Photo: Fairchild Archive
1. Take a heat break.
If you feel like your ponytail length won't budge, it's probably not because your hair isn't growing, but because it's breaking, says Fusco. The biggest strand-snappers? Frequent blowouts, flat-ironing, and curling iron use. "If you use heat on your hair every day, take a break once a week to keep damage at bay," she says.
2. Switch up your brush.
If you can't stand the idea of giving up heat styling, at least make sure you use the right tools. Avoid brushes with metal bristles when blow-drying, says Fusco — they can burn your hair, leading to breakage. Instead, try a boar- or nylon-bristled brush with a heat-distributing ceramic barrel. We like Sephora Bounce Thermal Ceramic Brush ($20, available at Sephora).
3. Give your hair some TLC.
A super-hydrating hair mask will strengthen hair as it moisturizes, making it easier for long hair to continue growing. Try L'Oreal Total Repair Damage Erasing Balm ($7; available at Ulta). But if you've got avocado and olive oil lying around, you can combine them for a DIY moisturizing mask, says Fusco. Also, considering switching to anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner, says Fusco, who recommends the Clear Active Damage Resist line (available at Amazon).
4. Load up on nutrients.
"Protein is key to healthy hair," says Fusco. If you're cutting calories for your wedding, make sure you don't skimp on lean meats, beans, and other sources of protein. And hit the vitamin aisle: vitamin C, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, vitamin D, and omega fatty acids promote healthy hair growth, too. Most supplements with some version of "Hair, Skin and Nails" will be full of these nutrients, Fusco says.