One of the things I probably get the most questions on, both in real life and on this blog + social media is my hair. Specifically, how I grew it out.
Now, I'd love to sit here and talk to you about this one miracle trick I found, something super cheap and easy that will give you long luscious locks in a month. Unfortunately, this is real life and that just doesn't happen. However, having cut my hair very short multiple times, and then spending the past two years consciously growing mine out and actually properly caring for it, I do feel I'm in the position to share at least my own experiences with the process, and how you can speed things up a bit.
Keep in mind, however, that this is just one girl's experiences: this worked for me, but that doesn't mean it's going to work 100% for you! Try things out; experiment; find your process!
1. My number 1 tip, whether you want to grow out your hair or not, is CARE. Even if your hair is shorter, if you don't care for your ends, they're going to split and break off and you may end up cutting off more than you wish.
2. A lot of people talk about caring for your ends, but what does that actually mean? For me, this means only washing my hair once a week. I know. Are you grossed out yet? This is actually a pretty common method for hair growth/protection, and the reason is twofold: first, washing your hair too frequently will strip it of it's natural oils, and likewise forces it to produce the same oils at a faster rate to "catch up" (this is why some of us have to wash our hair every day; slowly weaning yourself off the habit can be a little gross, and yes you'll be working that dry shampoo, but aside from saving your hair in the long run, you'll also be saving time. After a few weeks you should be able to wash about 2 times a week, which is a good place to be!)
Secondly, by allowing those natural oils to remain on your hair shaft, it replenishes the vitamins and nutrients necessary to promote healthy hair growth, not just for length but also strength. Which is imperative to long hair.
3. So you're washing your hair twice or (if you're brave and savvy with it) once a week, and your hair is feeling pretty strong, but it's not growing. This is where I pull in my best friend, coconut oil.
I know what you're thinking: "adding oil to my hair? Hm, nope." Stay with me here. The night before you're going to wash your hair, take a few tablespoons of coconut oil and, after warming it in your fingers to soften it (even better if you melt it all the way down in the microwave, but be careful not to burn your scalp!), massage it all the way through the shafts and ends of your hair. This part strengthens the hair you already have; next you're going to thoroughly massage more oil into your scalp, and this will promote hair growth.
Coconut oil is chock-full of nutrients and vitamins that are amazing for your hair follicle, and produce longer, stronger strands. Furthermore, massaging your scalp well in the process gets the blood flowing to your hair follicles to help them grow. Finally, by leaving this treatment in overnight, you allow the oils plenty of time to work on your hair. There are also theories about hair growing faster overnight, but I'm not sure how true they are. ;) In the morning, you'll want to thoroughly shampoo (massage that scalp again!) and give your hair a good long condition (shave your legs while you let it sit for a few minutes!). My favorite shampoo/conditioner combination is the TreSemme Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner set.
Like really, I haven't used anything else since I first tried it a year or two ago. <3 p="">
4. Finally, the most important thing to remember is patience. Growing out your hair is a long process, and it's not going to happen overnight. I have definitely noticed my hair growing faster since using coconut oil (within the last month it's grown almost an inch! whaaa??) but of course it depends a lot on what you're eating (lots of proteins will help, but remember it will help the rest of your hair grow too!) how much you're sleeping (as usual, the more the better). Remember also to get regular trims, because as painful as it is to feel like you're cutting off all the hair you worked so hard to grow, it would be a lot harder to have to cut off a lot more as those split ends work up the hair shaft. Of course, use heat protectant when you curl/straighten your hair, and limit that in general, and be gentle with your hair - but you knew that.
Something I noticed more recently, what with going off of sugar (still going strong!) is that my hair shaft has been a lot stronger. I'm not sure if that's related to my eating different food that are healthier for my hair because the sugar-filled options are out of the playing, or if eating sugar was weakening my hair, but I'm loving the results. :)
Best of luck with your hair-growing, ladies! If you have any more questions, let me know and I'm happy to answer them! And of course I'd love to hear your own stories + advice.
Whew that was long.3>