The glorious appearance of long hair comes with a price to pay. It can be a hassle just to clean it, let alone manage it. It requires time, effort and a good amount of arm muscle. Shampoo, conditioner, 30 different kinds of creams, oils… But where to begin? In this article, we will offer a hair care routine for long hair and try to make it as easy as possible.
📌 To learn more, read our article about How Your Hair Grows and Can You Fasten It?
At first glance, shampooing your hair can seem very straightforward or dull, even. But, everything from the product you use to shampooing methods are very important. Let’s start by picking the best shampoo for your hair type.
If you have dry hair, shampoos labeled as ‘hydrating’ are for you. Your hair needs a lot of moisture and hydrating shampoos can lock that mouisture in. For oily hair, you may want a deep-cleansing shampoo. These types of products usually contain salicylic or lactic acid. Which provides cleansing without stripping your hair from moisture. If your hair is color treated, you should go for shampoos that are specifically designed for colored hair. Bleach does a lot of damage to the hair, making it require a lot more nourishment. Finally, if you have normal hair, then you are one of the lucky ones and can use just about any shampoo. Now that you’ve decided on a suitable shampoo, let’s discuss application methods.
You don’t have to use a lot of product to clean your hair. Don’t dump a bunch of shampoo in your palm, 2 dime size amounts does the trick. Contrary to popular belief, washing your hair with cold water doesn’t have any solid benefits. If anything, it just makes your showering routine a bit uncomfortable. Rinse off your shampoo with lukewarm water as it opens up the hair cuticles without burning your scalp. Make sure you’ve rinsed thoroughly without leaving any residue of product.
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As you may know, conditioner doesn’t have any cleansing properties. It is product used for enhancing certain attributes of your hair. Long hair requires the hair follicles to be very strong because the weight of the hair creates tension. So a strengthening conditioner would do wonders for your hair. Another option would be to use a product that’s more inline with your hair type.
For people with severely dry hair, hydrating shampoo alone may not be enough. Use hydrating conditioners to deposit even more moisture to both your hair strands and scalp. If you have oily hair, there are deep cleaning conditioners that come in wash-off forms. In the end, shampoo and conditioner should go hand-in-hand to provide you with your dream hair.
📌 Click here to read our article about Split Ends.
Drying is a key step to a hair care routine but most people dry their hair in incredibly damaging ways. Let’s dive into it. First things first: towel drying is not your friend. Whether you are wrapping your hair up or going back and forth with your hair in between, just stop. Wrapping your hair up in a towel causes premature alopecia because of the strain on the follicles. Additionally, towels are very abrasive on the hair. They are textured and rough, making it very unsuitable to use as a drying method.
The best way to dry your hair is to use a cotton shirt and scrunching up your hair. Cotton is a soft material and it will not cause breakage or tangling unlike towels. If you must use a blow dryer, make sure you aren’t keeping it very close to the scalp. To not cause damaging, use the device on a lower setting.
Grab that hairbrush and let’s start brushing gently. The curse of long hair is that it gets tangled very easily. To keep up with it, we must brush correctly. The key is to never start from the top down. When you start from the top and drag the brush down, you are accumulating all of the tangles. This causes tears in the hair which can lead to split ends. Start two or three inches from the bottom and brush down. Make sure you go as slow as possible. Get out all the tangles on the bottom of your hair, then start working your way up. Working in sections this way ensures that you don’t cause any damage.
Now the fun part: creams and oils! If you have dry hair, grab raw 100% shea butter and apply mostly on the ends. This product makes your hair look shiny and nourished. Castor oil is also your friend, it can be applied to the roots and the ends. Use a small amount though, you don’t want to end up looking greasy. You may want to stay away from heavy oils if you have oily hair, however oily hair also needs love. Argan oil has very small molecules and gets absorbed by the hair very quickly. It doesn’t sit on top of the hair shaft like other oils.
If you have curly hair, use curl enhancing products. Garnier has a curl nourishing treatment that gives incredible results. Put it all throughout your hair, start scrunching up and plop your hair in a cotton shirt. Leave for a couple of hours, undo the shirt and voila! Your gorgeous locks are ready for the world to admire.