We’ve all been there: the season changes, you crave a new look that involves longer hair and before you know it, your hard-grown tresses have been chopped to the shoulder. While you love the look for a while, one thing leads to another and you’re back to wishing for down-to-there hair. But how can you prompt your hair to grow faster when you’re used to gaining length at a snail’s pace? Believe it or not, there’s a lot you can do to help grow out a haircut. To get a better grasp on the strand-strengthening techniques, we sat down with Chelsey Pickthorn, NYC’s master colorist and owner of namesake salon, Pickthorn, to discuss everything from switching up your hair care habits and products to examining the foods you eat, all of which, we learned, play a big role in how fast your hair grows. Ready to fast-forward to your desired length? Follow the hair-growth tips below and you’ll be well on your way.
1. Change the Way You Brush Your Hair
Once upon a time, you may have thought one brush could solve all your hair care needs. Pickthorn advises otherwise when it comes to trying to grow out your hair. When it comes to brushing damp hair, or wet hair, Pickthorn recommends using a Wet Brush, a staple in her Brooklyn-based salon. As for when your hair is dry, “stimulate your scalp with a boar’s bristle brush, such as a Mason Pearson brush, to get blood flow to your follicles to promote growth.” Whether you’re brushing wet or dry hair, one thing’s for sure, whatever you do, don’t tug. When you’re trying to grow out your hair (and, honestly, always), be as gentle as possible with your tresses.
2. Avoid Heat Styling
Hot tools, despite creating gorgeous hairstyles, are also known for causing serious damage. And, as you know, damage means trims and ultimately shorter hair. Yikes! That said, when trying to grow out a haircut, it’s best to avoid heat styling, but if you absolutely can’t stay away, Pickthorn recommends doing so only once hair is 80 to 90 percent dry, so as to avoid unnecessary time exposed to high temperatures.
For faster hair-drying, try: Harry Josh® Pro Tools Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer
3. Air-Dry Your Hair with Care
If you love air-drying your hair for the carefree routine associated with it, you’re not alone. But, if you want your air-drying to benefit how fast your hair grows, you need to put a little extra effort into the process. Since your hair is most fragile and prone to breakage when it’s wet, you should always tie your hair into a loose braid or ponytail. When your hair is all together, it will help it dry naturally without accidentally snagging on anything.
To protect your strands, consider a thermal spray, like Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray.
4. Never Use Rubber Bands
Like many hair care products, not all hair ties are created equal. Believe it or not, all the scrunchies and elastics on the market actually serve their own unique purposes. While you might be used to traditional hair ties, nowadays it’s best to use crease-free fabric alternatives, as well as the coil bands. These specific ties work to prevent tension and breakage, ultimately helping your hair reach new lengths, literally.
Regardless of the specific hair tie you choose, or the situation you find yourself in, “Never use rubber bands,” says Pickthorn. “They break and pull hair out, which prevents growth.”
5. Upgrade Your Shampoo and Conditioner
Sure, you love the scent of your current combo, but what is it really doing for your hair? With so many hair care products on the market, one of the best hair-growth tips you can follow is treating your hair to an efficacious combo of hydrating nutrients, like those found in the Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Duo. The stronger your hair is from the inside out, the less likely it is to break and the quicker your haircut will be able to grow out. Wins all around!
6. Use an Energizing Treatment
Your hair can use all the help it can get to grow longer and stronger. A great way to promote healthy hair growth is with an energizing treatment that penetrates the scalp and helps stimulate the follicle. To see how well these treatments can work, try using the Keranique Follicle Boosting Serum. Almost immediately you’ll notice a thicker-looking head of hair.
7. Eat Lots of Vitamin D
Pickthorn blurted this out as if she’s been asked a million times. To gain a little more insight into the powerful, hair-boosting nutrient, we dug a little deeper. According to a 2015 study, vitamin D, the nutrient that allows calcium to be processed by the body, triggers the regrowth process of damaged skin cells, including those in the scalp, which makes it an essential nutrient to be on the lookout for when attempting to grow out your hair.
Related Read: 8 Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin, Hair and Health
8. Fill Your Diet with Whole, Unprocessed Foods
You’ve heard it before, but we’re here, with the help of Pickthorn’s hair expertise, to remind you again: You are what you eat. This is especially true of your hair, so if you want healthy, hydrated, shinier-than-ever tresses that grow down-to-there, make sure to pack your plate with whole, healthy foods. Bonus: They’ll help your skin, too!
If you’re considering hair-growth supplements, Dermstore editors recommend: Elon Matrix 5,000 – Vitamins for Hair
9. Use Keratin-Infused Products to Your Advantage
Even when you’re eating right and caring for your hair as much as possible, it never hurts to give your growth a little extra boost with the help of a keratin-filled supplement, spritz or mask. The natural protein is found in our skin, but over time it diminishes with chemical treatments, coloring and daily UV damage. To help hair regain its strength, consider adding the Gloss Moderne Clean Luxury Masque to your weekly routine. Not only will this masque promote growth, but it will deeply condition for stronger, shinier strands overall.
10. Manage Your Stress
Last but not least, when you want to grow your hair out, make sure to keep your head on straight. When you get lost in loads of stress, you risk compromising your hair health, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do. So, sign up for that yoga class, go on that run, ride that horse. Relax, enjoy yourself and look forward to a healthier, longer head of hair.