18 Simple Tricks For Gorgeous Hair That’s Long & Healthy
You’re not alone if you find yourself struggling to make your hair healthier and longer. It’s no easy feat, but there are some super easy things you can do to improve the health (and length) of your hair.
Yes, I’m talking hair that’s super healthy. Hair that’s super long. Hair that’s super Instagrammable.
With a few easy changes in your hair habits and the products you use, you too can have gorgeous long hair that will leave others dripping in envy.
1. Skip the Haircuts (Seriously)
Contrary to what everything else says, you won’t get long hair by cutting it off. That’s like eating more ice cream to get skinny.
It just doesn’t work.
People ask me all the time, “how did you grow your hair so long?” and my answer is simply, “don’t get it cut.”
For me, I stopped getting it cut because I was being cheap (dropping $30 to $40 on a trim seemed like a waste of money), and now that people often tell me I look like Rapunzel with my ultra-long hair, I realize that part of why I managed to get long hair is because I invested in good products (instead of haircuts) that helped my hair grow long and healthy.
2. Use a Silk Pillowcase
Sure, it sounds boujee, and it is, but it also helps avoid hair damage while you’re asleep. After all, you’re (hopefully) spending at least 7 or 8 hours per night in bed, and that crappy pillowcase can be wreaking havoc on your hair follicles.
Not only will your hair be healthier, but you’ll always wake up without the dreaded bed head frizz.
Order your silk pillowcase (normally $32.99, currently on sale for $25.99)
3. Cut Your Split Ends (With Good Scissors)
Once your hair starts getting long, you’ll start being able to easily spot split ends …and if you’re anything like me, it will drive you crazy.
Split ends are gross, but that doesn’t mean you need to run to the salon. Instead, get rid of them on your own. The key here is using professional scissors. Stylists will always warn you against cutting your split ends, but one, that’s because you won’t need haircuts as often if you do, and two (and to their point), you can do more damage by using crappy scissors. Luckily, you can buy your own salon-quality scissors online (and for much less than the cost of a haircut).
Buy your professional salon-quality scissors ($15)
4. Ditch the Chemicals
Ugh where to begin… There are so many products touting themselves as hair saviors, but in reality, they’re your hair’s worst nightmare. These products are packed with some pretty gruesome chemicals (ahem, formaldehyde). And while some will simply dry out your hair (yes, even those that claim to be “moisturizing”), others can cause your hair to fall out, or even worst: cause cancer.
Here are some chemicals commonly found in hair products to stay clear of:
- Mineral Oil
- Denatured Alcohols (talk about drying out your hair)
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Formaldehyde (gross)
- Coal Tar
- Phthalates (they make your hair fall out)
If you want to learn more about these commonly-used chemicals, check out this article by Love Hair that goes in-depth about harmful ingredients found in hair products and why you should avoid them.
5. Dry With a Microfiber Towel
Yeah, even towel-drying your hair can be causing the type of damage and breakage that keeps you from having long locks. Be kind to your hair and opt for a microfiber towel to dry your hair with instead ($16).
Bonus: You’ll look like a movie star wearing it …and it’s also great for keeping your hair dry on days you’re not washing it.
6. Shower At Night to Skip the Heat
You know blow drying your hair isn’t good for it, so try getting in the habit of showering at night and letting your hair air dry while you sleep.
Afraid you’ll wake up with a wild mop on your head? Get that silk pillowcase mentioned in No. 1 and you won’t!
7. Don’t Fully Rinse Out Conditioner
Maybe this is common knowledge, but it was news to me when my hair dresser advised me to never fully rinse the conditioner out of my hair. She warned that by doing so, you’re literally pouring money down the drain.
Why? Well, because unlike shampoo that is made to clean your hair (and thus can be fully rinsed), conditioner only works if its on the hair. So you want to rinse most off, of course, but don’t rinse it off fully or you might as well not use conditioner at all.
8. Use Good Hair Elastics (or Clips Instead)
Hair elastics are tough on hair. They’re brutal even, and if you tie your hair back often, you’re likely doing a lot of damage. Instead, use a better, more gentle hair elastic like a scrunchie or the coil hair ties.
Tip: If you’re looking to make your hair healthier, don’t use the Pony-O hair ties. They’re not only a pain in the a** to use, but they pull on your hair a lot and will likely cause damage.
9. Let Your Hair Down to Avoid Breakage
One easy way to help make your hair healthier is by letting it down. I know it’s annoying to have your hair in your face, but letting your hair down (and free of elastics) will help you grow your hair long.
