grow it long, grow it strong!

growitlong

 

i’m obsessed with long hair. if i think about cutting mine, my soul gets a little sad. if see a girl with long, luscious locks, i get Serious hair envy. creepy? sure, i guess… but who can’t resist long, beautiful hair?! here’s my take on getting those long, strong locks you’ve always wanted :) i grew mine from shoulder/collarbone length (what’s the correct term for that length anyway?) to below the middle of my back in about a year and i never want to cut it! haha. i’m a fan of concise lists, rather than long paragraphs, so here goes my do’s and don’t’s: (dont’s…do not’s…)

 

 

do not

  • wash your hair every day. this is a biggie! you’re stripping your hair of its moisturizing oils.
  • brush your hair while wet. this is so so so bad for it! it strains it and can lead to breakage. please stop!
  • use a blowdryer. i know it’s a hard habit to break, but you’re killing your hair. stop it right now.
  • use hair dye. permanent, demi, whatever. please stop. you’re doing irreversible damage.
  • use a straightener or curling iron every day. or most days. only use them on occasion, and protect your hair when you do! try using a natural heat protectant.
  • dry your hair with a towel.
  • neglect getting your hair cut. you don’t need to trim it every month or “x” weeks, but you do need to trim when you have split ends. they WILL continue to split and your hair will not be pretty nor will it be long and strong.
  • pull your hair back into a tight ponytail or bun every day. this will cause breakage! and NEVER use rubber bands! eesh!
  • *if you can, drop traditional shampoo, conditioner, and styling products all together. your hair doesn’t need to be coated in chemicals to be pretty!! i’m this way with my hair and i don’t even need conditioner or styling products anymore. you’d be surprised at what your hair can do/looks like when there aren’t chemicals clinging to it! check out all my natural hair posts Here

coco hair

do

  • let your hair air dry.
  • wash your hair somewhere between every other day to every 4 days. but please still shower. i do it every 4.
  • take biotin (and fish oil) supplements. it’ll strengthen your hair and nails. not to mention help with adding moisture and shine!
  • use coconut oil hair masks at least every other week. i can’t express to you how wonderful these natural masks are for your hair! check it out here. and i’ll just lay a fun fact on you. i’m convinced my hair grows faster with coconut oil. maybe i’m just psyching myself out. but man, my armpit hair sure does (since i’ve switched to homemade deo)!
  • tame fly-aways and nourish your dry ends with argan oil. that stuff is liquid gold! you can use coconut oil, too! just be careful with the amount you use. it takes very, very little to get the job done! check it out here.
  • use a wide-toothed comb instead of a bristle brush. it’ll catch and pull your hair less and lead to way less breakage and damage. here’s the proper way to brush your hair!
  • massage your scalp about 5 minutes a day to promote growth. (ohh, hubby??)
  • abandon store-bought shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products. this is an extreme step, but please at least give it a try. you can check out how i dropped all chemicals here and here. and here’s a natural shampoo that’s great for ALL hair types!
  • drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and exercise. you gotta keep your hair healthy from the inside out! i fully support a plant-based diet!

20130413_115834(biotin & fish oil. look at those horse pills! they’re worth it though!)

ways to “get around” the do NOTs:

  • if your hair is oily and you feel like you have to wash it every day, there is hope! it’s about a week to two week process but you can train your hair to produce less oil. (i talk about it here & here. )i’ve completely dropped store-bought shampoo and conditioner and have switched to using either an all-organic shampoo (that i still heavily dilute), or baking soda/vinegar routine (check out my posts under the “hair” tab). i’ve been doing it this way for over 8 months and i can honestly, cross my heart, tell you that i will never go back to putting chemicals on my hair ever again!
  • if you need to blow dry your hair, only do it half way and protect it with some sort of heat protectant.
  • instead of using a towel to dry your hair, invest in a turbie twist or just lightly squeeze out excess water from root to tip, and let drip dry. you can also put your hair up in a pair of (clean) boxers to lessen the roughage if you can’t get a turbie twist and also don’t want your hair dripping all over you
  • if you need to pull your hair back, try using bobby pins or a big clip that will hold it back, but with less damage potential. maybe even a loose braid will do!
  • if you need to curl your hair, look up heatless ways to do so. i have a couple on this blog, with my favorite here. check out youtube, too!
  • if you need to straighten your hair, you’re either going to have to save it for those few and far between days or just suck it up and do without. lol
  • if you need to dye your hair, try natural alternatives… tea, black walnut hulls.. do your research! your hair will thank you in non-breakage and non-dryness. check out my post on dying with black walnuts.

