The Secret to Long Hair
If you guessed the key to long, strong, healthy hair lies in the scalp, then guess again because the real root of Rapunzel-like lengths is actually in the tips.
Hair grows approximately half an inch a month or up to six inches per year. Assuming that you’re in fairly good health, invest in regular maintenance, and shy away from scissors, it will continue to accumulate over time until it reaches the end of its growth phase and begins shedding from the root. Losing about 50 to 100 strands a day is totally normal, but if it seems like more you should consult a physician as hair loss can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
“But I’ve done all that,” you say, “and it’s still not growing!” Then it’s time to blame breakage. Breakage is when the hair strand becomes severed at any point other than the root and it’s usually caused by one of three things—heat damage, mechanical damage, or chemical damage. Heat damage is caused by evaporating the hair’s protective moisture barrier with heat-styling tools causing it to become brittle; mechanical damage is caused by improper styling techniques and/or tools causing micro tears that expand over time; and chemical damage is caused by incorrect or excessive use of strand-altering substances like perms or dyes causing soft spots.
To keep your length, you want tokeep the oldest section of your hair—the ends—out of harm’s way. Here are a few tips:
To beat heat damage…after you wash, wait until your hair is at least 60 to 80 percent dry before blow drying, focus the heat more on your roots than your ends, and always use a heat protectant.
To beat mechanical damage…only use a wide-tooth comb to detangle wet hair, choose metal-free hair ties or clips when wearing your hair up, and wear low-maintenance styles.
To beat chemical damage…if color-treating at home, enlist the help of a trusted friend to help mix and apply the solution evenly, and always visit a salon professional for texture-altering treatments like the Brazilian Blow-out.