Even though there are plenty of people who are under the belief that their hair doesn’t grow, all hair grows. When people talk about speeding up the hair growth process, in most cases, they’re referring to ways to achieve length retention. Length retention is when you’re able to hold on to the hair that actually grows. If you’re looking for new ways to experience and maintain the long tresses you desire, consider the following tips.

1. Apply deep conditioning treatments

Whether you love to apply heat styling products or finagle your tresses into new hairstyles every day, the strands take a hit. This is why it’s so important to maintain a system of proper deep conditioning. Once you’ve washed your hair and scalp, add the deep conditioner of your choice to damp hair. Then, you’re going to need either a heated bonnet or a hooded hair dryer. When you combine the power of a great deep conditioning treatment with heat, the heat allows your hair to absorb the treatment in a more effective manner. If you don’t have a hooded dryer or heated bonnet, place a towel in the dryer for a few minutes. Once you’ve placed your hair in a plastic cap with the deep conditioning treatment, wrap the hot towel around your head for an effective treatment.

2. Do nightly scalp massages

Invigorating your scalp with scalp massages will encourage your hair growth for a major reason. When you massage your scalp, you’re increasing circulation and blood flow in that area. This is extremely helpful for growth. When it’s time to do a nightly scalp massage, mix a few drops of an essential oil with a carrier oil. Essential oils like rosemary, tea tree and cedarwood can be great for this process. Use a carrier oil such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.

3. Trim the ends

If your ends are split, you must let go of them. It doesn’t make any sense to have long hair if it’s damaged. Granted, you don’t necessarily need to get a trim twice a year. Those who trim their hair once a month are doing it too often. The goal is to retain length. When you get a trim, make sure the hairdresser simply removes split ends. This will help you in the long run.

4. Increase your nutritional intake

In addition to drinking more water, it’s really healthy to increase your intake of healthy fats and vitamins. What you put into your body will affect your hair growth. Biotin is a popular vitamin that helps to speed up the improvements in the hair, skin and nails. In addition to finding the best hair growth supplements, consider adding more nutrient-rich foods such as spinach, nuts and salmon. All are shown to help with hair growth.

5. Try protective styles

Protective styles are simply styles that allow you to give your hair a break. Whether you wear a bun for a week or try a wig for a while, keeping your hands out of your hair will encourage hair growth. You can even wrap your hair in a beautiful silk headscarf. When you’re constantly twisting, combing and messing with your strands, they will naturally break down. Get creative in trying a few protective styles.

6. Be gentle with your ends

Your ends are the oldest parts of the hair strands. As a result, they become more fragile as they age. They become a lot easier to damage and break up. This is one of the reasons why people are intentional about removing split ends. Knowing this, be extremely careful when it’s time to detangle your hair. Don’t rip out the hair with a comb. Instead, apply a bit of conditioner to your hands as you finger detangle your strands. It’s a tedious process, but it leads to the best results.

As you implement these methods, know that some will work better than others. Some strategies might involve going through a trial-and-error process with products. However, don’t give up. Once you find the process that works for you, stick with it in order to see your desired results.