As someone who has maintained long hair my entire life, I have learned a thing or two over the years about how to keep my locks looking and feeling their best.
Between hot tools, nutritional gaps in our diet, hormonal issues, and even stress, our hair can take a toll. I have been through it all and am excited to share with you some easy tips I’ve learned on how to grow long, strong hair AND keep it healthy when it gets there.
We all know that getting regular trims at the salon can avoid breakage and keep our ends healthy. However, I’m about to share ten tips you may not know about that you can start implementing today!
Natural Hair Tips For Beginners
1. Avoid Hot Tools When You Can
Heat styling can be damaging to your hair, so it is important to not use styling tools that require heat too often. Our goal is not to ban hot tools forever, but to just lessen the amount of times we use them per week. Limiting styling tools to once per week is a good place to start. You want to make sure your hair is getting a resting phase, letting your hair breathe and rest.
I firmly believe the reason my hair remains so healthy is because I rarely blow dry it. When I wash my hair, I usually do it around dinner time and let it air dry all night. I have always done this because I love the feeling of “washing away the stress” of my day with a hot shower before I relax for the night. It calms me, plus I love going to sleep with clean hair.
Hate how your hair looks air dried? You are not alone. My biggest tip for this is to let your hair get 99% dried on its own and then run through it a couple times with a blow dry brush.
Another pro-tip I have for avoiding hot tools is heatless curls. I found this trend on TikTok and was shocked when I tried it for myself! I use this curling ribbon, but you can also use the tie to your bath robe and get great results. Try it for yourself!
2. Use a Good Hair Oil
My FAVORITE hair product ever – hair oil! I can’t believe I’ve only been using this for about a year because I’m addicted to it now, this one specifically.
I use a hair oil when I get out of the shower on wet hair to lock in the moisture and on my ends after it is dry to put some moisture back in them. Applying oil is a great way to protect your hair against heat if using hot tools as well. I also like to rub it in my palms and put some on the top of my head to combat any frizz I have going on.
Another way to use hair oil is to apply oil to your hair and scalp as a “pre-shampoo” treatment. Letting oil sit in your hair for about 30 minutes before washing prevents any harsh shampoos or products from damaging your hair. I recommend a cheap hydrating oil for this. TikTok swears by Mielle Rosemary Mint Oil to make your hair grow faster!
3. Heat Protectant Always
I saw a meme recently about guys thinking girls’ heat protectant is for when it’s hot outside, which I will always giggle about now. So if anyone out there thinks the same thing, let’s clear that up now!
It is good to minimize the use of hot tools, but when you are using them always prep your hair with a good heat protectant. This will protect against the heat damaging your hair.
If your hair is damp out of the shower, this is a great one.
If your hair is already dry but you are about to style it with a hot tool, I recommend this one.
4. Cold Rinsing Your Conditioner
While initially I thought this was horrible, I have grown to love my cold rinses before I get out of the shower. I like to leave my conditioner in for a few minutes while I’m bathing and right before I get out, turn the water to cold and wash it out.
Rinsing with cold water closes the cuticles in your hair to leave it shiny and healthy. It also helps close the pores on your scalp to prevent oil from building up. Not to mention, closing those pores can help prevent hair loss and get your hair growing faster. I notice it makes my hair way softer and my favorite part of the cold rinse is the energy boost I get from the cold water!
5. Shampoo Your Hair Upside Down
This sounds very odd, and trust me I was confused too when I heard it. However, now that I do this, it makes so much sense to me!
When shampooing, you want the majority of the product in your roots, not your ends since shampoo can be drying to them. So flipping your hair over helps you massage the product in where you want it to go and avoid your ends. Not to mention, this gets your blood flowing and circulation going around your scalp which is great to stimulate hair growth. You will promote hair growth and use less product – it’s a win-win!
6. Use Natural Products When You Can
Looking at what is in your products is important when trying to maintain healthy hair. A lot of additives in cheap shampoo can be super drying and harmful to your hair, despite their marketing claims. One brand I am loving at the moment is Davines because of their natural ingredients and transparency. I use the Oi All in One Milk as a leave in conditioner after a shower. Not only does it smell amazing but it leaves my hair feeling very hydrated and soft!
7. Hair Masks for Hydration
Dry hair is dull hair, so if you are looking to add some extra hydration to your locks consider adding a hair mask in once a week. Two hydrating masks I particularly like are the Davines Nounou Hair Mask and the Olaplex No. 8 Intense Moisture Mask. My advice is to treat yourself to a spa night once a week and give yourself a facial while your hair mask is sitting!
8. Supplements for Gaps in Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for healthy hair growth. It is important to consume a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth and overall health. Here are some of the foods that I try to include in my diet:
- Protein: Protein is essential for healthy hair growth. Some protein-rich foods include eggs, fish, chicken, and legumes.
- Fatty Acids: Fatty acids are essential for healthy hair growth. It is important to consume foods that are high in fatty acids, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy hair growth. Try to include foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, such as leafy greens, berries, and citrus fruits.
- Water: Drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy hair growth. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is recommended.
In addition to consuming a healthy diet, it is important to avoid foods such as processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol. By maintaining a healthy diet, you can ensure that your hair remains healthy and strong.
One supplement that I swear by when it comes to hair growth is the Modere collagen. It is pricy but I can promise you it WORKS! I have an Instagram highlight showing my hair growth from it. I also have a code “4400434” to use too if you order for $10 off.
9. Silk Pillowcase and Scrunchies
An easy step you can take towards healthy hair today is to just swap out your pillowcase and hair ties. Lots of elastic hair ties we are used to pull our hair out, whether we realize it or not. Switching to silk scrunchies is an easy fix and look super cute too. Also, sleeping on a silk pillowcase can really improve the hydration of your skin and hair. Plus, it can prevent aging effects in our skin so why NOT try it?!
10. Massage Your Scalp in the Shower
Lastly, my favorite part of my routine – my scalp massager! I use this Amazon scalp massager when I put my shampoo in my roots to suds them up and it feels amazing. However, you can do this with your fingers as well and doesn’t have to be while showering. Massaging your scalp daily can improve the circulation around your hair follicles and stimulate new hair growth. Bonus points if you have a friend or significant other who will do it for you!
How To Know If Your Hair Is Healthy?
Knowing if your hair is healthy is crucial for maintaining it. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Shine: Healthy hair has a natural shine to it, while dull hair may indicate damage or dryness.
- Elasticity: When you gently pull on a strand of healthy hair, it should stretch and then bounce back to its original length. If it breaks or doesn’t stretch, it may be damaged.
- Texture: Healthy hair should feel soft and smooth to the touch. If it feels rough or brittle, it may be damaged.
- Minimal Shedding: Shedding is normal, but excessive shedding may indicate a problem with your hair or scalp.
- No Split Ends: Split ends are a common sign of damaged hair. Regular trims can help prevent them.
In addition to these signs, it’s important to pay attention to your scalp. A healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair growth. Here are some things to look out for:
- No Flakes: Flakes can be a sign of dandruff or a dry scalp. If you notice flakes, try using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
- No Itching: An itchy scalp can be a sign of irritation or infection. If you experience itching, see a dermatologist.
- No Tenderness: A tender scalp can be a sign of inflammation or infection. If you experience tenderness, see a dermatologist.
By paying attention to these signs and taking care of your hair and scalp, you can ensure that your natural hair stays healthy and beautiful.
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That’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading this and learned a thing or two. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!