blabbing. You get the point. I know what I’m talking about so here are my Top 8 Tips for growing long, healthy hair.
1. LIMIT HEAT STYLING
I only properly wash and style my hair 1-2 times per week. Throughout the week, I’ll use minimal heat for touchups 3-4 times per week, but establishing a good style once or twice a week really sets me up for the week. This means I don’t need to keep reapplying heat.
2. SPLURGE ON HOT TOOLS
You get what you pay for and if hot tools are cheap, the technology and materials probably aren’t great quality and will damage your hair worse than better quality brands. I use a ceramic curling wand that heats up super quick, so I don’t have to hold my hair on it for more than a couple of seconds to achieve the look I’m going for. This wand also uses Infrared Technology that heats hair from the inside out to help maintain healthy locks. (Shop the 3-Day Bender from DryBar HERE).
3. BE GENTLE
We tend to be so rough with our hair, but it can be very delicate so be conscientious about how you physically treat it. This is a must for healthy growth and avoiding breakage. When towel drying, gently squeeze the hair instead of roughing it around in your hands. Sleeping on silk pillows it highly recommended by folks, but I have yet to commit to that trend myself. I do, however, favor soft velvet scrunchies over hair elastics most of the time to avoid adding too much tension to bends in my hair. I also try to be mindful of how I brush my hair and what brushes I use. I love to use a Wet Brush when my hair is wet, because it requires minimal tugging to loosen any knots. If my hair is dry, I try to use a wide tooth comb to avoid too much friction and a board bristle brush at the roots to smooth any frizzing.
4. ROTATE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONERS
I always have at least 2-3 different shampoos and conditioners in my shower at any given time and that’s because my hair has different needs. Sometimes it’s dry and needs a lot of moisture love, sometimes I want to stimulate that circulation and growth. Sometimes I need to clarify my scalp from product buildup and sebum so my hair can do its thing! I think it’s important to have different products to serve different needs, so your specific needs are covered.
5. SCRUB YOUR SCALP
With all that said, I do think everyone should occasionally use a clarifying scalp scrub. My recommendations are Goop Pink Salt & dpHue ACV scrub. I have them both in my shower right now and use one or the other as my shampoo once a week. You can always make one yourself from common products you may already have in your pantry. The same way you exfoliate the skin on your face to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells so new skin can be exposed and collagen can regenerate, you want to exfoliate the skin on your head! Product and natural oil can build up and clog your hair follicles so scrubbing your scalp clears out that shit and gets the blood flow circulating to promote growth.
6. STIMULATE GROWTH TOPICALLY
There’s all kings of topical products out there designed to stimulate hair growth. I haven’t tried them all myself, so I can’t tell you what’s most or least effective, but I use two regularly that I really like: Aveda Invati Scalp Revitalizer and Davines Naturaltech Energizing Superactive Serum. I’ve also heard great things about Vegamour GRO Serum, but haven’t tried it out yet. I am eating their gummies at the moment, though, and I love them!
7. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
You can try supplements in pill form, powder or gummies to provide an extra dose of nutrients known to aid in stimulating healthy, strong hair growth. I’m currently eating the gummies from Vegamour daily and I’m also pretty regular about the SuperHair pills from Moon Juice, which have incredible reviews. You can also keep it simple by consuming foods that are said to promote healthy hair growth, such as eggs, berries, spinach, fatty fish, avocado, nuts and sweet potatoes!
8. DO NOT USE BLEACH
Listen, if you have a natural hair color that is anything darker than a barely dirty blonde and you use bleach to lighten it, I can’t help you. None of these tips will make any noticeable difference because your hair will consistently break before you get any good length. These things will all still help you grow new healthy hair from the roots of your head, but the damage you are doing is no match for any hydrating treatment and it will break off before you get to enjoy the new growth! You can use hair dye, but DO NOT use bleach!
These are the tips that worked, and continue to work, for me! I absolutely love my long hair and hope you get amazing results, too! For all the products I linked in the above tips, you can shop them below.
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.