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Sunday, February 22, 2015

10 Steps to Grow Hair Longer Faster

I love long hair.  Love, love, love.  But it's always been a struggle for me to grow it out.  I cut it and donate it when it gets long again, but it seems like it takes sooo long.  I was averaging 3 years between donations...yikes!

Well a while back I came across something on Pinterest, like we all do, with a link to the Almost Exactly blog, by Alex Raye.  Here's the post.

After I started reading, I couldn't stop.  I followed her whole journey through no-poo to ROM (the!)  Her hair is long and beautiful and I wanted to jump right in and do everything she did.

But...I'm a working mom.  I know, I know, it's not an excuse.  But it's really hard to commit to going around grungy for an unknown amount of time in the professional world.  It's not fun for your self confidence either, to feel icky all the time.  On top of that, I have toddlers smearing gross things on me regularly, and don't want to carry all that crud around for a couple weeks.

But I tried anyway.  I was to the point where I was washing my hair every single day, and when I woke up the next morning it was greasy again.  Now, I won't take you through my entire journey, maybe another day.  What I do want to share with you is where I am at now, and some simple steps you can take to grow your hair longer much faster without a ton of effort.  I'm talking 8"+ per year.  After all, we're busy gals!

So without further ado...  steps to grow your hair longer faster.

1. STOP dying that hair!  Embrace your natural color girls!  Now, if you are 30 and gray, I'm not going to tell you not to cover your grays.  But hair dye is so not good for your hair or your body, so try to figure out ways to do it less.  Maybe use root touch-up instead of doing your whole head every time.  If you're completely gray you could try blonde instead of brown, because it doesn't have to be done so often, your roots won't show as much.  My mom does this, and it looks much better.  You could also look into more natural hair dyes.

2.  Use a Sulfate Free shampoo and conditioner.  Make sure you clarify before you start using it, so you don't end up with a funky texture.  Sulfates coat your hair to make it look shiny and healthy, but what they are really doing is covering up the damage you are doing washing your hair every day.  And so my next tip is...

3.  DON'T wash your hair every day!  Before you say, "but I thought you were going to tell me how not to be grungy every day!" I will tell you that once you clarify and stop using the sulfate shampoos, your hair will not be as oily as before.  It's all about training your hair not to produce as much oil.  Start small.  Wash it every 2 days.  Try to make it a bit longer every month.  I've been at it a year and I wash my hair every 4 days.

4.  Read your labels!  There are lots of hair products out there, and even some of the organic brands have some yucky stuff on their labels.  Stay away from things that have sulfate, methyl, or EDTA in the names, and try to stay away from artificial colors and fragrances.  The Environmental Working Group has a great website called Skin Deep, with a free mobile app that you can search for most products, including personal care, cosmetics, and more, and check out all of the ingredients and their associated risks.  I highly recommend it!

5.  Only wash your scalp!  I hope you are already doing this, but to those that aren't, you don't need to wash the whole length of your hair unless you get something in it or are clarifying it.  Shampoo only your roots.

6.  Water down your shampoo.  You don't need nearly as much as you think you do.  Leave a cheap squeeze bottle like this one in the shower and add a squirt of shampoo to it, then fill it with water.  This will help you disperse it more evenly through your hair.  You only need enough that you barely feel suds to clean your hair.  This will not only keep you from drying out your hair and scalp, but it will save you a ton of money!

7.  Deep condition your hair.  Every once in a while, you need a deep conditioning.  It's so easy, so cheap, and makes your hair feel so good!  It's ridiculously easy.  Got some organic coconut oil in your kitchen?  Smear it through your dry hair and let it sit for a while before you hop in the shower.  A couple hours is great, but 20 minutes does just fine!  (And if you don't, try some!  It has a hundred uses!)

8.  Easy on that ponytail.  Wearing your hair up every day can cause a lot of breakage.  If you just have to, make sure you use fabric covered elastics or even cloth headbands.  Or try a braid instead!

9.  DO NOT brush your wet hair!  It is weakest when wet, so just don't do it.  Brush your hair before you shower, not after.  Try a boar bristle brush and a wooden comb.

10.  Last but not least...stimulate your scalp!  When you wash your hair, scrub that scalp with your fingers.  I like to really get in there with the boar bristle brush before my shower and distribute my scalp oils down the shaft of my hair.  And I love a vinegar rinse.  3 parts water, 1 part organic raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and a couple of drops each of organic peppermint oil and tea tree oil.  Just mix in another squeeze bottle and use after you shampoo.  Once you rinse it out, you won't smell like vinegar, but your scalp will be tingly and flake-free too!

Well, there you have it.  Grow your hair longer and stronger, quicker!  I hope you try at least some of these tips to grow your hair.  And I hope you consider donating your hair to Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids, or Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

What tips do you have to grow your hair long and healthy?