How Long Does It Take to Grow Out Your Hair?

Smiling woman combing her hair

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The length of time it takes to go from shorter to longer hair depends on whether you're starting from a pixie cut or a bob, and whether you're aiming for ponytail length or Rapunzel locks. It also hinges on the condition of your hair, what kind of nutrition you're consuming, how often you're trimming and how much you're stressing out your tresses along the way. Start from the inside and work your way out to add inches to your hair length in the least amount of time.

Get Your Vitamins

Beauty begins on the inside, and long, lustrous locks are no exception. A diet balanced in fruits, vegetables, protein and calcium is a good start, but ask your doctor if adding a supplement is in order. Hair can benefit from iron, which helps oxygenate strands, and zinc, which also aids in growth. Biotin and other B-complex vitamins help plump up hair thickness while adding healthy shine. Vitamin D can help keep follicles on a regular growth schedule. Foods and vitamin supplements that feed the hair can also give skin and nails a boost for a complete healthy makeover.

Heads Up

Since new hair growth comes from the scalp, you want to make sure the environment is as hospitable for good growth as possible. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to help clear the scalp and strands from shampoo and conditioner buildup as well as excess oils. Add a relaxing scalp massage to your hair or facial treatments, or do the invigorating on your own with a swirl of your fingertips. This can be as easy as taking a bit longer in the shower and stimulating the hair follicles while lathering up.

Prime Condition

Keep your tresses saturated with healthy moisture as they grow out to help prevent breakage and improve their overall condition. Try a deep-conditioning mask or hot-oil treatment once a week to nourish locks. Be kind to hair lengths by skipping blowouts, hot curlers and flat irons as often as possible. If you have to use heat, first apply a styling serum that protects from heat damage. Your hair will be growing at the average rate of about a quarter-inch each month, so apply the most moisturizing care to the hair that's been there the longest to nourish healthy ends.

Trim Times

It's often said that frequent trims will help hair grow faster, but the snips on your ends aren't affecting hair at the roots, where growth begins. Keeping split ends under control is critical to a grow-out that looks healthy instead of frazzled, though. Don't hit the scissors too often, but schedule a trim every two to three months as needed to get rid of dry ends while still keeping the length that you've achieved. Keep potential hair damage to a minimum by pulling back locks with a scrunchie or covered ponytails holders instead of rubber elastics. Also use a detangling comb to ease knots out of wet hair, and brush dry hair gently to distribute healthy oils down the strands.