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Whether you’re suffering through an unflattering cut, self-inflicted styling damage, hair loss from stress or life changes (hello, nursing hormones!), the first thing you need is a little patience. On average, hair grows half an inch each month.
Massage it—RMT not required
Take a few minutes to give yourself a daily scalp massage. “This technique stimulates the hair follicles and encourages blood circulation to the area,” says hairstylist and salon owner John Donato.
Go for a light dusting
Trimming your hair may sound counterintuitive, but doing so every six weeks is one of the best ways to keep it healthy and strong. This doesn’t mean cutting off two inches. Instead, Donato calls it “dusting,” which means taking a minimal amount off the ends to remove any breakage.
Find your type
Along with using a good-quality shampoo and a conditioner with proteins and lipids, be sure to choose products that are best suited to your hair’s texture and density, recommends Kirsten McIntosh, technical sales educator at Redken. “Also, a salon conditioning treatment is a must, as these are more concentrated and are absorbed more readily,” says McIntosh.
Put a mask on
Use a leave-in mask weekly to hydrate and protect your hair. This will ensure that it remains strong and healthy as you're growing it out.
Literally! Put down the styling tools, because the heat will fry your hair. If you can’t refrain, use your blow dryer, flatiron or curling iron sparingly and avoid overheating your strands. If you must use a flatiron, be sure to keep the temperature under 190 degrees. Professional flatirons, now readily available for at-home use, can reach 450 degrees.
Arm and protect
Choose styling products that help protect and nourish your hair. Argan oil works great for locking in shine, while dry shampoo refreshes hair and gives it a lift, allowing you to go a few extra days without styling tools.
Try inner health
Donato recommends Viviscal, a vitamin supplement that claims to help you grow thicker and longer hair. “I’m not a doctor, but my clients have told me that within two weeks they start to notice that hair is growing back fuller and faster,” he says. Or, if you have a biotin deficiency (side effects include brittle nails and breaking hair), try a supplement. Biotin is part of the vitamin B family and has been shown to promote hair growth. As always, consult with your physician first.
Interested in more insider beauty tips? Check out our Fashion and Beauty blog.