Perhaps you're growing out a bad cut, or maybe you want to donate your hair. (I just did -- what a rush!) Whatever the reason and despite what you may think about your own hair, there are things you can do to help the process along.
First, the facts: Growing out your hair will take time. Human hair grows about half an inch a month, so about 6 inches in a year for the average person. Please note that I say average: The actual rate at which your hair will grow is determined by genetics, as is the maximum length it will reach. The maximum length of your hair is determined by the length of your hair's growing phase which can be anywhere between 3 and 7 years.
Hair, like skin, is affected by your overall health, so you need to take care of yourself if you want to maximize growth. Eating a well-rounded diet will give your body the building blocks it needs to grow beautiful hair.
Let's be honest now, who among us eats a perfect diet? Taking a multivitamin to prevent any nutritional deficiencies is a good idea. You may want to check that your supplement includes biotin, which is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth. Of course, it's better to get biotin naturally; it's found in such foods as peanuts, tuna and avocado. (Yum!)
Preventing breakage goes a long way towards getting you closer to the long hair you want. Don't think that you can avoid getting trims simply because you're trying to grow your hair -- if you don't trim your split ends, they'll move up the hair shaft making growing your hair a Sisyphean task.
A word to the wise: Be careful about breakage, but don't obsess! Hair is very strong and can take more than you think. If you worry about breaking your hair all the time, you will soon grow frustrated and cut it out of desperation.
Last tip: Invest in a good conditioner and use it on the ends to prevent split ends. Conditioner will be your friend in the next few months!