If you are like most people, wash your hair with shampoo at least once a day, probably with something nice and soapy. Well, I hate to tell you, but that’s definitely not good if you’re trying to grow a long, healthy hair.
Many of the commercial shampoos found in grocery stores and pharmacies are too harsh, mainly due to sulfates / surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Detergents like these are what make shampoos so frothy, what people often think is a cleaner product. The more frothy the better, right? Incorrect!
That foam cleans your hair well, but they do it by severely degrading the hair cuticle through abrasion and stripping it excessively of the natural oils (also known as sebum) produced by your scalp, which are actually very beneficial for your hair if Keep it in check instead of removing it with impunity, and in general, dry your hair.
Here is a general routine and a set of rules to start (customize it according to your needs):
1. Wash with shampoo less frequently: every two days maximum, less if you can do it. People hear this and immediately get angry. Do not do it! Your hair does not need to be cleaned so well, so often. When you use shampoo, use something softer and without sulfates. (We will dive into specific products in a moment, but you can skip it if you wish).
It is also not necessary to use a lot of shampoo, do not even concentrate on the tips of your hair. Take a small amount and distribute it through your scalp, then rinse. It will clean the rest of your hair as it slides.
You can also skip the shampoo completely and say “no”, but it is very difficult almost impossible to get that far.
2. If you take showers of hot steam water, lower the temperature slightly. Extreme heat is not really good for your hair and will eventually hurt a lot.
3. The conditioner is your friend. Use it every time you shower, whether you have washed your hair or not. You can even use it to “wash” your hair instead of shampooing.
When using a conditioner, let it sit on your hair for several minutes while doing other things in the shower, then rinse it at the end. Follow this by rinsing your hair with cold water (it is cold water, not ice cold). The cold water closes the cuticle of the hair, seals the humidity in the interior and smooths the hair shaft so that it does not get hooked on everything and it is damaged later.
4. Hair is weaker when wet, so treat it carefully after showering.
Avoid drying your hair roughly with a typical cloth towel, since rough cloth loops can cause static electricity at best and friction damage at worst. If you have an old shirt thrown, use that instead of the towel, and squeeze it gently, do not do that crazy rubbing thing. Also, do not move your head like a dog to dry the water. Just dry the drops gently with the shirt and let it air dry if you can.
Those of you who have especially curly hair (and who want to keep it that way) may like the “let it dry as it is” technique.
But you will need a boar bristle brush to distribute the scalp oils throughout the hair, stick with a wide tooth comb and use it carefully. Or better yet, just use your fingers! They are the best tools to untangle and fix your hair.
5. If you do not have time to air dry, or you should just use a hair dryer for any reason, try using it in a warm or cool place instead of hot.
Avoid other similar heat tools (straighteners, curling irons, etc.) and try to make the most of the natural texture of your hair. I did the straightening thing for years, and looking back, I really wish I had not.
6. Use a non-rinsing oil or conditioner while your hair is still damp, especially if you have naturally dry hair.
Of course, all this is a moot point if you do not have a decent diet, or if not, a decent supplement routine. Talk to your doctor before making dietary changes or supplements of any kind. We are not medical professionals. That being said, healthy hair generally means avoiding too many sugars and processed foods and making sure you’re getting plenty of:
- Vitamin B, specifically B12, B6 and B3 (ie, niacin). Vitamin B5 can help prevent aging, if this is a problem.
- In addition, vitamins C and E.
- Omega-3 acids
- Folic acid
Be careful with too much vitamin A, as it can lead to hair loss and other health problems.
People recommend taking a biotin supplement (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H), but it tends to cause cystic acne in high doses. However, most people get enough biotin in their daily diet, especially if they regularly eat eggs, nuts, bananas or dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale.
Last but not least, DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR.
This seems obvious if you are trying to grow, but many kids forget it. Or they think: “I’ll just cut it to make this uncomfortable phase a bit more bearable.” This only prolongs the discomfort and makes it longer to reach the desired length. In addition, even if you tell them to only cut their open ends, many hairdressers / stylists end up cutting too much, which causes them to regress months of growth. Be patient.
If you must get a cut, be very, very specific with whoever is cutting it, you just want the smaller one to be cut a little.
Well if you have already reached a length beyond your shoulders congratulations. Now you must choose a style and learn how to do it and maintain it. The way in which long hair is cut has to do with personal preference and lifestyle. Fortunately, as the trend has grown in popularity, hairstyle options and the products offered have also grown. What is useful, given that with long hair comes a great commitment. In order for any of these hairstyles to look really good, you must ensure that your hair is in the best possible condition.