Growing out your hair can be trickier than you might think: If you don’t take good care of your hair, it may become dry and brittle as it grows, forming split ends. If you’re trying to grow your hair longer, but struggling with scraggly ends that are screaming out for a haircut, there are steps that you can take to promote healthy hair growth–so that you can grow your hair out to new lengths, and keep it looking neat and luscious in the process.
Diet and vitamins for healthy hair
Like with skin care, the secret to meaningful hair care lies largely with your diet. If you’re not getting the right amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, you’ll have a much harder time growing out healthy hair. Luckily, though, you can get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need from fairly common foods. Here are some key nutrients to look out for:
Biotin (vitamin B): Biotin is a B-vitamin that plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy hair and skin. You can get biotin from eggs, almonds, cauliflower, and some cheeses, or try a biotin supplement.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C intake has been shown to promote hair growth among women with thinning hair; it’s one of the many nutrients that helps to keep your hair follicles healthy so that they can produce stronger, longer hair. You can get vitamin C from many fruits (especially citrus fruits), and some green vegetables.
Collagen: Research also supports the idea that collagen can help to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. You can get collagen from bone broth, seafood, eggs, and citrus fruits; and you can also use a collagen supplement like Bulletproof’s Collagen Protein Powder to make sure that you’re getting the right amount.
Your lifestyle may also be playing a role in your hair health, and thus in your hair’s ability to grown as long and strong as you’d like. Heat treatments like blow-drying, straightening, and curling damage your hair shaft, making your hair weak and brittle over time. Hair dyes also weaken your hair, and can even lead to hair loss. Even sitting in the sauna or steam room can damage your hair, so it’s important to cover your hair with a towel while you steam!
Learn how to get more volume without using heat on your hair here.
Many of us are also guilty of over-brushing our hair or brushing too harshly. In particular, you should never brush your hair while it’s wet. Wait until it’s dry before brushing, or use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair while it’s still wet.
Best hair products for growth
It’s generally wise to be skeptical of any product that claims to work miracles for hair growth (although it can be easy to get carried away by visions of your new-and-improved, TV-perfect mane of hair). We recommend thinking of hair products as a supplement to your healthy diet and lifestyle, intended to give your hair an extra boost.
Many hair products contain chemicals that are bad for our hair, such as synthetic fragrances, colors, preservatives, and stabilizers. We recommend that you steer clear of conventional shampoos, and opt for a natural option that has received a rating of between 1 and 3 from the Environmental Working Group. It may take a bit of fine-tuning to find the products that are right for your hair, but switching to a natural product will be much better for your entire body in the long run.
You can even try making your own shampoo with these recipes.
Hair serums: To stimulate healthy hair growth, we recommend investing in a natural follicle serum like John Masters Organics’ Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment & Volumizer. This product uses plant ingredients such as thyme, arnica, and Irish moss to take care of your scalp and hair; these ingredients help to clean and condition the follicles for optimal hair growth and to soothe scalp irritation. If you don’t want to shell out for a pre-packaged serum, you can also make your own; we recommend this DIY hair serum recipe from Wellness Mama.
Leave-in conditioners: To grow out long, luxurious hair, we also recommend finding a hard-working leave-in conditioner, like Pacifica Beauty’s Hairvana Leave-On Detangling Conditioner. Pacifica’s formula includes agave, rice protein, coconut oil, and jojoba oil to deeply moisturize your ends, reducing breakage and promoting elasticity. The right leave-in conditioner can help you to avoid split ends and scraggliness, allowing you to grow your hair out longer without needing a cut.
Ways to style your long locks:
- 6 Beautiful Haircuts For Long Hair
- 5 Braids for Long Hair That are Actually Easy to do
- 5 Best elegant updos for long hair
- The cool-girl way to style long hair
Camille Bond is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has interned in the film industry and the publishing industry, as well as for a political campaign. When it comes to the world of beauty and wellness, she loves researching natural skincare brands, concocting DIY recipes, and discovering new mediation techniques!