Trying to grow your hair can be an insanely frustrating experience. Is it possible to have extremely long hair? For most people, yes. Is it difficult, though? To be honest… Yes.
It’s a lot of work to grow your hair very long, but there are specific strategies you can use to make it possible. Just remember: you can’t expect miracles.
There is no magic pill, wand, hair serum or mask that will grow your hair 8 inches overnight. I wish something like that existed, but it simply does not.
So what does actually work when it comes to growing your hair and what can you do?
The 13 Secrets For Really Really Long Hair
1. Stop Brushing Too Much
Sometimes I obsessively brush my hair because I am obsessed with preventing any kind of tangles or issues when it comes to my hair.
The truth is that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to brush your hair if you want it to become extremely long.
The Right Way:
Start from the bottom and work your way up. I know you might think going from the roots down is the best way, but it actually isn’t. This makes your hair more prone to breakage and ironically causes more tangles.
The Wrong Way:
Starting from your roots and aggressively brushing your hair is the wrong way to do it.
In addition to this, it’s a very good idea to invest in a nice brush for your hair. You don’t want to be using just any brush, because you might be making it more likely that your hair breaks off if you do.
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My Top Brush Recommendations:
This is a brush that my hairdresser recommended when it comes to blow drying your hair straight.
There’s nothing like your natural hair oils to make your hair happy and healthy!
It is extremely pricey, though, but if you have the money to spare and frequently blow dry your hair straight, then you might want to look into it.
Any boar bristle brush
The reason I like these brushes is because they distribute the natural oils from your scalp downward.
There’s nothing like your natural hair oils to make your hair happy and healthy!
You will want a wide tooth detangling comb to make sure that you are not pulling your hair out when you detangle.
You can find these at most drugstores and even high end beauty supply stores. It’s a good idea to have one of these on hand.
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2. Try to Avoid Tangles
In my own experience, tangles can be an extremely obnoxious and frustrating experience, especially if your hair tangles easily and you’re trying to grow it longer.
Why? Well. For obvious reasons… You end up breaking off your precious strands when you are detangling.
One of the most common mistakes people make (that I make as well) when detangling my hair is doing it in a rush. You have to be very gentle and patient if you’re ever trying to brush out a tangle.
And for the love of God… Don’t start going crazy with your fingers and end up pulling out your hair (I am guilty of this. Maybe I’m the only person on the planet who actually does such a thing but who knows!)
You might even want to get a detangler if your hair gets tangled easily.
Recommendation: the Tangle Teezer is a great detangling brush as is the classic “wet brush.”
3. Invest in Quality Products
When trying to grow your hair, it is extremely important to keep it as healthy as possible. The reason is because when your hair is unhealthy, the split ends end up becoming fragmented and don’t look healthy.
This makes your hair end up looking thinner at the bottom and while it may grow (even though some argue that split ends actually go up the hair shaft and make it impossible for hair to grow) it will not create that look that you want.
If you invest in really high quality hair products, you’ll be able to avoid split ends as much as possible (you cannot entirely avoid them but using good products will help).
When trying to grow your hair, it is extremely important to keep it as healthy as possible.
My Top Hair Product Recommendations:
This line has excellent, natural products. You should try it out if you’re looking for a new shampoo to try. Taken from the company’s website, their products are “vegan, organic, sulfate free, paraben free, gluten free and cruelty free.”
If you have curly hair, you will love this line. Curly hair needs a unique kind of conditioning that you won’t get with “typical” hair products, which is where DevaCurl comes in.
This entire line has pretty amazing products. I love both the caviar line as well as the bamboo line. They not only smell amazing but work extremely well. I am obsessed with it.
Even though these shampoos and conditioners technically do have sulfates, according to multiple hairdressers, this is an amazing brand. The products are pricey but worth it.
If you’re looking for a good drugstore buy, my suggestion is to go with Loreal. Loreal is technically made by the same company that produces Kerastase products, notorious for their luxury hair line.
Now, granted, according to the professional at the salon I spoke to when binge-purchasing Kerastase products, Kerastase does have better ingredients than Loreal… But she agreed with my declaration that if looking at a drugstore for hair products, Loreal is a good bet.
As a general rule, depending on your hair type and the general condition of your hair, you can figure out which products are best for you. Obviously, if you bleach your hair every month you are going to need a different hair care routine than if you have “virgin” hair that’s never been touched.
