Since birth, I've been trying to grow my hair out. Because I bleach, straighten, curl, & put my hair through the brutality of hot yoga a few times a week, I thought that long pretty hair just wasn't in the cards for me.
I gave up on long hair about a year ago & chopped my hair almost to my chin. Then, realizing what a horrible decision that was… decided to take matters into my own hands & stop relying on mother nature.
Long story short, I got extensions. I LOVED having long blonde locks but hated how high maintenance they were & knew deep down inside that they were making matters worse for my natural hair.
When I took out my extensions (they were in for about 7 months), my hair had grown significantly because I wasn't dying it, but it was pretty dry & brittle & a little thinner.
However, since my hair did seem to actually be growing for the first time EVER, I became even more determined than ever to have natural, healthy, long, pretty hair.
Here are some tips & tools i've gotten from friends, hairstylists, fellow bloggers & random people on the street that i've stopped with long pretty hair…
When I put my extensions in, my hair stylist made me promise that i'd put Moroccan Oil on the ends of my hair daily to extend the life of the extensions (since the hair isn't actually attached to my head, they don't get the natural oils from my scalp & can get very dry & damaged). I started using the oil on my real hear too, and noticed a difference in my hair, especially on the tips. The oil also leaves your hair shiny & flyaways tamed.
**I also tried the deep conditioning mask from Moroccan Oil, but wasn't impressed with it. My hair still felt dry & it wasn't as hydrating as I would have liked
I've been hearing for years that prenatal vitamins work wonders for hair & nail growth, but could never take them because they made me too nauseous (like all pills do for me). THEN, one day it dawned on me. There HAS to be so many expecting mothers out there with morning sickness that have the same issues with pills as I do! Low & behold… all it took was a Google search to find chewable prenatal vitamins. It's only been about a month, but i've already noticed a difference in my nail growth & am hoping it's having the same effect on my hair.
Every girl should know what dry shampoo is by now. It's such a time saver & is super good for your hair. The LAST thing you want to do is wash & style your hair everyday, so even if dry shampoo lets your hair go an extra day or two without washing, you're cutting the damage of heat & the drying effect of shampooing in 1/2.
*TIP: Don't wait until your hair gets oily to use dry shampoo. Use the dry shampoo on the roots of your hair directly after styling to act as a "barrier" between oils & hair shaft.
I've been using Batiste Blush dry shampoo for a few months now & love it. I've used Big Sexy Hair & another brand from Sephora that were 3x the price & honestly, like this on more. You can find Batiste on Drugstore.com for about $7. I've also heard really good things about Suave Dry Shampoo.
Iden Shampoo & Conditioner
I've gone through TONS of different shampoos & conditioners trying to find the one that's just right for my hair. I love Iden products for many reasons & always return to them. First, they have bee pollen & other ingredients that has been proven to stimulate hair growth & improve scalp health. Second, Iden is so much more affordable than the other shampoos & conditioners I've used (about 1/2 the price of Purology). I also love Iden because it's super moisturizing & leaves my hair soft & manageable.
Pureology Heat Protectant Spray
I started using a heat protectant spray on my hair before blow-drying to minimize the damaging effects of styling. I spray on my entire head, focusing on the tips of my damp hair straight out of the shower.
Enjoy Leave-in Conditioner
I also use a leave in conditioner to make hair more manageable & to give it a little extra moisture. I spray this on with the heat protectant.
WHAT NOT TO DO
I've recently learned the things I was doing WRONG when styling my hair that was making it more brittle & damaged.
NEVER spray hair spray on your hair before styling. When you spray hairspray on your hair & then add heat (like a flat iron or curling iron), you're pressing alcohol into your hair & over time, making it brittle & dry. Only use hairspray as a setter, after your hair is completely styled.
Before, I would use a large barrel curling iron & spray each strand of hair with hairspray before curling to make sure the curl set. Now, i've switched to a smaller curling iron & don't use hairspray at all (since I don't wash my hair everyday, I touch up my curls with a curling iron the next day & don't want the damaging effects of the hairspray to occur then).
Click here for an awesome video on everyday waves by my fav Lauren Conrad…
Before, I was also bleaching my hair to an ultra blonde hue that I absolutely LOVED, but it was frying my hair. Now, I favor a more natural blonde, which is way better for my hair & has a lot less upkeep. In the long run, I'm still blonde, spend less at the salon, & have longer healthier hair. If your hair is super thin on the ends or just doesn't grow at all… you may want to consider giving your hair's natural look a try. Natural is pretty!! Curly, wavy, dark blonde… fashion is going towards a more natural messy look that's not only easy, but healthy :)