|Yes my hair is real and yes it took a long time (:|
The longer hair goes uncut the more exposed the ends are to damage. Damage coming from heated tools, rough brushing, and harsh chemicals. You may be able to get this damaged hair to the length you want but it most likely will not stay as long as you'd like. The reason being, when hair becomes damaged it becomes weak and brittle. This hair tends to break and/or split. When the ends break off you are left with thinning uneven ends that don't look or feel nice. When hair splits too high the same effect happens. Many people have left long-damaged hair go untreated(wow way to make that sound like an STD ha) and finally decide to do something about it when it has become too late to save the length. The solution is..... cut until only healthy hair is left. One other thing I have seen when comes to unhealthy long hair is that it tends to make the hair count dwindle away. Or in other word hair becomes thinner. It's normal to loose strands of hair everyday. But when leaving hair damaged, more hair tends to fall out. Don't be alarmed though I did not say you will go bald!!! Just remember that everything is different for different people. Maybe you're hair can grow without getting damaged at all. If that's the case I hate you because I am really jealous!
Now onto the good news after all that sad talk of dead and damaged hair. All this can be prevented! But before I jump into that I would first like to point out, if you are trying to grow out waist/hip length hair or just grow your hair out in general DO NOT expect this to happen over night. So many people look for ways to grow long hair fast. There are a lot of products that claim to make your hair grow double or triple the speed it naturally does. But the real truth is it takes time and pretty much all these product do nothing. It took me two years of dedication to grow about 10 inches of hair. That's a really rough estimate too by the way. I went from chest length hair to like 2 inches past waist length hair and it took me two years. So if this is what you want expect to be committed. Now let's talk about keeping it healthy.
- This might be an obvious one you have heard many many times. About every 6 weeks get a trim of about half an inch. No matter, what hair will begin to split because of brushing, shampooing, and flat iron/curling iron. You want to make sure to trim off the split ends regularly before they split too high and require more hair to be cut off.
- Condition more and shampoo less. Shampooing hair actually dries it out. What it does is strip oils from the hair, that's why when you shampoo your hair becomes less greasy. Shampoo every other day and only the roots. The roots of your hair are exposed to the natural oils of your scalp where as the body and ends are not. They receive a lot of natural conditioning so shampooing doesn't dry them out as much. The body and ends don't receive the natural oils so shampooing becomes damaging. When washing hair make sure to ALWAYS condition but only the body and ends and not the roots. Again roots receive natural oils, they don't need extra oils that are in the conditioner. Body and ends don't so conditioner helps them stay hydrated and healthy.
- Avoid if possible using any harsh chemicals on your hair. Things such as bleach, hair dye, and perms are all extremely damaging. I'm not saying this is completely not allowed because truth is I dyed my hair while growing it out. But if you do this, take some time at least once a week to do a deep conditioning treatment(will post one you can make at home down below). However it is HIGHLY recommended that you don't use these chemicals often. 1-3 times in a 1-2 year period seems good. Over that can become damaging and cause for more hair to be cut. Trust me on this one because I just recently broke this rule by dying my hair 4 times within 3 months and I am about to get like 3-4 inches cut off due to the damage I caused my hair. Once you have grown your hair out to as long as I have you become attached and it is VERY HARD to say good bye to even an inch.
- Be gentle with your locks. Rough brushing actually causes ripping and tearing to occur leaving you with split and broken ends. So when brushing and combing use a gentle touch. Don't just rip through knots, gently break them apart so no hair is ripped in the process. Another important fact is that hair is actually much more fragile when wet. It stretches out and if brushed too hard will not return to normal leaving individual strands thinner and more prone to damage. Your hair did nothing wrong to you so be nice to it (:
Those are just s few tips that have worked for me and keeping my hair healthy. There are plenty of other things you can and could do. Just remember that growing your hair out is a long committed task and should be relatively free. Most hair growth products don't work so do not be scammed.