Last year you set yourself a goal to grow out your hair nice and long, not to dye it as often and not get too much cut off at the next hair appointment. Congratulations! You’ve made it and joined the ranks of the #LongHairDontCare club! Now the next step is to maintain that length.
As your hair gets longer, there are more chances for it to be damaged, makes sense right? It gets heavier and drier the further away it is from your scalp, so you’ll have to put in extra care to make sure that it looks healthy. If you let too many split ends and hair shaft snaps to happen, you’re soon going to have a full head of baby hair flying every which way, and no one wants that. So we’ve rounded up some tips to help you maintain that length and get the most out of it.
This may be a lengthy post, but if you take notes and put all of our advice to work, then you’ll have long, healthy, shiny hair in no time!
Washing and Drying Your Hair
Back when you washed your hair with L’Oreal’s kid shampoo, your biggest worry was to not get the stuff in your eyes. You knew that regardless if the bottle said “no tears“, that stuff stung like your eyes were getting sand blasted. Now another worry should take place – are you over washing your hair?
How Often Should You Wash It?
Your scalp naturally releases oils that moisturizes your strands. When you wash your hair on a daily basis, you end up stripping the natural oils off from you scalp and dehydrating it. Naturally your scalp feels the dryness and lashes out by creating more oil. This causes a deadly cycle since your hair will get oilier, you’ll want to wash more often, causing your scalp to continue making more oil.
The key is to stop the cycle, and it’s really quite easy.
Try washing your hair the least often that you can. Don’t stop washing your hair completely, or to only wash it once a month, clearly that’s going a little over board. What we mean is to cut it down to maybe one or two washes a week. It may sound a little gross at first, but ease yourself into it by washing your hair every second day. It takes time to retrain your scalp to release less oil. Once your hair has gotten used to only be washed once every two days, bump it up to three and continue increasing the time until you’ve found a time frame that fits you.
I’m currently only washing my hair once every 3-4 days during the summer and every 4-5 days in the winter. You can get away with washing your hair less often in the winter since it won’t be as hot and you won’t be sweating as much.
The Proper Way of Washing Your Hair
The next step is to make sure that you’re washing your hair properly.
Since your roots come in contact with your scalp the most, you only really need to shampoo that part of your hair. Avoid running shampoo all the way down to the ends of your strands. You’ll end up drying your ends more if you wash them too. As you wash out the shampoo, any of the suds running down the length of your hair will clean and clarify the rest of it.
When you’re washing your roots, massage your scalp with your fingertips to stimulate blood circulation under the skin. This increase in blood flow will help stimulate healthy hair growth.
Conditioning Your Locks
Your ends are the driest part of your hair and it’s really easy for them to snap or split. Make sure that you’re using a conditioner that detangles while you’re washing your hair so that you don’t have to tug at the knots with a brush afterwards. Try to leave the conditioner in as long as possible when you’re showering so that it can fully absorb into the cuticles of the shaft. You can either shave your legs or exfoliate your skin while you’re waiting for the conditioner to soak in.
When you’re ready to wash it off, make sure to gently run your fingers through your strands.
Drying Your Hair
If possible, it’s best to allow your hair to air dry. Obviously there are situations where if you showered in the morning and you’re running late to work that you’ll want to blow dry it. If that’s the case, make sure to put your settings on cool so that you’re not blasting your poor strands of hair with heat. That will further the process of drying your hair and undo all of the hard work you did to take care of it.
If you have the time and patience to let your hair air dry, it’s important to pat it down when you’re drying it immediately out of the shower. Resist the urge to rub your hair with a towel to prevent breaking any strands. Instead, wrap your towel around your hair to wring out and soak up water.
Taking Care of Your Hair
Combing Your Strands
The number one tenant of hair care is to never comb or brush it while its wet. Your hair acts as an elastic and can stretch if you’re tugging at knots. Instead of bouncing back to its normal condition, it’ll remain stretched out, brittle and thin. Not only will you stretch your hair by combing through it when its wet, but the chances of your strands snapping are greatly increased.
Instead, brush out your strands with your fingers lightly to de-tangle them, and allow for your hair to fully dry before taking a brush or comb to it.
After you’ve wrung out the water from your hair, apply a serum or hair oil to add moisture back into your ends. Comb it out with your fingers to evenly distribute the serum and make sure that you don’t go too far up the hair shaft.
When you can, maybe once every two months (depending on how often you wash your hair), go to sleep with a deep conditioner or mask to revitalize your strands. Just as you would slather on body lotion all of your skin when you get out of the shower, your hair needs some pampering too.
How to Keep Your Hair Out of Your Face
During the day, it’s fine to tie your hair up with an elastic. But this puts a strain on the strands and can cause slippage, which may lead to breakage. When you’re at home, channel your inner 90’s child and bust out some scrunchies to tie your hair back. The fabric material puts a lot less strain on your hair and will let it move around a lot smoother.
At night, it’s easy for long hair to get tangled when you’re asleep. This is especially true if you’re the type to roll around and move a lot at night. Avoid tying up your hair, since it will pull at your hair line – this can actually cause a receding hairline as your grow older, and instead try a loose braid. The whole point of a loose braid is to give your scalp room for movement while you’re asleep. If your braid is too tight and you roll over onto your side, you’ll risk the chance of tugging on some hairs and pulling them out, or breaking the stands completely.
[quote_center]Do you have any hair care tips?[/quote_center]
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