The best way to grow out your hair, according to celebrity hairstylist Joey Silvestera
Recently I’ve been in dire need of a good haircut. I did that thing where I’m trying to grow out my hair, so I end up waiting way too long. The result? Split End City. I desperately needed to freshen up my raggedy, frayed ends — but I didn’t want to sacrifice length.
Thankfully, during a recent trip to New York City I was lucky enough to score an appointment with renowned, celeb-adored hairstylist Joey Silvestera at his salon, Blackstones, a cult favorite amongst the fashion set. Silvestera has clients like Alexander Wang and Chloë Sevigny, to give you an idea of the level of cool kids who flock to Blackstones.
I knew that if I wanted to get fabulous (and healthy!) hair quickly, I was in excellent hands.
Blackstones has two outposts: one in the East Village (where I went for my cut), and one located inside the trendy Roxy Hotel in Tribeca. Silvestera is a former taxidermist(!), and so the interior has a hip, well-appointed edginess you’d expect from a taxidermist turned salon owner.
I’m in the process of growing out my lob, hoping to get a nice length past my shoulders; but I waited a little too long in between maintenance cuts, and wound up with some lifeless split ends. Luckily, Joey to the rescue.
My hair typically grows like a weed at first, and then once it hits just above my shoulders it levels off and grows at glacial speed. The hair on my left front side grows particularly slowly, and so it creates this sort of “window gap,” which I don’t like because I want my hair to look all one length. This gap growth in the front is common, because it’s typically where people focus their heat styling over the years — and I’m guilty as charged.
So I get nervous around scissors, because I’m impatient and don’t want to wait forever for my hair to grow. But Silvestera assured me that he wouldn’t be taking much length off (just under an inch). The purpose of this trim would actually be to promote hair growth.
While Silvestera was cutting my hair, he gave me a few haircut pro tips for anyone who is trying to grow out their length:
Ask your hairstylist for clean lines.
When getting a maintenance trim while you’re trying to grow your hair out, ask your hairstylist for clean, straight lines. “This helps protect against split ends,” explained Silvestera. If you get a trim that is overly stylized, then your ends are more likely to break down quickly and your fresh cut won’t last as long.
Get a trim every 8-10 weeks.
This is critical, and I’m clearly guilty of this one. I waited more than ten weeks for a maintenance cut and I suffered the consequences: unhealthy split ends. Silvestera recommends going in for a trim somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks. “Just ask for a dusting when you go in,” he explained.
You can use heat, but use it the right way.
“It’s okay to use a flat iron when you’re trying to grow your hair out,” explained Silvestera. “The problem,” he continued, “is when people misuse heat. Often times they hold the flat iron in one place on their hair for too long. Or they use a styling tool on too hot of a setting.” Make sure you run the flat iron continuously through your hair in a smooth motion, not stopping in one area, or else you risk heat damage. “And always use a heat protectant beforehand,” he added.
Use a shampoo that won’t strip your hair.
When you’re in the process of growing out your hair, it’s a good time to consider splurging on a higher end shampoo. Sure your typical drugstore standby may get the job done, but it also may have sulfates that strip your hair follicles of essential oils. Blackstones has its own line of hair care products, Five Wits. Their moisturizing shampoo ($25), helps promote healthy hair and it’s one of the better-smelling shampoos I’ve ever had the pleasure of lathering on my head.
After Silvestera worked his magic on me, I was shocked at the final result: my hair actually looked longer. That’s because he didn’t really take any actual length off. He just cleaned up my scraggly ends and created clean lines. My hair looked healthier and fuller, but not shorter.