Long hair is one of the most sought-after styles for women. Are we really surprised, though? From a young age, girls are taught that a good head of hair can not only land you a prince, it can save your life (Thanks, Rapunzel!). In many cases, though, long hair is easier said than grown, so we turned to some of the leading stylists to get their tips for growing long, luscious strands.
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Schedule Regular Trims
You should make an appointment to see your stylist every six to eight weeks for a trim. According to Fernando Salas, creator of White Sands Hair Care, "Split ends and damaged cuticles will cause your hair to appear thinner with that unwanted 'stringy' look. Long hair should always be thick and not weaken toward the ends."
You will most likely only need to cut 1/2 an inch at each hair appointment, but if this tip seems counter-productive to your goal, then remember this fact from Danielle Bucco-Regazzi, Farouk Systems Creative Artist, "Healthy hair grows faster than dead hair!"
Once you've gotten a trim, make sure to use a leave-in serum, like White Sands The Cure 24/7 ($29.99, Whitesandsproducts.com) or TRESemmé Split Remedy Sealing Serum ($5.49, Walgreens.com). This will help further restore your hair and prevent split ends.
Cool it! "I always recommend clients wash their hair with lukewarm water, and then for their final rinse, to use cool water," says Bucco-Regazzi. "Using cool water will help to seal the cuticle as well as leave the hair shiny. I would not advocate using hot water, because it tends to weaken the hair, often allowing the hair to fall out at a faster rate."
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Take Care Of Your Hair
Bucco-Regazzi also recommends going to the salon once or twice a week for a deep-conditioning treatment, but if this isn't in your budget, try an at-home treatment, like CHI Rx Moisture Therapy Conditioner ($8.99, Drugstore.com). Not only does this conditioner feed your hair vitamins to make it stronger and resilient to damage, but it helps keep hair looking shiny.
Salas also suggests that the way you comb your hair can hurt or help it. He says, "Make sure to use a wide tooth bone comb, detangling your hair from the bottom and slowly working your way up since hair is in its most delicate state wet. This will prevent unnecessary breakage from occurring."
And since you'll still want your hair to look picture-perfect while growing it out, you will probably be reaching for those heated styling tools. Founder and CEO of Hair Room Service, Michael Duenas, suggests you "use products that are heat protectants, so when you are using styling tools in your hair, it will not be damaged by the heat." He recommends using Amika Obliphica Oil ($34, Sephora.com). Another great product that works with heat to nourse is Dove Thermal Replenishment Spray ($4.49, Walgreens.com). And when you can avoid using heat on your hair, do it, says Duenas. "The absence of heat will help your hair retain more moisture and stay stronger and healthier."
Healthy Hair Starts From The Inside
Ever heard people recommend prenatal vitamins for stronger hair and nails? Turns out it's true! "After about a month of taking these supplements you will notice a huge change in the rate of growth in your hair," says Duenas. "Having and maintaining a healthy diet, rich in nutrients, will affect how your hair grows as well. Keep in mind what you add to your body for fuel, aids to the beauty of your skin and hair!"
It seems like the real hurdle to long hair, though, is patience. It's that in-between length that sends us back to the salon chair for a shorter 'do. With these tips and products, we might actually get the extra long hair we've been craving. Are you growing out long hair?