Tips For Growing Your Hair Out And Keeping It Healthy

December 16, 2017

Although I blog mostly about my vegan lifestyle, my first area of expertise is hair so I figured I would share some of my knowledge with all you health conscious, gorgeous, loving people so that your hair can match your beautiful, healthy insides!

People tend to rely on their hairdresser to make their hair look and feel great all the time… but the truth is, hairdressers can do everything in their power to make our hair perfect during your appointment, but if you don’t take care of your hair every other day it doesn’t go very far. People often tell me I’m so lucky to have such long thick hair. Partially, that’s true. Genetically, I have very thick hair… but it is naturally dry, brittle, coarse, and requires a lot of heat styling to not look like I stuck my finger in a light socket. My hair is hard to grow long since it requires so much styling and gets split ends easily. It’s taken me YEARS to get my hair this long and healthy and I continue to work at it every day. You may have thinner hair, but it might be soft, smooth, wash and wear hair. We all have our own hair problems and have to do different things to take care of our hair and make it look and feel the way we want it to.

Growing out your hair is kind of like getting your body in shape. It takes time, patience, consistency and involves many different factors. You can not loose 10 pounds from one workout and you can not gain 10 inches from one conditioning treatment. Here are some general things everyone can do to have THEIR best hair:

-TURN DOWN THE HEAT-Less is more when it comes to heat styling. Heat is one of your hair’s worst enemies so the less you can use a curling iron or flat iron the better. I used to straighten and curl my hair almost every day and my ends were so brittle that they looked dull and broke off. Now I try to reduce heat styling to once or twice a week and I make sure to use protective products before and after. Also, it is important to turn the heat down on your styling tools. Most people don’t require the maximum heat to get their hair to comply. Find the minimum heat setting that still gives you the results you want and doesn’t burn your hair.

-BE DIRTY- Wash your hair as little as possible. We’ve all heard that washing our hair too much can dry it out. This is true; and it’s also true that the more you wash your hair, the more you have to style it all over again and put more heat on it. If you feel that you have to wash your hair because you get oily, you’re probably only oily because your scalp is trying to overcompensate for all the washing. It’s a vicious cycle so save yourself some time, energy and shampoo!

-HEALTHY FROM THE INSIDE OUT- I used to take hair, skin and nail vitamins every day but I stopped taking them because they were getting expensive and I wasn’t sure they were even working. I feel that my hair is in better condition than ever lately because of the way I’ve been eating. I get so many vitamins in my food and it seems to be working better than any capsule ever did. Eat lot’s of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds and your hair will love it!

BE NICE- We already talked about how we burn our hair; but we also tease it and tie it up tight. Regularly teasing (or backcombing) your hair pushes your hair cuticles in the opposite direction and makes it break. Wearing your hair in a tight pony tail stretches your hair and causes it to break. Wearing a hat, headband, or clip in extensions all the time rubs against your head and prohibits hair growth. I recently stopped wearing a headband to the gym evey day because I noticed my hair was thinning a little exactly where my headbands sit on my head. Try switching it up. For example, if you always wear your hair in a tight ponytail, try a low braid to give it a break and still keep it off your face.

-TRIM OFTEN- I know it’s not what you want to hear, but you have to cut off split ends in order to let your hair grow long and healthy. No, cutting your hair doesn’t actually make it grow out of your head faster, but it keeps it from breaking off. Get ahead of your hair and cut it before it has a chance to break. Start with a bigger haircut to get a fresh start then begin taking really good care of your hair every day and you will be able to get away with little trims. Keep it up and you will eventually find yourself asking “is my hair getting too long?”

-COLOR IS COMPLICATED- First of all, NEVER color your own hair. Hairdressers are basically trained chemists who formulate combinations of color pigments and chemicals to use on your hair for best results and the least amount of damage. Often, they put a whole different formula on one part of your hair than another just to make sure everything stays healthy and looks good. If you buy a box of color, it has to be formulated to work on everyone on every type of hair. This means box color has to have the highest and most damaging amount of peroxide to cover all the bases. This almost always causes chemical damage and uneven color because it is too strong for the majority of people’s hair. You might think you are saving money but taking a shortcut like this will cost you a lot more money in the long term and jeopardize your locks.

-PRODUCTS ARE IMPORTANT- As I said before, your day-to-day haircare is what really makes a difference. Taking home quality products recommemded by your stylist is the best way to know you are using the right thing. Think of it as a prescription for your hair that should only be prescribed by your hair dresser. Professional products may seem expensive; but chances are you will spend more on a shirt you will wear once than you will spend on a good bottle of shampoo. You wear your hair every day so invest in it if you want it to look and feel good. Please make sure you buy vegan, cruelty free products…they make your hair and your heart pretty!

