We asked three professionals — nutritionist Brooke Alpert, expert on natural hair Nikisha Brunson and celebrity stylist Michael Dueñas — for their pro tips on quick and healthy hair growth. Now, does anyone know a foolproof formula for patience??
  1. First, repeat after me: My hair does not have teeth.
    That means you’re in charge of eating for it. “You can see how healthy someone’s diet is by simply looking at their hair,” explains NYC nutritionist and founder of B Nutritious, Brooke Alpert. “People who stick to a crazy fat free regime, for example, experience dullness and breakage.” Which is why god invented avocados.
  2. Fats need good teammates.
    Think protein, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.
  3. Use protection!
    Never apply high levels of heat without protecting your hair first. “High heat causes ends to break, and slows down growth,” says Michael Dueñas, a pro hairstylist based in New York. “If you must put heat on the ends, then you absolutely need a heat protectant. It’s like a shield of armor that goes over the hair: Most products are rated up to 350 degrees — so as long as you keep the tool’s level below that, the product stays intact and protects.”
  4. Re-think that tight pony.
    Or at least the tie that you’re using to secure it. Dueñas is a proponent of soft, stretchy loops. “If you use something that’s a little more abrasive or has sharp edges on it, then you’ll definitely see breakage. Wide fabric elastics are better. I also love to use bobby pins. Those won’t damage your hair whatsoever.” Whatever kind of band you’re using, though, never secure it too tight. “The extra stress damages follicles and you’ll get breakage on your hairline as well from the extra stress.”
  5. Baby your hair — especially the baby hairs!
    Urban Bush Babes co-founder and editor-in-chief, Nikisha Brunson, warns that while those delicate areas near the scalp are breakage-prone for everyone, they’re especially vulnerable for women with natural, course, curly hair. “Curly, natural hair easily becomes brittle and breaks because we don’t get the same levels of oil people with straight hair do,” she explains. “Oil butters on the ends and around the forehead area are necessary because that part of natural hair is extra sensitive."
  6. Never, ever — EVER — use a brush straight out of the shower.
    This applies whether your hair is course and curly, fine and straight or somewhere between the two. “Wet hair is at its most elastic,” explains Dueñas. “So if there are tangles, you’ll stretch them until they snap. Just think about fabric when it’s wet, how much more it stretches. So either use a wide tooth comb or your fingers."
  7. Resist the urge to skip your regular trim.
    Even the most carefully-tended locks are bound to get a few split ends, and you’ll want to lop those off before the breakage creeps up your hair shaft. Then you’ll just have to cut it off anyways! There are ways, however, to stretch the time between salon visits. Dueñas’ secret weapon is leave-in conditioner. “Even if you condition your hair in the shower, spray on a leave-in anyway. Chances are you aren’t keeping your actual conditioner on long enough."