The ultimate guide to growing long healthy hair
How long does hair take to grow? Most people's hair grows at around 1cm per month and stays on their scalp for up to seven years, going through four different phases before falling out naturally. However, this doesn't take into account the considerable number of hairs that are pulled out when brushing and styling, or which break off before achieving their maximum length. Here’s all you need to know when it comes to how to grow long hair, even very long hair!
Can anyone grow long hair?
Aside from certain medical conditions, if you are prepared to take the time and effort, there's no reason you can't have long locks. That said, why can't some people grow long hair? There are 4 factors that can prevent hair from growing…
Ageing: the ageing process means our hair follicles gradually weaken, with some even ceasing hair production entirely. This makes it very difficult to grow long, healthy-looking hair. A scalp massage when washing can help stimulate the blood flow and promote new hair growth.
Healthy hair: the quality of your hair has an impact on how long you can grow your hair. The longer your hair, the higher the risk of seeing your lengths and ends thinning. Dry, brittle and damaged lengths and ends will break off more easily, therefore taking longer to grow out. Plus, the ends will likely be uneven and possible frizzy, hence the importance of quality haircare for long hair.
Over-styling: likewise, hair that has been subject to harsh treatments (straightening, perms, braiding, weaves etc.) may be more fragile and prone to breakage, either along the hair shaft or at the root itself. When growing your hair long, cut back on the pulling and over-styling. For damaged hair, visit your salon to ask about an intense reparative treatment like Powermix Force by L’Oréal Professionnel.
Some of us are born with fragile, weak hair, which may explain why some people can't grow long hair despite their best efforts. The hair naturally breaks under too much weight at a certain length. The solution of how to get long hair in this case is through regular micro trims to keep the fiber strong, and not try to grow your hair out too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race.
How does hair grow?
The hair goes through three stages of growth in its lifetime. It begins in the Anagen phase, where a hair bulb grows from the root for between 2-7 years. This is followed by the Catagen phase, lasting only 2-3 weeks, where the hair stops growing. Lastly, the Telogen phase, where a new hair starts growing in the follicle, and the old hair falls out. To grow long hair, you want your hair to stay in the growing Anagen phase for as long as possible.
How to grow long hair: top tips
“Why doesn’t my hair grow?” we are often asked at salons. Many people have the impression that their hair doesn’t grow at all, but this isn’t the case. As long as the hair follicles are still functioning, almost everyone can grow hair, but the speed varies from person to person.
Healthy, growing hair depends on several factors, many of which we can’t control, but some that we can. So, if you’re looking for how to grow long hair, these are the top tips to take away…
Genetics and the environment might be beyond us, but a healthy diet and lifestyle can also help maintain a healthy hair life cycle. Certain foods are reputed for their capacity to support hair growth, such as eggs, berries and dark green vegetables.
Lastly, don’t forget to go lightly on harsh styling tools and accessories. Swap out your sharp comb for a soft bristle brush, for example, and use scrunchies over hair-tugging elastics.
Image credits: Getty Images - Stevica Mrdja - EyeEm