13 Tricks for Growing Your Hair Long
You jumped in on the short hair trend, and got a lob, bob, or even pixie, but now that summer is approaching, you’re craving long, luscious locks again that you can toss into a braid or top knot, or rock down with cool, beachy waves. Well, good news.
You can encourage hair growth by maintaining healthy hair through a good diet and proper hair care. Certain herbs can help make your hair grow faster, too.
1. Remember that it can’t grow overnight.
Unless your scalp unleashes new strands like a Chia Pet, gaining new length is going to take time. “Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” says celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist. “And that’s only if it is super-healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.” The bottom line: practice patience.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in protein and vital vitamins and minerals is an essential prerequisite to healthy hair growth. Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C, and E, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium. Vitamin B-complex, in particular, is extremely important for making your hair grow faster. So, include a variety of foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, chicken, eggs, whole grains, salmon, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, parsley, grapefruit, avocado, brown bread, oats, and alfalfa in your diet to nourish your hair and scalp. Plus, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, such as orange, grapefruit, carrot, beet, and lettuce juice.
Fish, flax seeds, walnuts, beans, winter squash, olive oil, and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also good for hair growth as about 3% of a hair shaft is made up of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Protect it
Heat styling can fry your hair and keep it from growing long and strong. Go for an iconic blow-dryer instead of a normal one. They’re more powerful so they reduce styling time, which minimizes heat damage. When using hot tools, coat strands with a protective styler, like a blow-dry lotion, before you turn up the heat.
4. Don’t wrap wet hair in a towel
Wet hair is fragile, so twist it up into a towel after stepping out of the shower can break strands. Instead, gently pat it dry with a towel.
5. Use castor oil
Being rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, especially omega-9 fatty acids, castor oil promotes hair growth naturally.
- As this oil is quite viscous, mix the castor oil with an equal amount of coconut, olive, or almond oil. Massage your scalp with it and leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes. Then shampoo your hair.
- You can also add essential oils, especially rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, or thyme oil, to the castor oil and then put it in your hair.
6. Use conditioner every time you shampoo.
“If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend says. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier,” he says.
7. don’t shampoo every time you shower.
“It’s shocking to me how many women skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair — especially when you’re trying to grow it long — and it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” Townsend says. Here’s why: The purpose of shampoo is to wash away dirt and product buildup, but it can also take essential natural oils that keep strands soft and healthy along with it. When you really do need shampoo, be gentler on your hair by only lathering up at your scalp and then simply letting the suds slide down strands, hitting the rest of the hair as the water rinses it away.
8. Massage your scalp
Massaging promotes blood flow to the scalp, which in turn stimulates the hair follicles. In addition, deep condition your hair once a week with a hot oil treatment or deep conditioning hair mask.
- Apply the oil (preferably warm) or conditioner to your hair.
- Gently rub your fingers on your scalp in a circular motion for three to five minutes.
- Rinse the oil or conditioner out of your hair.
9. Flip your hair upside down
This is one of the most popular tricks to promote faster hair growth. Just flip your hair upside down by flipping your head over for two to four minutes daily. It is believed to work by improving circulation.
10. Brush your hair like it’s spun from gold.
Constant brushing can cause physical harm to your hair. “When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up — we often instinctively go from the scalp down but that just brings small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair,” Townsend explains. He also suggests reaching for the Sheila Stotts Natural Boar Bristle Brush, as boar bristle brushes are good at distributing your scalp’s natural oils down your hair and being extra-gentle on strands too.
11. Whip up an egg mask
Eggs are highly beneficial for faster hair growth because they are packed with protein and also contain iron, sulfur, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. You can use an egg hair mask at least once a month.
12. Ditch your cotton pillowcase.
Townsend recommends switching to a sateen fabric such as Calvin Klein Sateen White Sheeting because it has a softer surface that won’t cause friction the way that regularly woven cotton does with your hair, so you’ll wake up with fewer tangles.
13. Nourish your hair with aloe vera
Aloe vera encourages hair growth and prevents hair loss. It also reduces dandruff and helps restore your hair’s natural sheen.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel mixed with a little lemon juice and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Shampoo your hair. Do this once every week or two.
- You can also combine aloe vera gel with equal amounts of coconut milk and wheat germ oil and then apply it on your hair.
- Drink aloe vera juice on a regular basis.