People Always Ask How I Grow My Hair So Long—These Are My 5 Tips

For the majority of my life, I haven't had a particularly loving relationship with my hair. I always deemed it flat, fine and lifeless, and I longed for the sort of waves and curls that bounced as I walked. For the entirety of my pre-teen and teenage years, I experimented with countless hair trends (from an inverted bob with fringe to a scruffy shag) in an effort to find a style that complemented my limp, straight strands.

But as I entered adult life, I realised it was time to admit defeat and embrace the cards I was dealt. So since the age of 18, I have mostly sported the same long hairstyle. And while I've spent a lot of time resenting my hair, I recently realised that, when it's healthy, it really works. In fact, my super-long, sleek hair has sort of become my most defining beauty characteristic.


(Image credit: @SHANNONLAWLOR)

Nowadays, my long hair is by far my most asked-about feature. Friends and colleagues are always asking me how I manage to grow my hair so long while keeping it healthy. In the past, I've been stumped for an answer. "It just kind of grows like this," I'd say. But truthfully, the many years of TLC I've given my strands have contributed to its current length and healthiness.

Below, I've compiled all of the things I do to encourage my hair to grow. And because my first-person account might not ring true for everyone, I also reached out to the creative director of colour at Butchers and my go-to guy for any hair-related questions, Dominic Roach, to get his insights. If you want to know how to grow your hair long, this is the best advice out there. 

1. Be Strict With Heat Styling

This is by far my most important tip. Applying high temperatures to the hair with tools like straighteners and tongs will result in dryness, split ends and breakage. A few years ago, I started using my Dyson Airwrap to dry and smooth my hair instead of opting for more intense heat tools. As a result, even after going a whole year without a trim (thanks to the pandemic), my hair stylist made a comment about how healthy my hair looked. 

But avoiding heat styling is way easier said than done. "In an age when heat styling is very much de rigueur, it can seem impossible to avoid,” says Roach. "It's key to make sure you use a thermal heat protector. Perhaps try and minimise your affair with tongs and straightening irons to once a week or experiment with heat-free techniques like rollers or plaits. 

Shop the Best Products for Managing Heat Damage

2. Have Regular Haircuts

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but getting a regular trim really is the best way to keep your strands healthy and happy. "Split ends can travel up the hair shaft, causing breakage. I recommend a trim every four to eight weeks to keep split ends at bay,” says Roach. Over time, I have managed to stretch the amount of time between my haircuts. Because I reduced heat styling and have straight hair (which is not as dry as naturally wavy or curly hair), I can get away with having an inch taken off the ends once every 12 weeks or so.

3. Use Bond-Repair Treatments

Growing your hair long is all about keeping strands as strong as possible. If your hair is damaged and weak, you better believe it will snap and break (this is often the case when your hair won't seem to grow past a certain length). Bond-repair treatments can make a world of difference and help keep your hair strong. "Use a product that strengthens the layers of the hair and rebuilds bonds internally. It will make hair visibly stronger, healthier and shinier. It's an investment in achieving your ultimate long hair. I really recommend Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner,” says Roach.

Shop Bond-Repairing Products

4. Ditch The Daily Top Knots

This was the most recent and difficult hair realisation for me to come to terms with. If you ask me, throwing your hair up in a quick bun to keep it off your face is a quick and chic option. But when my hair started snapping, I realised the importance of changing my hairstyle daily. My stylist told me that to prevent breakage, I should opt for silk hairbands (which prevent friction), switch up the style (for example, a low ponytail one day and a plait the next) and tie the band looser. Since adopting this advice, the breakage has virtually stopped.

Shop Strand-Friendly Hairbands

5. Make Scalp Scrubs Your Go-To

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. In short, if the environment in which your hair grows isn't fighting fit, you can expect growth to be inhibited. To help rid the scalp of build-up and keep it as healthy as possible, I use a pre-shampoo scrub once a week.

Shop Scalp Scrubs

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.