When I was very young, my Mom loved the idea of giving my sisters and I pixie hair cuts. I like to think that we looked like cute little elves (boy elves, but elves nonetheless). Although I’ve never gone back to those pixie years, my hair has never been this long, nor do I prefer it to go past my shoulders. This is where you’re going to want to smack me. I have very thick, textured, and full hair. Yes, it is fabulous, but it’s also a complete pain to wash and style and it gets everywhere – just ask Alan. I can’t wait until I get home afterwork just so I can throw my hair up in a bun or pony. And on those great days when I get a trim, my head even feels a few pounds lighter – I swear.
Why go through the trouble and grow out your hair you ask? Well, I’m growing out 12 inches of my hair to donate to Locks of Love. I’ve committed to this simple challenge in honor of my Mom and two Aunts who gracefully beat cancer. Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children and I’m happy to contribute to this cause. No child should have to experience such a ferocious disease. If having a hair piece gives them the strength and hope to fight, then I’m all in. While the idea is simple: just keep growing my hair, it requires a strategy to ensure that I donate healthy hair when I reach my goal.
After some months of trial and error, I’ve perfected how to grow long hair. I had the pleasure of meeting Mika Fowler to get a precision cut to keep my locks luscious. While getting cut with Mika, I talked to her about my 5 how-tos to get her opinion. Not only does Mika cut and style celebrities, but she has donated her hair 3 times to Locks of Love – she is amazing. Based on Mika’s experience and my recommendations, this is how to grow long hair in 5 simple steps:
1. Commit to it. This is the most important as you can quickly get stuck in a rut and want to change up your style, which means cutting some inches and layers. Set a goal and stick to it. Some days I’m ready to chop off my own hair, but I look in the mirror and just think only 6-8 more inches to go!
2. Wash Less & Condition Deep. Stop washing your hair daily or even every other day as you’re stripping your hair of its natural oils. Try to extend your shampoo to every 4 days and when you do shampoo opt for a sulfate-free shampoo. Add in a deep conditioner once a week to keep the ends damage-free. I use coconut oil as a hair mask and keep it on overnight and then rinse off in the morning. Mika recommends putting a small amount just in the ends after the shower to keep your hair shiny and healthy.
3. Get a trim. Despite common belief, you need to trim your hair frequently to keep it healthy and help it grow long. When you extend your trims, the ends of your hair split and begin to break resulting in damaged and shorter hair. Mika recommends trimming every 6 weeks and opting for a precision cut. Mika specializes in dry-cutting, in which she cuts the hair in its natural state to create a flattering style and to ensure that the style grows out gracefully. Getting a trim doesn’t mean 1 or 2 inches, it’s barely 1/4 inch and really makes a difference between fab and drab. I have been following this 6-week rule and the precision cut and my hair is growing much faster and looks amazing.
4. Brush it out. Don’t forget to brush your hair every evening and morning. Brushing helps distribute oils from your scalp to the ends, giving your hair a natural shine, plus it massages the scalp, stimulating hair growth.
5. Not too hot. We all need help from our trusted flat iron and curler, but using hot tools damages the hair. If you have to use a curler or flat iron, use on a lower temperature and part hair into small sections so you only have to run through with the tool once.
Whatever your goal may be, I hope my tips for growing your hair long help. I know I’m getting closer to my goal…inch by inch.