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If you're trying to grow out your hair, keeping it healthy and strong is the most important thing. Otherwise you're just going to end up with major breakage, your hair frayed and falling off because it's so damaged, or just be stuck with really long hair that's awful looking. You can even grow your hair down to your waist, as long as you take proper care, not only during the growth process but afterward.
Use the right stuff in the shower. You know that shampoo you're using? It may smell lovely or help smooth your hair, but what you really need right now is a product that's going to strengthen and thicken your hair. Going sulfate-free is one of the best ways. Sulfate-free formulas don't have harsh detergents that strip your hair, leaving it dry and damaged, so your hair is clean but moisturized.
Always keep your hair moisturized, so it's hydrated and healthy. A nourishing, cream-based conditioner works perfectly. Look for one with natural ingredients for the best results, like aloe vera, cocoa butter and coconut oil.
Take it easy with the heat-styling tools. Sure your hair straightener and hot rollers may be your best buds because they help you achieve lovely styles, but while you're growing out your hair -- and even after that, really -- it's important to not use them every day. The damage caused can be irreparable, so stick to only using them once or twice a week and always apply a heat protectant onto your hair first.
Use a deep conditioner once every two weeks on your hair as you're growing it out, and then only once a month after that to keep it healthy and lovely. Using your regular conditioner after each shampoo is all right, but then a deep conditioner is important, too, because it nourishes your hair more thoroughly; just don't overdo it or you'll do more harm than good and end up with limp, lifeless locks.
Use a wide-toothed comb to smooth out wet hair. Using a brush, which has the teeth spaced closely together, can rip and tear at your delicate wet locks. The far spacing on a wide-toothed comb helps get out any knots and tangles but without doing major damage to your hair.
Get your hair trimmed at least once every couple of months. Yes, you're growing your hair out, but no, that doesn't mean you should stop getting regular trims. Instead of getting a couple of inches off, just have a half-inch cut, so at least you're getting rid of some of the dead ends and in turn helping your hair grow faster.
Drink plenty of water to keep your hair hydrated and strong. Ideally, that means between eight and 10 glasses a day, otherwise your hair -- and your body -- can become dehydrated and suffer serious consequences. Don't only drink when you're thirsty, because by then it's too late, and if it helps, keep track on your computer or notebook as to how many glasses you've had and how many you have to go. Space them out through the day so you're always properly hydrated.
There are plenty of hair treatments you can get at your local salon that can help revitalize your hair and help it grow healthy and strong. That includes scalp treatment masks, which help increase blood flow and stimulate growth.