At some point in our lives, we’ve all gotten a haircut that we’ve immediately regretted. Sitting in a salon chair and anticipating the results of your soon-to-be pixie, bob, lob or shoulder-length chop is nothing short of nerve-wracking. The worst part about not immediately falling in love with your new look is having to wait for your strands to grow back out. Since not all hair types and textures are created equal, some of us have to wait an unbearable amount of time for our original locks to come back. In search of ways to speed up the growth process, we tapped pro-hairstylists Anthony Holguin and Brianna Colette of Nine Zero One Salon for a full step-by-step breakdown on how to get your tresses back on track and longer than ever. Here’s to the best hair of your life, as well as a lesson in patience.
It Starts From Within
As hairstylists, there are always rules to swear by that clients are likely to follow. For both Anthony and Brianna, it all starts on the inside. In Anthony's case, his number-one tip for hair growth involves vitamins and supplements. "I highly recommend taking both Biotin and omegas; fish oil works too," he said. Brianna says that long, healthy strands are a result of a well-balanced lifestyle. "Eat your veggies, drink a lot of water, exercise and get some shut-eye," she explained. Both agree that the hair-growth supplement Nutrafol is great because it not only enhances growth, it targets stress factors in your hair follicles and keeps them in their anagen (growth) phase.
Cut to the Chase
One thing we’ve all heard (and been confused by) is that cutting your hair actually helps it grow. But is it true? "Getting your hair trimmed is very important," says Anthony. "It helps cut the split ends, so they don’t keep splitting," he added. In fact, not getting your hair trimmed can lead to split strands all the way up to your scalp, which can result in unruly, damaged hair. If you’re not sure how often you should trim your split ends, Brianna says to visit your hairdresser "every six to eight weeks, depending on how damaged your hair is."
For those of us who aren’t looking to entirely change our diets, but still want to incorporate some beneficial foods, these stylists have got you covered. According to Brianna, you should be eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, avocado, almonds and eggs. She also recommends food with a good amount of beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes, peaches and carrots.
Beat the Heat
To no one’s surprise, the biggest culprit that prevents your hair from growing is heat. Anthony says that flat irons are "the worst," and Brianna agrees that they should be avoided as much as possible. When it comes to actual hairstyles, "avoid putting wet hair into a tight bun or ponytail," says Brianna. "If wet hair is pulled into a super-tight hairstyle, as it dries, it shrinks and causes breakage," she explained. Opt for loose braids instead.
And while successful hair growth starts with your everyday habits, there are some products to add to your arsenal that can help get the job done. "I highly recommend oil treatments and heat protectants," says Anthony. His go-to products are from Unite’s 7SECONDS System, because of their nourishing and strengthening ingredients. Brianna's product of choice is L’Oréal Professionnel’s Pro-Fiber salon treatments and and take-home products. This hair-care system is personalized to your hair’s level of damage, and the at-home treatment prolongs salon results for up to six weeks.
Rinse, Lather, Don't Repeat
To maintain your hair’s new growth, changes to your hair-care routine should be considered. "Wash your hair up to two or three times a week, maximum, and use a hydrating mask once a week for at least ten minutes," Brianna says. Anthony advises to brush your hair as much as possible, but Brianna warns, "be kind, and use a soft nylon brush to get through tangles." Using leave-in conditioner to seal moisture onto your roots is also extremely important post-wash.
In the end, the most important thing is to be patient, because your hair simply can’t grow overnight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and staying consistent with your new hair-care routine will result in the long, healthy strands you’ve always wanted.