If you dream of Rapunzel-length locks or you’re growing out a not-so-gread haircut, but you can’t seem to gain any momentum in the hair growth department, you may be wondering if long hair is part of your destiny. And if so, when already? Start by being patient. According to Los Angeles hairstylist Sunnie Brook, who works with celebrities like Elisabeth Moss and Allison Williams, hair grows on average about a half inch a month (some faster, some slower) so it won’t go from collarbone to tailbone in a flash. But in the meantime, here are some tips to help your hair growth process along!
1. Be Aware Of What’s Going On Physically
Age, diet, medication and stress can all impact the hair growth rate , says Brook. If you suspect there might be an internal cause that’s slowing the rate of your hair growth, check in with your doctor.
2. Take Care Of Your Scalp
Each and every hair starts its life bursting out of follicles that lie beneath the scalp, so it makes sense to keep your scalp as healthy as possible to allow those hairs to flourish. To maintain the healthiest possible scalp, treat it just as you would the skin on your face, with regular cleansing and conditioning. It’s especially important to keep your scalp free of buildup that can be caused by dirt, oil, styling products and/or an over-dependence on dry shampoo!
Clogged pores on scalp can actually inhibit hair growth. Consider refreshing your scalp regularly with a sugar-based shampoo that will exfoliate surface buildup. But remember, when it comes to scalp care as well as hair care, everyone’s needs are different. “That’s why it’s important to understand your specific hair type and texture,” advises Brooks. “Let your hairdresser guide you to choosing the products that will enhance your hair and those it’s best to avoid.”
3. Repair Hair Damage And Avoid More Damage
Probably the number one reason for slow hair growth doesn’t lie at the root of hair, but rather at the ends. “Prevent split ends and your hair will look healthier, feel stronger and be more likely to grow,” says Brook. “Products that prevent split ends, and the dryness and damage that can lead to split ends, are your best insurance for healthy hair growth.” In particular, Brook recommends using a moisturizing leave-in conditioner infused with coconut that will protect your hair all day long. “A multi-tasking leave-in formula that includes heat protectant will enhance shine, fight frizz, detangle, shield hair from heat damage, prevent split ends and more,” she explains, “all of which supports healthy hair growth.”
4. Dial Down The Heat
Frequent blow drying and styling with thermal tools are one of the quickest routes to the damaged hair and split ends that can stymie your hair growing goals. “Invest in solid ceramic hair styling tools that are less damaging,” Brook advises. “Try not to use hot tools every day to give your hair a break. When you do use blow dryers and irons, keep the temperature as low as possible. Have fun with air-dry hairstyles that eliminate stress—on you and on your hair! Look for formulas like air-dry lotions that help your hair dry fast without the damage of heat, while protecting color, enhancing shine, repelling frizz and locking in your style.”
5. Get Creative With Styling
“I always tell my clients, no matter where they are in their phase of hair growth, it’s a good idea to commit to a look and get good at achieving that look,” says Brooks. “It can be simple, but it should be a hairstyle that works for those frustrating, in-between times. Ask your stylist for advice—they can lead you to the styling gel or styling spray that will give you the support you need.” One of Brooks’ favorite styles for growing out hair is a bob cut. “Blunt bobs are chic and sophisticated,” she explains, “and you can customize this hairstyle to flatter your features with texture—smooth or waved—or bangs or even by where you place the part.”