As a beauty enthusiast, I’ve always loved creating fun hair tutorials and sharing my unique beauty tips (often discovered through personal experiences) on Barefoot Blonde. Years ago, after coloring my hair brown and then going back to blonde, I decided to cut my hair to just under shoulder length to give it a fresh start! This was the shortest my hair had ever been, and I was determined to keep it healthy and grow it out.
While I do wear hair extensions to add volume, my hair is now long and healthy, as a result of the following tips and practices that I used along the way. But growing your hair out takes time — so be patient! :)
BRUSH YOUR SCALP
We all remember Marcia Brady and her saying “100 brushes a day,” right? Well, 100 is maybe too much, and you don’t necessarily want to focus on brushing your hair shaft but your scalp! Using a wire bristle brush will help stimulate the scalp and promote growth. I do this (almost) every night for about five minutes and completely swear by it! It helps if you do it in C-motions so you don’t have to go the entire length of your hair each time. You can pick up a wire bristle brush like Spornette’s Little Wonder Tease White Brush ($5) at any beauty supply store.
USE HEAT PROTECTANTS
The best way to help your hair grow is to make sure it doesn’t BREAK. I am a big believer that besides bleach, heat leads to the most damaged (AKA not growing) hair. So when you do use styling tools, make sure you first apply heat protectants that will protect your hair. My favorites are the Style Sexy Hair 450 Degree Protect Heat Defense Hot Tool Spray ($19) (applied before using hot tools) and the Style Sexy Hair 450 Blow Out Heat Defense Spray ($19) (applied before blow drying hair).
I love vitamin E, not only because I have seen it improve the health of my hair, but I also I feel like it totally improves the health of my skin and nails too! You can purchase vitamin E almost anywhere, but I pick up Spring Valley E Vitamin Dietary Supplement ($12) as much as possible.
I am a huge fan of exercising for a million different reasons, and one of them is hair growth. Rumor has it that working out regularly helps get your blood flowing and promotes hair growth. Whether this actually leads to longer strands, I don’t know for sure, but since it’s good for your health, attitude, skin, and just about all things beauty and wellness — why not anyways, right?!
I am very consistent with deep conditioning and have seen it help my hair tenfold. I do a deep conditioner at least once a week, wash my hair in the shower like normal, and rinse with hot water. After towel drying, I apply the deep conditioner and go about my business for 20 minutes. I then rinse with cool water to help seal the cuticle and keep all the moisture inside. I personally swear by the Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask ($37).
AVOID USING HEAT
This is a hard one, but like I said before, I am convinced that heat is the biggest reason for damaged hair. My strands were absolutely fried before I went to hair school, but after learning more about haircare, I knew I needed a completely fresh start. I went an ENTIRE summer without heat, and this, by far, was the thing that helped me the most. Obviously, it’s hard to never use heat, but if you can even let your strands air dry a couple of nights a week or braid your hair at night so the next day you have heatless waves, anything helps. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll love this Khaleesi-inspired no-heat hairstyle tutorial that is the perfect no-heat summer ‘do!
There are lots of foods that can help promote hair growth (and they are all healthy!). Obviously eating nutrient-rich ingredients is good for your skin, but it’s also good for your hair. Here are just a few everyday eats that will help with healthy hair growth:
- Salmon — or if you don’t like fish (me either!), then any fatty acid-rich food, like avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, helps.
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe have a great source of an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A that helps produce and protect the oil from your scalp.
- Eggs, chicken, pork, and beef, AKA protein and iron! Iron helps cells carry oxygen to your hair follicles and the lack of iron can lead to hair loss.
- Spinach, kale, broccoli, and any leafy greens contain beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, and folate.
- Lentils, soybeans, and kidney beans have tons of protein, zinc, biotin, and iron.
- Greek yogurt has protein and vitamin B5 (which you often see in hair care labels), and vitamin D.
- Blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, and tomatoes have a lot of vitamin C, which is critical for circulation to the scalp.
WASH YOUR HAIR LESS
I can’t understand how people wash their hair every day, mainly because, even if I wanted to, I think I am just too lazy! The more you shampoo your hair, the more you are removing the healthy oils that are protecting and keeping your hair healthy. The less you wash it, the less you have to blow dry and straighten/curl, and the less heat, the better. I tend to wash my hair two to three times a week. But note that if you wash your hair every day, you will have to train your hair to get to that point, so start by doing every other day and work your way up, but I promise your hair will love you. Dry shampoo will become your new best friend, so reach for Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo ($18).
remember UV AND WIND PROTECTION
This one is probably pretty obvious, but anytime you are in the sun it is always a good idea to use a sun protectant for your hair or just throw on a hat. The wind can also damage locks, so I suggest that you braid your hair so it doesn’t become a tangled and broken off mess!
For more hair and beauty tips, visit BarefootBlonde.com.