Raise your hand if this scenario sounds familiar: You cut a sleek lob as the temps got cooler, and you really loved it for a minute, but now you’re ready for something new. Suddenly, you’re imagining long, flowing strands that will trail behind you in the wind on a (millennial pink) beach this summer. In other words: It’s time to grow out your hair, but can the whole process hurry up already?
By and large, the rate of growth for your hair depends on genetics, but you can expect around a quarter- to a half-inch growth per month. Giving hair a trim won’t help it to lengthen any faster per se, but doing so will save the hair from splitting and causing breakage that then translates into inches off your progress report.
“There’s a fine line between giving your hair a chance to grow some length and letting it go too long before that length needs to be cut off,” says celebrity stylist Christine Symonds, who works with A-list babes like Chelsea Handler and Kaley Cuoco. “If you get your hair cut too often during the grow-out process, you are just cutting off the new length.” Symonds tells her clients to come in every 12 to 16 weeks if they’re trying to grow they’re hair out, but adds a caveat to this recommendation. “There are exceptions to every rule,” she says. “The less stress you are putting your hair through on a daily basis, the longer you can go between trims.” So, the more you bleach, color or utilize styling tools (including your blowdryer) the more frequent your trims should become. If this process is sounding too measured and, well, slow for you, you can try to stimulate hair growth using certain supplements. What’s more, very early science shows that an all-natural dose of peppermint oil can stimulate the scalp (and potentially growth), too. Your hair may not flow down to your knees by summer, but if you’re diligent (and lucky) you’ll get a few inches worth of growth by the time the season’s first flower-crown-appropriate events commence. This was article was originally published on Well + Good.