beauty lessons:

An education 
longer locks

Hairstylist Leanne Citrone’s ultimate guide for cutting your hair when trying to grow it out.

Written By JAYME CYK

Thanks to Leanne Citrone, my hair is long, healthy, and not always in a topknot. About a year-and-a-half ago, I walked into the Andy LeCompte Salon to see Leanne for the first time. My hair was shoulder length, and the shaggy cut I was sporting wasn’t quite right for my face. After visiting her every three months to take out the weight and clean up the ends, I can finally say my hair is in the best shape it has been for a very long time.

Here, the hairstylist and master of long locks reveals her mandates on how to cut your hair when you’re trying to grow it out. 

less is more

“I believe that you don’t need to cut your hair that often,” says Citrone. “You should just be dusting it to keep off the split ends. But don’t take more than you need because then you’re just taking off what you’re trying to grow.” The Andy LeCompte co-owner doesn’t believe in putting a time stamp on when you should get a trim, but if pressed, she recommends every three months. “It depends on the person,” she adds. “Some clients who have really fine hair have to get it trimmed every eight weeks or it just starts breaking. But there are plenty of times when they come in and say they are growing their hair out and I send them away until it’s a bit longer.”

minimize heat

Citrone definitely sees a difference in her clients’ hair if they blow-dry or flat-iron every day. “I always say if you’re going to the gym and no one is going to see you, don’t flat-iron or blow-dry your hair. Just wear it up. Give it a break,” she advises. “The more you do, the harder it is on your hair. Be strategic. As far as water temperature, a cold-water rinse at the end of your shampoo is really good. It helps to seal up the follicle.”

keep it consistent

To help speed up the growth process, Citrone recommends Nutrafol, a supplement that strengthens and nourishes strands. “You have to be really consistent and remember to take it every day,” she says. “I’ve seen astounding differences. The clients that have stuck with it have seen their hair grow back thicker, faster, and definitely longer.” She also suggests rosemary oil, which can really stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Mix it with a couple of drops of jojoba oil and apply it to the scalp, leave it on for 30 minutes, and then rinse.

Citrone is a big proponent of switching up your shampoo and conditioner. “You should have a couple of different ones in your shower,” she notes. “Use something for a week and then try something else. It’s nice if you can alternate so you’re not getting used to any one product. I like Iles Formula for a lighter shampoo, and Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo is great if you want something weightier. Using conditioning treatments, eating a healthy diet, and not drinking a lot of caffeine can help, too.”

color carefully

“It depends on what shade you’re coloring your hair, but if you’re overprocessing, bleaching, or getting highlights frequently, take it easy if you’re trying to grow it out,” says Citrone. “Glosses are also really good for sealing that cuticle. Conditioning treatments, which a lot of people do at the end of their color, is going to promote growth and keep your hair healthy. The kinder you are to your hair, the kinder it will be to you.”

avoid, avoid, avoid

A lot of products can be hard on the hair. Citrone counsels avoiding those that contain a lot of alcohol. “Hairsprays, dry shampoos, beach sprays, and any sprays with a lot alcohol or very drying powders are going to sit in your hair and dry it out,” she explains. “Oils are much better to use when trying to grow out your hair. The Playa Oil is amazing. Put a little (emphasis on little) in your hands and rub them together before using. The heat of your hands will soften up the product and help it penetrate and distribute.”