Whenever I lose hair, I look at it wishing that I could put it back. And don’t get me wrong, I know that people are joining their moms in making short hair a trend. But that’s not for me, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

That is why the search for ways to make my hair longer has become a favorite pastime for me. This unusual obsession has made me something of an expert as far as long hair growth goes. So, if you want to learn anything about long hair, I’m your girl.

I’ll get right to it by ripping off the band-aid–you cannot grow long butt-length hair in a day. Also, did you know that hair grows at a rate of a quarter of an inch to half an inch a month? That’s painfully slow for someone who wants long hair like yesterday.

And it’s not just the hair growth rate you need to be concerned about. Only one kind of hair can grow long–healthy hair. So, if your hair is full of split ends, you can give up on your dream of getting long hair until you turn this around.

But it’s not all bad news for those who wish to grow long hair. There are techniques you can use to ensure that your hair comes in at a much greater pace than the quarter an inch a month nature gives you.

Below is a breakdown of everything you need to know as far as growing long hair goes.

1. Vitamins–Yay Or Nay?

Allow me to be the bearer of bad news by informing you that vitamin supplements are not magical hair growth solutions. Unfortunately, that should not be your biggest concern. Unlike other kinds of dietary supplements, hair supplements evade FDA approval. So, their effectiveness is not guaranteed, and they can also put your health at risk.

But vitamins do help. And you need not turn to supplements to meet your hair-growing nutritional needs. Eating foods with vitamins A, C, D, and E, folic acid and so forth can help. So, eat a balanced diet, and avoid stress and other things that would hinder your ability to have a healthy diet.

So, you can turn to supplements if you can. But first, be sure to check with your doctor to ensure that you consume the necessary vitamins in the right quantities. Some proven options include Sugarbearhair Vitamins, Viviscal Extra Strength Hair System and a few others.

2. How Regularly Should Hair Be Conditioned To Grow Longer?

Short answer–often. As long as you are trying to grow long hair, you will need to condition it as regularly as possible. Every single time your hair gets wet, it should get conditioned. Conditioning keeps the ends healthy because it replaces the oils in the hair shaft. In general, good conditioning protects your hair from the assaults that thwart many people’s dream of having long hair.

3. Does Heat Damage Reduce Hair Growth Rate?

If you want to grow your hair longer, you might want to go easy on curling wands, chemical relaxers, blow dryers and other things that introduce it to more heat than it should naturally handle. Heat ruins your hair’s health, and that hinders its growth. You can use these things once in a while, but make sure you use them as few times as possible. Also, consider using a heat protectant as you style your hair.

4. On Cutting Hair To Make It Grow Faster

The debate on whether cutting hair to make it grow faster rages on. But if you want long hair, one thing is for sure–you have to trim your hair. For your hair to grow long and healthy, you have to trim split and frayed ends regularly. This will keep the splits from going too far and ruining your hair.

But don’t go crazy with the trims. You should have just an eighth of your hair after every 10 to 12 weeks because you have the natural hair growth rate to think about.

Do you remember the last time you had a hair cut? If you want long hair, then you should.

5. Masks Or Deep Conditioners?

Shoulder-length hair is usually about 3 years old. Therefore, its care exceeds the capabilities of a regular conditioner. It needs deep conditioning. You can mix a cup of unrefined coconut oil with a tablespoon of almond oil, a tablespoon of jojoba oil, and a tablespoon of macadamia nut oil.

Mark Townsend, an expert in the field, says that this combination will fill the hair strands with fatty acids which keep the hair strong and protected. This gives it a chance to grow out. But if a DIY hair-protection formula is not your thing, there are products in the market that can give you the same results.

6. Does Brushing Hair Grow It Faster?

You can brush your hair even if you want it to grow long, and you should. But don’t be too aggressive to avoid damaging it physically. This also means being a little more cautious with the brushing when the hair is more vulnerable such as after a shower.

Also, did you know that brushing from the scalp to remove tangles makes them larger and results in hair loss? To avoid this problem, use a natural boar-bristle brush, which improves moisture levels in the hair.

7. How Regularly Should I Wash The Hair?

According to Mark Townsend, a celebrity hairstylist famous for helping Ashley Olsen grow waist-length hair, many people make a huge mistake as they try to grow long hair–they do without a conditioner as they shower. It’s “the worst thing you can do for your hair,” admits Townsend.

If there is one thing you should skip on, it’s the shampoo. Shampoos are harsh, and their purpose is to remove dirt. So, go for sulfate-free shampoo. Also, as you use it, lather up at the scalp only. And finally, according to Townsend, wash your hair with cold water when done to boost its growth as this prevents moisture loss and heat damage.

So, you might want to rethink cold showers.

8. What About The Pillowcase?

A cotton pillowcase can cause matted hair and tangles. That is why you should switch to a silk or satin pillowcase. This alternative is softer, and it does not cause friction with your hair, which would cause tangles.

Bath towels also break hair a lot, and hairs are often pulled too much which is why they are so prone to breakages. You can use a satin towel or a t-shirt instead.

9. Does Bleached Hair Grow Long?

Unfortunately, whenever you bleach your hair, you make it suffer. Bleaching opens up the cuticles in the hair strands, and the hair becomes highly prone to breakages and splits. So, for the sake of growing long hair, avoid bleaching it.

10. What Of Hair Ties?

Did you know that a ponytail can give you a chemical cut? That means the hairs starts to break off at the point where the tension is applied by the elastic hair tie.

This does not mean you should never tie your hair. But you need to switch to claw clips, large pins, and bobby pins. Beyond that, you should switch the position you use the ties on frequently to avoid repeated tension that would cause hair breakages.

And so, although you cannot grow your hair in an instant, there is plenty you can do to make your hair healthy since that is what it takes to make it longer. In general, you should keep your hair from harsh chemicals, ensure it’s hydrated, stop exposing it to too much heat, avoiding tough hair dyes, and so forth. So, healthy hair and fast growth go hand in hand.