Trying to grow your hair out is worse than watching paint dry! It can take years to reach your desired length in a process that requires both patience and perseverance.
While there is no instantaneous solution to your problem, these 22 all natural methods are guaranteed to give you those long, glossy locks you’ve always wanted…without the use of expensive, chemical-laden products.
1. Get Regular Trims
Many women who are aiming for waist-length hair struggle with the concept of cutting it off, but frequent trimming is worth it in the long run. By taking off the bare minimum every few weeks, you’ll be getting rid of split ends which would otherwise cause breakage, leading to even shorter hair! These splits can also travel along the length of the hair causing weak, frizzy and flyaway strands.
Experts recommend asking your stylist to take off a mere eighth of an inch every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent split ends before they start.
2. Go Easy on the Shampoo
Hair produces a natural oil called sebum, which shampoo strips away (along with dirt and product residue). This process can dry out the hair and leave it more prone to breakage.
Allowing some oils to remain in your hair is a good thing! They add moisture and a protective barrier. Shampooing two to three times a week is plenty for most people – especially if you don’t have overly oily hair, or don’t work out every day.
While your hair adjusts to less frequent washing, why not try out this homemade dry shampoo? Blondes can simply blend organic cornstarch with essential oils, while those with dark hair can add a little cocoa powder to the mix for a deliciously natural solution to greasy hair.
3. Skip the Chemicals
Most shampoos contain sulfates – chemicals which strip away your hair’s valuable natural oils. They also contain numerous other toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on our hair and our health.
Look for a natural, sulfate free shampoo for your locks or, better yet, make your own. This DIY shampoo recipe is packed full of beneficial ingredients like castile soap, avocado oil, essential oils and glycerin.
4. Do a Cold Water Rinse
Before you step out of the shower, give your hair one final rinse with cold water. This causes the outer layer of the hair to flatten down, giving it a smooth appearance, reducing moisture loss, and preventing breakage.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
This wonder vinegar has so many applications, including for skin and hair. When you do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse, you’ll be removing product buildup. It also acts as a natural detangler and helps smooth down the cuticle of the strands, leaving the hair less prone to breakage.
By using this rinse regularly, you’ll be left with soft, smooth and strong hair. Simply mix one part water with one part apple cider vinegar and pour into your hair after shampooing. Allow to sit for a few minutes before rinsing out.
6. Play It Cool
It’s well-known that heat – in the form of blowdryers, curling tongs and straightening irons – is bad for hair and is a leading cause of breakage. Letting your hair air dry is one of the best things you can do in your quest for long locks.
If you can’t bear the thought of leaving the house with untamed hair, then follow these expert tips:
- Give your hair a day or two off from heat every so often
- Add oil or another protectant to wet hair before styling to shield it from damage
- Set your styling tool to the lowest heat for minimum harm
7. If You Color, Go Natural
Just like shampoos, hair dyes contain chemicals that are damaging to hair, causing splits and breaks. Even those that claim to be ‘natural’ can sometimes contain dangerous chemicals such as ammonia.
To have a truly chemical-free dye job, why not give henna – or one of these other natural hair coloring ideas – a go? Covering up grey can be easily done too without the use of chemicals, as explained in this article.
8. Apply Oil Weekly
Regular application of nourishing natural oils is key to preventing breakage, and encouraging faster hair growth.
Don’t waste your money on products marketed as being specially formulated for hair – there are plenty of inexpensive natural oils you can use instead which will add moisture and shine to your hair, reduce dandruff, and of course aid faster and healthier hair growth.
From argan to pomegranate, these seven super oils will help you grow longer and healthier hair. Apply them once or twice a week and leave on overnight for best results.
9. Onion Juice or Potato Juice
Not for the faint of heart, applying the juice from either an onion or a potato is an old wives’ tale for longer locks.
Potato juice, rich in several nutrients essential for healthy hair, can be massaged into the scalp and left for 15 minutes before washing out.
Onions are rich in sulfur which is said to boost collagen production, helping hair growth. As with potato juice, this can be applied for 15 minutes before rinsing.
While the efficacy of these remedies is debatable, they’re certainly worth a try!
10. Regular Hair Masks
Hair masks can cure a variety of problems that hinder hair growth – from dry hair to damaged strands. Treat your hair with all natural ingredients from your refrigerator, your fruit bowl and your kitchen cupboards using one of these five hair masks. You should soon see a difference in your hair health.
