After years of having long, straight styles with no real layers to speak of, I decided in June of last year that it would be a great idea to get a flirty lob featuring a little fringe. Why anyone would let me get frizzy, forehead-sticking BANGS in the summertime is beyond me, and I regretted it immediately. Though I became well-versed in the art of bobby pinning back my unfortunate ‘do, I still sunk hours I’ll never get back into styling and separating my supposedly trendy new *lewk*. Then, a few weeks later, I got engaged.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always envisioned having a classic (bang-free) updo or luxe old Hollywood (also bang-free) waves as a bride. I knew that from the moment I said yes to the moment I say I do, I needed to concentrate on growing out my strands. I had my work cut out for me.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, our hair grows about six inches a year. But, from July all the way to February, mine had only grown three inches from right in my eyes to about my chin. It was clear that I needed a little extra help if I wanted gorgeous cascading waves à la Veronica Lake in time for my walk down the aisle this fall.

I’d heard about Viviscal ($50) as a model and celebrity-secret for hair growth and healthy strands (Molly Sims swears by it and is their spokesperson). I used it before (albeit it only for three months), and I remember it making my hair feel shinier and stronger. Viviscal is a drug-free dietary supplement formulated with their proprietary AminoMar Marine Complex, which is a combination of marine proteins and vitamins said to feed your hair to extend your growth period. The supplement also contains biotin, a known hair and nail strengthening ingredient; vitamin C; and calcium. You simply take two pills a day after meals for a duration of six months for the full treatment, then lessen to one pill a day for maintenance. While I didn’t experience this side effect, it can cause an upset stomach, so it’s recommended to take Viviscal after meals.

I’ll warn you, if you’re not a good pill swallower and are very sensitive to smells, it’s a little fishy, which makes sense given the shark extract and oyster powder packed into it. Remembering to take it daily was definitely something I had to get used to, but following Molly Sims’ tip of setting her pills out the night before really helped. Within a couple of months, I could already see a difference, maybe not so much in growth, but my hair definitely felt stronger, and I seemed to be losing fewer strands with each shampoo.

Check out the progress! My bangs are nearly as long as the lob that I so impulsively got back in June 2017. While they’re not at the same layer as the rest of my mane (that’s just a scientific impossibility), they’re at a blendable length for whatever updo or red-carpet-ready waves I choose for my September wedding. And speaking of the rest of my hair…

I never thought I’d be writing these words just weeks shy of my wedding, but I’m in sore need of a trim to just even out my layers. (Please excuse the tangles as this photo was taken fresh after a wash and my locks here are unbrushed.) Other takeaways I’ve noticed? My hair feels healthier to the touch than it usually is at this length. Ordinarily, I’d be battling lots of split ends with locks this long, but I encounter few. I’m also surprised (relieved?) that the hair growth seemed limited to just the hair on my head. By my measurements, from my shoulder-grazing lob that I got a little over a year ago to now, my locks have grown about eight and a half inches. Um. HOLY COW.

Wedding day, here I come! And in case you were wondering, yes, I’ve booked a haircut.

Are you in the same boat right now? What methods are you trying? Tweet us @BritandCo!

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

(Photos via Kimberly Wang/Brit + Co)