Sick of keeping your hair short? Take heed of these essential tips before you try and look like Jon Snow.
Have a strategy
Don’t start this journey without a roadmap to where you want to end up, so get flicking through all those #hairinspo Instas and choose a look you fancy. You also need to assess whether long hair is right for you — really thick, coarse hair turns into a giant boofy mushroom, while a receding hairline isn’t flattered by longer locks, whereas wavy hair is flattered by extra length (think Jon Snow in Game of Thrones). The key: patience. Hair usually grows at about one centimetre per month so be prepared for the long haul.
Don’t ditch the barber
Long hair doesn’t mean waving goodbye to your stylist, unless you want your locks to end up an untidy, unkempt, un-styled mess. The transition to long hair requires plenty of maintenance as it grows out along the way to your ideal length — an undercut is the ideal style, longer on top and still tidy around the back and sides, for two reasons: you’ll avoid an unintentional (and unflattering) mullet, and follicles on top grow slower than on the side (meaning it’s easier for the sides to catch up once the top’s a little longer).
Find styles in between
At just a centimetre a month, there’s a lot of waiting — so experiment with some distinct styles along the way. If you go with an undercut, that extra volume on top is perfect for a pompadour. If your hair parts in the middle, the relaxed (and on-trend) bro-flow is an option, or stick to the the failsafe slicked-back look, or tie your hair back in a ponytail or man bun (if you can put up with some ribbing from your mates). Your stylist is your greatest ally during the inevitable in-between awkward stages.
Take care of it
Long hair’s a bit like buying a puppy at Christmas: it seems like a great idea at first, but then all the care it requires starts to dawn on you. You can’t just jump out of the shower and give it a rough dry with the towel anymore — get used to squeezing moisture out section by section — and you can’t rely on blow-drying either, which weakens the hair. But of course you can’t brush it until it’s totally dry because of the risk of breakage, and don’t over-shampoo it — that strips away those nourishing natural oils. Rules, rules, rules.
And learn how to style it
Longer locks will force an overhaul of your bathroom cabinets — heavy products like waxes and pomades (stuff designed to hold short hair) are on the way out, in favour of lighter products like leave-in conditioners, grooming creams, and sea-salt sprays that offer a more relaxed hold and overall look. You’ll also start to realise why women churn through an endless supply of hair ties — containing your mane in a bun or ponytail is essential at times (exercising, working, cooking, you name it).