11 Tricks for Growing Your Hair Really, Really Long
1. Remember that it can’t grow overnight.
Unless your scalp unleashes new strands like a Chia Pet, gaining new length is going to take time. “Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” says celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist. “And that’s only if it is super-healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.” The bottom line: practice patience.
2. Ironically, a scissor is your friend.
Although getting regular trims to snip splits won’t make your hair actually grow faster, it will keep tips looking healthy and prevent splits from working their way up strands, requiring you to chop hair off more often. “If you wait so long that splits are causing your hair to break off high up on the strand, your hair will actually be shorter than if you get consistent trims,” Townsend says, who suggests asking your stylist to take around just an eighth of an inch off every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent extreme split ends before they start.
3. Use conditioner every time you shampoo.
“If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend says. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier,” he says.
4. And don’t shampoo every time you shower.
“It’s shocking to me how many women skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair — especially when you’re trying to grow it long — and it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” Townsend says. Here’s why: The purpose of shampoo is to wash away dirt and product buildup, but it can also take essential natural oils that keep strands soft and healthy along with it. When you really do need shampoo, be gentler on your hair by only lathering up at your scalp and then simply letting the suds slide down strands, hitting the rest of the hair as the water rinses it away.