As the winter chill slaps against your neck, you can't help but tie that scarf a little tighter and wish your locks were just a little bit longer. Stop wishing and get your hair growing. Adrienne Brini, director of explains how.
"The common mistake women make when trying to grow out their hair is not realizing what a big commitment it is," said Brini. "Many times, women get halfway there and just cut it off. This is the time to incorporate products and change your routine."
Cut it out
Brini recommends starting with a healthy trim, what she calls "the four seasons rule." Every season, get a simple cut and some layers, or a possible side-bang—to undo the damages of the summer's sun and winter's dryness.
Don't want to sacrifice a half-inch of length? It's worth it. Because when hair gets dry at the ends, it causes a curling ribbon effect. If you don't get all the dry ends off, the fibers of the hair split upwards, making it harder to grow, Brini explained.
Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A diet rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as salmon, eggs, and olive oil is essential for strengthening hair. Without these acids, your strands will start looking brittle and dry. The European Food Safety Agency recommends healthy adults consume a daily dose of 250 milligrams of combined EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). Not interested in eating more fish? Next time you have a salad, toss in some walnuts, flaxseeds, or pumpkin seeds.
You may think that styling tools damages hair, but according to Brini, it's all about how you use them. Brini says to use these tools the way you might use an iron on a blouse. As long as you keep the heat low and keep the iron moving, your button down will look smooth and sleek. The same concept applies here. Pay close attention to temperature settings and the constant motion of your hands. For hair length that's above the shoulders, Brini suggests using styling tools more often, to keep your style from going limp. "Growing out your hair may mean you need to use heat tools more than usual to get an acceptable style," said Brini.
Nourish with vitamins
Moroccan Oil—an antioxidant rich product high in Vitamin A, F and Omega-6 isn't reserved for celebrities anymore. This product (used after shampoo and conditioning) not only revives locks, but also creates a non-oily shine. Brini recommends getting this drug-store product because it can be used on all hair types. However, she advises women to use the products only in small amounts (a few drops that can be worked through damp hair), as it can get over-used very quickly.
To keep ends healthy, Brini recommends conditioning hair from the ears down, because your scalp is already taken care of by its natural oils. Avocadoes are rich in fatty acids are a natural lubricant and are "marvelous" for the ends, explained Brini.
For curly hair, Brini suggests using a wide-toothed bamboo comb. You'll need a firmer comb with some stability that also helps keep the hair from breaking. For all other hair-types, a boar's hair bristles brush (we love Phillips Select Oval Brush available at Sears) is ideal. It helps redistribute the oils in the hair and stimulate the scalp. As a way to keep your style from going bland during your grow-out phase, Brini suggest using cute barrettes and headbands to keep your look fresh.
"When it comes down to it, growing out your hair is all about commitment and acceptance," Brini noted. "It's all about keeping your ends healthy."