How to Grow Long Hair: Gentle Hair Care Methods
Some people feel like their hair never grows past a certain length. Growing long hair requires special care. Hair grows an average of a ½ inch every month. Many people do not retain this length of hair breakage. Here is some advice to increase the chance of reaching long hair goals.
Selecting the Right Hair Products
Select a mild shampoo to avoid drying out the hair shaft or irritating the scalp. Some shampoo ingredients contain common harsh cleaning ingredients termed “sulfates”. Harsh sulfates include ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium olefin sulfonate is a gentler sulfate ingredient used in many shampoos. Sulfate-free shampoos are also available.
Pick the appropriate shampoo for each hair type. Dry hair benefits from sulfate free shampoos that contain conditioning ingredients. Oily hair types need a stronger cleaning ingredient like sodium laureth sulfate or a sulfate-free shampoo with no added conditioning ingredients.
Every hair type needs conditioner on the hair below the ears. The hair length below ear level is older and more fragile than the hair closest to the scalp. It also does not get direct contact with the moisturizing natural scalp oils or sebum. A person with a dry hair and scalp may want to condition all of her hair. However, a person with oily hair may only need to use conditioner below ear level to prevent greasiness.
Conditioner should contain moisturizing ingredients. Examples of quality moisturizing ingredients include jojoba oil, aloe vera gel, hydrolyzed wheat protein and shea butter. A number of people find natural ingredients, such as jojoba oil, easier to wash out of hair with gentle cleansers. Heavy synthetic conditioning ingredients build up over time. The build-up require a harsh sulfate shampoo such as sodium lauryl sulfate to remove it, ultimately causing gradual hair damage.
Choosing Gentle Hair Styling Tools
Choose gentle styling tools that will not cause hair breakage. Common plastic combs contain seams on the ends of the tines that can catch on hair. Handmade cellulose acetate combs are a better choice. The anti-static material glides through hair easier than regular plastic combs and the entire comb has been smoothed by hand to prevent tines from catching on fragile hair.
Other gentle options include handmade resin “bone”combs, wood combs and horn combs. Horn combs are made of natural sheep or ox horn and can mimic the effect of a brush by smoothing scalp sebum through the hair during combing. Wood combs can also spread natural oils through the scalp.
Use bristle brushes made of only boar bristle or smooth plastic tines without balls. Do not use vent brushes with ball tips. Hair catches on the ball tips and rips out.
Wear hair accessories that do not have anything that could catch on hair. Snag-free elastics, satin scrunchies and hair sticks are all safe options.
Gentle Hair Care Methods
Keeping hair moisturized, minimizing tangles and gentle styling will help hair retain length.
Wash hair only once or twice a week with shampoo. More frequent washing can dry out the hair. If more cleaning is necessary, wash the hair with plain water or a light conditioner to freshen hair.
Protect hair at night from tangling and rubbing against harsh cotton sheets. Sleep on a satin pillow case or wear a satin sleep bonnet. Keep hair in a braid at night to prevent tangling.
Prevent split ends by moisturizing dry ends daily with a leave-in conditioner or a vegetable oil. Dry hair types may need a full length daily moisture treatment.
Healthy hair will grow longer and look beautiful at any length.