For a lucky few, enviably long hair just happens. For the rest of us, it requires patience, effort and some very deliberate changes in our haircare routine. If you’ve found yourself getting discouraged because your hair just isn’t growing as long or as quickly as you’d like, don’t reach for the extensions yet. Check out these 10 pro tips to guide you (and your hair) in the right direction.
1. Get frequent trims — yes, really.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want long hair that’s actually healthy, you need to get regular trims. “While haircuts don’t make your hair grow any faster, they get rid of split ends that break your hair,” explains celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas. “Eliminating the breakage gives the appearance that your hair is growing faster.” After all, a split end that breaks can lead to your hair losing length — not to mention shine, volume, and smoothness. If you want to know exactly how long you can go between trims, follow this guide.
2. Resist the urge to go blonde.
As chic as platinum hair looks, going from a darker shade to light blonde could stand between you and your longest-possible hair. “When the cuticle of the hair is damaged from bleach, you can have more breakage or split ends,” explains Elizabeth Hiserodt, senior colorist at Cutler Salon in New York City. “The fewer chemical treatments, the better your hair will grow.”