(it’s dark because it was past 3am, but proof that you don’t need product or heat to have all day curls!)

overall: if you’re growing your hair out longer and stronger after being curled, dyed, straightened, teased, etc., every day or close to it, these techniques will help your hair, but your hair will have to grow out to get rid of the existing damage. there’s just no way around that. i wish there was! the amount of time your hair takes to grow depends on a lot of things, so BE PATIENT! i know it’s hard! my family’s hair grows like crazy, so i got lucky in the genetics department. but it also depends on what you’re putting into your body, how you’re treating your hair, and past damage. remember that your hair’s part of a living thing…YOU. treat it as such :)

myhair(and here’s how long my hair’s gotten so far! i got it cut into choppy layers, too!)

i get asked this a LOT, so here’s the deal: UNREFINED vs REFINED COCONUT OIL:

refined CO has been through bleaching & high heat processes and also can sometimes have lye added to it or be hydrogenated, making it a trans fat. while it might make your hair feel softer, you’re not actually giving your hair anywhere the same benefits you would from unrefined. & you definitely do NOT want to eat that one! unrefined is the purest form with the most health benefits (and the kind that can be eaten!). your hair will thank you :)

hippie stamp Sig

551 thoughts on “grow it long, grow it strong!

  1. lissyluli says:

    I am SO happy to have found your blog. I’ve decided to finally start caring for my body and respecting it, and your blog is full of wonderful information. I’m really excited to transition to a more chemical free lifestyle! Thank you for sharing your experiences beautiful xx

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  2. mauriss33 says:

    I have naturally curly hair and when I let it air dry it gets really big and really curly, so I made the mistake of bleaching my natural black hair and then dyed it red, followed by straightening all in less than 2 days. So now my hair is fried and it’s been almost a year and it hasn’t grown out so I had to cut most of it, but its still super dry, any ideas on how to fix this??? LOVE your hair though.

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  3. GroverMiss says:

    Hi Alex!
    I love your blog! I’ve been inspired to try No Poo/ WO methods for a while. My hubby is in the Army, and deployed, so I figure this would be the ideal time to get a transition period over with!

    -but I have a couple of questions I can’t seem to wrap my head around! I have very fine and somewhat thin hair that gets very very greasy. When it does, it clumps together and looks extremely thin! I read a lot about the “transition period” but I don’t really understand what happens after–where does all that oil from the transition period go if it’s not washed? Will my hair really find an equilibrium that is soft and shiny, and not clumpy? Does all that oil and matte, greased look just kind of…go away? even after it’s been escalating for weeks?

    Also! With the BBB, do you wash the brush? Seems like it would add a lot of really old oil back to your hair–?

    Like

    • Frankie Anne says:

      A good leave in conditioner, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, conditioning treatment, argon oil, anti snap by redkin is my fave, as I lighten my hair (it is platinum) I use this product, not only on myself but my clients also love it (stylist).

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  4. Amanda says:

    I’ve just came across this after leaving my hair to dry naturally & not straightening it for nearly 2 weeks – I straightened it last night for the first time I my hair is noticeably healthier looking and also longer (unless I’m just so used to my hair being wavy the past 2 weeks?!) Think I’ll be keeping it up as I’m really impressed by the results I’m seeing and reading!!

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  5. Susie says:

    I just tried your “no-poo” for the first time ! And I’m so excited to see results! Thanks so much and I’ll let you know how my hair reacts to it (: I also like how it cooperates with the dandruff rather than me having to use special shampoos like selsun blue and head & shoulders !

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  6. Moses obi says:

    Wow¡!!! I like this ,my question is almost answer well please am a guy that as a long hair about 11CM TALL but not long to my own extent pls any advice for me in here cos I can see this procesess are meant for ladies any hint for the,guyssssss ?????????????????????????????????????????????????

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  7. Sandra says:

    I use Pantene Shampoo and I also use this cinnamon soap that I got from the LUSH store and they told me it would help my hair grow and get strong. Which I feel like it is helping and it is made from all natural ingredients. Do you think I should drop the pantene and try to just use the natural soap or do you think your way would work more for my hair. I did wash my hair everyday but now I learn to go 3-4 days without washing it and I seen a big change with it. I just really want my hair very long like at the bottom of my back and very strong. Please let me know what you think

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  8. Laura says:

    Hi Just to say in terms of dying your hair there is a really nice alternative at a shop called lush, they do henna hair dyes but it has that much coco butter within it that it has been used as a treatment to soften the hair. I think it is really worth a look as I don’t have to constantly dye my hair either there are no roots with this product. This is just to let everyone know if they want to dye their hair. :)

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  9. Heather says:

    Hi Alex! I just wanted to say your blog is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Yes, capital letters….and this isn’t going to be a short post. My mom sent me the link to this exact page and I couldn’t stop browsing through when I started reading and wanted to try a few things.

    First was the Argan Oil (OOM). I’ve been using Proactiv for a while because I have acne prone skin now when I didn’t before in high school, so I wanted to give it a shot because their stuff adds up quickly in price. 3 days in a row I did the Argan Oil face “steam” and my skin was flawless, no joke. I tossed my Proactiv that week (2 months ago) and haven’t gone back.

