There is an endless amount of information online, but here’s the truth: a lot of it is misguided and overcomplicated. It’s true that growing long, luxurious hair needs more than one solution, but it can all be very simple. We put together 5 of our expert tips for growing healthy, beautiful hair in 2017.
Ready? Here we go:
Find a Quality Shampoo
A good shampoo is the foundation for long and healthy hair. It’s meant to clean your hair, but that doesn’t mean it needs to damage it and strip it of the things it needs.
We highly recommend finding a shampoo that does not contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and/or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). These two chemicals are essentially detergents applied to your scalp. Yikes.
They are great at cleaning your hair, but they also strip your hair of its natural oils, which can dry out your hair and cause split ends. They can also strip your strands of color, so if you dye your hair, avoid SLS and SLES no matter what. An SLS and SLES-free shampoo is less irritating to the skin on the scalp, and usually contain nutrients that help your hair grow like Biotin, Zinc and Keratin. They generally come in a creamier formula but they rinse out clean and leave hair looking naturally thicker.
Also, take care not to wash your hair too often! A couple times per week, or whenever you feel it becoming greasy is a good schedule to follow.
Love Your Conditioner
Don’t underestimate the importance of conditioner. It’s a moisturizer for your hair. Forgetting it or applying it the wrong way is the fastest way to dry out your hair. Can you say bad hair day?
Conditioners do for your hair what moisturizer does for your face. Creating a hydrating seal for your hair keeps it healthy, resilient to damage, and protected from breakage so it is able to grow while looking fabulous. What type of conditioner works best for you depends on what type of hair you have, but generally we recommend a light daily conditioner with growth nutrients and hydrators like keratin, zinc, biotin, and panthenol. These ingredients will help nourish your hair without weighing it down or looking greasy. If your hair is really dry, find a quality leave-in conditioner that you can apply after the shower.
Don’t know how often you should use conditioner? Keep it simple: condition every time you shampoo. Even on days when you’re not shampooing and you want to keep your hair hydrated, wash with conditioner only to keep it smooth without losing moisture.
Stimulating your hair follicles helps improve the blood circulation. Why’s that important? Your blood brings all the nutrients from your diet and supplements. If you want your hair to grow, they need those nutrients.
Hair follicles don’t go very deep into your scalp — only about 1.25 mm below the surface. It’s not very difficult to stimulate them, but you’d better be using the right stimulant if you want your hair to grow.
Enriched shampoos and conditioners are a good start, but the real magic starts to happen when you add essential oils. Essential oils do a fantastic job at improving circulation. Two of our favorites are peppermint oil and horsetail plant oil. They both help prevent residue buildup and can even clear out clogged pores around your hair follicles. They’re hypoallergenic, and can leave you with a fresh, awake feeling from the stimulation. To use essential oils, just massage a small amount into your hair for 30 seconds before washing your hair. The tingling sensation means it’s working, and that blood is starting to flow to your scalp.
Use the Power of Illusion!
You can’t magically grow your hair 3 inches overnight, or transform your hair strands in a couple hours…or can you? Using the power of illusion is a great way to make your hair look thicker and longer without actually growing it out. Here are a couple:
- Wear your hair darker — Hair that’s a bit deeper near the roots and then lightens up at the tips makes your hair look longer. Just like that.
- Try Bangs — Short bangs will make your hair look longer. Why? It’s such a dramatic jump from bangs to the rest of your hair.
- Extensions — Hair extensions are really good nowadays. Find an expert to put them in and no one will ever know the difference.
- Hair Thickening Fibers — These products give your hair a layer of coating to make each hair strand look thicker. Easy to apply!
There’s no shame in using some of these tricks while you are growing out your hair in other ways. Make sure to find someone who knows what they’re doing so your hair always looks as natural as possible.
Take Care of Your Insides
You know this already, but it’s always worth repeating: Don’t take your diet for granted.
Eating well and taking care of yourself from the inside out is one of the most important steps to healthy hair. If you’re missing certain hair growth vitamins and nutrients from your diet, you will never see the results that you want. Look into a daily vitamin to make sure you’re getting the recommended allowances each day.
Also, be aware of any hormonal changes from medications or birth control. Thinning hair is one of the most common side effects from changing hormones. If you’re not sure how it might be affecting you, speak with your doctor.