When it comes to caring for long hair, the key thing to remember is to be gentle with it. Hair is remarkably resilient, but if you aren’t careful with it you can destroy it through tangles and breakage – not what you want if you’re growing it. Hair that reaches your shoulders is more than two years old, so hair much longer than that is old hair and needs to be treated with the utmost care. Here are five tips on how to care for your long hair.
1) Never, and I mean NEVER, brush it when it’s wet. Hair is at its most elastic when wet and if you pull on it with a brush, it will undoubtedly cause breakage along the hair’s shaft, which leads to a dull appearance. Use a wide-toothed comb instead, or wait until your hair is dry before you detangle it.
2) Keep hot styling tools to a minimum. Hairdryers, straighteners and curling irons all add stress to your hair, and after prolonged use will begin to cause splits and breakage. Only use hot styling tools for big nights out, and let your hair dry naturally the rest of the time. The less you use styling tools, the healthier your hair will ultimately be.
3) Be extra gentle when shampooing. Rather than piling all of your hair on top of your head as you shampoo (which leads to tangles), gently massage the lather down the length of your hair and rinse thoroughly. Follow with a good conditioner, and a blast of cold water from the shower – this causes the hair’s follicles to lie flat and makes your hair extra shiny.
4) Use a deep conditioner once a week. Typically, the more you pay for deep conditioners, the better they work, so invest in a good one and use it once weekly for maximum body and shine.
5) Treat it like old lace. As the good folks at The Long Hair Community will attest, treating your hair like it is delicate and fragile is the number one way of getting the healthy, shiny long hair you crave. The gentler you are with it, the fewer split ends you’ll get, and consequently the fewer trims you’ll need.
Caring for long hair doesn’t have to be a chore, in fact many long-haired ladies say they find caring for their long hair easier than they did when it was short, as less day-to-day styling is involved. Look after the hair you’ve got and in time it will be the long, glossy mane you’ve always wanted.