Some hair experts advise wearing hair up to speed growth and produce more beautiful hair. This is true, but only if done correctly. If you’re not careful, an updo can bring on more damage than it fixes, through breakage and stress. Good hair growth comes from careful maintenance, mindful styling techniques and healthy habits. An updo can make hair grow slightly faster, but only with practice and a soft touch.

Why Wear Hair Up?

Wearing hair up protects the individual strands and minimizes the chance of breakage. It also hides the fragile ends, which can be prone to splitting and dryness if left in open air. A key part of growing longer hair is making the most of the productive part of the growth cycle. As hair grows longer, it’s more apt to be pulled and become knotted during day-to-day living. To get the maximum effect from this stage, it’s best to wear hair in an informal updo. The increased protection can yield thicker, longer hair.

Ways to Wear Hair Up

There are several good hairstyles that keep hair up in a healthy fashion. Susan Maxwell Schmidt of Long Locks says, “If you pull all or some of your hair into a braid or a ponytail to create your hairstyle, make sure it isn’t pulled tight enough to put stress on the roots of your hair.” A loose ponytail works, as do braids and French twists. Using a basic ponytail, do the hair in a low, high or side style; there is also the option of creating a pretty bun. Avoid the use of rough styling tools or binding the hair too tightly. It’s usually best to do styles that allow the hair to hang downward, so focus on looks that center on the nape area.

Styling Dos and Don’ts

When styling your hair, use a soft, natural boar bristle brush and a wide-toothed comb to prevent pulling and friction. Try not to load hair down with heavy styling products on a daily basis, since these can clog up the hair follicles and slow down healthy hair production. When making a ponytail, avoid pulling the hair or over-combing; catch the hair in a loose grip, then capture it in a barrette, clip or coated elastic (metal-free, for best results). When using pins for more detailed designs, only purchase pins with rounded tips to avoid painful scratches on your scalp. Finally, resist making very tight braids and twists, since these can lead to hair loss over the long run.