There aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to growing out your hair. Whether you’re growing out a short haircut or hoping for long, flowing locks, hair growth takes time. Proper care and the right products can help keep your hair healthy, maximize growth and reduce breakage to keep your hair at its best and reduce your frustrations during this process.
Vitamins and Minerals
Adequate nutrition is essential for healthy hair growth. While eating a well-balanced diet will provide most of what you need to maximize hair growth, vitamin and mineral supplements can help and may be essential if you eat poorly. Take a multivitamin each day along with an additional B-complex, beta-carotene and an essential fatty acids supplement like fish oil or flaxseed oil as they may contribute to healthy hair. Specialty supplements designed to maximize hair growth are also an option.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Choose a gentle shampoo designed for your hair type, or one designed specifically for long hair if your hair is already long. Shampoo your scalp rather than your hair strands and avoid shampooing daily. Allowing a few days to pass between shampoos will keep your hair healthier. Always use a conditioner after shampooing, and use a daily conditioner in between shampoos to restore moisture if your hair is dry.
Deep conditioners are essential to keep your hair healthy and minimize breakage. Choose a deep conditioner with rich emollient ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Apply your conditioner and allow it to soak into your hair as you bathe or shower, then rinse well with cool water. Use a deep conditioner once a week, especially if your hair is chemically treated or damaged from styling.
You can purchase hot oil treatments or use olive or coconut oil from your pantry. Warm the oil by placing the bottle or a small bowl in a container of hot water to avoid the risk of overheating or burns. Work warm oil through your hair, focusing on the ends and shaft. Wrap your oiled hair in a towel fresh from the dryer or go under a hood hair dryer. Wait 30 minutes before washing it out. Monthly oil treatments will help add moisture to your growing-out hair and reduce breakage.
Brushes, Combs and Accessories
The right hair accessories and tools can help keep your hair healthy as it grows. Choose a molded wide tooth comb to manage wet or dry hair. Check your comb carefully for snags and sand them away with sandpaper if necessary. Opt for a boar bristle brush to brush your dry hair without damage, or use a wood pin brush if your hair is too thick for bristles to penetrate. Choose hair accessories that will not damage your hair including elastics without metal, hair sticks, and hair forks. Avoid ponytail holders with metal clasps, French clip-style barrettes or anything with springs as these may pull out or break your hair.