4 Experts Explain the Key to Growing Longer, Stronger Hair

Hairstyles may come and go, but it seems mermaid-length tresses are still all the rage. Listen, even the Kardashians can only go so long without their clip-ins. But heavy (and often pricy) extensions don’t have to be the only answer to hair past your shoulders. We won’t lie, growing out your hair is not an easy feat, it takes time and a ton of patience. According to our experts, your strands grow an average of 1/2 inch on a monthly basis. Make the most of the time in between with these healthy hair tips.

(Related: These Are The Best Products to Fight Dry Scalp and Hair This Winter

Get to Know Your A,B,C’s
“Vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss,” shares Jim Markham, Founder and CEO, ColorProof™ Evolved Color Care. “However, that doesn’t mean you need to buy special supplements just for your hair.”

“A well-balanced diet should provide you with the nutrients you need to produce healthy hair. Some dietitians claim that vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B-12, zinc, niacin and biotin can help strengthen and condition hair and help with hair growth, but the jury is out. If you do choose to take supplements, be sure to check with your doctor about which ones are right for you.”

Don’t Forget About Your Scalp
“Your scalp needs to be free of residue and protected from the sun in order to allow the hair to grow,” explains Bosley Professional Strength Specialist, J.B. Shelton. “Think of the scalp as having tiny, minute tunnels from the inside out. Those tunnels are how the hair strands push through for growth, they need a clear path! Detoxifying the scalp from buildup is critical for hair growth. A great service to utilize is a facial for the scalp, like our Bosley Professional Strength Micro-Dermabrasion—it’s my all-time favorite. “

Add Conditioner Into the Equation
“Conditioner doesn’t have anything to do with your hair growth, however will contribute overall to the health of your hair,” explains Celebrity Hair Expert, Enzo Angileri who works with Charlize Theron, Katie Holmes and Lucy Liu . “It will help with shine, texture, and flexibility. I always use Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher or Repair + Renew Conditioners on my clients. I also always recommend to my clients to incorporate a hair masks into their regime—I think it’s one of the most underrated hair treatments available.”

Trims are Necessary (But Won’t Grow Your Hair)
“Trimming the hair has nothing to do with the hair itself growing,” explains Shelton. “But, it does have everything to do with the ends of the hair not splitting and breaking off. When the ends of the hair are properly maintained, the growth of hair is maintained.”

Be Gentle With Wet Strands
“Hair is 50% more susceptible to breakage when it is wet, so it is crucial to take care when brushing or combing,” says Markham. “We always recommend using a ColorProof conditioner to detangle followed by a detangling spray, such as ColorProof’s PureRelease® Instant Detangle, on damp hair to add slip, provide easy comb through, and seal the cuticle, keeping color in place while adding an extra layer of color protection. Then, using a wide-tooth detangling comb or a flexible tooth detangling brush, beginning at the ends, working your way up, gently comb or brush through.”

Press Pause on Heat Tools
“Excessive heat can also cause damage so I always recommend a heat protectant before using styling tools – try Infusium 23 Repair + Renew Heat Tamer,” says Celebrity Hairstylist, Johnny Lavoy who works with Miranda Lambert. “It also helps to use quality tools. I recommend PRO Beauty Tools Professional 1875W Ionic AC Motor Dryer because it dries hair faster and the Ionic technology helps leave strands healthier.”

“All PRO Beauty Tools irons have a heat regulator so you can set thetool to an exact temperature for your hair type, and the heat sensor keeps the irons at the exact temp so there is no worry of hot or cold spots.”

Look at the Label
“[Ingredients like] Biotin, saw palmetto and horsetail extract may help to inhibit DHT,  which promotes healthy, strong hair and increased growth activity from the follicle level,” advises Shelton.

“Avoid products that have a high percentage of alcohol—it’s very drying to the hair. Chose a professional product from a professional stylist when at all possible. Another ingredient to avoid is certain sulfates. Over-the-counter products tend to have a lot of sulfates, which ultimately strips the hair.”

Practice A Little Patience
“Don’t get discouraged,” Markham reminds us. “Growing out hair can be a long and arduous process.  Be upfront with your stylist about your goals so he or she can help you attain them.”

“Also, treat your hair with respect.  Be gentle, pamper it and feed it only the very best products to preserve and protect it A healthy lifestyle including exercise, a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water and reducing stress will also help to improve the wellbeing of your hair.”