How to Grow Your Hair Long
Updated: Feb 11
Step by step instructions on how to get your hair long- yes, even with color damage. And get your bank account ready because this investment isn't cheap. My girl Yvie in the picture has been following these instructions perfectly since she started coming to me 5 years ago, and look where her hair is!
Also- I am part of a few random affiliate programs. I get a small commission on sales directed through certain links, but it's usually not even enough to buy myself a coffee every month, and you do not have to purchase anything through my links- feel free to comparison shop if you'd like. I linked stuff for your convenience.
Get regular trims. Trims don't "make your hair grow faster" as the old hairdresser anecdote would suggest. HOWEVER, they do cut off split ends, which can perpetually make your hair continue shredding until you're left with nothing if you take poor enough care of it. If you take IMMACULATE care of your hair (and don’t color/heat style it), you can skate by without a trim for up to 6 months. If you shampoo 3x a week, straighten 3x a week, and have color, you'll need a trim every 8 weeks at least. I trim my hair every 3 months unless I notice more splits. Also, make sure that you find a hairdresser that you trust to not be too scissor happy (they should have several photos of clients with longer hair in their portfolio).
Use good shampoo. Sulfate free and color safe if you've got color. My hair gained a good 10 inches after 2 years of using Olaplex. Hair grows about 6-8 inches a year, and I got several trims in those two years to keep my hair looking healthy. I've seen virgin hair maintained with bad shampoo that looked worse than some of my platinum blondes that use the good stuff. Click here to buy Olaplex
Shampoo minimally and in cold water. The less you get your hair wet, the better. Truly! The natural pH of hair is 5ish and the pH of water is 7. Being submerged too often or for long periods of time can weaken your hair. I shampoo once a week unless I find my hair extra dirty. Also, the colder the water, the better for your hair. Warmth opens your cuticle (much like your pores) and cold closes them. You want to keep that cuticle as closed as possible to protect your hair from evil forces (damage). I blot my curls dry using a microfiber towel to speed up the air drying process, but blow drying on cool is also fine for straight hair or if you are planning to heat style later.
Use a silk bonnet or pillowcase when you sleep. Click Here to find a bonnet or here to find the pillowcase I recommend. If you have tangled/shorter hair at the nape of your neck, it could be from cotton pillowcases causing more tangles while you sleep. Okay I know the pillowcase is $110 but hear me out-this is the fanciest MF pillowcase I've ever had the pleasure of laying my head on. It won Harpers Bazaar's Best Accessory award for ANTI-AGING. wtf?? The one I bought on amazon is ratty AF now and it's the same age and gets the same amount of washes as the fancy one. I also HIGHLY recommend braiding your hair before you sleep if you're the type to wake up with a fresh batch of tangles.
Nutrition. Having good nutrition shows in every part of your body, including your hair. Unfortunately that also means it reflects when you're not at your healthiest, too. Extreme weight loss, being under anastethesia, hormones, and blood pressure medications are a few of the several things that can effect hair loss. Treat yourself good, and if you feel like you need an extra boost, I love those damn Sugarbearhair vitamins. They're tasty, so I don't forget to take them whenever there're sitting out. They actually work, too- the 2 months I took them, my nails were the longest they've ever gotten on their own and my leg hair was strong as a mf. I only took them for two months because I'm broke, but if you wanna treat yourself, you can buy them by clicking here. I'm about to order some knock off ones, so after I do two months of those bad boys, I will update y'all on the results.
Use as little heat as possible. If you blow dry/straighten your hair every day, IT WILL NEVER GET LONGER. Try to wear heat styles for several days (they'll last longer with that silk bonnet recommended above) and when you do heat style, turn the heat on that thang DOWN. If your iron doesn't have an adjustable temperature gauge, throw it away, it's trash. My fav heat tools are Bayliss pro (click here to buy). Also, you'll want to always use a heat protectant before doing any heat styling. I prefer Olaplex Part 6 (click here to buy), and tbh I don't really have a favorite runner up.
Brush with patience and the right type of brush. You've probably heard this since you were a child, but in case you haven't, start from your ends and work your way up when brushing. Instead of ripping through tangles, remove your brush from your hair and hit an inch below the offending tangle. Also, having the right brush is important. I prefer the Wet brush, since its bristles are weaker than a lot of brushes, instead of ripping through a tangle, the bristles yield to the tangle, minimizing breakage (click here to buy).
If you change your hair color, try ammonia free options or direct dyes. Stripping out old hair color and replacing it with new color multiple times a year will leave enough chemical damage to require trims that are equal to what grows to maintain the health of the hair. Keeping the same hair color is the best way to go, or "color shifting" if you have vivid hair-aka putting something over the old color that will hide it. Color and bleach is damaging, but you can absolutely have long hair that's bleached with any curl pattern as long as you're following steps 1-7 and you have a competent hair colorist.