4 secrets to growing out your hair

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Tips for growing out your hair and the best hair products to help
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4 secrets to growing out your hair
CLEAR Total Care Nourishing Shampoo $4.99
PHILIP KINGSLEY Stimulating Scalp Mask $10
MASON PEARSON Popular Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Brush $205
NATURE'S WAY EfaGold Coconut Oil $10.99
NATURE MADE Fish Oil $14.99
Myth: Getting constant trims promotes hair growth. Most stylists recommend trims every six to eight weeks to keep split ends at bay (which truthfully, they do). But how would that promote growth exactly? Jen Atkin, the Clear Scalp & Hair Celebrity Hairstylist who works with long-haired beauties like Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Biel, says the best way to hold onto and promote length is with fewer trims (every three to four months) and a few additions to your routine. Follow her formula below.

Secret #1: Focus on the Scalp
"I think too many people are focused on the ends of their hair," says Atkin. "Your hair growth is healthiest at the scalp." Give the roots some TLC. Instead of rushing a shampoo, use your fingers to massage the product into your scalp. "Exfoliating and massaging the scalp helps boost blood flow, which stimulates hair follicles to produce thicker, more lustrous hair growth, reduces dandruff and promotes overall hair health," says Elizabeth Cunnane Philips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in NYC.

Secret #2: Mask It
Coconut oil is receiving constant praise right now as the be-all for white teeth. (If you haven't tried oil-pulling, you should.) Atkin hails it as a growth promoter as well. "When I was in Dubai, a lot of the women used coconut oil on their hair as a mask," says Atkin. "Once a week, they'll do it. They'll put it on their hair and leave it overnight. They'll sleep with a shower cap or when they're steaming at the spa." Another treatment they live by is black bean oil "to add protein to the hair and promote healthiness."

Secret #3: Your Hair Is What You Eat
Your diet can have a positive or negative effect on your hair. To promote growth, Atkin recommends a fish oil vitamin. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote growth and cellular repair. You can also get large doses of the acids in fish, such as salmon. Other hair boosting foods are avocado and eggplant. "Anything that will give you extra protein is great for your hair." She also swears by biosil, which works as a hair, skin and nail vitamin.

Secret #4: Cut Smart
"When you get a haircut, tell your hairstylist that you want your layers long, so you can grow your hair out and not to cut it too short," says Atkin. "That can also set you back a quite a bit. I always tell clients to bring pictures when they're going to get their hair cut."

For the best products to promote long, flowing hair shop the gallery above.

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