Photo: Meredith Perdue
If it's been said once, it's been said a thousand times: "I'm growing out my hair for the wedding." Whether you're after an elaborate updo, or jonesing for some long, boho waves, long hair is often the key to the perfect bridal hairstyle. So what's a girl to do? Does brushing your hair every night à la Marcia Brady really help? What about biotin supplements? We tapped Shawn Warner, Color Director for Vis a Vis Salon in Atlanta, to get the rundown on the real ways to get your hair to grow fast. "On average, everyone's hair grows about a half an inch per month," he shares. Here are his tips for maximizing that stat.
A biotin or hair, skin, and nail supplement is a must, but it's also important to take it along with a multi-vitamin, says Warner. "It's about boosting your vitamin load, and you need to give yourself two to three months to let it get into the body and really see the results." He also says you'll see the greatest results if the supplements are taken with your evening meal (so your body can process them while you sleep).
Once a week, take your favorite hair mask or even coconut oil and apply it to your hair while it's dry, so it will soak it up like a sponge. Then, wrap your head in a warm towel (you can also add a plastic shower cap or bag over the towel) to insulate the heat and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Then hop in the shower and shampoo and condition it out.
Brush Your Hair
"The best conditioner is made by your own body," says Warner. "So while it may be an old wives' tale, it makes great sense!" And brushing your hair does more than move that natural oil down into your hair to nourish it and make it shiny: It also stimulates the scalp and helps slough off dry skin, which can hinder hair growth.
Shampooing your hair less will help your hair become healthier over time, and healthier hair equals longer hair! If you think your hair is too oily to wash less, start by skipping one day; your scalp will start to balance itself out over time and stop producing so much sebum, so you can then start skipping even more days between shampooing. If you absolutely must wash, Warner suggests getting in the shower and just wetting and rinsing your hair. Then condition it from mid shaft to the ends, but stay off the scalp.
Silk pillowcases pamper your hair and help avoid breakage, so ditch your cotton case for the silk variety, and also, don't sleep in a ponytail. "If you feel like you have to pull your hair back at night, a loose braid is the only thing that won't cause breakage overnight, and be careful how tight the tie is," warns Warner.
You are what you eat, and that means that everything you take internally is going to come out in your hair, skin and nails. So drink more water (even more!), and eat lots of leafy green vegetables.
Ultimately, Warner says there is no one miracle for growing out your hair, but the key is to both plan ahead and baby your hair at every turn. "Even watch how much you are heat styling it," he says. "Maybe air dry it more often leading up to the wedding." Because pampered hair doesn't break as much, and less breakage equals more length.
See More: 50 Wedding Ready Braids