11. Essential Oils
Used for all manner of ailments, essential oils can solve your hair growth worries too.
Choose the right oils and you can inspire growth and improve hair quality by removing impurities, unblocking hair follicles and stimulating the scalp.
12. Scalp Massage
Why not combine essential oils with a scalp massage for a winning combination for hair growth? Massage stimulates hair follicles, increases blood circulation in the head, reduces stress and improves mental clarity.
Using firm but gentle pressure, rub your scalp in small circular motions with all five finger pads. Never scratch or use your nails as this can disrupt the hair follicles and even potentially lead to infection from bacteria underneath your fingernails.
13. Brush Gently
Vigorously brushing hair, especially when wet, undoubtedly leads to snapped strands. When wet, tease apart knots and tangles with a wide toothed comb.
Brushing dry hair is a great way to spread the hair’s natural oils and prevent breakage – but only if done gently and using the right type of brush.
Investing in a bamboo brush and comb may be worth your while. Not only are they environmentally friendly and sustainable, but they are gentle and durable. They also have wide bristles, leading to less breakage, and they don’t produce any static.
14. Eat a Balanced Diet
Our diets dictate the health of our bodies … and our hair. As certain nutritional deficiencies lead to hair loss, eating a well-rounded diet is incredibly important for a thick and shiny mane.
In addition to eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure to load up on omega 3 fatty acids for long and luscious locks. These are found in oily fish, leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds.
Vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid) plays a role in blood flow and hair growth while preventing hair thinning and loss. You’ll find it in mushrooms, fish, avocados, eggs, sunflower seeds and sweet potato.
Protein is important for strong hair too, which you can get from lean meats, eggs, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
15. Herbs for Hair Growth
For centuries, herbs have been used to nourish the scalp and promote the growth of strong, healthy hair.
For a list of the best herbs used to do this – along with tips on how to prepare them – check out this post.
16. Fix Thinning Hair Fast
Thinning hair and hair loss can mean you’ll never reach your goal of long locks. Thankfully, this age old problem has a number of natural solutions.
Nourish your scalp, and keep your hair thick, long and healthy, by using fenugreek, flax seed, herbal rinses and oil treatments…to name just a few. This article explains them all.
17. Apply Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a number of benefits for the whole body – and deserves a place in every home! It boosts hair growth, stops hair loss, prevents dandruff and adds shine.
For a nourishing hair treatment, mix fresh aloe vera gel with lemon juice and work into your hair and scalp. After 20 minutes, wash off. Apply once a week for best results.
You can also enjoy the juice of the aloe plant as a refreshing drink which contains a myriad of hair-healthy vitamins and minerals, aids digestion and improves immunity. Here’s how to make your own aloe vera juice.
18. Stop Stressing
While emotional stress alone is unlikely to cause hair loss, this kind of stress often leads to physiological stressors which do cause you to shed.
Learn to manage your stress levels through meditation, essential oils, exercise, breathing techniques and more.
19. Sleep Right
A poor sleep, spent tossing and turning, can put undue strain on your hair. You can minimize this in a number of ways.
Firstly, change your habits so you enjoy a deep and peaceful slumber. Secondly, invest in a satin pillow, which allows your hair to slide around easily, reducing friction and breakage. Never go to bed with wet hair, as it is more delicate than when dry, and don’t tie your hair up at night.
Finally, a couple of drops of natural oil rubbed onto the lengths of the strands will create a protective night time barrier.
20. Shield Hair from the Elements
Harsh winter weather or scorching sun can dry out hair and cause it to snap.
During summer, cover up with a sunhat or apply a natural protectant to keep harmful UV rays from causing damage. Winter weather calls for coconut oil, avocado treatments and raw honey. Learn more about these winter skin and hair tips here.
21. Resolve Medical Issues
Hair loss can be caused by certain medications, thyroid problems, and nutritional deficiencies like a lack of iron, a lack of vitamin D, or too much vitamin A. Likewise, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp infections may lead to mild hair loss.
If you’re shedding too much hair, consult your doctor so you can work out the underlying cause and address it.
22. Be Patient!
This is one of the most important tips to keep in mind throughout the process! Hair only grows at an average rate of half an inch per month, so it will take time.
However, if you remain patient and meticulously follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be on the right road to having the hair you’ve always wanted.