If you’re struggling to find good information about how to grow long hair there it’s because a lot of the stuff out there is just trash. If you google how to grow long hair you’ll get articles from gossip magazines bloggers with no sources or credentials or companies trying to sell you something. Sources that I used to think were credible turn out have skewed, misleading, or flat out wrong advice. Most of this guide comes from an 800page hair physics and chemistry textbook. Most of it is not pleasant reading but I have spent weeks pouring over this every day just to condense this for you guys into the only science-based long hair guide that I have ever seen so if you’re ready to bust some myths and find out what it takes to get your hair long let’s get started.
Grow Long Hair | Your Scientific Hair Growth Guide
To understand what can make your hair long, we need to talk a little bit about how hair grows the four phases of hair growth are the anagen growing phase catagen the transitioning or shrinking of the follicle phase telogen the resting phase, and oxygen of the shedding phase the one that you want to remember is the anagen phase that growth phase for your hair to be growing. It has to be in this space most peoples hair on average grows about six inches a year and can grow their hair to be around three feet long provided that they don’t cut it or damage it too much fun fact about that is one of the studies that helped determine that was done at Disney world one myth that I want to bust right now is that you need your hair to grow fast for it to get long in 1988.
There was a woman named Diane Witt and at the time she was listed in the Guinness book of
world records for having the worlds longest hair the Worcester Massachusetts resident says she enjoys her hair so much so that it’s grown to be the longest in the world measuring nearly 10 feet no plans on cutting it right now.
Well take it one step at a time even though it takes her four hours to dry and her husband has to help her carry it around four years later they measured it again and it was 12 feet long even though she had the longest hair her hair did not grow any faster than average what was unique for Diane was that heritage phase that growth phase lasted over 20 years and she also didn’t cut it and it didn’t break off one question you might wonder is was her hair healthy probably not by your hairdresser’s standards but it was healthy enough not to break so your two keys to very long hair are making your hair stay in that growth phase as long as possible and keeping your hair and grow long hair.
Do you want perfectly healthy hair, do you want long hair and do you want to grow long hairs? Let’s first talk about how to grow long hair stay in the growth phase longer both hair loss when peoples hair starts to thin and length of hair are tied to the growth phase on average for most people hair grows for two to six years it’s completely normal for your hair to shed some that are just part of the psyche love hair in adult female Asian ages 18 to 35.
The hair sheds about 100 hairs a day Asian hair sheds about 70 hairs a day and African hair sheds about 60 hairs a day. If you’re malnourished you’re not getting all the nutrients that you need it’s going to mess up your hair growth cycle and you’re going to lose hair which is why hair gummies can kind of make the claims that they do the vitamins that are in hair gummies typically are things that are shown if you’re deficient in them it can make you lose hair nothing about it says it makes your hair grow any faster most people are not deficient in the things that are in hair gummies and most of the stuff that’s in hair gummies are also in a multivitamin they’re just charging you 10 times as much and putting it in pretty packaging in my opi
A lot of grow your hair gummy advertising is shady because it doesn’t do what they’re implying that it does I even highlighted something in my chemistry and physics of hair textbook that says no vitamins have been proven to grow your hair faster or longer there are a lot of things about the hair growth cycle. Hormones are so intertwined with your hair growth cycle that pregnant women’s hair tends to stay in the growth phase longer and I think that’s also why a lot of people have this
idea that prenatal vitamins make hair grow and it’s not the prenatal vitamins.
It’s the fact that the hormones that happen during pregnancy make people’s hair stay in the growth phase longer the shedding rate also typically goes way up after they have their baby their hair tends to shed like crazy shedding rate also increases with age especially with men.
There’s even a little bit of variation with the time of year an easy way to remember that is there’s more hair fall in the fall so how do you grow your hair to stay in that growth phase longer there are chemicals that weak now make the hair growth phase last longer you usually find those in products like regain that are meant to stop hair loss the second you stop it the product stops working if you have thinning hair and you stop using it all of that hair is going to fall out and there’s also a lot of good evidence to support laser led therapy they make little helmets that you can wear usually laser led therapy is meant to help people with hair loss but technically if it is helping you to grow your hair stay in that growth phase longer it could potentially when you’re dealing with really long lengths of hair making grow your hair longer than it would otherwise for most people it is not the length of your growth phase that is sabotaging grow long hair journ
it’s your hair is breaking off to understand how to keep your hair from breaking off. We have to talk a little bit about the structure of your hair you’re going to want to understand the cuticle. The cuticle is like
clear scales on the outside of your hair that protect everything on the inside of the hair shaft like shingles on a house. They’re overlapping the cuticle is your protective barrier and the cuticle differs dramatically between different races and hair types Asian hair typically has the most layers of scales caucasian hair has fewer layers and African hair typically has the fewest layers of cuticle scales more layers means more protection and the more you open the cuticle the more you wear down your protection so you want to avoid products with high PH levels like bleach and
even many shampoos because they lift open the cuticle scales leaving the hair extra vulnerable to
damage another piece of the puzzle is the cross-section shape.
