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11 Tips for Healthy, Flowing Locks
by Alexandra Kilpatrick
ant to grow your hair longer? Cosmopolitan went to hair care expert and celebrity stylist Mark Townsend for the best tips and tricks to achieve long, radiant hair.
Remember Your Hair Won’t Grow Long Overnight
Make sure you have realistic expectations when you start growing your hair out.
“Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch -- to a half an inch max -- a month,” Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her bob, explained to Cosmopolitan. “And that’s only if it is super healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.”
Trims Help Keep Hair Healthy
While getting regular trims won’t cause your hair to grow faster, they will keep the ends looking healthy and prevent split ends.
“If you wait so long that splits are causing your hair to break off high up in the strand, your hair will actually be shorter than if you get consistent trims,” Townsend explained, recommending an eighth inch trim every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent split ends.
Use Conditioner When You Shampoo
“If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend commented. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace proteins and lipids “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier.”
Don’t Shampoo Every Time You Shower
“It’s shocking to me how many women skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair -- especially when you’re trying to grow it long -- and it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” Townsend said.
Shampoo helps wash away dirt and product buildup, but it also strips your strands of essential natural oils that keep it soft and healthy. Be gentle on your hair when using shampoo by lathering up only at the scalp and allowing the suds to slide down the strands.
Apply a Hair Mask or Oil Treatment Weekly
Your hair past your shoulders is likely several years old and needs more care than normal conditioner. Townsend recommends using weekly moisture-based masks and oils.
“I make a natural oil treatment and give it to all of my clients to use pre-shampoo,” Townsend explained. “These oils are able to fill strands up with fatty acids and then, when rinsed out, using regular shampoo helps seal them inside hair.”
Consider Hair Boosting Supplements
“I take Viviscal Extra Strength and biotin tablets every day and tell my clients to do so as well -- especially if they want to grow their hair and make it healthier as soon as it comes out of the follicle,” Townsend commented.
Be Gentle When Brushing Your Hair
“When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up -- we often instinctually go from the scalp down but that just brings small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair,” Townsend told Cosmopolitan. He advises using a Sheila Stotts Natural Boar Bristle Brush, since they are extra gentle on strands and help distribute your scalp’s natural oils down the hair.
Upgrade Your Pillowcase
Townsend suggests switching from cotton to a sateen fabric, since it has a softer surface that won’t cause friction the way cotton does. You’ll wake up with fewer tangles.
Never Wrap Your Hair in a Bath Towel
“It causes so much breakage,” Townsend explained. “Your hair gets caught in all the woven fibers and since most women almost always wrap it too tight around their face, all those tiny fragile strands around your face are more prone to break.”
He recommends instead opting for a super-thin and soft microfiber hair towel like the Aquis microfiber hair towel, which is acceptable to wrap into a turban.
Change Your Ponytail Placement
If you wear your ponytail in the same place every time, those strands will become weaker and damaged. Switching up your pony placement is an easy way to maintain the integrity of those strands.
Do a Cold Water Rinse
“This really does help to grow hair and keep long hair healthy for longer,” Townsend commented. “Cold water lays down the outer layer of hair more smoothly, which helps prevent moisture loss, snags and heat damage. You only need to do it for a few seconds, but this one extra step over time can make a huge difference.”
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today! We will connect you with Dr. Roy B. Stoller or one of other providers.