I’ve had long hair for most of my life, apart from an unfortunate haircut I once had as a child, but it’s probably the longest it has ever been right now. I always get asked what I do to maintain my hair and how I grew it so long, which is why I decided to write a “tips for hair growth and health” post to round up different things that have helped me. I was never the best at taking care of my hair, but along the way I’ve learned a few things. Even if you’re not looking to grow out your hair, these tips will improve the overall health of your hair.
Just a little disclaimer: I’m not a professional and these are just some things I’ve learned from my mother, who was a hairstylist (and is also Pakistani so she knows about like every natural remedy for EVERYTHING), through word of mouth and of course by doing research through a company that is literally taking over the world, Google– they even patented a wristband that can detect cancer. Hello, the United States of Google. Anyway, I digress.
Here are 38 tips for hair growth and health:
1. Exfoliate your scalp |
Exfoliating your scalp– I’ve done a DIY scalp exfoliator— promotes hair growth by stimulating your scalp, and it gets rid of product build up, which will help your hair grow.
2. Drink green tea |
Green tea contains antioxidants, which will strengthen your hair. It also contains Vitamin A, E, C, zinc and selenium, which prevents hair loss and encourage hair growth. It really is a miracle ingredient.
3. Apply treatments with damp hair |
A conditioning treatment, or oil treatment, will penetrate better if the pores on your scalp are open. So, jump into the shower and dampen your hair with warm water, which will open up those pores for better penetration.
4. Eat more onions |
What you’re eating is important, but what is a specific food you can eat to promote hair growth? Onions. Onions are rich in sulfur, which is an important nutrient for hair growth.
5. Eat more garlic |
Another ingredient you should eat more regularly is garlic. Garlic contains copper, which prevents hair loss and promotes thick hair. It also has zinc, Vitamin B, C, zinc and iron, all of which are important nutrients. Overall, this is a great ingredient whether eaten raw or cooked.
6. Always rinse your hair with cold water |
At the end of your shower, make sure you give your hair a good rinse with cold water. This locks in moisture and keeps your hair shiny.
7. Do an Oil mask once or twice a week |
Just like you moisturize the skin on your body, your scalp also needs to be moisturized to help grow your hair and keep it healthy. Oil nourishes the scalp and hair, which is why doing a warm oil mask once or twice a week would be beneficial. Whether it’s coconut, almond, avocado, or any other oil you prefer, start oiling it up! if you suffer from dry, flaky scalp then definitely start doing this more often!
8. Brush gently |
Never tug at your hair, especially from the roots because that will cause much more breakage. Your hair is delicate so always brush it gently and start from the bottom, working your way up to the roots.
9. Brush your hair before showering |
Brushing your hair when it’s wet is not a good thing since wet hair is very delicate. Instead, gently brush your hair before you shower. I used to think I should brush my hair after since it would hurt less after I conditioned it in the shower, but it’s definitely better to brush beforehand so when you do get out of the shower you won’t have to brush out any major tangles.
10. Brush your hair upside down |
Switch up the way you brush your hair. Most people brush their hair standing/ sitting right side up, but try flipping your head over and brushing your hair upside down. So, from the nape of your neck to the top of your head. This stimulates the scalp even more since it’s not used to being brushed like that and scalp stimulation = healthy hair growth.
11. Eat more protein |
Hair is essentially made up of “dead” cells, and protein itself is important to consume because it regenerates dead cells. So, eating more protein will promote hair growth and health, and of course it will benefit your overall health as well.
12. Apply protein topically |
Applying protein, such as an egg, topically is also beneficial because eggs are a protein so it will promote healthy hair growth. Plus, they have other nutrients that are great for hair growth such as sulfur, phosphorous, iodine and more. But whatever you do, please don’t rub raw chicken on your head LOL.
13. Massage your scalp |
This is something I love doing because it feels so calming. Massaging the scalp helps hair growth because it stimulates blood circulation in your scalp, which promotes hair growth.
14. Drink more water |
Drinking water is also extremely important. Your body needs to stay hydrated to function properly and your hair will definitely pay the price if you’re constantly dehydrated. I like to carry a 32 oz bottle of water everywhere with me and it has helped me stay hydrated.
15. Trim your hair |
Although your hair grows from your scalp, keeping your ends trimmed is essential for hair growth. I don’t think you need to get one every 6 weeks, but go once you notice more split ends. Trimming your ends is important because too many split ends means breakage. If you’re trying to grow out your hair, definitely keep the ends nice and trimmed and healthy.
16. Switch to sulfate free shampoo |
You all have most likely heard at least once that you should be buying sulfate free shampoo and conditioner, but why? Well, sulfates dry out the scalp and strip them of their natural oils which are an integral part of hair growth. Not only that, but one type of sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, is found in household cleaning items like Windex and auto cleaning products– why would you want to put that on your scalp?? No sir.
17. Switch to a shampoo/conditioner containing keratin |
Your hair is made up of proteins, and one of those proteins is keratin. It acts as a protective layer that shields your hair from excess damage so adding a shampoo and conditioner that contains keratin essentially just strengthens your hair and protects it. This will allow your hair to grow beautifully and regenerate.
