Haircare is a lifelong journey. I remember being in the 7th grade and trying to put my hair into a clip for the first time. It was my first styling venture beyond a pink leopard headband I wore everyday to school, and I teared up because my hair was so wavy and thick that I couldn’t get the clip to stay! Fast forward about a decade and I’ve been brunette, learned to style my hair multiple ways, had awesome haircuts and some not so great, gotten highlights, and more. Over the years I’ve gathered tried and true tricks from my own experience, professional stylists, and friends that keep my hair strong and healthy while growing it out long. These are the 7 guidelines I suggest for growing out your hair or simply keeping it in tip top shape:
1. Get dustings
I used to refuse regular haircuts, but now I know they’re the secret to healthy long locks. I ask my stylist for a “dusting” and am very, very clear with her about how little I want off. Without regular haircuts, split ends travel further up the strand, causing more breakage over time. When growing my hair out, I “dust” every 8-12 weeks or so.
2. Air Dry (or Heat Protect)
As much as I love freshly styled hair, I try to air dry whenever possible. If I shower at night, I’ll weave my hair into a loose braid. If I shower in the morning, I’ll allow my hair to air dry for at least 2-3 hours, and then I’ll use my hairdryer to get the last bit of moisture out if necessary. If you’re in a bind and need to heat style straight out of the shower, try the AQUIS hair towel to get the extra moisture out and then be sure to use a heat protectant, like this or this (my stylist’s favorite).
3. Take supplements
Whenever I notice my nails becoming brittle, it’s a good indicator that my skin and hair are in need of a boost as well. I usually see results within a week of consistently taking this hair, skin, & nail vitamin supplement. I’ve heard excellent things about the OUAI supplements as well (they have version for thin, dry, and oily hair that I included in the widget below) and will give that a shot next.
4. Eat Well
I truly believe that we are what we eat. The food we put in our bodies will either build us up or break us down. If your hair is brittle or seems to be thinning in certain areas, take a look at your diet and try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Two cups of green vegetable with dinner and lunch and two pieces of whole, fibrous fruit with breakfast or throughout the day is a great baseline to aim for.
5. Get a quality comb
Mason Pearson is my favorite brand for brushes, and their comb is no exception. I’ve owned plenty of wide-toothed combed before (all the curly/wavy-haired girls know what I’m talking about!), but this one is seriously fantastic. It detangles with no snags or breakage and is the prettiest tortoise color!
6. Try a mask
Adding a weekly mask to your routine will help nourish your hair and cause less breakage. If you’re home, make it like a spa treatment and wrap it up, have a hot tea with a piece of dark chocolate, and relax. If you’re on the go, try applying the mask and braiding your hair pre-workout! The mask will absorb into your hair with the heat/steam. This $11 mask from L’Oreal is one of my greatest haircare secrets.
7. Sleep on silk
I switched to a silk pillowcase a couple of years ago, and while I think the above tips have more of an impact on my hair’s health, I don’t think this one hurts. The silk fabric supposedly keeps the hair’s cuticle layer in tact and doesn’t cause the friction/breakage that traditional pillowcases can.