I have always had a fun time with trying different hairstyles and colors over the years. In high school I let one of my friends who was in cosmetology school practice on me and went from platinum blonde to a dark auburn and everything in between. In college, I was on a “bronde” kick for awhile and looking back, I laugh at the photos. My favorite style was probably after college when I started growing the blonde out and it turned into the ombre look.
With all this, I knew that I had damaged my hair over the years. Even though it was long and beautiful when I styled it, I had dead ends and breakage. So I went to get a haircut of what I thought would be a trim and ended up chopping about 7 inches off. I cried. I hated it. I had been trying to grow it out all of college and was so upset when it was gone. So here’s a little into my journey in growing out my hair from a chop to long healthy locks.
My Steps to Grow Out Your Hair in Year One
I get asked all the time what hair products I use and how to grow out long hair. I first off want to acknowledge that a lot of credit towards skin and hair goes to each person’s genetics. I have fine hair, so I don’t expect to ever have thick hair. Get what I mean? However, I do think that properly caring for your hair and skin can assist in whatever you may be lacking genetically. Here’s what I did the first year of trying to grow out my hair:
- I have never been good at taking vitamins, but I started taking these hair, skin and nails vitamins — be sure to take these with food
- I didn’t cut my hair for 10 months — I don’t necessarily recommend this, but it was a mental thing for me
- I invested in good shampoo, conditioner, and leave in treatment –but found better ones in year two
- I stopped coloring/bleaching my hair altogether
- I wore my hair in a low bun a lot, but still curled it more often than I probably should have
One Year Later
What I Changed in Year Two & Saw The Most Growth
- I started using this shampoo and conditioner and absolutely loved it. It is expensive but a little goes a long way.
- Leave in conditioner while shaving or washing in the shower
- Hair mask about once every two weeks — I love this one and this one.
- I have always washed my hair intermittently but can usually went 2 full days without it
- Only curl or apply heat once a week. I started only curling my hair on the weekends and maybe blow drying it once a week.
- Trimmed my ends once every 5 months
- Still no color
- Focused on eating foods that were nutrient rich for hair and skin… see more below
- Made spinach smoothies almost every morning for the vitamin rich foods
Two Years Later
How I Maintain My Hair Now
Once my hair grew back to where it was healthy and long after about two years I have just been maintaining it since.
- I switch between drugstore shampoo and conditioner & higher end to be budget friendly but still get the benefits of both– I currently am alternating between Dove & Nexxus
- Hair mask about once a month
- Still only wash my hair every few days and use dry shampoo in between
- I style my hair about two times a week and am still conscious about applying heat too often and always use heat protectant
- I do not take any supplements or hair vitamins but still focus on eating nutrient rich foods
- I use this serum about once a week and wish I had discovered this years ago because it is amazing — though it is actually for hair loss, it is safe to use for growth and adding vitamins to your roots. It also helps if you have dandruff or dry scalp. Use “MATTISON50” for 50% off your order!!
- I get a haircut about once every 4 months and did some highlights on my ends about 6 months ago before our trip to Montana
Things I Have Learned
- You can tell from your nails if your hair and skin are lacking the nutrients they need. If my nails are frail, then I know that I have not eaten enough nutrients for my hair either. Increasing foods like salmon, nuts, avocado, eggs, spinach, and lean proteins are all good for your hair.
- Going to bed with wet hair actually made it more greasy. I used to always think that going to bed with wet hair was better for it because I was letting it air dry. I realized that when I washed it in the daytime and let it air dry, my hair always felt cleaner and lasted longer. Therefore having to wash it less and apply less dry shampoo to it.
- Always brush you hair out before you shower. When your hair is wet, it is much more likely to break. Use a wide comb to brush out wet hair.
- Dry shampoo is a lifesaver. Just make sure you scrub your scalp well to avoid buildup. This one is my favorite.