Happy Friday, friends! I thought I’d end the week with my most requested post – how I got my hair to grow long (it’s longer than my old extensions now!), and how I keep it healthy. Ever since I first chopped about 6 inches off my hair & dyed it when I was about 14, my hair was brittle and never grew. And if it did grow, it would break off. I was so insecure about my shorter hair, and always thought it made me look chunkier than I was (stupid teenage insecurities, I know!), so I decided I would get extensions. I got the beaded rows the first time around and it was an absolute disaster! They became so tangled in my hair, and my hair looked like a giant rat’s nest. We could hardly remove the extensions, let alone brush the knots out of my hair, so we had to cut big chunks out. I left it alone for about 2 months before the insecurities got the best of me, and I just had to get extensions again. This time I went with the individual keratin tip extensions. Each time I would buy the hair & pay to have them put in (every 2-3 months), it would cost me around $800. I was working part-time retail while in school, so I was spending every penny I made on something that was continually damaging my hair. The individual tips were much less damaging as a whole, but since I would continually have them put in once they fell out, my hair was breaking off close to the root where the extensions were attached. Finally, at 21, I decided it was time to get rid of the extensions. I couldn’t afford the upkeep and knew I needed to let my hair get healthy again if I ever wanted it to grow. It took a long time and a lot of consistency to get my hair to the state it is now, but MAN it was worth it!! Keep reading below for the tips that helped me to get long, healthy locks!
My mother in law is a hair stylist (she does my hair 🙂 ) And has helped me so much with making sure my hair is healthy every time she colors it. Every time I go for a color, I make myself get a trim. It’s not even a question. Just something I have to do to keep my hair healthy & growing! These trims are hardly noticeable, and we barely take any length off, but I think this has probably made the biggest difference in how quickly my hair grows/stays long. It’s a simple step & definitely makes a world of difference! I notice after each trim, my hair seems to grow back a little quicker than the last time too! 🙂
Air Drying / Minimal Hot Tools
I typically only do my hair & makeup on the weekends – Saturday for photoshoots & Sunday for church. During the week, I let my hair air dry, and also try not to wash it (I’ll talk more about this below). Cutting down on my use of hot tools like curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers has helped my hair to be healthy and strong. When I do blow dry, I make sure to spray this product to protect my hair (plus it smells AMAZING!). After each shower, I’ll spray this on for extra protection and to repair any existing damage. I have also tried the one that they make “for blondes,” but I really didn’t care for it.
Quality Shampoo & Conditioner / Infrequent Washes
As I mentioned above, I try to wash my hair only 1 or 2 times per week. I know this isn’t doable for everyone, but since I am just with Shiloh, working from home, and running errands during the week, I don’t have to worry about looking super amazing, haha! If my hair is really dirty, but I don’t have time, or don’t want to wash it, I’ll just throw on a baseball cap and I’m good to go. I’m not a huge fan of dry shampoo – I’ve yet to find one that actually works for me. If I’m desperate I just throw in a little baby powder, but that’s not often. I’ve also found that using a quality shampoo/conditioner duo makes a great deal of difference! I used to just use whatever was cheapest at Target, because I thought they were honestly all the same and it didn’t matter. Well, I was very wrong! But, that also doesn’t mean that all expensive shampoos are going to be good just because of their price. My best advice would be to know your hair’s needs and do some research. Also, ask a hair professional if you have the opportunity. My mother in law was the one to recommend this shampoo & conditioner to me and I’m on my 3rd set now. I love them! I’ve also tried this brand’s regular shampoo/conditioner, but didn’t really notice it doing a whole lot for my hair. These ones that I’ve listed are definitely the way to go for repairing damaged hair!
Deep Conditioners & Masks
In addition to a quality shampoo/conditioner, I also like to do a deep conditioner or mask about once a week. That’s my goal at least, but life gets busy and in reality it ends up being more like once a month, but hey, at least it’s happening! Haha. This is my favorite deep conditioner. I’ve been waiting for years for them to put it in bottle form (no idea why they’re sticking with packets?!), but maybe if we all buy it, it’ll encourage them to upgrade 😉 And they’re only $2.99, so it’s too good to pass up!
Clips – No Ponytails
This one is a super easy fix, and I actually have found it to be more comfortable! I used to wear ponytails or buns when I was just lounging around the house, but I switched to big octopus clips about a year ago. I noticed my hair was breaking where the ponytail would pull, like at the bottom, or along my hair line. It was getting worse & worse, so I decided to switch to clips. It’s helped SO much with letting my hair repair, and also making sure I don’t get anymore breakage. These are the clips I use.