Growing your hair out after a bad hair cut, or just because you’ve decided you want long hair, can be a long, slow, disheartening process. It is easy to be fooled by the products that promise ‘faster hair growth’ but unfortunately they just don’t work. Nothing can actually increase the speed at which your hair grows, but what you can do is stop the ends from breaking which makes your hair look longer in a shorter time.
Usually when we think our hair just isn’t growing, it actually is growing, but the ends are breaking off at the same place. To see real hair growth, we need to protect our ends and make our hair HEALTHIER. Once your hair is healthier, it can grow to much longer lengths without breaking.
Hair does have a terminal length however. Hair growth supplements and products will try and say terminal length isn’t a thing, but it is. Our hair grows in cycles, and after its growth cycle ends, the hair shaft falls out of the scalp. Everyones terminal length is different but if your hair is stuck at shoulder length, it is unlikely that is has reached terminal length. Its much more likely that the hair is growing but keeps breaking off.
So here are 5 tips that helped me grow my hair when it had been stuck at shoulder length for years.
1. Ditch the heat!
If you are serious about growing your hair, you may need to make this sacrifice. Don’t blow-dry, straighten or curl it. If you are a regular blow drier your hair may look worse before it gets better. For about 2 weeks after I stopped using heat my hair was a frizzy mess, it was so hard not to just give up and style it. But I pushed through the pain barrier and I was thankful for it. Heat protecting products just aren’t enough. Of course it’s possible to use heat safely and grow your hair, but if your hair is really damaged you might have to choose between heat or growth.
2. Say no to bleach
The same goes for lightening your hair. My hair started to give up when I started going blonde. I am naturally brunette and the components of the blonde hair dye was terrible for my hair. I had highlights so I only had to go back every 6 weeks, but if you are dying your hair blonde in block colour, you may be having to re-dye every 2 weeks, reinforcing the damage. I loved being blonde, but I love long hair even more so I chose growth and let the blonde grow out. Luckily the ombre look is in fashion, and people think my grown out roots are part of an expensive hairstyle. When my hair is all healthy again, I might go back to dye but I will stay away from hairdressers that use bleach. It made my hair so brittle I could literally snap off the ends. And yes, I do mean ‘literally’.
3. Oil it up!
I never really used any oils in my hair before I started trying to grow it, as I naturally have very oily hair. But the oil our hair makes doesn’t reach the ends. To keep the ends supple, it is important to use some kind of Argon Oil on the ends. I love Lee Stafford’s Nourishing Miracle Oil (£11.99)
One bottle lasts ages, as you only need a tiny bit. I use 1 pump on my ends after I wash my hair. Once I started using this my hair really started getting its act together.
4. Treat yo’self
Once a week, do a proper hair conditioning treatment. Not just a 5 minute conditioner, a proper treatment that you apply to damp hair and leave on for up to 25 minutes. I used Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer (£15-27.50)
Yes, it’s hella expensive, but it made a big difference to my hair.
5. To trim or not to trim?
I personally stopped getting my hair trimmed when I grew my hair. I was getting it trimmed every six weeks and not only did it not grow, it got shorter and shorter. Trimming only helps hair look longer because it removes the damage that would have broken off, but to remove all the damage on my hair, I would have had to have shaved it. And that would probably have taken a bit longer to grow out than shoulder length damaged hair. So save your money and just let it grow, and try to prevent any more damage.
Bonus tip: BE PATIENT!
Your hair will start to grow when you stop thinking about it. For me, I just looked in the mirror one day and my hair had actually grown. I had been busy thinking about other things for weeks so it seemed like it just happened over night. Of course, that wasn’t the case. But if you obsess over it, it will seem to take forever. Follow these tips and then just put it out of your head. It is a long process and you might decide it is not worth the effort. But if you want to persevere, there really is no secret. Just time and care. Good luck!