18. Get adequate sleep |
This one is very obvious since you need sleep to function, but there are different stages of sleep. Your body/ cells need to regenerate and it does that during REM sleep, which occurs a few times during the sleep cycle. If your body does not go through the different stages of sleep, it’s likely your hair [and body] will suffer.
19. De-stress |
Extreme stress is a big reason behind premature hair loss and why your hair may not be growing back as quickly as you like. Of course, it’s easy to say don’t stress, but it’s much harder to stop stressing– it’s not a switch you can turn off at moment’s notice. Some things I like to do to destress is drink tea and read while taking a bath. Every day, do something you love so you can de-stress. Whether it be playing with your pet, which is actually a great stress reliever, or just laying in bed for 20 minutes listening to music alone, do it every day.
20. Sleep like a princess with silk pillowcases |
Cotton can be harsh on your hair due to friction when sleeping. So, make like a princess and buy some silk pillowcases that won’t damage your hair or cause breakage.
21. Don’t use clarifying shampoos |
Clarifying shampoos will strip your natural scalp oils. Instead, opt for a natural exfoliating DIY.
22. Don’t wash your hair every day |
Washing your hair everyday can dry out your scalp, which I learned the hard way. This not only affects the health of your hair, but how fast it grows. Try to wash your hair every other day or even every two days if you can manage that.
23. Don’t wash your hair with hot water |
When you do wash your hair, avoid hot water. Instead, opt for warm water. Scorching your hair in the shower is going to dry it out and it’s not good for your scalp, which you must keep happy for healthy hair– especially if you’re trying to grow it out.
24. Avoid heat styling |
Similar to how washing your hair with very hot water is detrimental to the health of your hair, using heat styling tools isn’t beneficial either. Heat styling definitely makes our hair look the way we want, but it’s damaging so try to limit how many heat styling tools you use. Always use a heat protector because the sun is another heat source that can damage hair.
25. Avoid tying your hair up tight |
Sometimes having your hair down can be an irritating hassle, but keeping your hair constantly tied isn’t good for it. Your hair is very fragile so tying it into a ponytail or into a bun isn’t ideal. Sometimes, it’s a must, but avoid keeping your hair up for hours or days on end, especially if you like super tight high ponytails and top knot buns.
26. Avoid sleeping on your hair |
This might seem odd, but make sure you aren’t sleeping on top of your hair. Instead, pretend you’re a princess and sleep with your tresses to the side or above your head so you don’t toss and turn on to your hair while sleeping.
27. Don’t sleep with your hair tied |
There have been a few times where I’ve slept with my hair tied, but that’s actually really bad for your hair and scalp. It causes tangles and breakage. I’ve already mentioned that tying your hair up tight in general is bad, but it’s especially horrible to sleep with it tied up!
28. Stop crash dieting |
There are so many crash diets out there that actually deprive you of nutrients your body needs. Sure, you could buy supplements and such, but it’s still better and more natural to get the nutrients you need from actual food. These nutrients are immensely important and vital for not only your body, but for hair growth as well so make sure you’re not following fad diets that are actually bad for you.
29. Don’t binge drink |
It’s bad for your overall health, but constantly binge drinking causes zinc and iron deficiency which causes hair loss since your body really needs those nutrients.
30. Don’t smoke |
Do I need to even elaborate on this “tip?”
31. Don’t use baking soda |
I’ve seen a lot of “no poo” methods out there that say you should wash your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. ACV may be okay for your hair if properly diluted, but baking soda will definitely dry out your scalp over time, stripping your scalp of natural oils it needs for hair growth.
32: Don’t sleep with wet hair |
Brushing your hair when it’s wet is bad, but sleeping on it is even worse. It will cause much more damage and even bacteria growth.
33. Never wring out your hair after showering |
I must admit, I am guilty of doing this, but I make sure to be gentle. Wringing out your hair will weaken your hair and cause breakage.
34. Avoid hair bleaching |
Dying your hair isn’t the best thing, but bleaching it is even worse because of the damage it causes. Make sure you bleach your hair in stages if you have dark hair so your hair has time to regenerate a bit, but if you can, avoid it all together.
35. Avoid silicone-based products |
These are supposed to make your hair look healthy, but actually dehydrates your hair. It coats your hair shaft so your hair looks healthy and shiny, but prevents actual nutrients from penetrating the hair shaft to provide it the nutrients it needs.
36. Don’t condition your scalp |
Conditioning your scalp may seem like a good idea if you have a dry scalp, but it can lead to product build up, which can also cause dandruff and itchy scalp. The health of your scalp is what helps hair growth so conditioning it will only hinder hair growth due to product build up.
37. Don’t towel dry your hair |
This goes hand and hand with the fact that your hair is weak when it’s wet so towel drying your hair will cause breakage. We always see people in movies and tv shows drying their hair with towels, but that’s a definite no no. Instead, try to let your hair air dry and if completely necessary, blow dry with cool air.
38. Follow Caked To The Nines for more hair care tips in the future ;)
Of course these are just some tips that can aid in hair growth and health. The condition of your hair and how fast it grows is affected by genetics, but these are some things that could potentially encourage hair growth, and hopefully they work for you too!
Do you have any tips for growing your hair out or keeping it healthy? Let me know in the comments below!
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