By: Brenna Gray
I’ve always had longish hair for most of my life. I’ve only cut it short twice and once was because I had donated it. I love the way long hair makes me feel beautiful and confident. If you crave long hair after cutting it short like I’ve done in the past, than you came to the right place! Today, I am sharing all the things I do to help my natural red hair grow and all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years:
1. BRUSH YOUR SCALP – I never used brushes much on my hair before because I was told that the bristles could cause more damage. However, it is true that hair grows faster when there is more blood circulation to the scalp. I brush once a day, every night before bed with a wire bristle brush. Brush the scalp in C motions for about 5 minutes — it is relaxing too! If you are not a fan of brushing, concentrate on the scalp only.
2. USE HEAT PROTECTANTS – The trick is to never let your hair break if you are trying to grow it longer. I’m a huge believer that heat is the biggest cause of damaged hair. I like to straighten my hair because its natural waviness sometimes gets unruly. I used to hate using a heat protectant on my hair because I thought it weighed my hair down, but I started to see noticeable breaking and split ends because I neglected using it. I opted for a heat protectant and learned the key is to not go overboard with the protectant; too much can make the hair burn when it comes in contact with a hot tool. Make sure to spray the protectant (lightly!) when you see the most damage, and for most of us it is on the ends.
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3. AVOID USING HEAT – Have you noticed how healthy and silky a child’s hair is? This is probably because they don’t use heat on their hair like adults do. Like I admitted before, I believe the biggest thing that will damage your hair is heat, however I have a hard time not using heat on my hair. I will, however, air dry my hair overnight so I don’t have to blow dry it as often. I recommend going as long as you can without using any heat. If you can’t let your hair air dry, braid wet hair at night so the next day you have pretty (heatless) waves.
4. BIOTIN* – These little vitamins sure do wonders. I have been taking them for a couple of months and noticed my hair is stronger, longer and shinier. Not only are they good for your hair, they are also good for your nails and skin. I only take one biotin a day and have seen a big difference. Make sure you get all natural capsules and buy them from a trusted source.
5. EXERCISE – Did you know that exercising can promote hair growth? We all know that exercising is good for your overall health, but it’s also good for your hair as well. Supposedly it helps get your blood flowing and promotes hair growth. So go get your sweat on, redhead ladies.
6. GET FEWER TRIMS – I’m probably going to get a lot of criticism about this, but I don’t get a trim every 6-8 weeks like the hair stylist recommends. I only go for trims when I notice my hair is super damaged, which equals out to 2 to 3 times a year. First of all, it saves money and who doesn’t like that? Second of all, you should only get trims when you actually need them. So, give your hair time to grow and only trim it when it’s necessary. You’ll see your hair get longer and not stay at the same length forever. And, find a hair stylist that isn’t ‘scissor happy’. Seek out a stylist that knows you want to grow your hair long and isn’t eager to cut it all off.
7. DEEP CONDITION – This is one thing I love to do and find it very relaxing. I am very consistent with using a deep conditioner and/or coconut oil on my hair once or twice a week. I wash my hair in the shower like normal and rinse the shampoo out with hot water. Then I put a deep conditioner in my hair for about 5 minutes then rinse it out with cool water. The cool water will help seal the cuticle and keep all the good stuff inside.
8. EAT HEALTHY FOODS – I have never been a picky eater so this has never been an issue. I love healthy foods and crave them more than the unhealthy stuff. If you aren’t like me and need some ideas, this is what I like to include in my diet to ensure my hair is getting what it needs to stay healthy:
- Healthy fats like salmon, avocados, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe – these have beta carotene in them which our body turns into Vitamin A which help protect and produce the oil in your scalp!
- Eggs, chicken, pork, beef – sources of protein and iron. Iron helps cells carry oxygen to your hair follicles and lack of iron can lead to hair loss.
- Spinach, broccoli, any leafy green – Also contain beta carotene, iron, vitamin C and folate
- Soybeans, kidney beans – sources of protein, zinc, biotin and iron
- Greek yogurt – vitamin B5 and vitamin D
- Blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes – lots of vitamin C which are important for blood circulation to the scalp.
9. WASH YOUR HAIR LESS FREQUENTLY – No, it’s not gross. The more you shampoo your hair, the more you are removing the natural healthy oils that are there to protect it and keep it healthy. Also, the less frequently you wash your hair, the less you have to blow dry and straighten/curl, and as I’ve said before the less heat the better! I wash my hair 2-3 times a week. You will have to train yourself to do this so start off by washing your hair every other day and work your way up. Dry shampoo also works really well. It allows your hair to feel clean, give it texture and give you another day without washing. I promise that your hair will thrive from this.
10. USE A WIDE TOOTH COMB – When you get out of the shower, opt for a wide tooth comb to brush out your gorgeous locks. It is easier on your hair and causes less breakage. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years and not only noticed a difference in my hair’s length, but also the frizziness seems to be tamed better than ever.
11. UV & WIND PROTECTION -I recommend using a sun hat while at the beach. I also recommend braiding your hair if it’s windy outside so your hair doesn’t become a tangled or break off mess. And, invest in a sunscreen spray for your red hair — you won’t regret it.
Rock it like a Redhead!