Tip: No matter what shampoo and hair routine you are using you can change it up every so often because your hair will get used to the products and build up a tolerance, so when you change the products up they will work better.
4. Learn How to Brush Your Hair When Wet
Your hair is extremely delicate when it’s wet. This is why it is essential to go out of your way to avoid being harsh when you brush your hair wet! In fact, it is best to avoid it as much as possible!
Your hair is a lot more likely to break off when it’s wet, which is why brushing it… and especially detangling it… can be a recipe for disaster. If you do need to brush it, make sure you are being extremely delicate.
One thing I like to do sometimes is gently detangle my hair in the shower if I am doing a conditioning treatment. Conditioner can help detangler your hair gently and smoothly.
5. Sleep On A Satin Pillow Case
Sleeping on a certain kind of pillowcase is supposed to help you grow your hair out. Cotton is actually not the ideal consistency you want when trying to grow your hair.
Now, this is not the end of the world if you do not have a satin pillowcase, but since I assume you are extremely dedicated to growing your hair extremely long, I have to include this recommendation because it is certainly relevant and can be helpful. Satin actually reduces breakage.
You can find a satin pillowcase at plenty of stores. This is just an example of one that I really like.
6. Do Not Use Towels Violently
You know when you get out of the shower and you’ve been in there for a while and you just want to roughly dry off your hair so that you don’t end up dripping water everywhere?
I might be exaggerating just a tiny bit, but the point is: do not be too rough with your poor, delicate hair after you get out of the shower. Instead, be sweet and gentle.
Calmly squeeze the excess water from your hair and then perhaps use a nice towel to dry it. Pat your hair dry and be gentle, don’t attack!
7. Use Heat Protectant And Limit Heat Styling
Ugh, this one is depressing because I cannot lie: I love how my hair looks both curled and straightened. And I am guilty of using styling tools.
Why have pretty, long hair if you cannot even make it look how you want it to?
Pat your hair dry and be gentle, don’t attack!
I completely understand the battle between nursing your hair’s health by avoiding excessive heat and styling tools and wanting to simply look good. It’s tricky because growing your hair long is a long-term process.
But if you’re going out with friends or on a date, it isn’t like you are going to avoid heat styling! So my best recommendation is: use a good heat protectant. Always.
Tressemme has an excellent heat protectant that you can basically pick up at any drugstore.
My best recommendation is: use a good heat protectant. Always.
This heat protectant brand is pricey but according to my hairdresser, is an amazing one (particularly if you color your hair, like I do).
There are plenty of other ones on the market. The moral of the story is to use one (any one) if you are using heat on your hair.
Heat Styling Tools
Another major topic of interest in the hair industry is what type of heat styling tools you should use and whether using certain kinds (with “ionic” technology, for example) actually reduce damage and breakage (because remember, growing your hair long is all about minimizing breakage!).
An amazing styling tool is the “beachwaver,” which gives you effortless waves fast. Fast is key because you do not want to be endlessly leaving a curling iron on your hair!
I am somewhat conflicted on this trend, but I do own the “T3” hair dryer, which is supposed to reduce hair damage because of ionic technology.
In terms of good heat styling tools, here are a few recommendations:
Hot Tools curling irons are simply amazing in every single way.
ghd is an amazing line but extremely pricey. I really love their flat irons.
T3 has an excellent hair dryer but is pricey. Their flat iron is pretty good but not the greatest even though I expected it to be. I’ve only used one of their straighteners, though, so maybe I’ll change my mind in the future and fall in love with them.
I also really like the Sultra The Seductress Flat Iron. With this one, from my experience, you don’t have to do as many passess as you normally do (which obviously is healthier for your hair since the more times you have to go over the same hair the higher the risk of damage.
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8. Take Hair Vitamins
To be honest with you, I cannot 100% say whether this is an effective way to grow your hair or not. I have bought into the biotin craze before and tried it and it didn’t really do anything for me.
Lots of people swear by it, though… which is why I am mentioning it here. I feel a lot of the “hair growth” vitamins out there are scams, though, and might best be avoided.
I also notice a lot of products being promoted promising to grow your hair overnight and these are also not going to do what they promise.
9. Eat a Good Diet
Did you know that a side of anorexia is literally hair loss? Losing too much weight and not getting the nutrients you need can not only make it impossible to grow your hair but makes you likely to actually experience hair thinning and have your hair fall out!
