Long, luscious hair will eternally make a beautiful statement on almost any person. However, getting it isn't always as simple as waiting it out. Change the way you deal with your hair and make a few lifestyle changes, and you'll be well on your hair to thick, lustrous, flowing locks.
Part 1Changing the Way You Treat Your Hair#1Avoid hot tools. It is certainly tempting to wrangle your locks into complete submission with the use of blow dryers, flat irons, and curling wands, but these hot tools can actually be detrimental to adding length and thickness to your hair. The extreme heat damages hair, making it more likely to break off mid-strand and appear fried. When possible, let your hair air-dry and use heatless styling methods.
- 2Stay away from hair dyes and relaxers. Just like heat, the chemicals present in dyes and relaxers are highly likely to cause breakage in your strands. What does this mean? Short, frizzy, and damaged looking hair. Stay away from these chemicals whenever possible, and use all-natural dyes and lightening solutions (such as henna) instead of the harsh chemical versions.
- 3Limit hair washings. The oil that causes hair to look greasy is called sebum, and is responsible for strengthening and adding nutrients to your scalp and locks. Therefore, if you’re washing your hair on a daily basis, you are removing the natural ingredient your body produces to help thicken and lengthen your hair. Space out hair washings as far as you can, and limit it to at least every other day.
- 4Wash your hair with cold water. When you wash your face with cold water, it closes your pores and keeps them free of grime; your hair responds similarly when washed in cold water, by closing the cuticle of the hair and flattening out the scales. This makes your hair look better, makes it easier to manage, and keeps it healthier longer. Therefore, when you wash your hair use the coldest water you can tolerate and reap the benefits.
- 5Use specialized hair products. Not all hair products are made the same, and there are many on the market that are specifically for use in lengthening and thickening hair. Look for these as well as anti-frizz products; frizzy hair can give the illusion of short, thin hair. When possible though, look for hair products that contain all-natural or organic ingredients rather than harsh chemicals which could worsen your hair.
- 6Pick out a new shampoo. Shampoo can be incredibly drying on your hair, which removes the helpful oils necessary for promoting hair growth. Find a shampoo that is sulfate-free for gentler hair care. Not only will your hair look better, you probably won’t have to wash it so often too.
- 7Use gentle hair tools. If you’ve ever used a rubber-band to tie up your hair, you know how damaging certain tools can be to your hair. Use only tug-friendly elastic bands and hair clips with rubber-ends. When possible, use only plastic combs that lack seams to brush your hair as other brushes can catch in your hair and yank out strands.
- 8Give yourself a scalp massage. You can stimulate your scalp into producing hair a bit faster by massaging it on a regular basis. Warm up some coconut oil until it is comfortable to the touch, and rub it into your scalp and the roots of your hair for 5-10 minutes. If you do this once a week for several months, you’ll notice a significant growth spurt in your hair.
- 9Use a deep-conditioning treatment. In an attempt to repair split ends and breakage along your strands, you can give yourself a deep-conditioning treatment. You can purchase one at a store, or do one at home using mayonnaise (yes, it sounds gross but it works really well). Rub the conditioning treatment into your hair and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Rinse it out as per usual, and repeat the process once a month. As an additional benefit to speeding up the growing process, your hair will be much softer too.
- Rinsing out your conditioner with cold water and finishing blow drying your hair with cold air will both seal the cuticle to lock away frizz and add shine.
- 10Style your hair differently. Certain hairstyles, such as small braids and tight buns, can tug and pull out hair, and cause breakage where the elastic bands sit. Mix up your hairstyles throughout the week so that the same area of hair isn’t constantly getting damaged, and avoid using any hairstyles that put a lot of pressure on your scalp.
Part 2Making Lifestyle changes
- 1Take vitamins and supplements. Certain vitamins and minerals can aid in supplying your body with nutrients essential to growing long, thick hair. Talk to your doctor first, but consider taking iron, vitamin D, zinc, and B-spectrum vitamins. There are also hair-growth specific vitamins out there like Biotin that aid solely in growing out your hair and nails.
- 2Exercise on a regular basis. Yes, it is the advice we often don’t want to hear but nearly always get; exercise is beneficial to your health in dozens of ways, including thickening your hair and speeding up growth time. It works to increase circulation to your scalp, which is primarily responsible for hair growth. Try to exercise several times a week for the best results.
- 3Eat healthily. Your hair needs certain nutrients to grow just like the rest of your body does! Good food helps supply your hair follicles with nutrients necessary for luscious, full looking strands; poor nutrition can lead to dull, lackluster, lanky hair. Fill up your diet with leafy greens, fresh fruit, wild-caught fish, and nuts and watch your hair grow more vibrant.
- 4Keep hydrated. Your body needs water to maintain its health and to continue growing, and so does your hair. Possibly the easiest change to make to benefit your hair is simply drinking more water! Try to consume 8-10 full glasses of fluids (preferably water) per day for the best results.
- 5Switch to a silk pillowcase. If your hair is decently long already, you’re probably used to waking up with dozens of strands of hair spread out in your bed and on your pillows. Although it is natural to lose a few strands of hair every day, certain fabrics that you sleep on can grab more hair than is meant to be lost. To prevent this, switch over to silk pillowcases which don’t cause so much friction. Not interested in new pillowcases? Try wrapping your hair with a silk scarf at night instead.
- 6Reduce your stress. There’s a reason the old adage of losing your hair has to do with suffering from too much stress. Certain hormones are released when you are stressed which have a direct correlation to increased hair loss.Keep your hair thick and full (and do your emotions and mental state a favor!) by taking steps to reduce your stress. You’ll feel better in general, but your hair will look significantly healthier over time as well.
- If you're tired of waiting for your hair to grow out, consider getting hair extensions to add a bit of length and fullness.
- Never use warm water for washing your hair, as this may make your hair dry and frizzy.
- Be extremely careful of what you put in your hair. Read the bottle for directions and check with your doctor to see if you have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the bottle.