Step 1: The sooner you start the betterWhether you want a strong beach look a la Jared Leto for summer or you know winter is coming a la kit Harrington, there’s no time like the present to begin growing your hair. The longest journey starts with a single step. Bear in mind that hair roughly grows between a quarter of an inch to half an inch per month. So even though you may be looking to grow yours out as quickly as possible, you’ll still need to have an end goal in mind and the patience to see it through.
Start from scratch: If you grow it, it will comeSee your barber for an initial consultation to go over your end goal and come up with a plan of action together. Don't feel embarrassed bringing in a photograph either. This will only help clarify your intentions. To begin your growing process, they should start you off with a one grade across the back and sides as these areas tend to grow quickest. Keeping more length on top will also give you more texture to play with as opposed to leaving you feeling immediately stuck with a lifeless style. When grown out from this template, long hairstyles better adhere to our head shapes and hairlines, complementing our natural features.
Go the distance: Endurance is testing, but rewardingThe mid-growth phase is the hardest to endure when your hair hasn’t quite gone over the ears yet. But being patient and understanding your hair as it changes will eventually pay off, we promise. The end goal will soon be close. We can’t stress enough to not panic. Avoid the common mistake men make of getting a haircut while still intending to grow longer. You will likely find yourself left with unwanted, harsh corners of weight that tend to form wing-like shapes or a dreaded big mushroom outline. Any cut that interferes with your initial growth template will disrupt the layers from growing out naturally and ruin the patience and hard work you’ve already put in.
Don’t forget your barber altogether: Ease the painThroughout this entire process, be sure to catch up with your barber every three to four months to keep things looking neat and tidy. They will be able to maintain a natural balance to the shape and style of your hair, keeping it looking smart and reducing your frustration levels to avoid giving up and having it all cut off. Your barber should also take care of any dry, broken ends (men's version of split ends) which can lead to the root if not treated correctly and can hamper growth.
KEY Dos And Don’ts
Do: Eat rightWe may not be certified nutritionists, but certainly know hair is made up of a notable amount of protein. Fuelling your body with more of the same can only be helpful. The experts say: In order to create new cells, the body requires protein and amino acids. A low fat, high protein diet stimulates cell reproduction that is essential for faster hair growth. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a sure-fire way to make your hair grow faster. Foods rich in essential Vitamins (A, B, C, and E) include vegetables, fruits, and proteins. So stick to the spinach and egg pots to help your hair grow faster naturally. Vitamin E: Is an antioxidant that improves blood flow. It will invariably promote a healthier scalp — and the healthier your scalp is, the healthier your cells are, the more likely you are to have faster growing hair. What to eat: Nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables are great sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin C: A building block for healthy skin, hair and nails. Like Vitamin E, it is a major antioxidant and it also fights off cellular damage. What to eat: Red peppers, sweet potatoes and citrus foods.
Do: Change your shower routineThe natural oils your scalp produces are imperative for improving hair health and speeding the rate of growth. Washing your hair every day will clear these oils, slowing the whole process down. Space washing out to at least every-other day to keep things ticking over nice and naturally.
And whenever you do shampoo: Always make sure you conditionThe longer hair gets, the more susceptible it is to look limp and lifeless, so Conditioner should not be avoided… Regular application of Conditioner will help keep everything healthy and detangled. In a similar vein...
Do: Embrace the cold tapWashing your hair through with cold water can encourage growth and also keep it healthier. Cold water provides a smoother outer layer than hot water, helping to prevent moisture loss, snags and damage from heat. Just a few seconds will suffice and you are of course allowed to have a regular hot shower for your body in advance...
Do: Take the time to brushGently brushing your hair twice a day for a few minutes stimulates the blood circulation in your scalp and evenly spreads natural oils over your hair. Healthy blood circulation is essential for hair follicles to work efficiently and grow new, healthy hair.
Don’t: Brush or comb wet hairBrushing and combing through wet hair will overstretch it and make it fragile. Get yourself into the habit of brushing dry.
Do: Avoid pony tails early onWhile your hair will grow to be long enough to tie back and keep off your face, if you’re wanting to push on to that next stage then beware! Tight ponytails or braids can strain your hair and result in breakage.
Don’t: Give up hope!The best things in life come to those who wait. If you’re getting dissatisfied with your growth, schedule a visit to your barber to see if he can offer some advice on how to keep things interesting while you’re in-between styles.
Do: Sleep rightNot only does regular rest help your hair grow faster (despite what rock stars may say to the contrary), for an extra boost, a Satin pillow may seem a bit playboyish but can make all the difference in making those longer styles look great. Standard woven cotton pillowcases are known for causing friction with hair, so consider something with a softer surface that will not only offer you a more comfortable sleep, but also have you waking up with less tangles to deal with.
Don’t: Colour itAs you may have guessed, long hair is delicate hair. While shorter styles may be more resilient when bleached or dyed, you may have to give up the idea of being a Brad Pitt if you’re really a Johnny Depp.
Congratulations, that's step 1. Now read our ultimate guide to Styling Long Hair to complete your journey >