In the blogging world, it’s become something of a meme to say one particular phrase:
“a lot of you have been asking me about [insert nonsense no one has ever asked about]”.
And I couldn’t agree more that bloggers overuse this phrase ALL. THE. TIME. But to a certain extent, this meme also puts bloggers in a rather hard place…
What do you do when a lot of people really ARE asking you about the same something?
My solution? Write a blog post!
At the risk of meme-ing myself, so many of you have asked me about today’s topic, it’s hard to even put to words. I get comments about my long hair every. single. day.
And a huge portion of long-time readers have found their way to this blog through one of my very first posts and one of my only posts on hair care:
So today I thought I’d answer all of your emails and questions about having long, healthy hair. I’ve cared for my hair in basically the same way for over 8 years now… and I don’t plan on changing it up any time soon.
When you find something that works, you stick with it, amiright?
But I’m convinced these tips will work for anyone.
Because there’s nothing special about my hair that makes it grow so long and healthy. As a matter of fact, most of my life I’ve felt at-odds with my hair and never thought I’d ever manage to grow it THIS long without extensions. While I do have a thick mane of hair (as my sister dubs it), my hair itself is actually very fine and prone to breakage. I don’t eat a particularly healthy diet (working in the restaurant industry will do that) and I heat style my hair far too often.
My hair shouldn’t be this long… honestly! But it is.
So if you’ve ever dreamed of a long, luscious mane of au natural locks yourself, give these tips a try and let me know how they work for YOUR hair!
How To Grow Long Healthy Hair
1. Frequent Trims
It may be counterintuitive but frequent hair cuts are important for maintaining and growing long, healthy hair.
I generally go once a quarter (every 3 months) for a quick trim to cut off weak hair and split ends.
Split ends are the enemy of long hair so frequent trims prevent them from getting worse. Otherwise, they’ll eventually thin your hair strands and making them prone to even more breakage.
It’s a vicious cycle!
Trust me, it’s easier to wait longer for your hair to grow with frequent trims than it is to try and skip them and risking MAJOR breakage.
2. Wash Only 2 – 3 Times A Week
Washing your hair every day is another recipe for breakage so try to limit washes to 2 – 3 times a week.
Most shampoos are harsh on our scalp and strip our strands of their natural oils. So it’s best to limit them and use the right formula. I’d recommend using a strengthening shampoo formulated for long hair when you do wash and using a good dry shampoo on days you don’t.
3. Tie Your Hair Up At Night
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book — why do you think the characters in Little Women braid their hair before bed? Because it keeps long hair from breaking when you toss and turn at night.
Sleeping can do a lot of damage to our hair. The easiest way to minimize it is to twist your hair into a top knot or to braid it while you sleep. Not only will your hair have a subtle curl to it the next day but you’ll slowly strength your hair strands over time too.
4. Invest in Silk
Silk is one of the best fabrics for maintaining healthy long hair because it doesn’t snag or create friction.
And while most would recommend silk pillowcases, if you have a pet, you know that silk pillowcases are likely to be ruined quickly (Apollo always hones in on the most expensive fabrics to “nest” into).
A little over a year ago I discovered these silk turbans and they’ve been a game-changer. I now have four of them — all of which I paid for with my own hard-earned money.
They’re THAT good.
Since wearing these I’ve noticed my tangles and breakage has decreased by MORE than half. It’s hard to quantify, to be sure. But I remember how much hair I’d lose during my morning brushings and now I hardly lose any.
A worthwhile investment if you ask me!
5. Invest In A Good Hair Mask
A good, deep conditioning treatment once a week is vital to ensuring your long hair doesn’t dry out and eventually break!
I’ve tried a lot of deep conditioners over the years but I always return to Kérastase. I swear by the brand — anytime I switch from one of their shampoos or conditioners I almost immediately get breakage. Which makes me sound like a commercial but I assure you it’s just the simple truth.
Kérastase makes a huge array of great hair masks but the one I’ve been loving the most lately is Masque Extentioniste (probably because it’s formulated to strengthen LONG hair).
Not sure how to use a hair mask?
After you shampoo, brush in a dollop of your preferred hair mask. Clip up your hair and finish your shower, waiting to rinse the mask until the very end.
Rinse and — if you can stand it — blast your locks with a little cold water at the very end to seal in moisture. Your hair will be shining and glowing for days after!
6. Don’t Dye Your Hair
The fact that I haven’t dyed my hair in over 10 years now really seems to bother a lot of people.
Hairstylists in particular.
I can’t tell you how many times hairstylists I meet immediately try to convince me to dye my hair.
Like undyed hair is something to be ashamed of.
(And secretly I always patronize the hairstylists who encourage me to rock my natural hue.)
And, indeed, I used to live in a vicious cycle of “needing” to dye my hair all the time. In high school I was constantly putting in new highlights or darkening my locks. It was nonstop. And so much maintenance. And so much money. AND so bad for the environment.
Stopping dyeing my hair was one of the single best decisions I ever made and one I always encourage others to consider.
Everyone’s hair is different but my fine, easily broken hair never would have been able to grow this long if I dyed it.
And I know what many of you are thinking, “my natural hair color as a kid was hideous”. Mine was too. As adults our natural hair color changes quite a bit so if you’ve been dyeing your hair for the better part of your adult life, you may not even KNOW what it’s natural color is anymore.
The money you save from not dyeing your hair alone is enough to make the experiment worthwhile. Even if you do eventually learn that hair dye is the right decision for you and your hair!
7. Don’t Heat Style
This is a no-brainer and probably one most of you know already.
Avoid heat styling whenever possible!
Any type of heat styling will damage your hair. PERIOD. So minimize it as much as possible. Air dry your hair or invest in a great turban towel to speed up the process.
And learn a few “wet hair” styles for when you need them: braid your hair while it’s wet to create waves or slick it back into a sleek low bun.
8. Treat Wet Hair Well
When our hair is wet, it’s vulnerable. Wetness creates snags, snaps, and tons of hideous breakage.
So baby-ing your hair when it’s wet is vital!
And always be sure to baby your hair in the pool too! Harsh pool chemicals will strip your hair of it’s natural oils quickly so wear a swim cap whenever possible!
SHOP THE LOOK:
Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Kérastase to review for today’s post but I was not monetarily compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed are my own. Each of the products I did receive were all products I have used on my own for years and that I have bought myself. Thank you Kérastase for replenishing me! And thank you for supporting the brands that support Sed Bona!