Even if you've been kinder to your hair during quarantine, deliberately cutting back on heat styling during the work week, you may still be dealing with strands that grow too slowly or seemingly not at all. Lax at-home hair maintenance might actually be sabotaging your grow-out plan, but luckily, there are a few easy-to-follow remedies for maximizing your growth potential.
Ahead, seasoned hair experts spill their top hair-growth tips. You can implement just one or put them all into practice, and you'll be reaping the benefits of extra inches before you know it.
Address Your Specific Scalp Needs
It may sound intuitive, but healthy hair starts all the way up at the root, which means that your scalp is an integral part of the equation. If hair growth is your primary goal, it might be smart to schedule a visit with a trained trichologist, an expert in the functions of the scalp and the factors contributing to hair loss and abnormalities. "A trichologist will offer a customizable scalp treatment," explains Bridgette Hill, a trichologist and colourist based in New York City. "Individualized treatment allow us to combine topical products, ingestibles, and scalp stimulation to promote circulation and combat any congestion that may be preventing optimum hair growth."
Schedule A Seasonal Haircut
On the flip side, down-the-back princess hair also requires a standing salon appointment with a hairstylist skilled in the art of dusting dead ends. "Make sure that you’re in the hands of a stylist who understands barely-trimming," says Teddi Cranford, owner of White Rose Collective in Manhattan's East Village. She tells us that a stylist who trims for growth will be able to cut into the hair in a way that maintains — and promotes — extra length, and doesn't just lop off a few inches.
Use A Deep Conditioner
Those who are frustrated by their slow grow-out process are often forgetting the TLC. Masking, deep conditioning, and being super gentle with the hair are all equally important. "I recommend using a hydrating hair mask weekly to maintain hair strength and prevent against split ends," says Cranford, who recommends Olaplex. "I also would make sure you're using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner that won't dry your hair out." This is especially important if you're using hot tools or getting highlights because both make your hair prone to breakage, which is the opposite of what you want.
Eat A Healthy Diet
You may not be able to make your hair grow faster than it's genetically capable of growing, but you can help maximize its potential by eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. "If you lack in certain minerals, vitamins, and proteins, your hair will start growing slower," explains trichologist Iain Sallis. "To make hair grow at its optimum level, you need a lot of protein and iron. Red meat, oily fish, and eggs are fantastic for hair, as they all have the sulfur-rich amino acids your body uses to make new hair cells." Hair-growth vitamins are often pricy and can be hit or miss — so start by focusing simply on putting good nutrients into your body, and enjoy the fringe benefit of longer, shinier, all-around healthier hair.