“My long hair is part of my aesthetic and my identity. I can’t imagine myself without it,” Noor Fares, London-based jewelry designer, told Vogue. The following tips for long, healthy hair include scientific remedies, plus the secrets of the hair elite.
For centuries, people have been conditioning hair with every stroke, using a boar bristle brush. Because boar hair is similar to human hair, a boar bristle brush is gentle on the scalp and hair follicles. An added bonus: boar bristles help distribute the scalp’s natural oils throughout the shaft of your hair, all the way down to split ends. Celeb stylist Ryan Richman tells Refinery 29, “Boar is also the key to getting the soft, brushed-out texture of vintage waves (à la Grace Kelly).”
According to NBC, Europeans and Australians have a “more lax attitude toward shampooing, but in the U.S., the thought of going more than 48 hours without shampoo makes many squirm.” However, skipping your daily shampoo might help your hair grow, according to the aforementioned report. Shampoo cleanses hair by stripping away natural, necessary oils, so the body’s response is to overproduce oil. “When you over-shampoo your hair, your hair is over-secreting oil in order to survive,” says Lorraine Massey, co-owner of Devachan Salon in New York. When you balance out your scalp’s oils, you’re left with shiny, healthy hair, which appears longer and more luxurious.
Although you might opt to skip shampoo with every wash, you don’t want to ever skip a chance to condition. Sama and Haya Khadra, Los Angeles–based models, DJs, and creative directors tell Vogue, “We’re pretty simple with our hair products. We love the Davines line, [especially] their Love conditioner! Rodin oil, too.”
Rather than using a cotton pillowcase, opt for a sateen or silk pillowcase, to nourish your hair while you sleep. Celebrity stylist and all-around mane addict Jen Atkin tells Cosmopolitan, “Cotton absorbs moisture, while silk retains it, so when you lie on a silk or satin pillowcase, the oils from your strands are maintained rather than soaked up, leaving your hair nourished rather than dry.” Supreme advice as we step into the harsh winter months.
Anabel Kingsley of the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic, tells Into the Gloss editors that rinsing with cold water to grow hair is a total myth. In fact, Kingsley adds, “rinsing with cold water can constrict the blood capillaries in your scalp. As these capillaries carry vital nutrients to the hair follicles, in theory, it may actually be harmful to hair growth.” So, enjoy hot showers sans guilt.
If you usually tie your tresses in a topknot or high ponytail, try a low-slung ’60s ponytail (pictured above). Switching up your ponytail game is easy move that can help maintain the integrity of your strands. If you swap the spot you tend to secure your ponytail on the regular, your tresses will continue to grow out strong and damage-free.
Bianca Brandolini D’Adda, model and creative consultant based in Paris tells Vogue, “When I’m in Brazil, I also go to an amazing salon in São Paulo for a scalp cleansing called Laces and Hair. It is amazing and stimulates your hair growth.”
“Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist told Cosmopolitan. Laura Bailey, London-based model and British Vogue contributing editor tells Vogue, “I get regular trims by Gary Glossman at the Josh Wood salon in Holland Park, London.” Just make sure your stylist knows you’re trying to grow your hair, when you request a trim.
UCLA dermatologist Harold Lancer tells Marie-Claire that taking an “over-the-counter vitamin every day that contains antioxidant blends and vitamin B derivatives” fortify strands. Supplements like biotin, found at basically any local pharmacy, encourage healthy hair growth, while some haircare experts recommend taking Viviscal as well to speed things up.
Gilda Ambrosio, Milan-based designer and stylist tells Vogue, diet is also vital to maintaining a healthy mane. “Every girl is familiar with the fact that the more you let it grow, the more it becomes dry. Luckily, I’m Italian, and I think my diet helps a lot. I’m always having fish three times a week and tons of greens and fresh fruit, and in the morning when I wake up, I take one or two pills of omega-3 oil. Don’t underestimate a healthy diet.”
Tools that require heat do damage to your hair, but you already knew that. Protect against hot tools by using products especially formulated for those times when a curling iron is absolutely necessary. ALTERNA Haircare Caviar Repair Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray does the trick. Plus, “If you have color-treated hair, blow dry about 80 percent, then use a flat iron that is wet-to-dry. Use ceramic tools that straighten while moisturizing the hair. And always splurge on a good hot tool—it’s worth it,” Rihanna‘s stylist, Ursula Stephen tells Today.