Let's be honest: Almost every girl has dreamed about having past-the-shoulder Barbie-length hair. Is long hair the most practical? Not exactly. Is long fun and flirty? You bet! Here's how to tap the Rapunzel in you!
1. Be very nice to your hair. Your hair falls out on its own, but you may be pulling it out faster with the things you do. The gentler you are with your hair, the less it will fall out.
* Don't put your hair into tight ponytails or cornrows. Use butterfly clips and loose braids instead.
* Brush it carefully. If you have wavy or curly hair, there are probably times when you encounter resistance as you're brushing. Right before brushing, use your fingers to gently comb through your hair. And when you brush, start at the ends, and hold the strand that you're brushing with your other hand so that if you pull on the hair with a brush, you don't pull on the root (you pull from the grip of your hand instead).
* Brush your hair before you shower in the morning. Throughout the night your hair can knot up pretty bad. Brushing your hair before you shower reduces tangling in the shower. When using conditioner, try sifting your fingers through your hair. This reduces extensive combing after your shower and helps distribute the conditioner evenly.
* Minimize tangles in other situations, such as on windy days, by containing your hair with buns, braids, hats, etc.
* Minimize how much you style your hair. Any kind of styling that involves pulling your hair at the root (blow drying straight, straight iron, curling iron, rollers) will contribute to hair loss.Heat styling also can encourage hair to break. If you really need to dry your hair fast, use a blow dryer for 5 minutes only.
* Avoid or minimize harsh treatments like dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners, and permanent waves. These weaken your hair and increase the likelihood of breakage and loss.
2. Take a daily multivitamin. Your body needs several building blocks in order to produce a healthy head of hair, and you can easily meet your body's requirement by taking a multivitamin consistently. Keep in mind, however, that it can take several months to notice the results, so don't get discouraged.
* Research suggests that iron deficiency makes hair loss worse. Women with heavy periods are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. However, unless you have an iron deficiency diagnosed by a doctor, you shouldn't take iron supplements. They can upset your stomach and cause severe constipation, and iron overload can be dangerous. Taking a multivitamin and eating iron-rich foods (tofu, lentils, beans, oysters, spinach, prunes, raisins, lean beef) is more than enough.
* If you're a vegetarian, eat foods rich in Vitamin C whenever you eat iron-rich veggies. Vitamin C will help your body absorb the kind of iron that is found in vegetables.
* Avoid purchasing unnecessary supplements such as biotin. Despite the many claims that biotin promotes hair growth, no studies have shown this to be the case. However, hair loss is a sign of severe biotin deficiency; in these cases, the hair loss will be accompanied by a scaly rash around the nose, mouth and genitals. Few people suffer this condition.
3. Avoid dramatic weight loss. As you shed pounds, you shed hair. The dramatic changes that your body undergoes when it loses weight quickly (the change in nutrients, the stress involved) can cause your hair to thin. Diets low in protein and iron (e.g. very low-fat) and also those high in protein but low in fruits and vegetables (e.g. Atkins) that result in dramatic weight loss can also trigger significant hair loss. Instead, keep a balanced diet, and focus on gradual calorie reduction (one or two pounds a week).
* Each hair on your head grows for 2-5 years, slows down for about six weeks, and rests for 3-5 months before falling out so a new hair can grow in its place. Normally, 15% of your hair is at the resting phase, but a sudden change in nutrition can cause some hair follicles in the growing phase to switch into the resting phase prematurely, possibly raising the percentage to more than 30%.
4. Relax. Stress is a common cause of reversible hair loss. When you experience physical or emotional turmoil, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months for the results to show up in your hair. See How to Relieve Stress.
5. Address any pressing health issues. Hair is a strong indicator of health. Many nutritional deficiencies can cause hair growth to slow, and can cause hair to thin. Hormonal problems such as hypothyroidism and PCOS can also cause thinning. If your hair has gotten seriously thinner or stops growing for more than a few months, you should discuss it with your doctor.
6. Naturally improve hair quality and growth. This can be done by warming coconut oil for 1-2 minutes in a microwave and apply to scalp. Allow the oil to soak into scalp for an hour before washing. This increases hair growth and strength and also adds a luster or shine to your hair.
* Your hair growth tends to increase during warmer months.
* Some medications might affect hair growth. Check with your doctor.
* Note that changes in hair growth caused by hormonal shifts (pregnancy, postpartum, nursing) can't be helped.
* If you are a swimmer, consider wearing a swimming cap to protect your hair from chlorine damage.
* Those with curly/frizzy hair will have to be patient. The texture of your hair means that length will take a while to show, it doesn't mean your hair grows slower.
* Still not fast enough for you? Consider hair extensions, but exercise caution. There are many drawbacks to the use of hair extensions. You must make sure that whoever is applying your extensions is a professional. If applied poorly, your extensions will both look fake and severely damage your hair. Take your time selecting your extensions as well. There are a variety of materials and extensions available on the market, many of which can and will look horribly fake. The other drawback is that extensions must be periodically replaced every six to eight weeks. If you are willing to invest the time and money, then they may be the right choice for you.
* Using Virgin Coconut oil is also a way to help your hair grow faster, Massaging it in to your scalp twice a week will make it grow. Also if your rub it on your forehead during stress, it will eliminate the stress.