Growing your hair long in ten simple stepsSo you’ve decided that you want to grow your hair long. Good for you – I once read somewhere, and agree wholeheartedly, that long hair is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself. You’ll need a lot of patience to get there, and this is part of the reason why long hair is so highly prized. So what are the necessary steps you need to take in order to get that long, luscious mane you desire? Read on to find out.
1) Have a goal length. At the beginning of every journey you must have a goal, and growing your hair long is no different. Decide whether you want your hair to be bra strap length (BSL), waist length or longer. Imagine what you will look like with hair that length. Make that image your focus, and choose to think about it during times of ‘hair boredom’ (and yes, these will arise). Make a solemn vow to yourself that you will reach that goal.
2) Assess your hair’s damage. This step is by far the hardest as it is now that you may have to cut your hair shorter in order to grow it longer. Check out your hair’s ends; are they split? If so you’ll need to have a trim because split ends weaken the hair’s shaft and can ultimately cause splits in the surrounding hairs, meaning that your hair is slowly but surely getting shorter. Tell your hairdresser that your eventual goal is to grow it long, and she’ll (hopefully) cut it in a way that looks good growing out.
3) Take a look at your diet. Are you eating enough fish, eggs, red meat and leafy green vegetables? Protein-rich foods such as these are necessary to get your hair looking, and growing, at its best. As hair is essentially dead protein, a diet rich in protein will boost its natural growth rate. The healthier your body is on the inside, the better your hair will look.
4) Vow to exercise more. Increasing the oxygen in your blood circulating around your body will also increase your hair’s growth, as it is providing an extra boost of oxygen to your hair’s follicles. Exercising at least three times a week allows for healthy, shiny hair, in much the same way as a good diet does.
6) Give yourself regular scalp massages. Aside from being relaxing, they stimulate the hair’s follicles and make your scalp feel ‘alive’. Various long hair sites on the Internet – the best (in my opinion) being The Long Hair Community - advocate scalp massages as an added benefit to exercise when it comes to stimulation of the scalp.
7) Up your vitamin intake. While you don’t need to invest in expensive hair vitamins, you can get some added growth through taking Biotin, Zinc or Omega 3 tablets. A multivitamin every day works just as well.
8) Take good care of your hair. Internet hair experts say you should treat your hair as though it were a fine piece of old lace – i.e. with the utmost care. Be gentle while you wash it and never brush your hair when it is wet, as hair is at its most fragile when wet. Use quality combs and hairbrushes, and if a ponytail holder comes out of your hair with more than three hairs attached to it, throw it away. And one last thing: never use rubber bands to tie back your hair! Rubber and hair do not work well together.
9) Be patient. Remember that long hair is a commitment to yourself, and you’re not getting it cut because you are determined to one day be a long-haired beauty. Although regular girls (i.e. not celebrities) are starting to use hair extensions, keep in mind how expensive they are and how tacky the cheaper ones look. When you one day have the long hair you now desire, you’ll feel extra confident in knowing that it’s all yours.
10) And finally, the most important step – don’t cut it! It may seem obvious, but after your initial trim you’ll need to stay away from the hairdresser for a while. Magazines will tell you that you need a trim every six weeks, but going this often will only stunt your hair’s growth, as you’ll be cutting it as fast as it grows. Keep trims to once or twice a year, and take good care of your hair, and you’ll have a long, flowing mane in a few years’ time.