If you’ve read my previous blog post then you already know I’m afraid of hair cuts.
In my entire adult life so far, the only time a stylist cuts my hair is when I need to have my hair treated and then they need to cut off the dry and split ends. If you can’t tell by now, I like having my hair long.
But it’s not as easy for people like me who aren’t blessed with magical hair made up of magical DNA that makes the hair eternally, effortlessly soft and silky. For regular long-haired girls like me with regular DNA, hair maintenance is a chore in itself.
But it doesn’t have to – with these tips.
These suggestions are based on my experience and some facts and ideas I’ve read, so I’d like to share them with you. If you want to know how to maintain long, healthy hair, keep reading!
1. Hair doesn’t grow out overnight.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Growing out your hair is going to take time. I’ve read that hair only grows about a quarter of an inch to only half an inch max in a month– and that’s if it is really healthy and doesn’t have lots of split ends. Be patient.
2. Get used to cutting off split ends.
Of course cutting off splits won’t exactly make your hair grow faster, but maintaining the ends of your hair will keep the tips looking healthy and keep the splits from working their way up strands, which will make you cut more hair off more often. If you wait too long, splits will make your hair break higher up on the strand. It’s been suggested to cut off around just 1/8 of an inch every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent severe split ends before they even start.
3. Use conditioner each and every time you shampoo.
You have to condition your hair when it’s wet. Hair starts to get thinner from the bottom over time because of all the coloring and heat styling. Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins that are being destroyed from inside the hair strand. Conditioning will also help with the integrity of the hair cuticle to prevent more damage.
4. Don’t use shampoo every day.
Shampoo’s main purpose is to wash away dirt, pollution, and product buildup, but it can also strip away essential natural oils that keep the hair strands soft and healthy. When you do need shampoo however, be gentle. Try to only lather up on the scalp and then just let the suds slide down strands. This way, the shampoo will be applied on the rest of the hair as the water washes it down.
5. Use an oil or mask treatment on your hair once a week.
Hair that touches your shoulders or beyond that is several years old needs more care than just your typical conditioner. For long, healthy hair, a moisture-based mask and oils should be applied on the hair weekly. This is typically used before shampooing.
Oils can leave a residue on hair though, so dampen hair first, leave on the oil for 10 minutes, then rinse by shampooing and conditioning like normal. The oils are supposed fill the strands up with fatty acids and is being sealed inside the hair when hair is being rinsed out.
6. Be gentle when brushing and combing.
Constantly brushing and combing the hair can cause physical harm to your hair. Be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up when detangling wet hair. Going from the scalp down only creates small tangles into one large knot and can cause hair loss.
7. Don’t use cotton pillowcases.
I know it feels nice, but say goodbye to cotton pillowcases if you really want long silky hair. A case made of satin fabric is the recommended option because it has a softer, smoother surface that won’t cause friction. It’s also said to give you less tangles when waking up.
8. Don’t wrap your hair in a towel.
I hate it when water trickles down my back after a bath, but the habit of wrapping my hair with a towel had to stop. Doing this has been said to cause a lot of damage. Hair gets trapped in the woven fibers, breaking all those tiny, fragile strands around your face when the towel is wrapped too tightly. Use a soft t-shirt to wrap your hair instead.
9. Rinse your hair with cold water after every bath or shower.
Cold water flattens down the surface of the hair strands more smoothly. This helps prevent snags, moisture loss, and heat damage. And yes, hot water also causes hair damage. Rinsing off with cold water for a few seconds is enough to make a huge difference.
Do you have more tips on how to maintain long, healthy hair? Please share them below!
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