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    Updated on Aug 31, 2020. Posted on Aug 27, 2020

    I Grew Out My Hair And Here Are The Popular Tips That Actually Worked

    I do not recommend cold showers.

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    In a perfect world, you could grow your hair out just by not cutting it. But IRL, your hair needs some real TLC to grow out nicely. I learned this when I began my dreamy bleach phase. You can probably tell where this is going...

    The writer with bleached hair with light blue and pink tints, then with bleached hair and purple roots
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Shoutout to Jessica Gonzalez (@jesstheebesttcolor) — she got my hair from brown to opal in one go, unlike some quotes that told me I'd need four sessions.

    TBH, the bleaching didn't kill my hair. Dyeing it black after did. See, I had the bright idea to dye it back myself... and then another four times because I thought the black was too dark...

    As you'd imagine, my hair turned to straw. I refused to walk around with a fried-looking lob and invested in some extensions — so there's no photographic evidence. But I learned how to care for and grow out my hair nicely. Now, it's a lil' more than 27 inches long!

    The writer with her natural brown hair that comes down almost to her waist
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    So, I rounded up 10 popular tips for growing out your hair that I personally tried. Here's what actually worked for me, and what didn't:

    1. THE TIP: Don't be sentimental (or lazy), trim your hair regularly.

    MY VERDICT: ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️/5. I know, it's totally a pain, but since the ends just need trimming, I eventually bought my own shears and just trim it myself every few months.

    The writer holding hair cutting scissors and a comb, with the caption, "Since my sister's home imma ask her to trim my hair for me"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Yeah, I used to think that trimming when you're trying to grow your hair out is counterintuitive. And salons love to charge extra because I have "so much hair." But as my split-on-split ends will tell you, it's not. Sure, it hurts to lose a few inches (and how come the hairdresser always cuts more that you wanted?).

    But as I learned, you'll end up having to chop more length off if you don't trim often, because your hair will break and split higher up the shaft. So while trimming your hair regularly obviously doesn't make it grow faster, it helps the hair you do grow last longer. Also, if you're gonna DIY, make sure your scissors aren't dull or they'll break your hair! If you're in need of a good pair, try these hair-cutting shears ($24.97 on Amazon).

    Final Thoughts: It makes sense, and it works.

    2. THE TIP: Moisturize like your length depends on it!

    MY VERDICT: 🧴🧴🧴🧴🧴/5. Even though my hair's long, it can (annoyingly) break in the middle or ends. So if I don't moisturize it, it looks less like "I grew my hair out!" and more like "I never cut my hair," ya know?

    OGX Argan Oil of Morocco and Ancient Greek Remedy Oil sprays with the caption, "My holy grail products to keep hair smooth and moisturized"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Your hair can't grow out if it's constantly breaking off, right? Ofc, you're going to have a find a conditioner (leave-in or otherwise) or oil that works for your hair type, but when I was growing out my post-bleach mess, I used (and recommend) Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Conditioner ($5.98 for two from Amazon) to wear during the day. Then, Garnier Whole Blends Honey Repairing Mask ($10.98 for two from Amazon) really helped me feel like I was helping my hair at night! Also highly worth!? Olaplex ($56 from Sephora) is a holy grail treatment. It's pricey, but (I was really desperate and) it really makes a difference.

    Now that my hair no longer breaks off after I shower and it's relatively healthy, I don't live and breathe hair masks. So I tend to skip those moisturizers, and I regularly massage some Ancient Greek Remedy Oil ($14.99 from Amazon) into the ends of my hair and spritz some OGX Moroccan Argan Oil Spray ($8.99 from Ulta).

    Final Thoughts: Yeah, this one's a given. Should be court-mandated.

    3. THE TIP: Ok, we've all heard that sleeping on a ~silk~ pillowcase helps your hair.

    MY VERDICT: 🛏️🛏️/5. Frankly, I didn't see a difference in my (straight) hair — especially once the bleach grew out and it was no longer super damaged.

