When we think about long hair, we usually think about those long and perfect manes that we see on TV or magazines, but the truth is that long hair doesn’t grow like that on its own and if you don’t take care of it, it can be quite disastrous (irregular haircuts, tangles, split ends…).
After saying all that it seems that taking care of long hair is quite difficult, but the truth is that it is not that much. I’ll give you a few tips to keep your long hair healthy.
1. We are what we eat (and drink)
I’m sure you’ve heard this sentence hundreds of times, well, it is true. Everything we eat and drink is reflected on our body, skin, nails and also hair. For this reason, a healthy and balanced diet that provides all the nutrients we need, will make our hair much healthier.
I’m not a doctor so I will not give any nutrition advice. But the Mediterranean diet is meant to be a perfect example of a balanced diet. As for a vegetarian diet if it is controlled, it could be perfectly balanced and healthy.
About 70% of our body is water, which shows how important it is to our health. Drinking the amount of water we need will help to maintain our hair healthy, to keep it balanced.
There is nothing wrong with taking supplements as long as they are needed. But keep in mind that in any case you should replace with them the balanced diet previously mentioned. Depending on your needs there is a specific supplement that claims to make up for the lack of the certain vitamin you have. It would be prefect if a doctor or naturopath studies your particular case before prescribing them.
However we must keep in mind that the hair has a life cycle and it is inevitable that it will die and fall, being replaced by another. Also keep in mind that seasonal changes can affect hair growth and hair loss. This is something that happens to everyone and we cannot change it.
On the other hand, unhealthy hair can also be due to the lack of some vitamin or hormonal problems, which are problems that must treat medically.
3. The right shampoo
You run out of shampoo so you go to buy some more and, suddenly, you find yourself facing a huge shelf full of different shampoos from different brands that claim to be good for different things.
“I have straight hair so maybe should try this one for straight hair”
“My hair always gets frizzy, this one says that prevents frizz”
“With such long hair that I have I should use a shampoo for hair repair”
Shampoo for straight hair, shampoo for curly hair, shampoo for dry hair, shampoo for oily hair, shampoo for dyed hair. Is there any difference? Do they really work?
I have no answer for this, I can only tell you what I do and what I was told by my hairdresser.
For more than a year ago I’ve been washing my hair Johnson’s baby with chamomile, with a baby shampoo, and don’t intend to change it. It is a shampoo without parabens or harmful chemicals, which is very soft to hair. It washes the hair perfectly, leaving it soft and shiny, and the chamomile gives to my hair those reddish highlights that I love.
I decided to use this shampoo because one day I asked my hairdresser what shampoo should I use having such long hair. She told me to ignore all these new “specific” products you can see on the shelves of all supermarkets and to seek a neutral shampoo without parabens. After all the function of shampoo is none other than wash the hair, for everything else we should use the hair mask.
4. Choosing your hair mask
As I’ve just said don’t waste your money on shampoos that make miraculous promises, better look for a hair mask that really goes well with your hair.
The choice of the mask depends on the characteristics of your hair and what you intend to achieve, but as this post is about long hair will tell you mine.
One of the main problems is that longhaired people suffer is that it gets dry because the natural oils from the scalp don’t reach the tips. So you need to moisturize your hair with the right mask. I use Schwarzkopf Repair Rescue. It is expensive, but as I don’t spend a fortune on shampoo I can afford it. This mask not only nourishes the hair, but also attempts to repair the damage on it. I don’t know to what extent it’s true, but it is working really well for me.
5. Don’t apply heat
Heat is one of the worst enemies of your hair. It can damage the ends and make them open much earlier, and it also affects to the rest of the hair and the roots.
If you’re going to use the hair dryer, the curling iron or the straightener I recommend you to use a heat shield to reduce the damage that the heat will cause your hair. It is also advisable not to use these devices at a very high temperature.
I hardly ever straighten or curl my hair. Furthermore I only use the hair dryer in winter.
Yes, you’ve read that right, and no, I’m not crazy.
Many people think that to grow hair faster the best thing is not cutting it. No doubt you will grow you hair this way, but once you reach the length you wanted you will realize that will have to trim it and you’ll have to cut a lot for your hair to be healthy again.
Therefore, even if you want to grow your hair fast, it is recommended to trim it regularly. The hair will grow healthier and stronger.
I cut the ends of my hair 4 times a year.
7. Forget about the chemicals
We must keep in mind that everything we do to our hair will affect to its appearance and health. It is not just about looking for the right shampoo or hair mask, it’s also about all those treatments that we can do to our hair in any hairdresser.
Permanent curls, Japanese straightening, dyes and discolorations will harm our hair. By this I don’t mean that you shouldn’t change your hair, just that if you do you should choose the right product and worry about the care and maintenance of your hair afterwards.
Luckily we have now natural hair dyes and also hair dyes without ammonia, although I have never used them, they are meant to be more lenient with hair.
There are people with an incredibly healthy dyed hair, you just have to worry about it and give it the care it needs.
As for me I have never tried to any of these treatments, the most radical thing I’ve made to my hair was a bath of colour, one of those that fades after some washing.
8. Be careful while brushing your hair
I’ve seen people combing their hair in a hurry and without any care. If their hair could talk it would be screaming.
Our hair is more fragile than we think and if we do not treat with care we can break it. We must begin combing the tips and gradually going up until we comb all the hair.
The choice of the hairbrush is also important, but it is something that depends on the hair and preferences of each person. However, wooden brushes or those with natural fibres are supposed to be best for your hair and they also supposed to help to prevent frizz.
9. Ponytails and braids
When styling our hair we tend to tighten and stretch it pretty much.
When we make a ponytail we usually tighten the rubber so that it won’t fall apart, this is bad because too much tension on the hair can damage the root and scalp. It is better to left the rubber a little loose and don’t overstretching the hair.
While doing braids we usually tighten hair for braid to remain compact. This must be done carefully to avoid breaking the hair. Anyway, braids are a good option to protect your hair from rubbing, by wearing your hair braided you can avoid the friction with your clothing, you also prevent your hair from tangling.
10. Be careful with the sun
It’s a well-known fact that sunlight can be very harmful to our skin, and it can be equally harmful to our hair.
The same recommendation of not staying under the sun on its strong hours applies for both skin and hair care. Anyway there are products that can help to protect it in case you have no other option than going out in the sun. There are thermal protectors that also include sunscreen and a hat can always be useful.
Those were my 10 basic tips to get or maintain a healthy long hair, which can be used by both, men and women.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and if you have any other tip or advice I would love to hear it!