Tip: Use elastic headbands, bobby pins, or clips to gently pull your hair out of your face while allowing most of it to remain down.
10. Get Your Daily Dose of Zinc
You have got to take zinc if you want healthier hair that stands a chance at growing long.
Zinc plays a key role in hair growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. In other words, it not only helps avoid hair loss, but keeps your hair in good condition. Zinc also does a ton of other wonderful things, from boosting your immune system (keeping you healthy) to helping you have clear, beautiful skin.
It’s ideal if you can get zinc naturally, but for most, you won’t be able to come close to getting the levels of zinc your body needs. And of course, not all supplements are created equally. The best way to take a zinc supplement is via sublingual (under the tongue), so get this dissolvable zinc.
11. Use a Boar’s Hair Brush
This isn’t second grade, so we don’t need to get too into it. But if you’re not already using a 100% boar’s hair brush, then you need to make the switch!
Normal hairbrushes are super damaging. So either go old school wide-toothed comb or boar’s hair. There should be no other hairbrushes if you’re looking for healthy hair.
Get your boar’s hair brush ($12.99).
12. Keep it Loose
When you can’t keep your hair down, keep it loose. Avoid the temptation to wrap the elastic one more time. Sure you’ll probably have to fix your hair a lot, but muscle memory is a beautiful thing and so is the classic messy bun.
13. Trash the Coconut Oil Products
Coconut oil is the most touted hair product, and yet it simply does not work to moisturize hair. First, it’s incapable of penetrating the hair follicle, so it will not help make your hair healthier. Second, it causes a lot of build up, so it may actually make the condition of your hair worse.
Tip: Use It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment (10oz, $27) instead. It’s actually awesome and you’ll see why thousands rave about it as a healthy hair must-have.
14. Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Ideally, you’re eating a pretty healthy diet, but also you’re human and so if you’re like most, you probably don’t get enough fatty acids. They will immensely help your hair grow healthier, granted, it’s worth noting that they won’t make your existing hair healthier.
Still, if you want to grow long, healthy hair, then you need to be getting ample Omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re not into eating loads of fish and if the budget doesn’t allow for eating avocados all the time, opt for an Omega-3 supplement.
Tip: Avoid the nasty odor of fish-based Omega supplements and go for a vegan Omega-3 supplement instead. It will cost a bit more, but it’s worth the price to avoid horrendous fish breath (and burps).
15. Use Olaplex No. 3 At-Home Treatment Bi-Weekly
Olaplex has quickly become a new cult classic for anyone who want healthier, shinier hair. While it’s available as a salon treatment, you can also get the at-home Olaplex treatment to improve the quality of your hair.
The bottle is pretty small, but it actually lasts a while …and I’m saying that as someone whose hair goes past my lower back – so I use a lot).
Get the Olaplex Bond Multiplier No. 3 At-Home Treatment ($28) and use it every week to every other week (depending on how your hair feels).
16. Tie Your Hair Back When You’re in the Wind
Okay, I know I said try to keep your hair down, but if you’re out for a run, on a hike, or on a boat, you might want to tie your hair back. Anytime its windy and your hair is blowing around, it’s getting tangled. Tangles turn to knots. And knots turn to broken hair.
17. Never Brush Wet Hair
Wet hair is far more fragile than dry hair, and as you brush wet hair you can actually pull and stretch hair follicles, creating tons of frayed hairs and split ends. The more breakage your cause, the harder its going to be to have long, healthy hair.
So wait until your hair is dry before you brush it. One way to make that super easy to do is by showering at night and letting your hair air dry as you sleep.
Another way to avoid brushing your wet hair is to brush your hair before you get into the shower. that way, after shampooing it (which will cause a bit of tangling) it’s still far less snarled than if you hadn’t brushed before getting in the shower.
18. If You Must Blow Dry, Use a Good Blow Dryer
Not all heat is created equal and it can make a difference to your hair’s health if you use high-quality heat tools.
Honestly, I can’t tell you what it really means to have a ceramic-ionic hair dryer, but there does seem to be a lot of evidence that using one helps to improve the condition of your hair and if you’re using a blow dryer often, it’s a worthwhile investment. Get this top-rated BaBylissPRO BAB2000 Ceramix Xtreme Dryer for the cost of one haircut ($60).
…yeah, that’s how much haircuts will set you back in Los Angeles (and now you see why decided to skip the salon)!
Go work on that hair. Catch up with friends. Book a flight… You get the gist 😉