    The writer's silk pillowcase with the caption, "Super soft silk pillow case (it's a gift, I didn't embroider my own name)"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Tbh, I was always skeptical of this tip. But after receiving a silk pillowcase as a gift, I made the switch. Had I switched post-bleach when my hair looked like brittle straw, I may have been more appreciative, but I didn't notice any improvement. Although, my hair is straight, so if you have curly hair, you may see a difference.

    Anyway, the logic is that silk is much gentler than cotton. That means less friction for your hair and skin, i.e. less snagging and pulling on your hair at night. So if you're interested, check out our favorite silk pillowcase and why! But if you're already sold, try that same favorite, beloved silk pillowcase with 1,600+ five-star reviews on Amazon for $23.99.

    Final Thoughts: Meh, but I acknowledge some people swear by it.

    4. THE TIP: When it comes to shampoo, less is more.

    MY VERDICT: 🚿🚿🚿/5. Unforch, I have pretty oily hair, so I usually wash my hair every day or every other day. Because of that, I've made sure to use gentle and moisturizing shampoos.

    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Since shampoo is meant to clean your hair, it goes without saying that it can be harsh and strip your hair of natural oils. Cut down on how often you're washing your hair if you can, (here's a whole list of products that will refresh your hair between washes) and make sure you're using good-quality shampoo (which, FYI, means shampoo that isn't just a detergent meant to clean your hair but is specifically designed for your hair type and needs)!

    While I have strayed, my go-to since high school is OGX's coconut milk shampoo ($5.74 on Amazon). It keeps my hair feeling clean and moisturized — and less inclined to snap off.

    Final Thoughts: Really depends on your lifestyle — IMO, it's not a make-or-break tip.

    5. THE TIP: Rinse your hair with cold water at the end of a shower

    MY VERDICT: 🥶/5. Yeah, no. I've done this many times, and — aside from feeling like I'm doing the Polar Bear Plunge — there has been zero effect on my hair.

    Buena Vista Pictures / Via giphy.com

    I'll cut to the chase: Each strand of your hair has a cuticle. They look like shingles on a roof. Hot water opens the cuticle (blows the shingles back), and cold water closes it (lays the shingles flat).

    You may have heard washing your hair with hot water opens the cuticle and removes buildup, then rinsing with cold water closes the cuticle for more shine with less frizz. Ideally, the closed cuticle means your hair will better retain moisture. Science, am I right?

    TBH, every time I've tried it, the effect is negligible. You could also argue that cold water will just shrink the blood capillaries in your scalp — which could just slow down hair growth. So unless you're feeling a cold shower, don't bother.

    Final Thoughts: Def not worth.

    6. THE TIP: Try a microfiber towel when drying and wrapping your hair.

    MY VERDICT: 🧖🏼‍♀️🧖🏼‍♀️🧖🏼‍♀️🧖🏼‍♀️/5. I love 'em! It's hard to gauge whether my hair really breaks less, but my hair is definitely less frizzy after and dries faster — so I can lay off the heat and styling products, which is a win.

    The writer with her hair in a microfiber towel
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    What takes longer: growing out your hair or drying it? (Ha, laugh at my joke.) OK, so microfiber is about 100 times finer than your hair, which means it absorbs moisture faster. But the reason they're supposedly better for hair growth is because microfiber towels are gentler than cotton towels. They're less likely to break, damage, or frizz your hair.

    The cult-favorite Aquis microfiber towel ($20.99 on Amazon) is a popular favorite, and you can read our full review on it if you're not convinced.

    Final Thoughts: Yeah, it helps, but FWIW, the real tip here is that it'll dry your hair faster.

    7. THE TIP: Massage your scalp to make your hair grow faster.

    MY VERDICT: 💆🏼‍♀️💆🏼‍♀️/5. It's excellent advice for someone with time and energy. Do I set aside four minutes to regularly massage my scalp? Absolutely not. But, I do a sorta massage every time I wash my hair by aggressively scrubbing my scalp, so... I do what I can.

    Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

    You don't have to go full shiatsu on your head. By massaging your scalp, you can stimulate blood vessels, which can, in turn, provide more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. This means your hair can grow faster. Or, at the very least, research shows your hair can become thicker.

