Advice From A Hair Stylist - Growing Your Hair Out

I wrote a blog post about growing out my pixie cut. My main focus was how to style the different and sometimes awkward lengths.

On the other hand, I believe there are certain tips and tricks to actually help you GROW your hair out. In other words, ways to take care of your hair so that it has the maximum potential to become longer in the least amount of time.

Once again, I have asked my friend and hair stylist, Rissa Rae, some questions about the myths and truths behind the long and lack-luster process of achieving long, beautiful and healthy hair.
Me: Does trimming your hair really help it grow?

Rissa Rae: Yes, trimming your hair regularly is beneficial to growing it out! Many people wait too long between cuts, so when they finally DO go to see a stylist, they need to cut off a lot more length because the ends are damaged. Your hair begins to break and split higher and higher up the hair strands, causing it to take longer to grow out. For people trying to maintain a certain hair style, get a cut every 6-8 weeks (depending on length of style). For those growing their hair out, get a cut every 10-12 weeks (this will depend on the color, texture, and condition of your hair).

Me: Hot-oil, deep conditioning, hair masks... How do we know which treatment to do?

RR: Treatments are great, but can be over done. I personally feel that the correct styling products and at home shampoo & conditioner play a big factor when it comes to needing a hair treatment. If you are using good products in between your cuts, that will help maintain and protect your hair. There is a time and place for hair treatments, if you know and trust your stylist, leave it up to them to decide which one and when to have them done.

Me: Supplements! We all know we should talk to our PCP before taking any type of medication or supplement. Do you know of any that are beneficial to your hair growth that we can ask our doctors about?

RR: Pre-natal vitamins have always been known for causing rapid hair growth. If you would prefer to avoid pre-natal vitamins, then try fish oil instead. Fish oil makes your hair very shiny and helps make it thicker.

*Bloggers Note: Make sure your diet includes foods that help fortify the hair follicles! Try salmon and walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach, eggs, blueberries, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds are all excellent foods that will aid in hair health.

Me: Should we avoid styling our hair all together? A lot of people say don't blow dry, flat iron, dye, curl, or wash your hair while growing it out? That doesn't sound too desirable, and we'd have to lose months (years) of pretty hair in order to grow it longer... Is that true? 

RR: I wouldn’t stop styling altogether; rather make a conscious effort to style less frequently. I like to go a couple days without washing or styling my hair. Washing and styling everyday can definitely dry it out. Many people have an oily scalp and fear skipping a day will make their hair look too dirty. Washing your hair everyday dries the scalp, thus causing it to produce more and more natural oils. Over time, your scalp will begin to balance out the longer you go without washing it. The less you wash, the less oily your hair will be!

*Bloggers Note: Dry Shampoo will likely become your best friend! Ask your hair stylist to recommend one for your hair type! My favorite is Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo.

Me: "No-Poo" the trend of not using shampoo or conditioner, rather a natural alternative to wash your hair, is fairly popular right now. How do you feel about this new trend?

RR: In all of my experiences with this particular method, it has shown to leave hair dry and lacking the nutrients needed to grow strong and pretty. I do think people should use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any product build up, and like I said before, washing your hair everyday isn’t good either. Try and spread out the number of times you cleanse your hair with shampoo and conditioner. 

Me: What products should we ask our hair stylist for when growing our hair out? Any other tips or tricks you know of?

RR: There are so many great products out there! You need to talk with your stylist about your hair goals to see what they suggest for you specifically. For the purpose of growing out your hair, Schwarzkopf Repair Rescue is great for preventing split ends. Also, products containing Moroccan Oil will keep your hair smooth and shiny.
RR: As for other tips, I strongly believe that keeping your hair color fun and new helps tremendously while growing it out. The reason; updating your color helps distract from any awkward lengths or boredom with the same style. Also, don’t get discouraged if you feel like your hair isn’t growing as fast as someone else's, everyone’s hair grows at a different pace!

Me: Lastly, as much as we would like to think that doing all these different tips & tricks will give us miraculous results, it is good to have realistic expectations. How long does it really take to grow your hair out? We will use this photo as an example...
RR: On average, human hair grows about ½ an inch a month. To grow your hair from a pixie to mid-back length will take 1½ to 2 years. Depending on the texture, color, and health of your hair, it could take even longer.

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