by corinne iaia

December 06, 2016

Rules To Follow For Longer, Healthier Hair

I put my patience to the test over the last year, after deciding to grow my hair for the first time since I was a young teenager. I've always loved the feeling of a fresh cut, and so have always went for the chop more often than not. I figured it was time for a bit of a change, and after a full year of growing my hair from what was practically a bob, to this, I have quite a wealth of tips on how to get the best results while maintaining healthy hair. Here are the most important rules to follow if you're beginning (or in the midst of) your hair growth journey AND product recommendations to help you along the way:
  • Color As Little As Possible - I say this knowing that some people can't avoid coloring their hair. However, if you're like me and don't yet have grays, but like to add a bit of color, try balayage instead of an all over color or highlights. This will allow a one-time color-job to get you through an entire year without having to over-process your hair with all those harsh chemicals. I'm loving the balayage for its low-maintenance approach to a sunkissed color. If you do have all-over color, however, try only touching up the roots each month, instead of re-doing the entire length of your hair. Less dye = healthier hair!
  • Ignore The Myths - ...I mean, the myths that say trimming your hair monthly will help you grow longer, stronger hair. This isn't true! If you get monthly cuts, or even every other month, you will most likely lose most of the growth you had from the last 30 days. Unless you truly trust your stylist to only take off a quarter-inch, than stay away until you've reached your desired length (or until you can't stand the split ends anymore). I haven't had a cut in about a year, and though I have a few split ends that I can't wait to wave goodbye to, there are products and styling tricks to hide those until you get to the perfect length. 
  • Quality Styling Tools - If you don't use them, skip over this tip - also, if you don't have to, I'm so jealous! But, if you, like me, heat style your hair, then investing in quality heat-styling tools is another key step to maintaining healthy locks. I used to use a hair dryer that made my hair feel less than smooth, and that certainly wasn't helping my hair to grow. Also, make sure you're using a straightener or curler with a protective plate that doesn't tug and pull your hair during use. I highly recommend investing in a great straightening iron (I use for curling only) like the GHD Platinum, and certainly a quality hair dryer, like the InStyler Blu Ionic Dryer (currently hosting a giveaway over on instagram for this!) or the GHD Air Hair Dryer
  • Protect From Heat - This is something I always think should remain a part of your haircare system. Even if you're not big on using hair styling products, use something that creates a barrier between your hair and the heat. I personally use a few different types of products when using heat stylers, such as a leave-in conditioner or hair strengthener, an oil on the ends to create slip, and a heat-protecting hair spray before curling. 
  • Brush Less - This may sound strange, but hear me out. Brushing your hair, especially quickly and harshly, can lead to breakage and split ends. I've found that brushing less creates less splitting and fraying at the ends, so I limit myself to brushing only when I get out of the shower or am blow drying my hair. Refer back to the heat protection tip for this one as well, making sure that when you do brush, you have used some sort of product to create slip and lessen knotting, such as an oil or leave in conditioner. Trust me, the less breakage, the less often you'll need a cut.
Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to long, strong, and healthy hair! I swear it's much easier than it looks. Don't forget to scroll below for my top product recommendations.
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