While there’s no one secret treatment that will give everyone long, luxurious hair, there are ways to ensure your hair is growing at its full potential. Here are seven tips for how to get thick long hair.
1. Shampoo with Care
For healthy hair that grows thick and long, we recommend starting with a shampoo that is free from SLS and SLES. Ordinary shampoos are good at getting rid of oil and product buildup, but they tend to strip your hair of its natural oils, which can dry out your hair and cause split ends. A SLS- and SLES-free shampoo is also less irritating to the skin on the scalp. And it can strip strands of color — so if you dye your hair, you need to avoid SLS and SLES at all costs.
Look for shampoo formulas enriched with Biotin, Zinc and Keratin that have a light, creamy formula but rinse out clean to leave hair looking naturally thicker.
2. The Power of Conditioner
Conditioners do for your hair what moisturizer does for your face. Creating a hydrating seal for your hair keeps it healthy, resilient to damage, and protected from breakage so it is able to grow more quickly.
If your hair is already over-conditioned, cleanse it with a lightweight clarifying shampoo to remove some of the residue. If your hair is dry, use a nice leave-in conditioner after you get out of the shower.
As a rule of thumb, condition every time you shampoo. And even on days when you don’t shampoo, you can “co-wash” (washing with conditioner only) to keep hair hydrated and manageable without stripping it of moisture. Depending on how damaged your hair is, a deep conditioning treatment every week or so can give your growth an added boost. Take care not to go overboard — over-conditioned hair lacks volume and feels heavy, thick and oily. Ew!
3. Stimulate your Scalp
Your hair follicles are only 1.25 mm below the surface of your scalp. Stimulating them isn’t necessarily difficult, but they need to be given the right stimulant for healthy growth. By stimulating circulation to the follicles, the blood delivers more nutrients to them, promoting healthier hair growth. In addition to enriched shampoos and conditioners, natural oils can add another healthy boost to your hair.
Two of the best oils for stimulating follicles and improving circulation to the scalp are peppermint and eucalyptus. Both have antifungal properties that ward off infection, and prevent residue buildup and clogged pores. They’re also very hypoallergenic in case you’ve had issues with allergic reactions or have sensitive skin.
To incorporate them into your routine, simply massage a small amount into your hair for 30 seconds before you wash your hair. You’ll feel a tingling sensation which is the oil increasing circulation and blood flow to your follicles.
4. Regular Keratin Treatments
Keratin treatments are a good way to smooth your hair strands. The protein-rich treatment smooths your hair’s texture so, after your stylist uses a hot tool and special chemicals, there will be less need for flat irons or dryers at home.
You can get a keratin treatment at your salon, or you can treat yourself at home. While the salon visits are easy and relaxing, they tend to be very expensive. For people who like doing their own hair and/or want to save some money, try at-home kits like the Ion Keratin Smoothing Treatment Kit.
5. Brush Wisely
Most women would never think the type of brush they use could affect the length of their hair, but it can and it does. Using a round brush will curl your hair under or out, making it look shorter. Using a paddle brush will make your hair look longer because it helps the ends lie flat.
Also, don’t brush so much! Brushing 100 strokes a day is old-fashioned and not a good idea — it can do more harm than good by ripping through wet tangles and creating split ends. In fact, do not comb or brush wet hair at all. Blot it dry with a towel or cotton t-shirt and then gently brush after it is completely dried. When you’re not styling, avoid a brush altogether to reduce breakage and achieve thick long hair.
6. The Power of Illusion for Thick Long Hair
There are a few tricks you can use to make your hair look thicker and longer without it actually growing:
- Try a darker hue — hair that’s slightly deeper at the roots and lighter at the ends doesn’t only look trendy and hot, it also creates the illusion of length.
- If you don’t normally wear bangs, try them out. Short, blunt bangs will make your hair look longer because the jump is so dramatic.
- Hair extensions! So effective when used correctly. They can just clip in and they’re available pretty much everywhere. Just be careful that they do not damage your natural hair.
- Hair thickening fibers. Microscopic little fibers each have an electrostatic coating that helps them stick imperceptibly to each individual hair, building the look of thickness in seconds. Conceal & Densify Volumizing Fibers come in four natural looking colors and are easy to apply.
If you’re not used to doing your own hair, make sure you get an expert’s help with these tricks so that they look as natural as possible while growing your hair.
7. Thick Long Hair from the Inside Out
Lastly, be aware of the effects of any pills or medications that change your hormones, namely birth control. Thinning hair is a common side effect of changing hormones and it could be slowing down your pursuit of thick long hair.
You can also try a supplement that promotes hair growth. Viviscal Professional hair growth supplement a is a blend of marine extracts plus key vitamins and minerals that help reduce breakage and reduce shedding, and promote thicker hair from within. Take one in the morning and one at night, and in as little as three months your hair will grow thicker and fuller. The editors at Harper’s Bazaar liked it, and we think you will too!