This is obviously an extreme statement, but it is true. “What most people would not normally associate hair loss with is anorexia nervosa, unless they treat patients with the disorder or have been affected by it personally. In reality, people of all genders and ages with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders commonly experience hair loss, including hair thinning and areas of balding. (Source)
I am not a mental health professional here and if you are suffering from an eating disorder, what you need to do is seek professional help… The only reason I am mentioning this is because I want to point out how important the right nutrition is for hair growth.
So what kind food should you be eating?
- Healthy fats like avocado
- A good, balanced diet
10. Don’t Use Shampoo Every Time You Hop in the Shower
Instead, use something like…
igkdown & Out Dirty Spray: It’s like a thickening miracle, dry shampoo and texturizer all in one. And it’s an immediate refresher.
Your best bet is to limit actually fully washing your hair to three times a week (if possible). You can always rinse your hair with water and then only apply conditioner.
This is a much better option. It allows your hair to break less, which is the entire goal we are working toward here.
Remember less breakage means longer hair. Your hair grows from the root but it does not matter if it is breaking off at the ends. Excessive shampooing is going to make your ends more likely to break off.
11. Use a Deep Conditioning Mask
This is a good idea to use at least every two weeks, just to maintain the health of your hair. The trick behind maintaining extremely long hair is understanding that your ends are very “old” hair.
They are not going to be as healthy as the new roots that grow from your scalp. This is why conditioning and taking very good care of your hair is essential if you want your hair to grow and stay long. This also has to do with preventing as much breakage as humanly possible.
Kerastase generally has amazing hair masks, but you need to examine what your hair type is and then choose a mask accordingly.
They’ve got a hydrating mask (specifically suited to curly hair types, which is even more prone to dryness)
Alterna Bamboo mask
This is an amazing one as well for all hair types.
They have an amazing moisturizing mask but is extremely pricey so only invest if your hair is severely dehydrated and you have money to spare.
Enjoy Hair Mask
This is a great option for a reasonably priced hair mask that is only necessary if you dye your hair because it replenishes protein.
If you want a natural option, opt for slathering some avocado, olive oil and coconut oil on your hair if you want a cheap method you can find in your kitchen.
12. Do Get Regular Trims
This is actually one issue I have struggled with a lot. I go back and forth on this constantly.
On the one hand, I hate getting a trim or any kind of haircut. I am a very strange person who is extremely attached to the length of my hair, so the idea of a trim sends me into an odd panic that hairdressers pretend not to be annoyed by. God knows what they are actually thinking, though.
The point I am trying to make is… recently… even I trimmed my hair. And that is because I am now actually moving toward the belief that having super long hair is pointless if the ends look jagged and horrible.
Here is where the entire topic gets tricky, though. Some people argue that if you do not trim your hair, the split end “goes up the hair shaft” and makes your hair shorter.
To be honest, I am not 100% sure how accurate this is. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. All I know is when I do not cut my hair (I went without a trim for a full year …) my hair did grow. However, my ends were literally horrible and looked hideous so I finally had to give in and do a trim.
The thing is, I do not know how true it is that the split end is going to go up the hair shaft and totally ruin your hair, but there is some truth to the fact that regular trims are going to help your hair grow and look good at the same time.
Having super long hair is pointless if the ends look jagged and horrible.
Who wants long but dead looking hair with jagged split ends? I mean, I don’t…
And if the argument that split ends travel up, then, you might as well get trims every now and then just to be safe.
Yes, this is how much I over-think every tiny decision I make when it comes to my hair.
13. Don’t Cut Your Hair Too Often
So I just mentioned trims, right? fine. I give in. Trims can and are a good, necessary and even essential part of growing your hair long.
But don’t go too crazy and start getting your hair cut all the time. This is literally not going to allow your hair to grow longer.
Think about it. Your hair grows about ¼ to ½ and inch every month (this is just an average, for some it could be closer to an inch but for most, the initial numbers are more accurate).
So if you are chopping off an inch of hair every 2 months and your hair only grows an inch every 2 months, do the math. Your hair literally will not grow. So you have to kind of do a balancing act where you trim less than your hair grows. Make sense? :)
So there you go! I am sure I will come up with new tips and tricks and will be updating this article accordingly, to ensure you get the long hair you want. I wish you luck on your hair journey.
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