Maximizing Hair Growth

Q: Please can you advise me? I recently had my hair cut from mid-length to short (just below my ears with layers) and have regretted it ever since. Although it really did need cutting (due to really bad split ends from over-coloring, straighteners, etc.) I cannot adjust to it being short. I would prefer it just below my shoulders as it always seems healthy at this length. How long do you think it will take to get to my desired length?
I have started taking kelp as I have read that it is good for maximizing hair growth. I have no intention of coloring my hair again and will only use straighteners occasionally not every day as I was, even though it is naturally wavy. Also, I am thinking of having it cut every 5 months to help it grow quicker. Please, if you have any tips on how to grow healthy, shiny hair please advise me. Thanks.

A: Given the average rate of hair growth - one-half inch per month - you can expect to need around two years to get the length you want. This accounts for regular trimming to maintain healthy hair and keep split ends under control.
Five months is too long to wait between trimmings, though. I suggest that you have your hair "trimmed" (and only trimmed) every 6-8 weeks. This will allow you to gain 2 to 2-1/4 inches every six months and keep the hair in great shape.
Trimming isn't the only important step. It is a great idea to discontinue the harsh chemical processes, but you also need to make sure to care for your hair in other ways. A good thing to look for is a shampoo and conditioner with a smooth and sleek formula. These will help to control frizz and split ends and keep the hair looking healthy.
When you do use a straightener or other heat styling process, be sure to prepare the hair by using a leave-in conditioner, or other protective product. Avoid styling products that contain alcohol. These can dry the hair out and cause frizz and breakage. Also be sure to keep the heat settings on your hair appliances as low as possible and still be effective.
The kelp you are taking is a good idea, but it's just one way to aid in healthy hair growth. The body needs a number of vitamins and minerals to renew its cells and stay healthy. Be sure to eat adequate amounts of protein, and foods rich in fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, D and E. All of these are good for promoting the growth and health of skin and hair.
See also:
How can I accelerate my hair growth?
How often should I be trimming split ends?
How badly will straightening my hair damage it?
Does short hair grow faster than long hair?