If you are anything like me, it's hard not to envy the beautiful cascade of hair that falls down the backs of your long-haired friends. I did a big chop last year and said "goodbye" to my long curls, but now I want them back! That's usually how it goes, isn't it?
I've been using these easy methods for the last few months to help nurture my overworked locks, and I've definitely noticed a difference. Growing hair isn't difficult – it just takes time. Be kind to your hair and it will love you back.
1. Trim those ends, girl
You've heard it before and probably gone through the agony of watching an inch or two of hard work fall to the ground at the hand of the scissors, but it helps. You can't grow luxurious long hair if the foundation you're working with is damaged and split.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that the ends aren't as important to keep up as they're rumored to be, but that is wrong. Damaged ends will continue to split up the hair and break, counteracting your hair-growth mission.
Trimming hair every six to eight weeks is the key to growing healthy hair. I try to stick by this as best I can, but if I'm feeling a little busy, I'll take my haircutting scissors and trim the dead ends off myself every once in a while.
2. Cut out the heat and resist the chemicals
It's hard to resist hot styling tools and tempting dyes. I have extremely curly hair and I've found this rule the hardest to abide by because I've used chemicals and heat in the past to help tame my cavewoman head of hair. But the damage it causes is not worth it.
A number of heatless methods exist that can help you achieve the style you want without the cost of hair damage. Straightening hair without heat or chemicals is a bit more difficult, especially if you have mixed curly hair. Learning to accept my natural curls is a work in progress, but I'm getting there.
3. Go easy on your hair when wet
One of the best things you can do to help your hair get to that long length is to go easy on it when it's wet. Post-shower hair is very fragile. Don't vigorously rub your hair with a towel because your ends will hate you.
Instead, gently pat it down to remove excess water. If you have curly hair that always needs moisture, dry it with a T-shirt after a shower because it doesn't dry as harshly as a towel.
If you must brush your hair while it's wet, use a wide-toothed comb. I can't afford to let my curls dry too much or I'll never be able to run anything through it. I actually comb my hair with a wide-toothed comb in the shower while there's conditioner in it.
4. Nourish your hair with oil
Castor oil and coconut oil can be saviors for hair. The components of castor oil promote blood circulation to the scalp, which assists in overall hair growth. Castor oil also helps smooth split ends by penetrating the hair. Coconut oil does the same things while protecting hair and providing nutrients. Warm up the coconut oil and take your time massaging it into your scalp.
5. The Inversion Method
Last, but certainly not least is the Inversion Method, a method that many women – myself included – swear by! It may sound completely ridiculous, but it seriously works.
Apply some kind of nourishing oil to the hair and massage into scalp. (I use coconut oil, but olive oil, castor oil, argan oil will work fine.) Flip hair upside down and massage scalp for three to four minutes. Repeat as often as every day.
This method helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp and works wonders on growing hair. Some women have claimed they've seen an inch of hair growth in just seven days. Although my hair didn't grow an inch, there was definitely noticeable growth in the first week that I tried it.