Let's be honest... almost every girl has dreamed about having past-the-shoulder Barbie-length hair. But is long hair the most practical? Not exactly. Is long fun and flirty? You bet! Here's how to tap the Rapunzel in you!
Cut your hair. The secret to long hair? Strong hair. And that means getting rid of all damaged ends. So, believe it or not, your first step is to suck it up and head to the salon for a good snip. How much is enough? Unless your hair is very thick or very curly, have the stylist trim until your hair is all one length (as short as the shortest layer in your hair). All-one-length hair stays healthier and that means you can grow it without having as many trims from here on out. Thick- or curly-haired girls will want to keep a few long layers to help weigh hair down. You don't want to look like a mushroom-head as your hair grows out.
Give yourself a head rush. Kick your hair follicles (and hair growth) into high gear by increasing circulation to your head. How?
There are three easy ways:
1 - get more exercise so your heart is pumping (yet another reason to get up off the couch).
2 - flip your head upside-down once a day, brushing your hair from roots to ends (use a natural boar bristle brush to prevent breakage).
3 - Three, massage your scalp daily, using your fingertips. You can do this while you are shampooing or just sitting around watching TV.
Eat right. You know that expression; You are what you eat? Well, it happens to be true. Hair can only stay long and healthy if you eat well-balanced meals. Foods rich in vitamin A (dairy products, fish, spinach, apricots), vitamin B (meat, fish, bananas, leafy green veggies), vitamin C (citrus, melon, tomatoes and potatoes) and vitamin E (nuts, broccoli, whole grains) are essential for truly healthy hair. Feel like eating a steak tonight? Perfect. Red meat is rich in iron and zinc, two nutrients proven to help your hair grow its fastest.
Stress less. Studies show that hair actually grows slower when you are stressed to the max. Your hair also needs a good night's sleep. So chill out, and get some shut-eye already.
Keep your hair clean. Oily roots and product build-up can clog follicles and prevent your hair from growing as quickly as possible--the max is about a half-inch per month. So be sure to shampoo daily (or even more often if you work out) and give your hairbrush a weekly cleansing so you don't rebrush in old dirt and oil.
Be kind to your hair. The longer your hair is, the older it is. So treat it with the respect it deserves. When you lather up, use gentle shampoos formulated for your hair type. Treat your locks once a week to a leave-in conditioner or hair mask. And try to lay off your blow-dryer, hot curlers and flat iron as much as possible. Throwing your hair up in a ponytail to disguise growing-out layers? Be careful not to pull too tight--you'll risk breaking your hair. Yikes.
Get regular trims. After eight weeks, your hair could be up to an inch longer. So don't leave all that hard-earned length on the salon floor. Ask your stylist to snip no more than an eighth of an inch, just to get rid of any split ends and end your above-the-shoulders hair rut forever. Get Long Hair Fast!
How do I tell if long hair is right for me?
Long hair isn't for everyone. Short on patience in the morning? If you're not up for spending extra time washing, conditioning, blow-drying and styling your hair, stick with above-the-shoulder locks. While ponytails are always an adorable option, long hair can also be a drag for girls who play lots of sports. Long hair looks best on girls with oval faces. Square and round face shapes can also pull off long hair just be sure to add layers to break up the lines. Girls with long and heart-shaped faces look best with shoulder-length hair.
LONG HAIR LOVES SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER (Once a week, deep-condition) and a BRUSH (Anti-Static ION Brushes are easy on hair).