Foolproof Ways To Keep Your Hair Long And Strong

It's a good thing that the truth about the so-called inversion method is coming out. The method — when people hang upside down so that blood hopefully flows straight to their scalp and then their hair — painfully lacks scientific verification (via Cleveland Clinic). Healthline says the method "appears to be an internet phenomenon." But no matter what you think of it, it goes to the heart of a human need: many people want their hair to grow fast, long, and strong.

Some other things will also never change: genetics, for one. It's still true that people often "inherit" their hair type from their parents (or grandparents) (via Healthline). And a healthy diet that teems with vital nutrients also plays a role in hair growth.

But no matter what some people may say or promise, there is no one "magical" way to inspire hair growth. There are only legitimate, tested ways to create a positive environment for hair growth, as well as to protect it from splitting and breaking.

Try one or all five of these methods; they're all good for your hair. You can even stand upright when you put them into action.

Make your scalp happy

At least the people who endorse the inversion method operate with rationale. They know that scalp health plays a role in hair growth. The Cleveland Clinic recommends keeping the scalp "happy" by treating flaky, itchy skin and addressing dandruff with a gentle, anti-dandruff shampoo. Healthline says it may also be worth considering regular scalp massages. But try not to get alarmed; if you equate "massage" with "money," you can learn to do a scalp massage on yourself and then save yourself a bundle.

Some smaller studies have shown a promising link between people who received regular (if not daily) scalp massages and the health of their hair. While you wait for larger studies, you can try luxuriating in the de-stressing benefits of massage; they're plentiful.

Reconsider the daily shampoo

Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Aniston, and Jessica Simpson may be as well known for their luscious manes of hair as their modeling or acting careers. They may travel in different social circles, so you may roll over in disbelief if you knew that they have one preference in common: they no longer shampoo their hair every day (via Fame 10).

Evidently, they have learned that their hair became healthier and stronger once they stopped shampooing away the natural oils in their hair every day. (Aniston says she uses shampoo two or three times a week while Simpson has downshifted to only two or three times per month).

You may have to experiment to find a sustainable "gap time" for you. But while you do, Medical News Today says that "rinsing the hair with water in between washes can keep it looking fresh without stripping the hair of its moisture." And hair needs moisture to grow long and strong.

Ease up on the heat

If there's one piece of hair advice you've been hearing since the time you picked up your first curling iron, it may be, "Don't overdo that heat action."

Unfortunately, many people do, either by using a hair dryer or heated hair tool every day, leaving it on their hair for too long, or failing to use a heat protectant first. All of these bad habits can damage your hair and stymie its growth (via Cleveland Clinic.) Lowering the temperature on heated styling tools can make a difference, too, Healthline says. Your hair will notice. 

Be gentle with wet hair

Wet hair is vulnerable hair. If you repeat this statement 20 times, you may start believing it — and taking steps to protect your hair.

It's understandable that hair that's weighted down with water may seem strong simply because of its added weight. But hair is actually most susceptible to splitting and breaking when it's wet — a compounded risk if hair isn't treated right.

To help matters, pick up a wide-tooth comb, paddle brush, or wet brush-flex dry brush, Stylecraze says. Then gently — oh-so-gently — brush your way up your hair, from the ends to your crown (via the Anushka Salon). It may take longer to brush your hair this way, but this method will pay dividends in the form of stronger hair that can grow longer, too, because it's not damaged.

Go for silk

Breakages can really mess with your long-term goals for your hair. Most of the time, the breakages are temporary, and trim or conditioner can work wonders to repair the damage (via Medical News Today).

So while you exert this effort to restore your hair, it should be good to know that you can protect your hair simply by resting your head on a silk pillowcase (via the Anushka Salon). The smoothness of the material will cause your head to glide right over it, reducing the chance of developing overnight tangles and breakage. It's not magic; it will just feel that way.