Ever dream of growing your tresses at Rapunzel-like speed, only to see your efforts fall short?

Fortunately, experts assure us there are several things that can be done to help promote growth, starting with identifying the root of the problem.

"I have heard many clients are frustrated with the rate their hair is growing,” says Angelo David of the Angelo David Salon in New York. “I think the decreasing rate of hair growth can be inadvertently self-inflicted. Perhaps they are not shampooing their hair properly or overexposing hair with chemicals during coloring or highlights or using hot tools constantly.”

When it comes to preventing breakage, David says it’s essential to invest in proper hair tools. Skip the plastic brushes, which can be harsh on your sensitive scalp, and instead, opt for a brush with 100 percent natural boar bristles to make smoothing hair easier, especially those with delicate tresses. And, David adds, soft bristles won’t create split ends. Also, try to avoid too-tight ponytails and similar styles that can pull hair and hinder growth.

Like your brush, you also want your hair products to be just as gentle. Melissa Harvey, a trichologist for Bio Follicle, warns that your favorite shampoo and conditioner could be doing more harm than good.