My Hair Growth Journey
Before I tell you all how I grew long & healthy hair, I think you deserve to know the backstory on why I even had to grow it [back] out. Almost 4 years ago, I was on a road trip with Carter in Cleveland, Ohio. While getting ready before a game, I was using the hotels hairdryer and had my head flipped upside down to get the roots. Totally normal, right? Wrong. The hairdryer made a weird sound and I smelled burnt hair. Helloooo worst nightmare. The hairdryer burnt off at least a third of my hair (in the back and right hand side of my head) down to an inch long. Cue the tears. I have NEVER had this happen before. I’ve never even burnt my hair with a curling iron! This was the beginning of my journey into growing my hair out as healthy and long as it could be.
Thankfully, I am blessed with naturally thick hair, so I was able to hide the burnt off hair with strategic parting and styles. However, this did not stop me from feeling like half of my hair was gone! Over the next couple of years I tried everything to get my hair to grow. I just wanted my long hair back! Now, I have the longest and healthiest hair I’ve ever had, and I want to share with you how I did it!
The very first thing you need to understand though, is that healthy hair = long hair. If your hair isn’t healthy, it will not grow long because it will continuously break off. The next thing you need to know, is that there is no such thing as a “quick fix” for hair growth. You can’t put an egg mask on your hair every night and wake up after a week with hair three inches longer. It is actually not physically possible. Sorry to burst that bubble everyone. Ok, now that you’re prepped, read on to my long & healthy hair tips!
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- Cut down on heat styling whenever possible – I do my best to let my hair air dry as often as I can, but if I have to blow dry it, I make sure to not use a curling iron or straightener after. (Not counting holidays and special occasions, obviously). Also, by letting my hair air dry as much as possible before using the hair dryer, I cut down on drying time and therefore heat damage. Woohoo!
- Use a heat protector – If you must use any kind of styling tool, make sure you use a good heat protector to minimize damage to your hair. Lately I’ve been using IGK Call Time; it guards against both heat and static. I love it!
- Wash your hair less – Every time you wash your hair, you are stripping it of the natural oils your scalp creates. You might have to take some time to “detox” your hair, if you wash it every day. But I promise, it will get less greasy and you will love your newly found extra time!
- Don’t use a towel to dry your hair – After washing your hair, don’t use a terrycloth towel to dry your hair. It can catch on your hair and cause breakage. Instead use a microfiber or t-shirt material fabric. I personally don’t like microfiber, so I found this hair towel on amazon instead.
- Use the correct hairbrush – If your hair is wet use a Wet Brush, if it’s dry, use a brush like Mason Pearson (luxury) or this boar bristle brush (budget friendly). Using these brushes will reduce the stress put on your hair. Less stress = less breakage!
- Brush hair from the bottom up – This seems like a no brainer, but I’ve met plenty of people who start brushing at the root of their hair rather than the ends. Just work your way upwards so the brush has less to snag on. Less breakage means longer hair!
- Eat a healthy diet – Good nutrition makes for healthy hair. Make sure you’re getting in all of your vitamins and minerals through food, not just vitamins! Also, if you’re really struggling with thinning or lots of breakage, see a doctor. You could be low on a necessary vitamin or mineral, or have an underlying health issue.
- Use a sulfate free shampoo & conditioner – Sulfates are the main culprit in stripping your hair of the oils it needs to stay healthy, so a good shampoo & conditioner is key! I also try to look for paraben free, mineral oil free, vegan, and cruelty free products, but that’s just me 🙂
- Moisturize! Dry and brittle ends will cause you to want or need a cut sooner rather than later. Using a product like Moroccan Oil or Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm will help keep your ends smooth and healthy. Bonus? Both of these products smell amazing!
- Rinse with cool water – When you use warm water, it opens up your hair cuticle. This is great for conditioning, so that the hair actually absorbs the moisture. But if you leave the cuticle open it is more prone to breakage and splitting. Rinsing with cool water closes the cuticle and leaves your hair shiny and manageable!