Many months ago, I tried to do everything in my power to pinpoint one magic solution to grow hair strong and healthy. However, I am now finding that there is a combination of things I can do externally to gain the healthy locks that I desire.
The main reason why women have trouble growing hair is because hair is damaged. Therefore, this post will cover tips on how to limit damage.
1) Go in for regular trims: It seems counterproductive to have hair trimmed when you want to gain length, right? For the longest time, I was told that split ends have no effect on the health of your hair because hair grows from your scalp. However, getting rid of the thinning ends can truly make your hair look fuller and healthier. It also stops hair from continuing to break off and once again appear much shorter. The last thing that you want is the hair to split further up so you need to resort to a shorter look. Hair breakage is caused by damage and trimming every 2-3 months is definitely a great solution.
Tip within a tip: Go in for a hair trim whenever you feel like you need it. If you follow the measures listed below, you may not need to make a trip to the salon every 6-8 weeks! When you sit down in the salon chair, make sure you emphasize that you only want the bare minimum cut off and ask them to show you how much they are taking off.
Tip for your wallet: I totally understand that going to a new place that is more economical (Super Cuts) for a trim might be scary. A la carte salon menus at your salon can sometimes get expensive. For example, my salon charges $27 for a trim but that includes shampooing/conditioning and styling as well. I used to tell my stylist that I wanted a hair cut with my hair dry but then realized I was paying a set price and losing money! Now, I only go in for a trim on Fridays before date night. That way, I look nice for a special night and the $27 seems more worth it.
2) Limit product use: You might think that only heat products are damaging your hair. All types of products can damage hair. That Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray? Damaging. That Big Sexy Hair product you are using? So damaging. All of these products should be used in moderation if the goal is hair growth. Products like Moroccan, coconut, and jojoba oil are nature’s own and will strengthen the hair and add shine. For example, Moroccan oil can really help to bring dry, brittle hair to its healthiest state with shine. If your hair is wavy like mine, Moroccan oil can smooth it to the point that you won’t need a straightener.
- Leave in Oil Treat meal (How-To): I am just obsessed with using oil on my hair. I love how they are taking over. I am a fan of coconut oil and it works extremely well on thick hair. Those with thin hair should not use coconut oil as rinsing all the product out may be difficult. Instead, I highly recommend castor oil for that hair type. Here are some steps for using natural oils on your hair.
- Warm it and apply generously throughout your hair. If you have issues with split ends, do not forget to apply it to your ends! It is so easy to ignore the ends after you are done massaging your roots.
- Leave the oil in overnight if you can handle it. Wrap your hair in a shower cap, an old t-shirt, or towel. In the morning, rinse it out. If you can’t keep the oil in for this long, leave the oil in for at least 30 minutes.
- When rinsing out the oil, shampoo and condition. It always takes 2 shampoos for it to get out completely. Have the conditioner soak in your hair for about 3 minutes to ensure that hair is adequately cleansed of oil.
4) Limit dye use: There comes a point when you need to decide if the maintenance to keep up your new highlights is going to be worth the damage. Box color and color from your most exclusive salon is still not a natural ingredient being put into the hair. These products can cause long term negative effects that hinder growth and causes breakage. Steer clear of all dyes if you want to grow your hair.
1) Love surrounding you: This is the most important time of your life. Things got hectic, things got obnoxiously hectic. But the love and support of those near and dear to you should have lifted you up and highlighted the creative planning moments instead of tore you down and further added to the stressful periods. Be willing to give and receive the love of those special people in your life who want to give and receive it. Do beware, however, that engagements are an extremely hard time for relationships. Some friends do begin to act differently after engagements and it is up to you to gauge whether their behavior is simply different because they are giving you space to cram and plan your new life or different because there is resentment and ill feelings.
2) A Veil: I know some women choose to not wear a wedding veil. However, I do believe every bride should snag this chance to wear a veil that matches her style and accentuates her gown. Your wedding is the only time you can wear a veil (in a serious setting, not Halloween). Do not let it slip away! Without a veil, I tend to think that a wedding gown just looks like a pretty white dress.
3) Positivity: Be positive towards how you will handle the unideal moments on your wedding day. Be optimistic that the things that go wrong- and things will- won’t ruin your day. There are some things (mother nature) that you simply have no control over and you need to remember to have a positive outlook on those factors. I promise you, no guest is going to hold it against you that it rained and you had to move your ceremony inside!
