As soon as someone invents something that actually makes your hair grow at lightning speeds, the world will be a better place.  And that person will be a billionaire.  Until then, here are all of the tips I give my clients who are trying to grow their hair out:

1.  Avoid going lighter - Not all hair color is damaging for your hair.  Depositing color, or going darker, is very conditioning.  Going lighter, however, strips the hair and can be very damaging.  If you absolutely have to go lighter, be patient and do it slowly over several months to avoid breakage.  

2.  Ease up on the heatCheap blow dryers and flat irons tend to get way too hot, making them really damaging to your hair.  If you want your hair to grow, be willing to spend a little extra money on nice hair tools, they won't be nearly as damaging to your hair.  If you aren't ready to upgrade your hair tools, at least try using your flat iron/blow dryer less often.  Summer is the perfect time to wear your natural texture.  

3.  Get the right nutrients -  A lot of people don't get enough nutrients from their diet for their hair.  Try taking a daily supplement such as Hair, Skin and Nails.  
4.  Get it trimmedIt's important to get your hair trimmed to prevent splitting and breaking, which in the long run will help it grow faster.  But, make SURE your stylist knows you are trying to grow it out, otherwise they might take off the usual 1/2 to 1 inch.   I suggest getting your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks, and asking for just 1/4 inch off. 

5.  Use good productsYou get what you pay for when it comes to hair products.  If you blow dry and flat iron daily, you need to baby your hair with nice products.  I suggest using a mask twice a week, and using a leave in conditioner and a heat protecting spray daily.  Some of my favorite products to keep my hair healthy are TIGI S Factor Serious Conditioner, Matrix Gold Heat and Unite 7 Seconds. 

6.  Leave it alone!    Above all, my biggest advice is to just leave your hair alone.  Don't drastically change the color, and don't blow dry it and flat iron it every day.   Use this summer to give your hair a break, wear your natural texture, and let it get healthy so it will grow.