The news is out – men can have long, luscious locks as well. Men are increasingly trying out long hair and grown out looks as workplaces relax their rules and the general perception of men with long hair shifts from ‘bikie’ or ‘hippy’ to an appreciation of the versatility and style the look provides for men. Open up any men’s magazine or check out any runway and you’ll find plenty of male models sporting the look, rocking everything from a modern androgynous style to a more rugged style.

Even big male celebrities have been rocking the style recently; check out Chris Hemsworth or Brad Pitt for style inspiration. Despite the growing popularity of the look, a lot of men are hesitant to let their hair grow long because of a concern that it might be difficult to grow out or maintain.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt. Source: Toglenn, Wikimedia Commons

Whilst the growing out process can be challenging, it’s well worth it if you love the look of long hair. With a lot of patience and a stylist who know what they’re doing you can achieve your goal, hopefully avoiding the worst of the awkward grow out phases and steering away from a mullet.

If you’re thinking about growing out your hair then you’ve probably got a few questions, like ‘how long will it take to grow out my hair?’ and ‘what are the steps involved’. The truth is that the grow out process differs slightly for everyone. Everyone has different growth speeds and wants to achieve different lengths, so the time involved to reach the goal will differ slightly for everyone. If you’re planning on growing out your hair then read on below about the grow out process.

The grow out process

When growing out their hair, a lot of men make the mistake of just letting it go without any interference from a stylist. This really isn’t the best way to grow out your hair. If you don’t regularly see a stylist to trim it and neaten it up during the process of growing it out then you will no doubt end up with split ends and uneven hair. Your hair will probably get heavy and start to sit like a helmet or a mullet. Giving your hair regular attention will ensure that it grows out looking great, and purposeful rather than haphazard and awkward. The top reason most people will give up on growing out their hair is because of the awkward stages when getting it long – nobody wants to look crazy for months on end but regular maintenance can minimise any unwanted awkward haircuts.

When starting down the path to long hair many men forget that it’s about more than just letting it go, internal health and certain vitamins can have a lot to do with the speed of growth of the hair and the strength of the hair follicle. Vitamin B7 and other supplements are important to the growth of a healthy head of hair, and healthy hair is essential for achieving the right length.

There are a few important tips that every man should remember, and steps to follow when growing hair out:

Hair doesn’t grow uniformly

This is the first thing that most men should keep in mind when trying to get the length that they want. Unfortunately hair just doesn’t grow in a uniform way or all at the same rate. Hair will grow out haphazardly and from all different angles. If you just let it go you’ll very quickly end up with a dog’s breakfast for a hair-do. Unfortunately it will sometimes feel like two steps forward and two steps backwards in trying to get to length you’ll want. To keep things looking neat you might have to occasionally chop off a bit of length. The best approach for avoiding the lopsided look is usually to start by growing out the top length first, whilst keeping the sides shorter, before letting the back and the sides to grow out to catch up with the top length.

growing hair process

Your roots are important

The roots of the hair tend to be ignored, but they’re important to getting hair to grow out healthy and long. There are a few things you can do to protect the roots of your hair. Firstly, don’t leave them covered up under a hat or a beanie all the time! Let your hair breathe. It’s tempting to try and cover hair up whilst it’s growing out, but having it covered up all the time can put unnecessary stress on the hair. Another thing to remember is that hair treatments are the friend of hair growth. Regular hydration and care help keep your hair nourished and healthy. Men should also avoid damaging their hair with cheap hair brushes or harsh brushing; a gentle detangling comb is best for promoting growth.

Gentle massaging instead of scrubbing

Gentle massaging hair

Some men will make the mistake of believing that roughly working shampoo and conditioner through the hair is the best way to get it clean, but it’s not the best way to do things no matter what the hair length.      A gentle head massage is a much better way to promote growth, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, treating hair gently will prevent any damage or breakage up the hair shaft and second massaging the scalp promotes blood circulation with can increase hair growth.

A healthy body equals healthy hair

It should come as no surprise but a head full of luscious, full-bodied hair is a direct reflection of a healthy body. A healthy lifestyle of exercise and a balanced diet contributes to the growth of healthy hair. If you’re trying to grow it out then consider avoiding unhealthy foods and engage in an active lifestyle.

Stock up on hair accessories

Long hair requires different hair products and accessories than short hair. As you let it grow out you should start to stock on all the hair products and accessories you need for your new hair style. You’ll naturally collect some of these items as you achieve new lengths, whilst others you might want to purchase in preparation. For example, you might find yourself suddenly needing a pomade, or a gel, or texturing lotion to keep hair looking great. Your pomade and gel is going to look better at shorter lengths, but you might need to switch to a texturising spray as your hair gets longer. As your hair starts to get below chin length you might find yourself looking for something to get it off your face when working out or trying to focus, so it might be time to invest in some non-slip hair elastics and headbands.

Ask for advice from the experts

No one knows more about long hair than woman! If you’re feeling a bit long then consider visiting a stylist that usually manages women’s hair. You’ll find your usual barber might be at a bit of a loss when it comes to giving you tips on long hair. The woman in your life will be to offer up a lifetimes worth of knowledge when it comes to styling your hair, purchasing products and keeping it looking great so tap into the knowledge of your female family and friends.

Styling long hair

Once you get your hair to your desired length, it’s time to start experimenting with the way you style it. A good way to work out your style is to visit a stylist, they can help you talk about hair strategy and find a look that suits you and your face. A good stylist will know exactly what to do with your hair to properly frame your face and bring out your best features. Finding a style that suits your face shape, jawline and overall look will make a big difference to your appearance. Your stylist will be able to show you how to do it yourself, what steps to follow, what tools to use and how to properly texturise or work the hair. They will also be able to show you the proper care steps you should take with your hair. Knowing how to style your hair can be the difference between looking dapper and looking homeless.

Styling at home

For at home care you’ll need to ensure you have the right styling tools and products. Here are a few of the key products you might want to purchase for home.

man with great hair

Hair products

Hair products like grooming gel or cream, finishing sprays, hair gels, and pomades are important for controlling frizz, taming hair, texturising your locks and protecting hair against the heat or cold days. The products you use will be dependent on the time of year or the look you want to achieve.

You might also want to invest in a hair straightener, blow dryer curling iron to help you achieve different styles.

High quality hair elastics and hair accessories can help to keep your hair back when you want it out of your face, it’s important to find hair accessories that will prevent your hair from pulling.

You’ll also want to purchase high quality brushes or combs that will prevent your hair from getting damaged or tangled.

High quality shampoo and conditioners, preferably sulphate free, will also be important for keeping hair balanced and hydrated. Healthy hydrated hair is essential for hair growth.

You should also purchase a hair treatment for occasional use. If you like to take the natural approach then consider investing in some natural oils that are great for hair like argan oil or coconut oil.

Getting beautiful, long hair can be a trying process and takes some consideration and care. The best source of information is a good stylist who will be able to assess the condition and needs of your hair and give you pointers on achieving the length you desire. A good stylist will also be able to discuss styles with you and work out what looks best with your face. If you sit down with your stylist regularly they’ll also be able to help you find a style that suits your lifestyle, as they will know you and your need best. They’ll be able to help you find a style that suits you as they’ll know if you’re a low maintenance kind of purpose, or capable of maintaining a more high maintenance style.

A good tip whilst trying to get the perfect look is to seek out advice from friends, family and even strangers on the street that have a style you admire. The process of growing out long hair can be long, but it doesn’t have to be awkward. Have fun and enjoy your hair at every length, over the course of the process you’ll probably find new styles you never thought about and try out many new products and tools that you’ve never had the opportunity to test out before.