My hair growth stalled out around the bottom of my shoulder blades for a couple of years in the mid-1980s due to abuse of box hair color (Nice n Easy, the lightest shade of blonde).
In essence I had fried my own hair with chemicals.
How did I grow my hair to it’s current length, which is at the top of my hips?
1. I found a long hair expert.
I went to see a hairstylists who specialized in long hair. This was very important because there was SO much I didn’t know about growing hair.
2. I had a big chop.
I gave the long hair expert permission to cut off all the fried and damaged ends which took my hair to chin length.
It was heart breaking. I cried for days and wouldn’t look in the mirror. Ultimately it was a good thing to do because it helped my hair start to recover from the damage.
3. I redid my entire hair regime.
After the big chop, I completely redid my entire hair care routine. I stopped using all hot tools (no hot water, no blow dryers, not hot tools or hot rollers).
Trust me. It was very hard to give up the heat.
4. Diluting my shampoo.
Instead of wet washing every day, I slowly transitioned to 1–2x a week with lukewarm water.
I also used diluted shampoo (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of hydrating shampoo (or my own formula) in a clean 1 quart bottle of lukewarm water. I always gently shake to form a foamy substance before I use it on my hair.
5. Getting hair super wet is the key.
I learned to get my hair very very wet in the shower using clear quart bottles of lukewarm before I applied my pre-mixed diluted shampoo. I would drizzle the foamy diluted shampoo formula over the top of my roots and then allow the foam to flow down to my ends.
After I had a good flow or suds, I would pat, not rub, the formula into my very wet strands.
This was very key because having my hair very wet opened the cuticle, the diluted shampoo suds would whisk away dirt from my roots and hair but as gently as possible. Also, by patting, I avoided breaking delicate strands.
6. I learned alternative hair cleaning methods.
Besides transitioning from every day to 1–2 day a week wet washing, I made my own dry shampoo with a healthy cornstarch base mixed with hair growth friendly essential oils of my choice.
I also learned some great in-between wet wash hair oiling techniques. Before wet washing I also would do pre-conditioning treatments and scalp massage with essential oils (EOs).
7. My accordion post-shower hair squeezing (very gently) was very helpful in removing excess water.
I also became very skilled at blotting my wet hair with 100% cotton t-shirts and air drying became great techniques to keep my hair tangle-free.
8. Nutrition is key.
I developed my own hair vitamin growth formulas and learned what foods helped my hair grow healthy, long and luscious.
I still eat those foods to this day. I also stop drinking all diet drinks and sodas which I found to be personally unhealthy for me.
9. Switched to the very best hair care tools.
Not only did I invest in the very best 100% boar bristle brushes and hair friendly non-snagging combs, I also found great hair accessories I could use which never harmed my hair (smooth hair clips, covered elastics and silk head bands.