-BE REALISTIC- Don’t push your hair to be too different from it’s natural if you aren’t willing to have a little breakage. For example, if you have dark hair, trying to make it blonde will almost always compromise the integrity of your hair. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means you need to understand what the consequences could be and know you will have to be extra loving to your hair to keep it in good condition.

-YOU’RE NOT A KARDASHIAN- Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! πŸ˜‰ Celebrity hair always looks perfect because they have a team of beauty professionals with them at all times. You have to understand that many of them get professional treatments, trims, toners, and touch ups EVERY single day to make sure their hair looks perfect. Kim K recently tweeted to her hairdresser “Spent the last few days bleaching my roots (we do it in stages so it doesn’t break off). OMG 13 hours and still going. This blonde is very high maintenance. Love you @ChrisAppleton1 but getting over this”. Thanks Kim for the truth bomb! Let’s be real, you probably can’t afford to pay your hairdresser enough to spend 13 hours working on you in 3 days. They also have A LOT of fake hair. This is why they can have short platinum hair one day and long thick black hair the next. If you had the time and money to hire a hairdresser to follow you around making sure there isn’t even a strand out of place, you would look like that too. Also, remember their photos are done in perfect lighting and usually heavilly edited (Pinterest pictures too!). Don’t hold yourself to their standards and have unrealistic hair goals… unless of course you have the money to get a hairdresser on you payroll 24/7.

I hope this helps! Please comment below if you have any more questions you would like me to answer about hair.

11 Comments
    1. Love your tips Nat! The other suggestion I would make is the Brazilian blow out split end mender!! I started doing this every 6-8 weeks in the salon (every time I got my hair cut and/or colored). My hair is so healthy and long now which I never thought possible. Tou your point it didn’t grow over night but took about 6 months to see a big difference.

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    1. Oh my god this could potentially be the biggest lifesaver everrrr – I literally have pretty much the worst hair ever – honestly it’s mostly my fault from dyeing it so much when I was younger (Im talking literally a new colour every month), so I can’t really be shocked that I look like the scarecrow from the wizard of oz. So I will most definitely be using and trying out some of these thank you thank youuuu! Also in terms of products does anyone know any that can help sort out split ends and dryness? I’m currently trying the whole moroccan oil thing and i’ve definitely noticed a difference but it’s still nowhere near how Id want it! I read a blog about the Shu Uemura products (these thingys: https://pauledmonds.com/product-brands/shu-uemura) – are they good? (Just wanted a second opinion really before buying it or anything) I am literally like my mum in this area – I cant purchase any beauty product without having asked everyone I know their opinion, reading every review out there and practically getting books out the library on it haha! But in all seriousness I would really appreciate any suggestions for any other fellow hair straw sufferers! Thank you everyone!

      1. Hi Izzy,
        I haven’t personally tried the Shu Uemura products, but I have heard good things. One of my favorite deep conditioners is the Formula 18 hair mask. It really helps soften and restore mositure in dry damaged hair. Also, I love the ColorProof Signature Blonde Restorative Filler “(even if you’re not blonde, it’s great!). Take a look at those products. Hope this helps!
        Natalie

    1. Hi!
      Lovely post. And lovely hair. For the past 4 months, ever since I deduced the reason behind my stagnant hair growth, I’ve been obsessed about growing it longer. I found out dry combing was the true devil in my case. I used to rip through my hair thrice everyday with a fine-toothed comb. No wonder my hair adamantly refused to grow beyond my shoulders. I’ll have to say finger detangling is going to be my most effective method to grow long hair. I do it on damp hair after applying a leave-in. I aspire for tailbone length hair. And yes, you’re so right when you say it’s all about being patient and consistent.

      1. Hi Nishka,
        thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you figured out what wasn’t working for you so that you can start growing out your hair. A lot of people also have luck with the Wet Brush. You just have to make sure to start detangling your ends first then work your way up slowly to the roots. I wish you all the best. πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve been trying to grow out my hair for a while now but it gets to a certain point and then stops growing. I’ve even stopped using shampoo and conditioner since March to try and help it grow. I don’t use hot tools on it, I dry it with a microfiber cloth, wide tooth comb and occasionally use arrowroot powder with a drop of rosemary oil but I still dislike my hair. I want to try a vegan shampoo or conditioner and noticed you recommended the Formula 18 hair mask and the ColorProof Signature Blonde Restorative Filler, do you think those products work well with all hair types? Is there anything else you can think of that will help me?

    1. Your article on tips for growing hair out and keeping it healthy is really impressive. I like your points about “healthy from the inside out” and “turn down the heat” as these are both important points that all women should know about if they want to improve their hairs appearance. Overall, there is really good detail throughout this article which will benefit a lot of women looking for hair care advice.

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