Follow these tips to grow your hair longer this summer.
With summer comes shorter shorts, longer evenings, and apparently, Pinterest photos of girls with amazingly beautiful long hair. (They’re just everywhere!) If this phenomenon inspires long-hair lust for you, fear not. Whether you’re going for great lengths or just growing out a bob into a longer bob (a.k.a. “lob”), the following tips will help you maximize your hair growth—and hair health—potential this season because unfortunately, summer doesn’t necessarily prompt faster hair growth like we all thought. Darn!
1. Get enough protein real food. Most hair-growth advice will encourage you to fill up on protein because protein consumption is key for collagen production (collagen is a large component of hair), but the truth is, it’s very difficult for the average American to not get enough protein—even if that person is a vegan. Mind-blowing, I know. Really, just about every plant has protein to offer, and several plants contain all nine essential amino acids (a.k.a. protein’s building blocks). These foods include quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seed, and soy. Your best bet for gorgeous locks is to focus on whole, real food. Not only will you get more than enough protein, you’ll also be providing your bod with fresh nutrients and antioxidants.
2. Munch on vitamin-rich foods. In particular, foods containing vitamin C and B vitamins are friends of your hair. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen while also aiding in iron absorption, a key process for healthy hair growth. Among their many functions, B vitamins help your hair keep its healthy, rich color. Stock up on spinach, pumpkin seeds, carrots, nutritional yeast, radishes, cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and citrus fruits. There is no shortage of yummy options for you!
3. Stay hydrated. It’s easy to get dehydrated in hot weather, so pack around a pretty water bottle to remind you to drink up. If you become dehydrated, your body will prioritize your vital organs (for which we are grateful), but your hair, which is hydrated from the inside out, may suffer if you’re consistently dehydrated.
4. Be wary of the axis of summer hair evil: the elements (sun, wind, salt), chlorine, and heat styling.
I cannot possibly tell you to avoid any of these things completely—you’ve got to have a little fun!—but there are some simple ways to give your hair a fighting chance.
-Tuck your hair under a cute hat if you’re going to be in the sun for several hours. Intense sun can weaken strands.
-I love riding around al fresco during the summer, but I try to do so with my hair pulled back so it’s less of a tangled (and damaged) mess by the end of the ride.
-If you’re very vigilant about your hair, you will dunk your head in salt water only sparingly. Of course, no one can deny the awesomeness of beach waves created at the actual beach.
-Before hopping in the pool, saturate hair with tap water. It will absorb less of the drying chlorinated water.
-Let your hair do its own thing during the summer. Embrace its natural texture. Heat styling just makes you sweat!
5. Give your hair a little TLC with masks and leave-in conditioners. One of these nourishing DIY masks will give your strands a moisture boost and help protect them from the summer elements. Meanwhile, use a leave-in conditioner every day to coat your ends and reduce frizz.
6. Regularly massage your scalp. Scalp massage stimulates circulation, which in turn helps distribute nutrients to the hair follicle. You can perform the massage with or without massage oil. To begin, massage the scalp with the pads of your fingers in circular motions. If you’re using an oil, dip your fingers in the oil and work the oil onto your scalp using the same circular motion. (Almond and castor oil are recommended for promoting hair growth.) Also, if you’re using oil, allow the oil to sit on your strands for 15-30 minutes before shampooing as usual. Your scalp massage should be deep and slow.
7. Get regular trims (every 2-3 months). Regularly trimming hair keeps your ends from looking ragged, but it’s also a good way to help your hair growth—as much as this seems counterintuitive. Split ends lead to breakage—and often more breakage than we’d prefer. Keeping split ends in check with regular trims helps prevent excessive breakage.
What summer hair tips to do you swear by?
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Photo: Ashley Webb via Flickr