Every bride has some idea of how she’d like to look on her wedding day. Perhaps you’ve always imagined a big ball gown, like something out of a fairy tale. Maybe you want to wear something unexpected, like a vibrant dress in your favorite color. And maybe you want to look like a mermaid, with long, gorgeous hair that flows behind you as you walk down the aisle.
Lucky for you, literally all these options are possible—even the one with the long, flowing hair! Even if your hair is currently short, brittle, or otherwise damaged, you can grow out your tresses and have beautiful, shiny hair by your special day. All it takes is a little planning and a little extra care. Here’s a few hair growing steps for success.
1. Get Started ASAP
The first thing you need to do is get honest about your hair expectations. The average person’s hair grows about half an inch per month, so if you have a bob, you probably can’t expect waist-length locks in three months’ time. Do the math and figure out how much hair you can reasonably expect to grow (give or take a few inches for trims).
If you want more time to grow out your hair, start the process a little sooner. Obviously, you don’t always know when you’re going to be getting engaged, but if you suspect a wedding is in your future and you really, really want long hair for it, there’s no harm in adopting these methods before you have that engagement ring.
2. Cleanse Your Hair Products
Your hair will grow best when it’s healthy and moisturized, so the next thing you need to do is take a look at the products you use. If you’re using professional brands of shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizing serums, great—you’re on the right track! But if your products are filled with nasty additives or alcohol, you might be doing your hair more harm than good.
Look through the ingredients on your go-to hair products and get rid of anything that contains sulfates, parabens, or alcohol. Instead, look for clean hair products (they’ll be labeled “sulfate-free”) and use them sparingly; washing your hair every two-three days and using a deep conditioner once a week should suffice.
3. Eliminate Heat
Most of us know that intense heat is very bad for our hair (there are enough “heat-protectant” products in the beauty aisle to convince anyone). And yet, we still insist on subjecting our hair to curling irons, straighteners, blowouts, and even scalding showers—what gives? If you want your hair to grow long and strong, you have to cut back on those harsh, high temperatures.
Try to eliminate heated styling tools as much as possible as you grow out your hair. Also, consider turning the water in your shower from hot to lukewarm, and dunk your hair in cold water before stepping out of the shower. Using less heat will help your hair retain moisture, making it healthier and more likely to grow.
4. Take Your Vitamins
Your hair’s health depends in large part on your overall health. If you want long, strong, beautiful hair, you need to make sure you’re as healthy as possible! One way to achieve this is by taking daily vitamins, which will give your body the nutrients it needs to keep those tresses growing strong. There are tons of vitamin supplements available at your local grocery store, but look for the ones that are specifically formulated for hair and nails—they usually contain vitamins C, D, E, A and biotin.
Of course, your daily vitamins don’t only come in nutritional supplement form. You can get many of the nutrients you need for healthy hair right in the foods you eat! While you’re growing out your hair, make sure your diet includes lots of foods like salmon, spinach, eggs, avocado, and nuts, as these naturally contain iron, protein, and biotin!
5. Get Regular Trims
I’ll admit, this tip might seem a bit counterintuitive. After all, you want your hair to be longer, so why would you cut any of it off? Regular trims are actually a key element of growing out your hair, as they remove damaged, split ends that can slow down hair growth. Ultimately, frequent trims can make all the difference in the look and length of your hair!
While hairstylists agree that regular trims will help promote hair growth, they don’t always agree on how often “regular” should be. Some say you should get a trim every six weeks; others say every three months is enough. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on your own ends and make a salon appointment whenever they start looking dried or damaged.
Growing your hair requires time and dedication—and I know that when you’re planning a wedding, time and dedication are in short supply. But remember: it’ll all be worth it when you see yourself on your special day. So get out there, take your biotin, and nurture your hair!