So if you think of your hair as a big long noodle and you chop it and you look at this circle part that’s a cross-section Asian hair tends to be the most perfectly round in a cross-section then caucasian is still pretty round but its a little bit more elliptical and African hair tends to be the most elliptical because Asian hair has the most layers of cuticle and it is the most perfectly round hair shaft it tends to be more resistant to damage on multiple levels on from pulling twisting even chemicals and it also makes it harder to bleach African hair is on the opposite extreme.
It has fewer layers of cuticle and because the elliptical shape and the curl pattern the cuticle scales don’t fit together as uniformly so the hair is much more susceptible to breakage. So if you want to know how strong your hair is there’s a term called tensile strength and it’s basically how strong is something when you pull on it and isn’t gonna break so they have machines that basically can pull on the hair and see how many times it can pull before the hair snaps with Caucasian hair it’s about 35000 times African hairs about 5500 times and for African relaxed hair.
It is only 550 times before the hair snaps until recently a lot of the major brands did not have products that properly address the needs of African grow long hair there is so much to say on this topic but I think that it warrants its entire own video all of the studies that I’ve seen have broken down hair into Asian caucasian and African. I don’t know why those are the only three that tend to be tested you know your hair best you can probably figure out which of those three categories your hair is closest to if you don’t feel like you fit into one of those groups but one of the main things.
I wanted to take away from this is that different types of hair have different needs try not to compare our hair to other peoples hair and I would highly recommend that you get grow long hair advice from somebody who understands that your hair has different needs than somebody else hair otherwise, they could have been giving you great advice that works for them that might not work for you and you’re checking that they’re actually uh understand how to read and interpret those sources people could potentially give you bad advice so depending on what type of hair you have you understand that it can be more or less susceptible to damage so were gonna try and hone in on somethings that can help you reduce damage to your hair.
The main thing that is breaking your hair is you when you’re brushing it some of the treatments or heat styling we do does make it more fragile and damages the cuticle but the actual breaking usually happens with brushing and combing so when you’re combing your brushing your hair and if you come to a tangle go below that tangle and keep brushing your way up until you work out the tangle that way it’s going to cause so much less breakage yanking and here’s one id never heard of before you are more likely to get split ends with a blunt haircut versus a tapered haircut.
There’s a term called end peak force which is just how much force is pulling on your hair when you’re brushing it end peak force is four times higher for blunt haircuts than for tapered haircuts and because of that, the number of split ends increases three times when you’re combing your hair if you have a blunt haircut versus tapered haircut combs and brushes with more space between the teeth or bristles lead to fewer and less complex tangles and it lowers that combing force.
So it causes less abrasion and fewer broken hairs I have learned so much about different types of ways that the hair breaks different types of split ends whether wet or dry or comb or brush is better so I think we’re going gonna need an entirely separate video just on split ends and hair breakage but for now I’m just gonna give you more tips that you can use to keep your hair from breaking a lot of people curly hair will always say oh my goodness. I’m not gonna brush my hair because it poops out and it’s just a mess not only does it often poof out your hair if you have highly coiled hair combing. It wet breaks the hairless than combing it dry but the opposite is true if you have wavy to straight hair if you have way too straight hair you’re more likely to get breakage when your hair is wet which is so important if you have curly hair highly coiled hair go to someone who specializes that and understands that everyone whether you have curly hair straight hair wavy hair all of the above or anything in between you need to be using conditioner or detangler when combing and brushing.
I think that’s something we all already knew but here’s that convinced me so for virgin hair usually, it has a lifespan of 55.2 million brush strokes which is a lot that same hair after conditioning you’re brushing but that doesn’t mean to avoid brushing or combing all together most of that brushing or combing breakage happens because the hairs are tangled so it’s a little bit of a balance here you need to brush it enough that you’re not letting the hair get too tangled in the first place but then also just be careful when you are brushing.
