Welcome to #HairGoals, our series all about helping you get the hair of your dreams. We'll be featuring routines of real women with amazing hair, interviews with stylists about the products you should use for your hair type, and more.
I had long hair for most of my life. I didn't get my first haircut until I was 10 (I know), and even after that monumental (and embarrassingly overdue) moment, I had always kept my hair length past my shoulders. Growing up, my hair grew fast, and it seemed like less upkeep to always ask for a trim with long layers. I never considered trying a shorter style. That is, until 2016 when I chopped off my long hair in favor of a lob. Lobs were in, my hair was damaged from color treatment, and I needed a change—I wanted a fresh start (and cut) to signify a new chapter.
Fast forward to a few years later, and my lob has become my new "long layers." It's now a cut I've been unable to deviate from, despite my best efforts to switch things up. Even when I try to grow my hair out, I get frustrated by how long it now takes and how—unless I put in the effort to style it—it almost always looks lifeless. Realizing that I'm inching closer to bidding farewell to my carefree days of easy-to-come-by long, thick hair, I'm even more adamant about growing it out one last time.
Whereas my hair maintenance approach used to be more "set it and forget it" (to the point I'd sometimes go dangerously long between trims), I now have to be much more proactive about breakage, dryness, and general hair health. My youthful ways no longer yield the same results and at age 30. Instead, I have to work for length and healthy shine—with a hardworking lineup of products that are giving me a helping hand along this journey.
Here are the ride or die hair-growth products I'm using to grow out my lob.
Grow Girl is an accessible line of hair products that focus on tackling thinning hair and breakage. The lineup boasts cheeky names like "Fresh Rinse of Bel-Hair" ($12), a hair regrowth conditioner, "I'm Bringing Shiny Back" ($14), supplement gummies for shine, and "These Roots Were Made for Washing," a hair regrowth scalp detox and one of my personal favorites from the line. The detoxing rinse features apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and raw essential oils and targets the scalp to clean follicles and remove debris that could hinder hair growth.
Staving off damage is an important step in encouraging hair growth. Reverse hair damage with Sachajuan's Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner ($33). The duo repairs and revives dry hair while penetrating the hair follicle to strengthen and condition strands. The restorative products also offer UVA/UVB protection that remains even after rinsing, protecting hair from further damage.
I got into the habit of using a hair turban about a year ago, and it's definitely been an upgrade to my post-shower routine. Not only does it significantly speed up the drying time—and keep you from carrying around a heavy bath towel on your head—but it prevents breakage while your hair is in its most vulnerable state.
Hair oils were a staple in my haircare routine when I had long hair, and now that I'm growing my hair out again, I'm remembering how essential they are to keeping hair cuticles sealed and protected. A weightless formula that does its job is hard to come by. This silicone-free formula by Playa doesn't just coat the hair but actually penetrates strands to infuse healthy antioxidants and essential nutrients like vitamins E and K.
Anytime I forget to switch out my daytime hair tie with a silk scrunchie, I wake up to a mess of hair on my pillow in the morning. This pretty trio of scrunchies prevents damage and breakage while you snooze because the silk doesn't tug at the hair. Furthermore, you won't wake up with kinks or unruly bedhead, cutting out extra work from your morning routine.
As part of my effort to get my hair in its healthiest shape, I try not to wash it too often. Naturally, dry shampoo is a personal must before leaving the house some days. This particular charcoal-infused offering from Briogeo actually encourages healthy hair growth by detoxifying, cleansing, and balancing the scalp.
Hum is my go-to for supplements, and while they now have hair growth vegan gummies ($25), I'm still a fan of their Red Carpet soft gels formulated with antioxidants and vitamin E to support hair and skin health.
Once you've grown out your locks, here are nine of the best hairstyles for long hair.