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Full disclosure: I’m literally sitting in a salon chair right now as I put the finishing touches on this article, proving I am indeed an ultimate multitasker. My hairstylist, Gret Cook of Bouffant Salon in Portland, Oregon, is touching up my roots and weighing in on some of the best tips and tricks for nourishing and regrowing long hair—fast.
Maybe you’re over your summer bob. Maybe you have badly damaged hair and want to start fresh. Or maybe (sigh, the way it happened to me) you love your recently born mini-me but aren’t loving the way your hair has been falling out in handfuls after giving birth.
No matter the reason you need help with your hair, if you’re determined to go from high and tight to long and luscious in the least time possible, ditch the harsh chemicals, old wives’ tales, and expensive treatments. Instead, check out these clean and green, research-backed lifestyle fixes that can help you get “that look” on the quick.
1. Adjust the water temp.
Not only can that old familiar culprit—the harsh heat of styling tools—damage your hair’s growth process, the ahhhmazingly hot shower you love taking in the evening could also be to blame for breakage. Instead, advice from a dermatologist has us considering switching to cold showers for smoother hair with more moisture locked in.
Another great way to prevent breakage post-shower is to use either a cotton t-shirt or these fantastic anti-frizz microfiber hair towels to dry your locks without the added friction and stress caused by a regular towel.
2. Rapunzel, let down your ponytail.
Even if you’re doing everything else right, sneaky saboteurs like tight ponytails and harsh brushing could be messing with your mane. Prevent breakage by swapping your old rubber hair ties for a new snag-free variety. Cook suggests you can also cut down on breakage by switching to a Wet Brush, which she says “has bristles that are meant to be more flexible and move with the hair while detangling without causing breakage.”
3. Oily hair for the win!
Going through puberty likely gave you the impression that oily hair is an embarrassment to be corrected. But with studies now showing how specific oil treatments can regrow short or thinning strands, you’ll want to give your haircare routine a grown-up makeover.
Rubbing peppermint oil into your scalp can help stimulate growth without any dangerous side effects, according to a 2014 study. Similarly, Cook has personally witnessed great results from using jojoba oil to help hair growth and recommends choosing natural hair products, such as the Kevin Murphy line, that list jojoba as a main ingredient.
4. Supplement your way to glam.
Lack of vitamin D can make hair grow more slowly, according to a 2012 study. Make sure you’re getting enough through your diet, time in the sun, or in an easy hair supplement pill that also contains biotin—another vitamin that may help in hair growth. Cook says she has taken a biotin pill in the past and gotten noticeable results. HUM Nutrition also offers a supplement, Hair Sweet Hair, formulated to support healthy follicles and hair growth.
5. Trim, baby, trim.
You’ve heard that claim that getting frequent trims will help your hair grow out. But haven’t you ever wondered if salons made up this story to drum up more business? My stylist says we should believe the hype, and she’s not alone. “Trimming doesn’t necessarily stimulate growth at the scalp, but since you’re preventing breakage, your hair will grow out faster overall,” Cook tells me. She says depending on your particular hair, shoot for a snip every 6 to 12 weeks.
Remember: How lustrous your hair looks and feels is partially a reflection of how healthy the rest of your body is. Limit and protect against negative environmental factors, like harsh chemicals or styling tools, and boost your haircare routine with healthy additions like vitamins and oils. You should treat your hair holistically, according to Cook, who says, “If you keep your hair in a healthy state overall, it will just generally look better and fuller.”
Following a few of these tips will help you find a winning regimen to take care of your hair and your whole self.