Healthy, long hair is beautiful to look at and touch but caring for it can be a challenge. Long hair is prone towards split ends and breakage, especially if you color, perm, or straighten it. If you don’t care for it properly, you can end up with hair that’s frazzled and damaged beyond repair. Don’t let that happen to your hair. Here are some simple tips you can use to keep your long hair soft and healthy.
Treat Long Hair Kindly
It takes years to grow long hair. Of course, you already knew that! Don’t destroy years of growth by pulling your hair back tightly with a rubber band. The traction will lead to breakage and damage. Instead, pull your hair back with a coated band made specially designed for hair. You can find them at most drugstores in the hair care section.
Be gentle when combing or brushing. Never use a brush on wet hair. Keep a wide-toothed comb on hand to gently comb wet hair in small sections – starting from the ends and working up. Don’t brush your hair unless it’s completely dry. Use a natural bristle brush to reduce the risk of damage.
To Have Long, Healthy Hair, Here’s What to Avoid
The two biggest enemies of long, beautiful hair are heat and chemical treatments. It’s tempting to use a blow dryer to dry your hair fast, especially when you’re in a rush, but it’s healthier to let it dry naturally. An alternative is to let it dry naturally until it’s seventy percent dry and then finish it off with the blow dryer.
Use a heat activated condition to protect your hair when drying it and keep the hair dryer as far from your hair as possible. Keep the dryer moving so it doesn’t stay in one place too long. Stay away from curling iron, flat irons, hot rollers, and crimpers.
Thinking about perming or straightening your long hair? Don’t. Perms are usually too damaging. Hair coloring can also be damaging — especially if you lighten your hair too many shades. Never use bleach on long hair and let a professional do a coloring job — preferably with a low peroxide formulation or henna.
How to Care for Long Hair: Other Tips
Don’t shampoo too often and always use a conditioner — at least on the ends. Do a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment every two weeks, religiously. Conditioners don’t repair damage but they do help moisten and protect the hair shaft.
Trim your hair at least every two months. Many people neglect this step because they don’t want to lose the length. Don’t be shortsighted. Not doing regular trims will lead to split ends which can’t be repaired. Find a hairdresser who understands that a half-an-inch means just that and no more.
Caring for Long Hair: The Bottom Line?
Treat long hair with a little T.L.C. and enjoy the many benefits of having long, healthy hair that turns heads and raises eyebrows.
LaFlash, Teri. 2010. Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong.