Hair Growth Myths & Growing Long Hair

Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something.

Long hair. Some of us crave it.  My hair is now longer, but in this photo I wore extensions to get my shoulder length hair to be the look I wanted.

I began my hairdressing career in 2004 and from that time I feel like I have heard it all.   As a licensed professional there is nothing better than being told by clients a) how to do your job or b) that they know better than you (and your mentors, instructors, textbooks, licensing exams) or that your knowledge is incorrect.  

From my time working in salons I have heard quite a lot of myths from misinformed clients.  There is one type of client I have had in my chair that confuses me the most. The girl who believe her hair can grow to a certain point and stops growing.  Those people you know who you are.

‘Who me?’  Yes. You. 
The thing you should know about hair growth is that your hair is in a continual cycle of phases.  About 90% of your hair will be in the Anagen or growth phase.  The other 10% will be either in Catagen or regressing phase and Telogen, the resting phase.  On top of that there are many different factors that can affect your hair growth and the health of your hair.  Things like your health, age, medicines, your diet, and how much sunshine you are exposed too. Ever heard of a Vitamin D deficiency?  Its very common in England.  Then of course theres alway the factor of heredity.  I have known a few friends who were blessed with always having very strong and very long hair and nails that grew like wildfire. It is in there genes.  
So back to the client who is telling me her hair touches her shoulders and then it all stops growing.  Though there are many kinds of hair loss, including after pregnancy, this is not one of them. If it was I was I would have heard about it. It is also not a disorder, which I have gotten most recently from a woman as part of her defense for my ignorance in hair growth.  
Your hair does not have eyeballs.  So it cannot say ‘hey I am now to her shoulders, we must all stop growing now. Heaven forbid she gets long enough hair to do this!’ (See image directly above).  If you were to shave your hair at that point you would see that your hair is still growing a week later.  It works just the same as the hair on your legs. If you dont shave it, it will keep growing.  
Aside from what was mentioned earlier there are other factors that can affect your goal of getting longer length of hair.  This includes how well you take care of your locks.  
1) SHAMPOO: If you are using a really harsh shampoo and using it every day you have higher risk for less than awesome looking hair.  I honestly believe that washing your hair with shampoo should happen no more than twice a week.  The in between times you use really warm water in the shower and scrub your scalp well.  I suggest natural shampoos free of chemicals, but to go the ‘sulfates free’ route if you are choosing a shampoo from your stylist or salon.  
2) TRIMS:  This can go both way.  If you skip your regular trims because you want to ‘keep all your length’ you risk losing more length in the process.  Why? Split ends.  The truth of the matter is split ends can split faster than your hair can grow.  So chew on that for a while.  However if you are getting regular trims and you do not see your hair getting any longer it could be a case of too much of a good thing. Either you are getting your hair trimmed too frequently and/or your hair stylist is cutting off too much in the trims.  If you wait forever to get your hair trimmed and then do it just twice a year you probably see less growth because more has to be taken off due to the health of your ends. 
3) TOOLS: Basically anything you do to your hair affects the growth. It is sorta like how people say ‘everything will kill you’.  Everything can damage your hair, including twirling it around your finger.  Your hair is dead once it leaves the follicle, despite the snazzy advertising campaigns of shampoo and hair product companies.  Heat can be the worst. So if you are a slave to your hair dryer and other heat tools you may want to second think that if you want to grow your hair longer.  
4)WET TO DRY:  Do you brush your hair when its wet? Your hair can stretch so much longer when it is wet than when it is dry, which means breakage.  You honestly should never let a hairstylist use any sort of brush in your hair until your hair is 70% dry.  A wide tooth comb and your fingers is good enough until your hair gets to that point.  Then switch to brushes.  
Honestly there are so many factors that can affect your hair it may take a little time to tweak things in your life and see how it changes things over time.  I do not blame you if you were under this assumption that your hair can only grow so long and then it just stops.  But lets be real. 
Image found from Tumblr not sourced.
If you are feeling a bit bummed about this shocking truth, here is a funny image I found about how girls react to getting their hair cut.  It is funny because it is true. 
So if you want long hair and you cannot wait you can always go the extensions route.  It is what I did and I am not ashamed to say it. I only wish I had known about it before. 😉  I currently do not wear them now because my hair has caught up with them so its kinda pointless.  Even if you do not wear them daily, it can be fun for special occasions and nights out on the town.  
PS. COCONUT OIL.  I swear by it.  Best thing for your hair and for growth. 
Q: Hit me with your hair  and beauty questions, what do you want to know?


*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

  • Rachel

    I love your advice, the being careful about what you use on your hair is huge. I never get split ends and I regularly get my hair cut once a year or once every six months (because I always think I want long hair and then I remember that I love my short hair)–but I also don’t straighten or curl or do anything damaging with my hair. (I mean beside bleach and color purple that one streak–but it doesn’t bother me if just one little streak is unhealthy, as long as it’s purple!)

  • k8te

    hahaha love these pics, i am guilty of the “my hair doesn’t grow past __ length”…i know it’s not REALLY true, but it sometimes felt that way! ha. and YES, coconut for everything!!

  • Kristin Saling

    Totally guilty of the – look, I cut my hair/OMFG where is my hair? – reaction, but my hair grows really fast. Probably because I do like you say and don’t use heated tools. Where I do run into trouble is using the right stuff to put it up – if I use the wrong hair bands or clips to put it up, I end up with a scruffy frizzy top layer of hair. On that note, got any advice for hair care/styles for a girl who’s got to put her hair up all the time and doesn’t want to damage that top layer with elastics or stuff like that?

    • Bonnie Rose

      Look for hair ties that are no snag, and dont put anything too tight on your hair thats going to cause breakage. I tend to use claw clips if I have it up at home. Out of the house I if its up I’ll braid it back loosely or you can do a sock bun with no clips needed.

  • Kelly S

    Ha ha ha! This is so true. I love the little videos you put on. Tyra was too funny!

    • Bonnie Rose

      Glad you liked the videos! I loved the Tyra one too. Thought a little humour would help balance out a rant too. 😉

  • Gina Howie

    Love this post. The pics are hilarious – love Tyra swinging her hair. I will give the coconut oil a try – thanks for the tip.

  • themovetoamerica

    When people say stupid things about hair due to ignorance annoys me too – my rant on my blog is about red hair and the problems that go with it.

    Loved your hair tips!

    ♡ Molly

    • Bonnie Rose

      I look forward to reading your blog tonight. :) As a former fake ginger, I look forward to it.

  • M and L

    this is very informative! thanks. the pics are hilarious hhaha. i like my hair long & short. but i LOVE it short in the summers.


  • Chelsea

    I LOVE that girls + haircuts picture. Isn’t that the truth? I love AND hate my long hair right now. I love it because it’s taken forever and a half to get to this point, but I hate it because there’s basically nothing to do with it! But yeah, if I cut it I’d be a mess! Your hair is GORGEOUS! Don’t you DARE cut it! I’ve gotta try that coconut oil though… I’ve heard such great things!

  • Aleshea

    Hahah, I’ll have to show this to my sister. She just graduated school and is currently studying to pass her exam so she can do hair. She is ALWAYS ranting about how people are wrong and they shouldn’t tell stylist how to do their job


    You recommend washing your hair with shampoo twice a week.. But what if you use hair product like molding mud and hairspray ( I have a pixie cut)? I also have oily hair.

  • Mary

    You’re so right about the coconut oil! My hair type is much different because it’s an afro so it’s more prone to breakage. But, like you said, trimming is what keeping it growing! Loved reading this post!

  • Samantha Bender

    Hi Bonnie! I saw your link on today’s Blog Every Day in May post on Jenni’s blog. I think what really stinks is that not every stylist cares about telling people how to do their hair. I live by coconut oil! Also, I was wondering about the “no poo” kind of treatment, and how you feel about that. I was reading about it on and I was thinking about trying it. Great post!

  • Kendra Pahukoa

    i’m just gonna share what i do because my hair grows crazy fast and trust me it isn’t like i have some healthy diet (pshht, please! unless sugar makes hair grow??) i never brush my hair. it’s whatever. i use my fingers unless i gotta get a rats nest out (just being real) and i only wash my hair maybe every 5 days. i shower (i mean, im not disgusting!) but do not shampoo/condition my hair until it’s been like 4 or 5 days. i don’t blow dry but about 2-3 times a month i use a rod curling iron to define my waves (that’s when i take outfit post photos-haha). when my hair looks greasy i put a lil baby powder in it. i may not always look fab but my hair is fairly healthy and it really works out for that lazy chick i have living inside of me, oh wait, that IS me.

  • lost in travels

    i LOVE this post! i’ve always struggled with my hair either growing really slowly or not growing at all. my problem is not getting it trimmed often enough! good hairstylists are far and few between here and i’m always terrified of going and getting a horrible cut (it’s happened once or twice…or multiple times before) thanks for this!

  • Amanda

    I would never even think to pretend to know more than my stylist. Probably because my hair knowledge extends from brushing it to ponytail. I loved your “how girls feel about their haircuts” cartoon. I’ve always had extremely long hair. And then a few years ago I HAD TO CHANGE (or so I thought) and cut off about a full foot of hair to have a chin length bob. And hated it after 3 days. It’s taken 3 years to get it almost back to the pre-chop length. xx

  • Laura Side Street

    This is a great post and made me smile :) I find my hair of course does grow beyond my shoulders but by this point I am so bored I usually cut it really short but I am on a mission to get it past the shoulders :) I usually do have a trim but for some reason lately the hairdressers I have been going to take waaay to much off, layer it when all I want is a little trim and tidy. Anyway wanted to ask about the extensions – do you have them put in at a salon or do you use clip in’s? I bought really expensive clip in’s about 2 years ago and I never could get them to lie flat or look good and wanted to know what the options for in-salon extensions are – do they do semi-permenant ones that stay in a while – sorry if I am asking a really obvious question but I have had short hair for such a long time (literally years and years)

    Laura x

  • Jay

    Very interesting Bonnie and great tips! I too am and advocator for sporadically washing hair – my hair has literally, never been healthier since I cut back washing years ago :)

    (I feel your pain with people telling you how to do your job — that was probably my most hated thing about teaching. Everyone thinks they’re an expert because they all went to school & the absolute worst, is government officials mandating education policies they know nothing about! End rant.)

  • Rachel

    I wash my hair WAY too often but it gets oily so fast (and I haven’t found a good dry shampoo yet). What kind of shampoo do you use?

  • Jade

    I made a terrible mistake last year and cut off my shoulder length hair in to a pixie crop and I’m still struggling with it now. So my question is, how long does your hair have to be before you can put extensions in it? I have stopped washing my hair so frequently in the hopes that it might grow a bit faster but ever since I moved to the UK, it grows at a snail’s pace, so I was hoping extensions might do the trick!

  • a_est

    This is amazing! I always regret cutting my hair short so I’m trying to stay strong after the post-baby hair loss episode. Last time I got my hair cut it had been a full year between trims and the woman said she really only needed to trim off like an inch the perks of being a dirty hippie when it comes to washing & drying my hair!

  • AlanaMarie

    What do you do with the coconut oil? Put it on and wash it out, leave it on? I love coconut oil on my skin, but I have never used it on my hair.

  • Julia Rachels

    Such a gorgeous hair! I love your hair so much. Have you used any products for hair growth?

  • Linda

    Its fun, I really enjoyed your blog. Coconut oil is really helpful and it works fine in my hair.

    Indian Hair

    • Bonnie Rose

      Glad you have enjoyed it Linda! Coconut oil is such a great product! x

  • Bonnie Rose

    Its fun, I really enjoyed your blog. Coconut oil is really helpful and it works fine in my hair.

    Indian Hair

  • Bonnie Rose

    Glad you have enjoyed it Linda! Coconut oil is such a great product! x

  • iGrow Laser

    Your blog is really funny and cool. I like the use of animated pics with the women flipping their hair and making funny faces :-)

  • Bonnie Rose

    Your blog is really funny and cool. I like the use of animated pics with the women flipping their hair and making funny faces :-)

  • shishi

    my hair is at almost bra strap length. what can i do to speed up the process? i really really really want to have butt length hair =/

  • Bonnie Rose

    my hair is at almost bra strap length. what can i do to speed up the process? i really really really want to have butt length hair =/

  • Ashley

    I use coconut oil on my hair but I heared using onion juice in your shampoo also helps it grow ? Is that true I haven’t been able to find any reliable sources to confirm this. Thanks btw for the info ^-^.

  • Kendra

    lol, this post was great and the image were hilarious!


  • Wizmo


    I do agree that trimming the hair does make the hair grow.

  • temea martin

    your blog is informative. you are right that trimming is a good wuy for the growth of hair and suitable shampoo is also.
    best shampoo for hair growth

  • Rajesh Kumar

    Thanks for all the useful tips for growing hair faster. Preventing hair fall is also very important. Keeping hair clean and eating healthy food also helps.

  • Hairgrowth Centre

    Great post, the article is really informative.
    Thanks for sharing.