How To Grow Long, Luscious Hair
I don't claim to be an expert on hair, but since my own hair measures about 5 feet in length, I do know a few things about growing hair from personal experience.
I hope that you aren't expecting some miracle solution that will help you grow ten inches of hair in a month. Unfortunately, growing hair takes time and lots of patience. If you hear someone claim that they can do it otherwise, I'd be very cautious before taking their advice. However, there are several things that you can do to obtain healthy hair and speed up the growing process - if you're willing to pay the price.
You may have noticed that women from the same family often have the same hair growth patterns. If you should see a woman that grows hair well, the chances are that the other women in her family grow hair well too. The same is true for women who cannot grow hair well. This is because heredity many times plays a big role in how our hair grows. In fact, my sister has extremely long hair and has written an article with pictures that describes her long hair journey. You can check it out here.
You may be saying, "My family members just aren't hair growers, so I'm stuck, right?" Not necessarily. Many times family traits are inherited because nutritional habits are also passed down. Nutritional deficiencies can be inherited just the same as hair color. The good news is the cycle can be broken, but it takes patience. With proper nutrition, deficiencies can almost always be reversed, but sometimes it takes several months or even years to completely reverse.
If you have very curly hair, you may have a hard time growing it long. Curly hair rarely grows long, however, it's certainly not impossible. Curly hair is beautiful in its own way, whether it's long or short. That is, as long as it stays healthy!
There are several health situations that can keep your hair from looking its best. Thyroid problems, gastrointestinal issues, and even hormone imbalances. If you don't notice at least some improvement in your hair's quality after several months, you may consider an underlying health problem.
Thankfully, modern science has made it possible to get proper nutrition very easily without having to eat several pounds of the foods that contain the nutrients we need. This is through nutritional supplements. Even when taking nutritional supplements, make sure that you're getting ones of a good quality, or they just won't benefit. Make sure the supplement manufacturer has a reputation for good quality.
Even if you don't have a deficiency, proper nutrition and supplements can be used to boost you hair's growth rate. If you're wanting to add foods to your diet that will help hair growth here are a few you may want to try:
Barley: This nutritional grain is good for a number of things, but it's high content of niacin, a B vitamin, is essential for healthy hair.
High protein foods: Without enough protein, hair is forced into the resting phase, and is shed prematurely. Try adding more lean meats, beans or lentils to your diet. Protein is composed of the amino acids necessary to grow new cells - including hair. (Have you ever noticed how beautiful a Hispanic woman's hair is? It's because of the high protein from the beans in their diet).
Avocados, nuts and seeds: These contain high vitamin E, necessary for healthy hair.
Raw oats and bean sprouts: These contain silica, a very important mineral that is a must for growing healthy hair.
Sufficient fat: Many people automatically turn their noses up when fat is mentioned, but certain amounts of fats are necessary for health in general and for healthy hair. The key is finding the right kinds of fats. EFAs (essential fatty acids) found in foods such as fish, and pumpkin, are extremely important for healthy hair. Also, find a good balance from other plant and animal sources.
Here's a list of the supplements that will help you grow great hair:
VITAMINS: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Biotin, Inositol, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12.
MINERALS: Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Silica, Zinc, Sulfur, Chromium
HERBS: Sage, Chamomile, Catnip, Burdock Root, Horsetail
Get great vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements at local health food and/or drug stores, mail order catalogs or over the internet such as on eBay.
Here's Some Hair Tips That I Use:
- Never brush hair when wet. This stretches the hair and makes it brittle.
- Be patient when combing out snarls, use your fingers to break loose tough ones.
- Shampoo the scalp well and the ends lightly. The scalp gets more oil, and the ends dry easily.
- Shampoo less often. 3 or 4 times a week should be sufficient. This will keep from stripping your hair's natural oils.
- Shampoo gently. Spread shampoo gently down the length of hair; don't massage and tangle.
- Don't over-brush. Brushing too often causes breakage. Try using a high quality boar bristle brush; it'll be worth paying a little more for a good one.
- Pin up or braid. Whenever you sleep or do housework, pin up or braid your hair to reduce breakage.
- Use LOTS of conditioner, especially on the ends. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. For extra benefit, let set a minute of two before rinsing.
- Deep condition occasionally by putting a thick layer of conditioner on hair then covering with a thermal shower cap. Blast with a hair dryer a few times, then let set. Rinse with cool water.
Click on the highlighted title below to view Part II of this series of articles, "Tips and Tricks for Growing Long, Strong and Healthy Hair," which covers deep conditioning and other handy tips for growing long, beautiful hair.