Long and natural black hair is the stuff of everyone’s dreams! Some are blessed with them while others are not. If you belong to the latter though, don’t fret, there are some sure shot hacks to grow your hair out. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t happen overnight and that it requires lots of patience!
Trim hair periodically
Ironically, trimming you hair should be the first step to achieving long, strong hair. However, unlike that popular myth, hair doesn’t grow any faster after its cut, instead, short trims are necessary to remove split ends.
Split ends decelerate hair growth and make your hair less healthy. If you keep them for long time, hair will begin to lose its shine and even strength as well. So most stylists recommend short trims every 6-8 weeks!
Avoid harsh chemicals & low-quality products
I needn’t even say this but avoid harsh chemicals and other low-quality hair products. They will severely dent your hair’s performance and you will be left with more loss than gain. Go for natural and herbal products as much as possible, while avoiding shampoos with SLS and Parabens.
Here are some of the best shampoos in India (based on price)
Don’t shampoo every time
I understand the obsession with shampooing every day! It keeps your hair clean and fresh (with a nice fragrance) for most of the day. But is everyday shampooing the right way to go?
While hair contains unwanted dirt and other particulates, it also has essential natural oils that keep hair healthy and strong. Shampoos strip the hair of these natural oils as well and in most cases, leave your hair dry. So it’s better to not shampoo every day if you want that locks to grow!
Suffering from dandruff? Here’s a good list of anti-Dandruff shampoos
If you just can’t avoid shampoos, always remember to use a conditioner along. Infact, conditioning should be one of your main priorities, even higher than shampooing!
Conditioners help to replace protein and lipids of the hairshaft, and seal its cuticles to prevent hair damage and return stronger, thicker hair.
Air dry hair or use soft fabric
Most women wrap their heads around a thick towel after bathing. This should be avoided if you want to grow your hair long.
Leaving your hair in a tight towel wrap will make it tangle around the fibers and become susceptible to breakage. However, since heat drying will cause as much (or even more) damage to the hair, it is better to go for a safer alternative. This is where Microfiber towels come in!
These towels have super-thin and soft microfiber, and even dry faster than normal ones. They are not readily available in India though but we’ve found some in Amazon!
Say no to cotton pillow case
Cotton pillow cases have thick fabric which could make your hair tangle-up and break! Use Silk or Satin pillow covers instead.
Try low ponytails or none at all
Avoid ponytail, bun or any other hairstyle which require a tight grip on your hair. Its reason should be obvious from the amount of hair that is left back on the tight (wrapping) elastic!
I do understand that the ponytail is an every-occasion style. So if you can’t avoid them, just don’t go for the high ones. Never tie up above the ear, instead, its preferred to employs a lower one near the nape of the neck. Also, use stretchier rubber or scrunchies (if you dare).
Avoid very hot water & cold-rinse after shower
A relaxing hot water bath is perhaps the last thing that most people do before they retire for the night. It calms every muscle in their body and has a soothing effect. While this is true for the body, hot water is not what we would recommend for hair.
Hot water weakens the hair and makes it brittle! You probably noticed this as more hair in your bathe towel. Try cold water or at least lukewarm water to keep your hair strong and thick. Even if you go for the latter, remember to cold water rinse at the very end to close those weakened hair follicles!
Avoid heat styling
I feel that I’m becoming more obvious going down this list. If hot water could damage your hair, think about what heat styling could do! I won’t say no to the occasional experiments but remember to tone them down to minimum. Heat styling leaves your hair brittle, dry and weak, and obviously, prone to frizz and breakage.
Brush slow and smooth (when dry)
Keratin, which makes up human hair and nails, is one of the strongest materials in our body. However, don’t let this fool you in to thinking that the hair can take everything that you dish out. Individual strands of hair are only as strong as the root which holds it to your head and constant rough handling will inevitably bring the stalk down.
Not familiar with hair structure? check this out
Gently brush your hair with a wide-toothed comb initially. This will smooth out the hair and will make it easier when you use a smaller one. Don’t ever force the comb through those knotty bits!
Hair mask once every two weeks
This is probably the last thing women, in particular, Indian women do. Hair mask is something that is great for your hair and should be practiced once in every two weeks (even if you are not growing out).
When you have long or medium length hair, it probably needs more nourishment that what regular conditioners provide due to the effects of aging. This is where Hair mask are useful. Most hair experts recommend natural concoctions with egg white, refined coconut oil or olive oil as primary ingredient.
Women in Kerala use Chembarathi or Thali (made from leaves and flower of hibiscus) for natural conditioning and masking.
Eat right and drink water
Men and women have had strong hair way before hair products were even invented. Some of them have worked in the fields, industries and mines, yet have not lost a single strand of hair before its due. Why is this?
A lot of it has to do with eating the right things. In order for hair to grow, it needs food that is rich in protein. These include dairy, fish, pulses, lean meat and eggs- staples in any diet before the turn of the century. Fast food was non-existent and food in general was of better quality.
Nowadays, for whatever reason, most people have nutrient imbalance in their diet and this causes many repercussions including hair fall.
Care the scalps
Never ignore the scalps- they provided as much strength to the hair as any. If you just clean the hair shafts, oil and dirt will accumulate on the scalps and cause hairfall. It is thus necessary to gently massage the hair roots while shampooing and remove any unwanted material.
Tone this down is you have dry hair but never completely remove from the routine.
Materials like aloe vera and coconut oil are good for scalps.
If all else fails or you are unable to stick to a proper diet, go for hair nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids, biotin (vitamin B1) and zinc are thing you should be looking for in good nutrition tablet. Just make sure to consult a doctor for proper usage and dosage.