Everyone has days where they look in the mirror and just want their hair to grow, but for some of us, those days are all too frequent. Short of sporting a wig, there’s nothing we can do to instantly end up with long, shiny, gorgeous hair, but there are definitely a few things we can do to grow hair faster… and first things first: don’t stress. It causes hair loss.
1. Get a haircut.
It’s painful, but true: regular trims are necessary for encouraging hair growth, so no matter how badly you want to hold on to that last inch at the ends, cutting it now means longer, healthier hair later. “Even though you want to grow your hair longer, many people make the mistake of not visiting their hairdresser to get their hair cut. If you don’t snip off dry or split ends, your hair is liable to become brittle and break, which will prevent strong hair growth,” says celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill.
2. Give vitamins a try.
Nothing will help your hair like biotin, says Yuksel Sahin of Sanat Hair Salon in New York City. Sticking to a well-balanced diet, with lots of protein and good fats for healthy hair and nails, and taking a supplement like biotin will rev up the production of dormant hair follicles and help your hair to grow fuller and stronger.
3. Take your time.
Extend the time in between salon visits by just a couple of weeks. Going too long between trims is never a good idea, but you can give your growth process a bit of a push by waiting a little longer than usual. Treat it with the respect you’d treat any important relationship and have an open dialogue with your hair stylist about your needs and goals—then, each time you go, have them just cut the ends, keeping them strong and healthy.
4. Try some TLC.
The quality of the hair care products you use at home is instrumental in helping your hair grow longer and stronger. Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed to strengthen and moisturize your hair. “When shampooing and conditioning, remember to massage your scalp,” Hill advises. “This helps promote a good blood supply to your hair and thus makes it stronger.”
A dedicated conditioning routine is also a huge part of growing longer, stronger hair. Once a week, slather on a treatment, comb through, and then wrap your hair in a towel to let it marinate. “I tell some of my celeb clients to sleep in the treatment if they want a real boost; just remember to rinse really well in the morning,” says Hill.
5. If you can’t stand the heat…
Most people use a heated styling tool of some kind, but hair dryers, curling wands, and flat irons alike can all cause damage when used without protection. Always, always use a heat protection spray, especially (but not only!) if you’re making an effort to grow your hair out, or it’s already thinning or damaged. Make a point not to pull hair back into tight ponytails or buns, either, as this puts stress on the scalp and can result in breakage. When you do wear your hair back, choose loose styles that don’t tug. You want to keep the hair you’ve got!
6. Eat right.
“Eating a balanced diet can really help the health of your hair,”says Frank DeCarlo, Jr., the Vice President of Production and Research at Hair Club. If you’re not eating enough protein-rich foods like meats, eggs, cheese, nuts, etc., your hair will grow slower and weaker,” which is not the desired result.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 5 Easy DIY Recipes for Homemade Hair Treatments