    And, if you're interested in ~massaging~ your scalp, you should check out this rejuvenating scalp massager on Amazon for $24.10. In her review of this scalp massager, my coworker Mallory wrote about how much she loves it and why (hint: it saves her money)!

    Final Thoughts: Definitely doesn't hurt, may help.

    8. THE TIP: Take it easy with the brushing.

    MY VERDICT: 💁🏼‍♀️💁🏼‍♀️💁🏼‍♀️/5. When my hair was straw, I was incredibly careful and gentle when I brushed. Now, I will rip a knot out if I have to. IMO, this a general piece of advice and not specific to growing your hair out.

    The writer uses a boar bristle brush to brush her hair, with the caption, "I like to use a boar bristle brush when I remember to help distribute oils down my hair"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    Obviously, really roughly brushing your hair will just break and weaken it. Admittedly, I don't give "pressure" much thought as I brush my hair.

    If you're brushing your hair when it's wet or you have a sensitive scalp that's anti-brush, definitely use a Wet Brush ($7.19 on Amazon) because it gently detangles your hair while it's wet, so you don't have to try to brush it once it's dry!

    Final Thoughts: I just feel like it goes without saying that being gentler with your hair is for the best.

    9. THE TIP: Avoid heat products as much as possible.

    MY VERDICT: 🔥🔥🔥🔥/5. I, for sure, have never sworn them off while growing out my hair. And it grew just fine. The key is to find a balance and make sure you aren't frying your hair off.

    The writer's waver, hot air brush, wand, and curling iron laying on the floor with the caption, "Some of my fave heat tools that I did not hold back from using"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    This is good to keep in mind for those of us obsessed with flat or curling irons and blow dryers and treatments. No matter how great your hair looks in the moment, there's bound to be some long-term damage if you overdo it — so at least use a heat protector (like this HSI one, $14.89 on Amazon).

    I used my blow-dryer to style my hair almost daily even when it was bad, I was just mindful while using it. Plus, I love to curl or wave my hair. While there's definitely some breakage, it's nothing overt.

    OFC, if you're using constant and high heat on really brittle hair, you may want to lay off. Plus, with air-drying curl enhancers ($36 on Hair Story), sea-salt sprays ($26.24 for a Bumble & Bumble version on Amazon), and restyling sprays ($44 on Amazon for Oribe's), you can ditch the heat dependency and really embrace your natural hair.

    Final Thoughts: I mean, 100% yes, if you're curling or straightening your hair to the point where it's breaking, then avoid heat products. Otherwise, use them at your own discretion and comfort — with a touch of common sense.

    10. THE TIP: Make sure to switch up your 'do!

    MY VERDICT: 🔀🔀🔀🔀🔀/5. Once I learned about the sleek low bun, my hair was done. Then I began to notice a lot of breakage in the middle, which I found to be especially noticeable since the rest of my hair was so long.

    The writer wears her hair in a bun, with the caption, "Ask me how many times I've worn this hairstyle in the past few months..."
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    After some Googling, I realized that I was constantly twisting it and tightly tying it in the same exact spot. So I backed off and tried to be gentler and switch up my styling.

    In general, regularly putting your hair into a pony tail or bun and tying it in the same spot can cause your hair to break. Standard hair ties can also add tension, so try burly bands ($10.99 on Amazon) or those spiral resin ties ($7.27 on Amazon) to alleviate some stress.

    Final Thoughts: Very true and something to be mindful of.

    Anyway, it took a while to grow out my damaged hair enough, chop that off, then work to grow out my natural hair. But I learned a lot thanks to the world wide web and some good ol' trial-and-error.

    The writer smiling with her hair down and the caption, "The real struggle is not chopping it all off"
    Victoria Vouloumanos / BuzzFeed

    In my experience, some of these tips are great, and some aren't worth the money or effort. So, hopefully you can skip the b.s. and grow out your mane with minimal stress.

    You 30 years after reading this, talking about the time when you successfully grew out your hair:

    20th Television / Via giphy.com

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