Whether for a wedding or just real life, getting long hair doesn't happen overnight.
This post originally appeared on our old site, Born to be a Bride, under the title "Best Tressed."
If you, like many brides, are growing out your hair for the big day, I’m with you on the stress! No matter how long you get your locks, there’s always the desire for a thicker, fuller mane. Be advised that if you weren’t blessed with a ton of hair, today’s extensions are very realistic and many brides have these added in for an effortlessly beautiful look. But whether you choose to go natural or add some bulk with clip-ins, it’s never too late to treat your hair right before you reach the aisle.
Take your vitamins. Many recommend biotin which has the additional benefit of strengthening nail growth. Another option is a prenatal vitamin, which my endlessly knowledgeable maid of honor recently informed me, we should all be taking anyway. Whether you have baby plans in your near future or not, apparently the blend of vitamins in most prenatals is a perfect balance for most women in their 20s and 30s. Of course, speak to your doctor before starting any type of vitamin regimen.
Protect. Like your skin, hair dries out in the sun. You’ve probably noticed you get some natural highlights or general lightening-up in summer months, and most of us love this! But with the happy effects of sun exposure come split ends that lead to breakage. Protect your hair on beach days with a floppy hat or opaque cotton scarf. Luckily, these are in style now, so start a trend among your friends!
Nourish. Conditioning after you shampoo is imperative, but there’s more you can do to coax those locks back to life. Dry and damaged hair does not grow as well as strong, healthy strands. If you’re already happy with the luster of your locks, it still couldn’t hurt to infuse extra softness and shine. A once- or bi-weekly deep conditioning hair mask does wonders. Shampoo and condition your hair as soon as you get in the shower, then follow-up with a rich helping of your mask. Take your time shaving your legs, exfoliating your skin, washing your face, etc. to let the deep conditioner really soak in, and then rinse out. Towel-dry your hair and wait 15 minutes before applying heat. You will be amazed even after the first treatment.
Trim. I know, I know. The last thing you want to do while letting your hair grow is to cut it! But a teeny-tiny, eighth- or quarter-inch trim every 8-12 weeks will actually help your hair to grow. Consult your stylist and make sure s/he knows that you want no layers, no bangs, no fancy cuts until after your nuptials. Being crystal clear that you need the absolute minimum taken off will yield good results. And when your long hair makes its grand entrance at the wedding, you’ll thank me for telling you what you did not want to hear.