Storytime: As a teen, I was obsessed with having long, mermaid length strands. Around the same time, however, I was just discovering bleach, and I couldn’t go a day without reaching for my flat iron. My frequent trips to touch up my salon blonde, paired with my obsession with heat styling, meant I struggled to grow my hair past my shoulders.
Fast forward about a decade later: My hair reaches just below my mid-back, and I pride myself on my long hair care. If you, like I was, are struggling with growing longer, stronger strands, you’ve come to the right place! While there's no real way to make your hair grow overnight (according to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair grows about six inches per year, on average), there are a few steps you can take to keep your strands as healthy as possible during the growing process. From styling tricks to must-have hair care products from the L'Oréal portfolio, this is everything you need to know about how to grow long hair.
Skip a shampoo or two.
Pro tip number one: When you’re trying to grow long hair, start by limiting the number of times you shampoo per week. Lathering up too often can strip your mane of its natural oils, leaving your strands feeling dry and brittle—which is a big no when you’re growing your hair out. That’s why we recommend giving your hair a break and limiting your shampoo sessions to two times per week.
When you do shampoo (and condition), opt for a system that’s formulated to help you grow longer, stronger hair like Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner With Biotin. This duo strengthens damaged hair and helps prevent breakage to help promote your strongest, healthiest hair. When used as a full system with the shampoo, conditioner, and Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment With Biotin, this system helps reduce breakage by 81 percent.
If you have hair that gets oily quickly and can’t imagine cutting back on your wash schedule, add a dry shampoo like Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo to your routine. This will help you limit the number of times you lather up your strands during the week while keeping oily roots at bay.
Hydrate your mane.
While you can (and should) nix a shampoo session or two, skipping moisturizing products is never a good idea. Dry, brittle hair can lead to breakage, which can seriously limit your hair growth. If you want dramatic length, a leave-in conditioner like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk is essential for keeping your mane nourished and strong. This formula boasts 25 hair benefits, including reducing dryness, controlling frizz, helping prevent split ends, and more.
If your strands need an extra bit of moisture, add a weekly hair mask like Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Nourishing Strengthening Mask. This mask intensely nourishes, revitalizes, and strengthens hair in just 60 seconds.
Good hair day by @matthewstylist.
Don’t be afraid to trim.
Opting for frequent trims might seem counterintuitive, but hear us out! When you’re attempting to grow your hair out, those bi-yearly trims likely aren’t going to cut it. Between constant styling and environmental factors, your ends are likely to split over time. Split ends can travel up the hair shaft—meaning if you don’t get rid of them quickly, you’ll end up needing to snip off more hair than you originally planned. That’s why the more frequently you snip those bothersome split ends, the more your hair will grow long and strong.
Rethink your platinum hue.
Got going blonde on the brain? We get it: Once you have that dreamy platinum blonde hue in your head, it can be tough not to rush to the salon to make it yours. Going platinum, however, requires tons of bleaching—which can lead to serious damage, breakage, and split ends. That’s why, if you’re on a journey to achieving long hair, it’s best to stay away from lightener as much as possible.
Committed to going lighter? Ask your colorist about low-maintenance, less damaging ways to brighten your hue like the money piece technique. This will allow you to stretch the time between touch-up appointments and slightly tweak your color without bleaching your entire mane.
If you can’t completely resist the urge to color your hair, be sure to add a shampoo and conditioner system like Kérastase Bain Chromatique Riche Shampoo and Fondant Chromatique Conditioner to your routine. This system protects and prolongs hair color while protecting hair against external aggressors. If you’re going blonde, you should also add a purple toning system like Kérastase Bain Ultra-Violet Purple Shampoo and Cicaflash Conditioner. This system instantly neutralizes brassy hair and yellow undertones and strengthens blonde hair.
Limit heat styling.
It’s time to step away from your blow dryer—no, really. As important as your daily blowout may seem, one of the best ways to avoid split, frayed ends is to cancel heat styling entirely. It may not be easy, but your strands will thank you for it later!
While you’re taking a breather from heat styling, play with air-dry products like Pureology Hydrate Air Dry Cream. This heat and hassle-free styler controls, enhances body, and perfects texture while keeping hair soft and hydrated. Not only will this save you serious styling time, but you’ll also learn how to make your natural hair texture work for you!
If you’re struggling to part with heat styling completely, start slow and limit your blow-dry time to once or twice a week. Always make sure to use a heat protecting product like Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry Hair Lotion. This product provides reshapable styling memory, frizz control, and thermo-protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hair brushing is a daily ritual we can’t live without, for sure, but it’s essential to pay attention to how you’re brushing. Running a brush through your hair incorrectly (or too aggressively) can lead to hair breakage and damage—which can seriously tarnish your hair growth goals.
Before you begin brushing, always use a hair detangling product like Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray. When your hair is wet, use a wide-tooth comb to prevent breakage. You should also always start from the bottom and slowly work your way up to avoid creating more tangles. Unsure how to properly detangle your mane? Check out our guide.
Good hair day by @ronni.ol.
Get creative with your styling.
Hair accessories are in, and there’s no better time to put a few of your faves to use! First things first: If you want to slay an on-trend ponytail, get rid of hair elastics that can damage and crease your hair and swap them for hair scrunchies. Not only are they 10 times more stylish, but they’re also super gentle on your strands.
If you’re looking for new ways to style your hair after giving up your flat iron, you can also play around with barrettes, headbands, and hair scarves to get creative with your hairstyles.
Pay extra attention to your curls.
Curly hair grows at the same rate as other hair textures, but when you have tight ringlets that shrink up, growing your hair out can feel like a much slower process. Curly manes also tend to have a hard time retaining moisture, so you’ll need to give them an extra bit of TLC.
First, swap out your regular shampoo for a moisturizing cleansing conditioner like Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner. This product gently cleanses and conditions in one step to help aid in retaining moisture and helps maintain the natural curl pattern for touchable texture.
If you want to keep your curls intact (without relying on heat styling), pick up a lightweight hair lotion like Mizani’s True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion. Infused with coconut, olive, and marula oils, this formula enhances and defines curly hair while keeping it soft and hydrated.
Care for your strands while you sleep.
You know that silk pillowcase you’ve had in your shopping cart for months? It’s officially time to invest! Silk pillowcases minimize friction and tugging on your strands while you toss and turn at night, which can lead to hair breakage, damage, and frizz.
Aside from tossing your cotton pillowcase, you can also treat your strands to an overnight hair serum like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue Overnight Serum. This formula softens and nourishes from mid-lengths to ends while taming frizz and unruly strands and improving manageability.
Good hair day by @realericvaughn.
Like going from dark brown hair to your dream ash blonde hue, growing your hair out is a process that requires patience. If you follow the proper tips, tricks, and product recommendations, however, you’ll be able to achieve the longest, healthiest hair ever (in time)!
Interested in more expert hair tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.