Whether you’re trying to grow out a bad haircut or just want a little extra length, here is some advice from a few of my favorite hair stylists on how to make your hair grow faster.
1. Eat healthy food.
A healthier body means healthier hair, and when your hair is healthy, it grows well and is less prone to breakage. Quality input means quality output, right? A diet rich in fruits and veggies, healthy fats and proteins, and necessary vitamins and nutrients will keep your hair in the best possible shape.
2. Drink lots of water.
Again, if you keep your body healthy, it will show in your hair. Staying hydrated is important, so keep a water bottle close by and drink up.
3. Take vitamins.
If you are eating a well-balanced diet, chances are good that your vitamin needs are being met. Still, many women swear by taking prenatal vitamins or biotin supplements to make hair grow faster. It’s all about ensuring that your body has the fuel it needs to be as healthy as possible. (Just be mindful that it is possible to overdose on certain vitamins and cause your body–and your hair–more damage than good.)
4. Use the right shampoo and conditioner.
Harsh cleansers can dry your hair and cause it to break more easily. And your conditioner may not be as moisturizing as you think, despite what the packaging says. Before purchasing shampoo or conditioner, find out what’s in them. Look for products that do not contain sulfates or alcohols. The best conditioners will include oils such as jojoba, cocoa, shea, or avocado at the top of the list of ingredients.
5. Don’t wash your hair as often.
This can be a tough one, especially if your hair tends to be greasy and/or limp. But the more you wash your hair, the more likely you are to be stripping it of necessary oils and damaging the protective cuticle. Try not washing it one day a week to start; aim for washing every other day or even less frequently. (And remember that dry shampoo can be a life saver on those in between days!)
6. Avoid heat.
Blow drying, curling, straightening…heat can be extremely damaging to your hair. And when the goal is to make hair grow faster, deliberately ruining it is probably not a great idea! Cut back on how much you use your styling tools, and use a lower heat setting when you do use them.
7. Avoid harsh chemicals and dyes.
A friend of mine was just bemoaning the fact that her beautifully highlighted hair was starting to break off near her scalp. Her color was great, but the stubby chunks of hair made her question whether it was worth it to stay quite so blonde. It’s best for your hair to avoid dyes altogether, but let’s be realistic: playing with colors, hiding grays, and adding highlights can be great for your confidence! If you do dye your hair, be sure to use gentle, color-safe shampoos and extremely moisturizing conditioners (see tip #4) to help counteract the damage from all those chemicals.
8. Get regular trims.
This might seem counter-intuitive, since cutting it frequently won’t actually help make hair grow faster. It will seem to grow faster, though. Regular trims keep split ends in check and helps you avoid that growing-out-an-awkward-haircut look. Not cutting your hair for a year will certainly give you more length, but if the ends look rough and damaged or your layers are awkward and shaggy, your long hair is not going to be nearly as pretty as you imagined.
9. Know your limits.
All hair is not created equal. Curly or straight, oily or dry, thick or fine, voluminous or flat, dark or fair…your hair type will be the ultimate determining factor in how long it can grow. Some hair types just break more easily than others, so shorter cuts work better. Other hair types get tangled and difficult to manage, making long hair impractical. Know yourself. Be honest about how much effort you are willing to put into maintaining long hair.
Regardless of what kind of hair you have, you should do what you can to keep it healthy and beautiful. But don’t expect it to be something it’s not. If waist-length beachy waves are not realistic for you, then rock that pixie cut or mass of ringlets and know that you look fantastic.
Jen is the mother of two sweet girls; her days are filled with Dr. Seuss books and laundry, block castles and pink tutus. Reading is her first passion. Finding and testing out delicious recipes is a close second. She and her husband are working on making their fixer-upper home into something amazing. It’s a satisfying but painfully slow process. Read more from Jen at her blog: Nothing Can Come Of Nothing.