Just as you're prepping your skin, stepping up your workout game, and making a few more healthier eating choices to get ready for the big day, your hair could also use some extra attention too, so as to ensure that it's in tip-top shape when you walk down the aisle. Celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend spills his top eight insider secrets on how to get longer, stronger, shinier, smoother, all-around-amazing hair by your wedding
1. Trim your hair to grow your hair.
We know, we know, you've heard it a million times — because it works. If you don't regularly cut the ends, they split, which can weaken them, causing breakage higher up the shaft, says Townsend. Get a "dusting" of the very tips every 10 weeks.
2. Deep condition.
Slather on a treatment mask for 10 to 30 minutes once a week to strengthen and soften. Tip: Adding a little heat from your blow-dryer while you condition helps it penetrate! We like Fekkai Essential Shea Riche Moisture Masque ($25).
3. Take your vitamins.
Celebs swear by Viviscal ($50 for a one-month supply), a hair-growth supplement with biotin, minerals, and marine proteins. "Hair grows about a quarter of an inch a month, but Viviscal can double that," says Townsend. "In three months, you start to see longer, thicker, more beautiful hair."
4. Change your pillowcase.
"Regular cotton absorbs moisture and causes friction, which pulls on your hair and causes tangles," says Townsend, "but if you switch to sateen, you'll have much smoother hair
in the morning."
5. Cool down on heat.
Just because a flatiron goes up to 450 degrees doesn't mean you should. "No one but a pro should use more than 375 degrees on your hair," says Townsend. Pre-treat with a heat protector (we like Nexxus Promend Heat Protecting Mist, $12), and work with one- to two-inch sections. Any bigger and you'll scorch the outer layers and not even reach the middle.
6. Upgrade your blow-dryer.
Switch to a high-powered ionic model, which alters the "charge" of your hair, making it smoother and shinier, and can reduce drying time. Our pick: T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i ($250).
7. Shine on.
In-salon gloss treatments leave a coating that "reflects light and looks amazing in photos," says Townsend. At home, try John Frieda Luminous Glaze Clear Shine Gloss ($7.99).
8. Smooth it out.
Got frizz? With in-salon keratin treatments, your stylist applies a solution, then uses a flatiron to seal it in, leaving hair significantly smoother. Try it a few months out to make sure you like how it looks. Then schedule a session one week before your wedding. DIY products like Tresemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth Heat Activated Treatment ($6.99) provide similar — but less dramatic — results.
Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES October/November 2015 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!