Growing your hair can be a painstaking process. Granted, hair growth is pretty slow. But when you’re seeing no visible improvement at all and it’s been weeks, you may be doing something wrong, be it brushing your hair too much, using the wrong products, or simply not taking care of your crowning glory enough.
So, whether you have a regrettable pixie cut or want your long hair to grow even longer, here are the worst mistakes to avoid when trying to grow your locks:
1. Excessive brushing
Regular brushing is good for your hair and scalp since it helps release natural oils and remove tangles. However, be sure not to go overboard with the brushing, whether it’s brushing too aggressively or making too many strokes. Otherwise, you could be losing more hair than necessary, thus impeding your efforts to grow your hair.
Instead, use a comb to detangle your hair and ditch the brush altogether. Comb your hair only once a day (or as needed if your hair is tangled), then wait until the next day to comb it again.
2. Using too much heat
Excessive heat styling leads to damaged hair, which is more susceptible to breaking and splitting, resulting in shorter hair. Hence, if you’re trying to grow longer locks (and keep your hair healthy in general), avoid heat styling as much as you can and go for alternatives that don’t involve heat. If you must use heat styling tools, be sure to use a heat protectant spray to minimize the damage to your hair.
3. Not trimming your hair
It may sound counterintuitive to let your hair grow out, but getting regular trims can actually make your hair grow faster and longer, so don’t be afraid of the hair thinning scissors or shears. Removing split ends prevents hair strands from breaking further up, helping them grow longer in a shorter amount of time. Moreover, regular trims also result in less hair damage and breakaways, which can make your hair look thicker and shinier.
4. Shampooing your hair every day
Most shampoos contain chemicals that strip the hair and scalp of natural oils, making hair less hydrated and more prone to damage. And the more damaged your hair is, the longer it will take to grow, and the worse it will look as your locks grow out.
Instead of shampooing every day, space out washes every other day or every two days. If your hair has greasy spots, use dry shampoo to cover them. However, don’t rely on dry shampoo to keep your hair clean, as the gunk can accumulate your scalp and weigh down on your roots.
5. Bleaching your hair
Bleaching is one of the worst things you can do to your hair. The harsh chemicals in bleach effectively strip the color away from your strands, but it also breaks down the hair proteins in the process, making your locks more vulnerable to breakage and dryness.
If you want to grow out your hair as fast and as long as possible, resist the urge to go platinum blonde for now. Better yet, avoid bleaching your hair now and in the future to keep it as strong and healthy as it can be.
6. Not conditioning and using oil
Conditioner protects the hair shafts from damage and locks in moisture into the hair, making it softer, shinier, and easier to manage. On top of that, a conditioner is an invaluable tool for people trying to grow out their hair as it protects the hair strands from damage, helping facilitate faster and longer growth.
Oils, on the other hand, help strengthen hair and protect it from damage. Applying an oil treatment once a week can reap these benefits, along with helping hair grow faster and longer. Almond oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, and coconut oil are some of the best options.
7. Wearing tight hairstyles
Tight hairstyles, or any other hairstyle that puts too much strain on the hair, can cause unnecessary damage to hair and increase hair fall, not something that can help you achieve Rapunzel-like locks, obviously. Ditch the tight buns and ponytails for now. If you have to wear your hair up, look for a hairstyle that puts the least pressure on your hair strands and scalp. Take a look at some of these loose updos for ideas.
It shouldn’t take forever for you to grow out your hair, and if it is, you’re probably committing one or more of these hair growth mistakes. Do your locks a favor and avoid these mistakes to allow your hair to grow faster, longer, and healthier.