With spring around the corner, it’s time to ditch our winter hats and bring our hair out of hiding. However, winter may not have been kind to our tresses. Whether we have dry, brittle strands from the cold winter air or heat-damaged hair from going overboard with the curling wands we got for Christmas, growing long hair eludes us. But our fantasy of luscious, waist-length locks can be a reality! Celebrity hair stylist and beauty expert Hasblady Guzman shares her tips for nursing your hair back to its long, crowning glory.
1. Use a Good Shampoo
Hair breakage and thermal damage are the main culprits behind short, unhealthy hair. Guzman says that in her experience, she has identified several factors that can lead to the broken bits we see in our brushes and on our shirts.
“Heat styling, sulfate shampoos, not enough conditioner and too much or too little protein in the hair can cause breakage,” she says. “Excessive sun exposure, spending a lot of time in chlorine pools or too much salt from the ocean can cause breakage as well.”
Sulfate-free shampoos do not strip your strands, leaving your hair moisturized and less likely to snap. We recommend using L’Oreal’s Everpure Moisture Shampoo ($6.99).
Guzman’s best advice for heat-damaged hair? “The long and short of it is to trim every six weeks,” she says. “Even if it's minor, you still must do it. As soon as you see some damage, cut the white knob with good scissors.”
With her simple instructions, you can do this in your dorm. “Do this by twisting the hair,” Guzman says. “This way you can go down the shaft of the hair too. Cut off all the knobs that are white and are about to split, as well as the hair that has already split.”
Heat protectants help you maintain the nutrients, volume and moisture in your hair by creating a barrier between the heat and your hair. Guzman also suggests using a leave-in conditioner. This added moisture will prevent the hair from getting dry and breaking off before it has a chance to grow longer. We recommend trying John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protective Spray ($5.09) andDesign Essentials Hydrate Leave-In Hydrating Conditioner ($9.99). Apply the leave-in and heat protectant to damp hair before blow drying and styling.
Hair can snap off when its protective layer is damaged by heat from appliances and friction from brushes. “When styling with a hot tool, always count to 20 and then remove the tool,” Guzman advises. “Do not leave pieces of hair on heat tools longer than this.”
The protein bonds in our hair are the weakest when wet, so Guzman advises that “when you are combing through your hair, start at the ends and gently work your way to the top. Be careful not to pull or tug the hair too much.”
When in the sun, Hasblady suggests wearing a hat and braiding your wet hair as a protective style. Bonus tip: Unravel the braid when it’s dry for easy, loose waves!
Forgot to take your daily supplements? It will definitely show in your hair! What we put into our bodies undeniably affects the length of our hair. Guzman recommends taking vitamins like vitamin E and biotin. Together, they increase circulation in the scalp and the production of protein in the body, boosting hair’s growth rate. We recommend Natrol Skin Hair Nails Dietary Supplement Capsules ($11.99), which contains both vitamin E and biotin. Guzman also says avocado and salmon help with hair growth. Try these two by serving guacamole at your next sorority social and baked salmon at dinner.