Getting a new hair cut can be exciting, trying new styles, a new look.... But growing your hair out in between? Not so exciting. On average, hair grows about a ¼ inch to ½ inch a month, and while that may seem impossibly slow, we have some simple strategies for making the most of what length you have while you’re growing it out, and tips on how to strengthen your strands in the process.
How To Grow Your Hair Out
- Start Healthy
No matter what style you’re trying to grow out, hair that looks and feels healthy is the end goal. One surefire way to achieve that is to use products that nourish, such as our Color Protecting Shampoo. To use, focus suds just on the scalp. Let the bubbles run over the ends for a gentler clean without rubbing. Several times a week, replace your normal conditioner with a deep conditioning treatment to strengthen, nourish, and hydrate. Apply it ear length and lower (the most stressed-out areas) to ward off brittleness.
For an extra boost, try a 2-minute, scalp-stimulating massage with a hair serum or product with avocado or coconut oil to boost circulation. If you’re looking to go that extra mile, consider including more protein to your diet. Or, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about taking supplements and topical products that can help promote healthy hair and nail growth.
- Don’t Skip the Snip
It may seem counterintuitive, but cutting your hair can help grow it out. No matter how you baby your tresses, damage from daily wear and tear creates split ends that can quickly turn into split lengths. When every strand counts, go in for a ‘dusting’ (i.e. snipping off the least amount of hair possible to remove split ends) every 8-10 weeks instead of the average haircut at every 6 weeks. It’ll give you time to add length, but not enough to accrue additional damage.
- Trade Up Your Tools
When you hop out of the shower, think twice about using a cotton bath towel. Awesome for drying off the bod, but cotton loops can snag hair, and the rubbing can create frizz, split ends, and breakage. A friction-free microfiber hair towel absorbs water quickly without rubbing, and dries hair faster, which means less damaging blowouts. Speaking of drying your hair, if you do blow dry, try the cool heat setting, or even better, let strands air dry for the kindest kind of dry.
Be sure to use a Professional Comb on wet hair, rather than a brush. While a bristle brush distributes oils and adds shine like a dream, post shower, when hair is wet and weak, it can damage hair. While you’re at it, switch to a low-friction satin or 600-thread count Egyptian cotton pillowcase to minimize damage to your hair. Or, bust out that old Scrunchie to gently whisk hair up and away to prevent tangles (if you threw yours out 20 years ago, try a loose hair tie).
- Style Smart
While letting top pieces of a layered look grow in, consider an A-line style where hair is slightly shorter in the back and longer in the front. It’s a chic way to rock longer pieces along with short ones. Other ways to go: Try using bobby pins to hold chunkier sections in place, use a curling iron to camouflage uneven lengths with waves, or tuck awkward flyaways behind your ears for a spunky look. When in doubt, softly sweep the whole thing back with a light-hold hair gel for an elevated, faux updo.
If you’re growing out a blunt cut, know that hair can start to look boxy over time. Thin out the ends and scrunch in some texturizing cream to lighten up the look, or use a curling iron to flip up the ends and add shape. For growing out blunt-cut bangs, apply spray gel, then blow dry with a round brush to help them blend in with the rest of your hair. Create a center part and push them to both sides. Adding bend with a curling iron will help to visually elongate hair as well.
Last but definitely not least, color can do wonders for growing out your hair gracefully. In fact, the ombré effect may just be your best bet for a style that has personality and purpose. The darker top section of hair that frames the face, fading to lighter ends, will give the illusion of longer hair immediately.