Just about every man on Earth has wondered how to grow out his hair after looking back at certain episodes from the early 1980s. Remember television icons like Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame, Tom Selleck from the original Magnum P.I., or Mel Gibson from the Lethal Weapon films? Remember how they had medium to long hairstyles? Remember how cool they looked? New trend beard style.
And, let's face it, who doesn't remember those badass action stars rocking longer hairstyles? Thinking back, seeing them (well, except for Martin Riggs) jump into gorgeous sports cars, put the pedal to the medal, and then seeing their lustrous, well-groomed locks flowing in the wind …
Okay, so maybe it was more the chicks who dug the hair flowing in the wind part, but you get the drift.
But who hasn't wondered whether growing out his hair might not just be the best idea hatched since Samson of Biblical fame grew his out? Admit it, the idea of not having to continually mess with and style one's hair is an attractive thought. Low maintenance, long hair that's more natural-looking lets a guy focus on other areas that need grooming to look great, such as one's beard.
Whether a man's going for the latest trend such as "man buns," being able to shove strands behind one's ears, or just letting it hang free, he needs a plan on how to make his hair grow. After all, growing out a man's hair is a long-term commitment. It can sometimes take a year, maybe longer, for hair to reach a length that might be considered "long."
With that said, if you're a man who's lusted after long locks (for yourself and not on someone else), then keep reading as we explore the steps that will help you achieve the lion's mane of your dreams.
It Takes Longer to Grow Out Your Hair On Top
Just remember that the hair on the sides and your head's back grow faster than the hair on top. Therefore you'll want to keep the sides and back trimmed while you let the hair on top grow out until it's noticeably longer. Of course, if you're going to go for a mullet style, by all means, let the back grow wild. However, if you want a lustrous, lion's mane (long hair everywhere on your head), you've got to start with the top.
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As a general rule, it's best to wait until the hair on the top reaches a length of about four inches. When you've reached that goal, then you can begin letting the sides and back grow out. Talk to your barber about medium styles and cuts that will fit your face well as you move through this hair growth stage.
Cut Back on Washing Your Hair
Once your hair starts to reach that four-inch mark, you'll want to start washing your hair with shampoo a little less. Keep in mind that many hair care pros suggest cutting back on the number of times you shampoo your hair per month. When your hair is short, it usually looks healthy no matter how many times you wash it because it's relatively new hair. In contrast, the ends of long hair have been hanging around for a year or more. That means those hairs had the chance to get damaged by the sun and any styling products you might have used over that period.
If you're a guy who gets oily hair if you don't often wash, skipping the shampoo may be a harder sell. If that's you, you might want to try shampooing your hair once every other day. If that seems okay and your hair doesn't look like a grease bomb went off, then lengthen the time in-between shampoos to around twice a week and reevaluate.
If you're a guy who wants long hair and a beard, remember that cleanliness is at the heart of growing great beards, so may want to use a Beard Gains beard shampoo there.
To make a long story short, story short, you'll want to condition regularly and trim ends if you wish long hair to look great.
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Do Condition Your Hair
As noted above, if you want your hair to look great when it's long, you'll need to condition it. Think about what type of hair you have, and then look for a conditioner marketed for it. A rule of thumb here is that when washing your hair, you want to pay attention to the tips when it comes to conditioner. (To clarify, while you scrub your scalp with shampoo, you put the conditioner at the hair tips.) Remember that the conditioner can weigh your hair down if you lather it on and try to use it like shampoo. Lastly, rinse out the conditioner with cool water. Hot water might strip away the beneficial conditioning agents, and of course, you don't want that.
Recall, too, that if you have a beard or are growing one, you'll want to use a beard conditioner after shampooing to soften, clean, and hydrate the beard.
Get Ready to be Awkward
Remember that growing out your hair takes time. Along the way, you can bet there will be moments that might strike you as being every bit as awkward as when you were a teen. Your hair is likely to act the contrarian. Even when you try to bring it under control with the use of styling products, your hair may not be a willing collaborator in your journey toward shaggy greatness. If you reach a hair growth stage that seems embarrassing and problematic, remember that your hair will settle down and mellow out of its own accord if you're patient.
Rock the Man Bun Or Simply Tie It Back
Once you've reached "Long-Hair-Status," you may be tempted to go all Conan the Barbarian and let everything hang free. However, there will be moments when it's cooler (and appropriate) to pull your hair back. You might need to tie it back and give yourself a ponytail or put it up in a top knot. Heck, you might even break down and do a man bun. You could even do braids or try to sport some dreadlocks like Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones fame!
Now, if you're a man who also has a beard, as many of you reading this probably do, remember that it can act as a natural contrast in style when tying your hair back. Also, just as you want your long hair to be well-groomed, you want the same for your beard. An excellent way to do this is through the use of a wooden beard comb.
In any case, whatever you do, gentlemen, remember not to use a rubber band when tying back your hair. If you do, you could break and pull your hair out due to the strength of the band's pull on your hair. Instead, purchase a hairband designed specifically for tying your hair back. You should be able to find products that match your hair's shade, and that allow them to blend in.
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Related: What Are The Benefits of Biotin for Beard Growth?