4) Personal style: Every bride wants her wedding to be a beautiful event and the most special thing she ever plans in her life. Sometimes this might mean that she steps out of her personal style in order to create a luxurious, once in a lifetime wedding. If you are a bride who is in love with a rustic venue, book it! You have the power to dress your wedding up but still fit your taste. It makes no sense to book a ballroom and wear a ball gown wedding dress if your style is more laid-back and non-traditional. Be true to your style.
5) Time for you: Every bride should spend time away from family, friends, and the fiancé in order to incorporate time for themselves. Engagements are a busy time and that is why you cannot forget to be a bit selfish and make time for you. It will be nice to hear yourself think about things other than the wedding.
6) Days of serenity: Going off the last point, I think every bride should make time for days that do not include wedding planning. You might find yourself involved in daily discussions of snippets of the wedding with your friends and fiancé. This is normal for brides to do but is not really beneficial for everyone. These these talks should be spread out. Remember that your fiancé and your friends probably need a break from all the wedding talk. Sometimes we brides just can’t see how often and how high wedding dosages we are giving to our close circle. Your friends might smile through the talk but in the end they won’t remember that you changed your mind from navy place settings to ivory. They will remember how much you talked about your wedding which might cause the problem discussed in point 1. Avoid this by having off-days where you only talk about what is new in their lives (do keep in mind that you should always talk about their lives during days where you also talk about your awesome wedding).
7) Signature scent: It is a fact that scents take you back. Whenever I wear my Alien perfume, I always remember the spring I got engaged because that was what I was wearing during that semester of college. It’s funny because I didn’t even wear the scent while he got down on one knee but the scent is enough to take me to that amazing day. Every bride should choose a scent that brings back fond memories or a new scent for the wedding that can create special future memories.
Before you grab some popcorn and assume that this is a rant about how being engaged has negatively impacted my relationship, let me assure you that this article is not that dramatic. Instead, I am mapping out specific things I wish I knew about friend involvement, proposals, and wedding timelines prior to becoming engaged.
1) No one is going to be more excited about your engagement than you and your fiancé: It is easy to expect those around you to be jumping up and down with joy, anxious to celebrate this special time in your life. But ultimately, this is your engagement. Do not expect everyone to constantly be up for dress drama, centerpiece drama, and neutral wedding chit-chat at every moment. I firmly believe that close friends and family should make time for your planned engagement party with advanced notice, but it is unrealistic to expect them to drop everything to spontaneously celebrate with you. People have lives and things get busy. Try to not be overly upset if your maid of honor in graduate school 1,000 miles away cannot throw you a bridal shower. A lot of brides plan events on their own, such as the engagement party.
2) Stop comparing proposals: This is a big one for woman- and men- in our generation. If you were thoroughly surprised and loved your fiancé’s spontaneous proposal at Chipotle, enjoy it! What’s there not to love? But if you loved your spontaneous Chipotle proposal until you saw Mary Lou’s scavenger hunt, air balloon, ring on a puppy proposal, then you need to think about things that really matter. Everyone has a different personality. What your fiance is comfortable with might be something completely over-the-top for someone else’s fiancé and that is completely ok. In the end, he asked and that should be all that matters. Stop comparing your proposal to the ones that go viral. That topic is reserved for another blog post on another day. And you might want to grab your popcorn because that is guaranteed to be a rant fest.
Fun Fact: I wrote this post after seeing a picture shared on Facebook that begged for the future fiancé to hire good quality hidden professional photographers to capture the moment. What’s next? Begging him for a Mary Lou style proposal just because Mary Lou got it? I am all for a man hiring a photographer on his own but once you demand that from him (and through a Facebook post for God’s sake) it becomes absolutely unacceptable. A proposal is one of the only things he can do his way, so let him do it his way without too much intervention from you, the person who will take over planning for the decor and beyond. PS: Thank you Clay for giving me the woodsy, private proposal that a Maine girl like me has always desired.
3) Don’t be overly productive if you have a 1+ year engagement: I am so guilty of this. The fiancé and I are currently in the midst of a 14 month engagement. I found myself immediately wanting to jump into planning about 1 week later! Enjoy the first month. This does not mean that there are not things you should be looking into, such as venues. Venues get booked quickly and it’s always wise if you have a list of potential places at the 2 week mark. However, do not feel like the centerpieces, caterers, and the honeymoon all need to be researched and on their way to getting booked until three months into your engagement. I know you will want to immediately start the search and begin to piece together your bridal dream, but planning too soon allows more time for changes and downtime when you are bored. A longer engagement has its perks financially and organizationally. Make sure you take advantage of this! Spread things out and soak in this most important and exciting time of your life.