    Second, I’ve had so many problems with itchy/flaky/oily scalp, or some combination, with standard shampoos and conditioners that I was about to start spending ludicrous amounts of money on other “organics” that probably weren’t good for me anyway. I have very sensitive skin and I had been trying to find out for YEARS what it was that I was allergic to, as I already have a topical allergy to grapeseed oil (which is in practically every cosmetic known to man), so that made it more difficult to find anything I could use. Enter the AE blog…I read your “no-poo” routines for a couple weeks, doing my research in every part of your explanations as well as their supporting info, and decided to go cold turkey to no-poo.

    I invested in the fish oil and biotin, to supplement my multivitamin, iron, B12, and D3 (cause lord knows there’s not much sunlight in west WA) routine I’ve already been doing for years. Starting on Feb 3, after looking for a week for some things, and having to wait on orders for others (true organic aloe GEL is ridiculously hard to find so I had to get liquid “Nature’s Oil, 100% Pure 1X Aloe Vera Liquid), I started it, and had to tweak it as I went. I even invested in the shower head filter for ultra hard water, and used the Boar Bristle Brush everyday for at least 10 minutes a day.

    Feb 3: BS/ACV made my hair feel so coarse on the first wash, and I chose the aloe/honey combo for conditioner. Super soft hair, but kinda greasy feeling.
    Feb 4: Used the dry shampoo with cocoa powder to control oily feeling, but I smelled chocolate all day so I had to get an ice cream…
    Feb 6: BS/ACV wash with aloe/honey conditioner
    Feb 10: BS/ACV wash
    Feb 11: Lemon juice rinse (from workout sweat) and dry shampoo after
    Feb 12: Dry shampoo
    Feb 14: BS/ACV wash with aloe conditioner
    Feb 15: Dry shampoo
    Feb 16: Dry shampoo (the oily feel was driving me nuts by now if you hadn’t noticed)
    Feb 17: Aloe rinse (wanted to try it and see if it did anything different) and Argan Oil on ends
    Feb 19: ACV wash with aloe conditioner (suffering from serious dandruff now so I omitted the BS portion of the wash)
    Feb 20: Water rinse
    Feb 21: Dry shampoo (SUPER oily looking by now and almost seems to have gotten worse)
    Feb 25: Lemon rinse (workout sweat) with aloe/honey conditioner
    Feb 27: (About ready to give up and bummed out)
    Feb 28: BS/ACV wash with aloe/honey conditioner

    Wouldn’t you know it…the next morning, I woke up with my hair feeling really weird and light. My hair was so soft I’d call it feathery, no oily, and no tangles whatsoever. I’m not sure what happened, but it was a literal overnight change to mark my transition period being over. Woot! Short story long, your blog proved true, it took almost exactly 1 month for my hair to transition, and it was very worth it as the end result. Thank you!

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  10. Hannah says:

    I used to have really long hair near my belly button, but since I’ve had it trimmed its not grown long. It’s been growing but not getting long. The hairdresser trimme my hair up to my shoulders when I asked a inch of or not even that and I couldn’t see how much she was trimming an she turned round and said you had a load of split ends but it wasn’t cause I keep on top of my hair, anyway I’ve bleached my hair once a year bit I’ve left it now its been 3 years its bit been getting long but I’ve got massive roots but no length coming down, I’ve used this shampoo where it makes your hair grow and feeds the foilices but its not worked, I do massage my head or ill get my boyfriend, sister to do it LoL I also don’t straighten my hair or towel dry I leave it to air dry I’ve tried everything can anyone tell me a any advice what I can do please

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  11. Mackenzie says:

    I workout every single day. My workouts are super intense (30 minutes HIIT treadmill and 30 minutes HIIT rowing and strength) so I need my hair out of my face. Since I have medium length hair (past my shoulders but not to my chest) I usually wear it in a ponytail and I know that is really bad. What are other alternatives to a ponytail. Just leaving it down with a sports headband doesn’t quite cut it.

    Like

    • Delta says:

      Use those twisties for buns from Goodie or a really soft cotton tie and dont tie it too tight. Your hair should be fine. Rule of thumb: if it leaves a bad kink in your hair, its not good for it

      Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about the no ponytail rule. I have super long hair (it’s to my hips) and I’ve literally worn my hair up almost EVERY day of the last five years. Also, washing my hair every four days is too often, I wash mine once every two weeks. I don’t use styling products, blow dryers or anything like that. I brush it out with a damp brush, put in a ponytail and go.

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  13. c2sblog says:

    Hi dear’ first of all you have very very pretty hair i just love your hair and second is my hair ( ufff ) it’s in very bad conditions. The reason is Hair Colour with cutdown. My hairs feels like dry grass and have splits too . But don’t want to trim every month caz I don’t like my hairs shorts. So my hairs are very very dry it’s not Only Dry. If you can help so plz i will appreciate it.
    Thanks

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