It because that is when the overwhelming majority of breakage happens in addition to these a quick list of things that you can do to avoid breaking your hair you’re probably familiar with a lot of these already but these are all ones backed by science.
First of all, don’t bleach your hair this is obviously what I don’t follow if you want long hair. Don’t bleach it and because I do bleach my hair I have to be extra careful with a lot of these other ones to avoid breaking it avoid heat styling make sure you’re using UV protection putting your hair into some sort of loose braid or protective style before bed and a silk bonnet and or pillowcase also when you do have those protective hairstyles I recommend switching up either where you secure your hair or switching up the actual hairstyle.
So that you’re not constantly pulling on your hair in the same place do not use high PH hair products also don’t wash your hair every day not only is the water breaking bonds in your hair the actual scrubbing of the hair does do a lot of damage to it even at the top of your head you are roughing up that cuticle and causing little bits of damage over time use conditioner if you’re using shampoo personally I don’t use shampoo any more.
I use a product called and you wash positive talked about it. A lot in other videos still links to some of those in the description but if you are using a shampoo make sure its one with a low PH make sure you use a shower filter especially if you live in an area with very hard water make sure you’re securing your hair before exercising or before being in the wind silk or satin hair elastic avoid pool water chlorine is very bad for your hair to be careful with blow-drying even with cool air.
It’s a great place for people to wind up with tangle sand if you’re blow-drying with a brush you also definitely need to be careful because brushing is where breaks happen if you want long healthy hair do not tease your hair when I saw under a microscope what happens when you tease your hair it straight up breaks off huge sections of your cuticle one to watch out for if you have very oily hair twisting is extra bad you’re way more likely to get breakage to avoid chemical straighteners and relaxing that’s horrible for the health of your hair. Even if it looks pretty and
doesn’t look frizzy that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is healthy as we showed in that graph a while back relaxing your hair compromises the strength of your hair if you want to go off a deep end if you can sleep so you’re not moving your hair so much and rubbing your hairs against each other techniques that will help but it’s very difficult to control what you’re doing during your sleep.
This one I know is gonna be controversial but avoid dry hair treatments unless you know what you’re doing at least measure the PH and make sure that it’s in like a decent range and even still most of the ingredients on your fridge are not processed into small enough little bits to get into your hair and do any good I think a lot of the dry treatments are either a waste of time. You’re just making your hair goopy and in some cases potentially damaging to it especially if it involves
baking so that I want to touch on shampoo a little bit more because it’s the one thing where I don’t trust a lot of what the beauty industry is throwing at us especially after reading this textbook they will flat out say that shampoo tends to be very damaging especially ones that have a very high PH when companies do research usually the number one thing that is prioritized is customer satisfaction which sounds good.
They want us to like what we’re buying weird sprays gets tricky the number one thing that they’ve tested makes us feel like our hair is being cleaned and determines customer satisfaction is lathering how much does it suds up how much does it lather when were shampooing our hair it makes us feel like we’re getting our hair cleaner and the more it lathers the higher the customer satisfaction score is however the lathering has nothing to do with cleaning your hair there was a the sentence I highlighted in the textbook that says for pragmatic financial reasons insufficient blind tests are generally conducted to determine discernibility because the bottom line is sales not objective understanding is tricky.
If a company makes something and customers try it out and they’re like oh I don’t like this and they really believe that it’s not getting their hair cleaned but it
actually is they’re not going to sell any of it and they’ll literally have people yelling at them on Twitter or on their Instagram feed be like this stuff doesn’t work even if it does I’m just very curious to see the more that this information gets out to people if we start to see more companies doing what customers know might theoretically be better for their hair even if it doesn’t feel as good.
All that being said long hair isn’t everything it is not practical or even emotionally healthy to try and live in such a way that your hair is not touched you do not have to do everything on that list I want you to be informed so you can make the best decisions for you please try not to compare your hair to other peoples we all have different genetic makeup you just work on your hair journey and we can all be on a journey together whatever our goal is and not comparing our hair to one another and you know what if you want long hair but you still want to style it a lot or do
all these things to it extensions are always an option for people too this is just to inform you so that you can make the best decisions for you not anybody else you when we started last year on this journey to find the best grow long hair advice.