(In my Drake voice) I'm upset.
I keep seeing people doing this one thing that DAMAGES their hair and it's driving me NUTS! This post is going to serve as a little PSA from me to you.
I have people ask me all the time if I have any "long hair secrets" or special tips or tricks.
What REALLY boosts your hair growth is patience (and a few good habits which I will mention at the end). But there is definitely one thing a lot of people do that will definitely NOT help you get healthy or long hair. Keep reading for my NUMBER ONE TIP on what (not) to do to achieve long hair!
This "hair growth secret" isn't even really a secret. I thought it was common knowledge. It's a little thing that makes a HUGE difference in the long run and is so simple but I see so many people not doing it. I even had my hair done by two licensed hairstylists this year and neither of them put it into practice.
So what is it?
My number one tip (AND pet peeve) when to comes to hair care is making sure you detangle correctly. That's it.
I know you're thinking "What? This is not the tea sis." Oh, but it is. It may seem like not a big deal but this is a huge thing. I cannot tell you how many people (with all hair types, I might add) I have seen RIP THROUGH TANGLES while detangling. This is so, so bad for your hair. You just got a little guilty twinge didn't you? YOU DO IT TOO, DON'T LIE!
I already know how it goes. You're combing or brushing your hair. You hit a knot and think "Ain't nobody got time for that!" And keep on rippin on.
If you do this, DISHONOR ON YOU AND YOUR COW! It shakes me to my CORE to see people literally ripping their hair out and breaking it off. I know it's faster. I know you have things to do. But when you go sawing through your hair like Paul Bunyan in a redwood forest, let me remind you what you're doing:
Next time you comb your hair I know you're going to be thinking about this post, and you're gonna go DAMN IT, TY! ...you're welcome, love you too. But as long as you're thinking about this post, think about the PROPER way to detangle!
How To Detangle (The RIGHT Way)
I know you've all heard this before but there really is a right and a wrong way to detangle. It should look something like:
1) GENTLY, with a wide toothed comb or a paddle brush, start at the bottom of your hair and comb through just the ends, working your way up gradually. (Paddle brushes that have little knobby things on the end tend to get caught in curly hair so consider a brush similar to a Denman brush.)
2) If you hit a knot or a tangle for Heaven's sake, DON'T RIP IT OUT. You'll hear me screaming from miles away. Take the tangle and pull it apart strand by strand. It should unravel right before your eyes.
3) Re-comb gently through the detangled area and keep combing until you reach the top, finger detangling any tangles along the way.
Note: I usually detangle on wet hair because my hair is curly. If you have straight hair, you've probably been told to never detangle on wet hair and that may work. However, curly hair is best detangled damp or wet unless you want a headache and a bald head.
Proper detangling doesn't necessarily have an effect on growth but it does help to retain what you do grow. If you're constantly ripping and breaking your hair, you're going to see a lot more shedding and have to cut off a lot more length when it comes time for a trim. If you're combing through your hair and you can hear it snapping, slow down and take your time!
When you take care of the hair you already have in tandem with other good habits that boost hair growth, trust me, you'll start to see a HUGE difference in how healthy your hair looks and how much length you retain.
Healthy Hair Habits
Like I said, I don't do anything special. But what I do, works. Some of the things I do to help my hair grow are:
1) A Daily Biotin Supplement
This alone won't cause explosive growth but when you do it along with other things, Biotin can really give you a boost. I've been taking it for about a week now so I haven't seen a huge difference in my hair yet, but my nails grew a LOT during that short time.
2) Daily Scalp Massage
This is so quick and easy you can just slide it into your bedtime routine! (Or do it at work like I do. Ignore the stares.) Just slide your fingers through your hair and massage your scalp for about 10 minutes every day. Research has shown that this may promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to your scalp and your hair follicles. And if it doesn't, hey at least it feels good.
3) Green Tea
I've been drinking a ton of green tea lately. Get your science hats on, I'm gonna learn you a little something! Green Tea prohibits the growth of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), a hormone that hinders hair growth and causes hair to fall out. It also contains vitamins A and C, as well as polyphenols which are all very good for your hair. Look it up (or click the picture to see the article I read on StyleCraze.com)!
4) Satin Scarves and Pillowcases
Cotton pillowcases and sheets can really rough up your hair while you sleep. In addition, the cotton fibers drain moisture from your hair, making it dry and frizzy. Wrap your hair in a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillowcase that won't tug on your hair or break off your edges!
5) Loose Buns
Loose buns are your friend! I wear my hair in a loose bun a LOT when it's curly, for two reasons: My edges aren't stressed out from getting tugged on in a super tight style AND my ends aren't left hanging down to get caught on anything.
When I leave my hair out, it usually doesn't end well. I've had people accidentally sit on my hair while I'm laying down and I may or may not have accidentally shut it in the car door once. (Don't ask me how that happened-I have NO idea.) Also, most things we wear are made of cotton or wool; when your hair is left to hang down, it rubs or catches on these fabrics, causing even more damage. Keeping it in a bun prevents all of this.
6) Deep condition and Cowash
Do this often but not TOO much because it is possible to over-condition. I know wash day is a pain. When I'm in the shower whipping my hair around pretending to be a water avatar (come on, we all do it), it's not so bad. But when I get out and I'm faced with drying time, detangling, combing twisting, moisturizing...it makes me want to prolong washing my hair as much as possible.
But, it's no secret that cowashing more often leads to super clean, soft hair. The more often you do that AND add moisturizing hair products, the more moisturized your hair will be. This means less frizz, less tangles, less breakage and less manipulation.
7) Trim regularly
I know I know-"I'm trying to grow my hair, why would I want to cut it?!" You read right, it's not opposite day. If you want to maintain HEALTHY hair, you have to trim it. If you don't, split ends will travel up your hair shaft, making your hair thinner, frizzier, weaker and prone to breakage. What's the point of having long hair if you look like the crypt keeper? I always say short and healthy is better than long and damaged! And guys, really-it's hair. It will grow back. I promise.
All these tips may seem really simple and common sense but this is really all I do. People ask me all the time what hair growth secrets or hair growth routines I use and I really don't do anything special. You just have to be patient and consistent and really put in time and effort-there's no secret sauce.
That being said, if anyone DOES have a secret that'll have ya girl whipping like Rapunzel, feel free to share! What are your hair growth secrets or tips? Leave a comment and tell me about your hair routine or favorite products!
Confused Millenial mommy, constantly learning and reinventing myself. College grad, budding authoress and awkward geek extraordinaire. I like the Bee Gees.