Dreaming of a super long mane of glossy, glam supermodel hair? And wondering if you’ve even got what it takes to get there? We’re here to help by breaking down how to grow out your hair.

Because, yeah, your ability to grow lavish, lengthy locks depends, to some degree, on your natural-born DNA. But it also depends on re-thinking your hair habits and learning to treat your tresses with an extra measure of care. Plus, trading up to healthier hair care formulas.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair grows on average about a half inch per month. So, in theory, your hair could grow about 6 inches in a year. That is, if you make some smart choices and give your hair a little extra love.

Ready to go long? Here’s a checklist for how to increase hair growth:

Icon of scissors.  Icon of a bathtub.  Color Security Shampoo with a sparkle icon. Color Security Conditioner with a comb icon.  Kale Cocktail with a blow-dryer icon. Icon of a bowl of fruit.  One-Minute Transformation with an avocado icon.  Root Cover Up.  Icon of hair in a ponytail. Icon of long hair.1. How often should you get a haircut? Get regular trims

That’s right, you’ve got to cut it to grow it. But just a teeny bit, and only the split ends that could cause rips and breaks in your strands. Every 6 weeks should do the trick. (BTW, never let anyone tell you, “the more you cut your hair, the faster it will grow.” FAKE NEWS!)

2. How often should I wash my hair? Less often than you think

Give your hair’s natural oils a chance to work their magic by taking a break from your wash and blow dry cycle. A soft, messy bun or baseball hat can get you through an extra day or two without shampoo.

3. When you do shampoo, make it a “no-residue” formula

Surprisingly, most shampoos today have ingredients like silicones, thickening agents and conditioners that don’t rinse out and stick to your hair and scalp – these are all ingredients to avoid in shampoo. These residues build up and can block your hair follicles, which will impede hair growth! Our advice (whether you’re planning to grow your hair or not) is to avoid all shampoos with stay-behind ingredients! If you want your hair to flourish, use a 100% clean, sulfate-free formula (like Color Wow Color Security Shampoo) that leaves your hair and scalp clean and residue-free.

4. Always Condition + Hydrate

The moisture-rich natural oils produced by your scalp don’t travel too far down your strands, so of course, longer hair tends to be drier. While your scalp doesn’t need conditioning, the lengths of your hair, and especially the ends, sure do. Always use conditioner after shampooing and apply starting about 1-1/2 inches from your scalp. (Think you can combine shampoo and conditioner in one step? NOT a good idea. Learn why here.)

5. How to untangle hair? With care! You want to avoid breaking your hair

A moisturizing conditioner (like Color Wow Color Security Conditioner) has built-in detangling properties. Use a wide tooth comb to gently comb, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Never stretch or yank your hair when it’s wet and super vulnerable to breakage.

6. Practice safe heat styling + use a strengthening treatment

As your hair grows longer, it will take more time…and more heat…to blow dry. (Especially if it’s thick). So always use a treatment with built-in heat protectants, like Color Wow Dream Cocktails, to save your hair from damage. Kale Cocktail, with sulfur-rich sea kale, is the perfect choice. This leave-in treatment is activated by your blow dryer. With just one use, it reduces breakage by 50%. And “stronger” is definitely the key to “longer”!

7. Nourish your hair from the inside out with foods that promote hair growth
There’s a lot of debate over taking supplements for hair – which ones, how much, and can they really help your hair growth? One thing we know for sure: Eating healthy is good for your overall health. Doctors cite these five superfoods that have great nutrients for body and hair:
· EGGS (protein + biotin)
· SPINACH (rich in folate, iron, vitamins A and C)
· FATTY FISH (rich in omega-3’s)
· AVOCADOS (Vitamin E + essential fatty acids)
· BEANS/SOYBEANS (protein, iron, zinc)
8. Nourish your hair from the outside in

Keeping your hair moisturized, supple, and elastic is critical when you’re growing it longer. (Especially the lower lengths and ends that get extra dehydrated.) So, in the same way you keep your skin moisturized, it’s important to nourish your hair with key nutrients and emollients. Color Wow One-Minute Transformation (with Avocado Oil and Omega 3’s) is a major on-the-spot moisture infusion that calms frizz and ends dry spells. Apply it to your dry hair. It absorbs on contact and voilá! Your hair is instantly silky, glossy, supple.

9. How often should you dye your hair? Cut back on color frequency for healthier texture

Hair color chemicals make your hair texture more fragile, which makes it challenging to grow out. (Especially if you’re blonde and frequent bleaching is part of your routine.) When you’re trying to let your hair grow, try to stretch out time between color appointments. Can’t deal with root regrowth? Count on Color Wow Root Cover Up – it’s the perfect disguiser and no one will be the wiser.

10. Ease up on super tight styles

We know: As you’re growing your hair out, those awkward, in between lengths are begging for a pony. But don’t go snatching it super high and tight! You could cause breakage. Plus, all that tension goes right to the roots, and physically stressing out your hair can mess with growth cycles.

11. Fake it ‘til you make it

Those OTT, massive mermaid-y styles you see on celebs are clearly NOT all their natural hair. Hair pieces and extensions have come a long way….and are a good short cut to instant long hair.

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