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Have you cut your hair, and you want it long NOW? Maybe you had to get rid of those neglected lengths or maybe you thought short hair would look better on you than it really does. The bad news is that there’s no magic bullet to instantly grow long hair faster. We’re not wizards.

Hair tends to grow half an inch each month. Meaning if you lopped off six inches of hair, it will be a year before your hair is back to its original length. But there are several hair care tips to grow long hair faster.

Take biotin

One of the most popular ways to grow natural hair longer and thicker is to take a biotin supplement, which is a B vitamin complex. As with any supplement, check with a physician before starting it, as it might have interactions with drugs or other conditions. Your mileage may vary depending on how your body interacts with the vitamin, but plenty of people swear by the thick, healthy hair they get from the supplement. Start with a lower dose (1,000 mcg per day) and work your way up, checking for results in hair health along the way.

Care for your hair

The biggest enemy to growing long hair is split ends. Unchecked ones can run up the length of your hair, damaging healthy, long tresses. If you’re trying to go for really long hair, you’ll want to keep your hair as natural as possible. That means avoiding heat style tools, which can damage hair (if you must use them, use a moisturizing hair serum first). Try to shampoo only every other day or less to minimize stripping the hair of natural oils and frying it. Invest in a good hairbrush like a boar bristle brush or a good tangle-reducing brush to limit damage to hair from physical manipulation.

Try to avoid chemical treatment processes like perms and dying hair with chemicals, which can damage hair. Try to look into natural ways to dye hair like henna, if you can. If you really want to treat your hair, go as long as you can between treatments and deep condition regularly in between.

Get regular trims

This will just seem stupid. Cutting your hair to make it longer? But trimming hair regularly will reduce split ends and other damage, meaning your hair will grow stronger and faster, since you won’t have damaged hair breaking off. By simply trimming half an inch or so after a few months, you’ll still make gains on the length of your hair. It will be a slower, but healthier, process.

Eat well

The main trick to healthy hair comes from the inside. By supplying your body with the vitamins and protein it needs, you’ll be able to grow that healthy, strong hair of your dreams.

Look for foods that are high in protein, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium and vitamins A, B, C and E, just to name a few key nutrients. Those are the building blocks your body needs to run at optimal health, and thus grow healthy hair. To get these benefits, look for foods like spinach, eggs, yogurt, chicken, cheese, milk, whole grains, salmon, cabbage, bell peppers, grapefruit and avocado. Also, get a good multivitamin with these minerals, as well as a host of vitamins outside a few basics. Too many multivitamins will have a few basic vitamins and that’s it.

Use oil treatments

One common trick for growing long hair is regular oil treatments. Oil treatments stimulate the scalp and nourish the hair. Use castor oil as a base, which is high in vitamin E. That will nourish the scalp and hair. Mix it with equal parts coconut oil for a thicker consistency that may be easier to work with. Massage the mixture into your hair, and massage your scalp for a minute or two. Then leave the oil on for thirty minutes. After that, wash hair like normal.

Reduce stress

We know that stress does some nasty things to skin, but it is just as damaging for your hair. In addition to premature greys, stress also causes hair to fall out for some people. So reduce stress with meditation, exercise, making time for fun hobbies and any additional positive lifestyle adjustments you can make.