7 Easy Ways to Long, Healthy Hair
Long healthy hair is the envy of many women. Never out of fashion and loved by celebrities, it’s so versatile so it’s no wonder it’s a firm favourite with the girls here at the salon.
Sadly though, all too often, long hair can become dull, lifeless and straggly. Did you know that by the time hair gets to shoulder length it is already about 3 years old and will have been through at least 300 washes? And you can double that at least for hair that’s halfway down your back!
So if you have long hair or are in the process of growing it, make sure you give it the TLC it deserves by following our seven essential tips.
Tip 1 – Keep it trimmed
Please believe us when we say that a regular trim is really important if you want long healthy hair. It’s not just something hairdressers make up to keep themselves busy! The further hair gets away from the scalp, the more prone it is to damage. By keeping your hair trimmed regularly you will prevent damaged and split ends moving up the hair shaft.
We’re sure you’ll agree it’s better to trim off a quarter of an inch every couple of months than to have to chop off six inches of damaged hair. Of course, you’ll need a hairdresser that listens to you and doesn’t turn a quarter of an inch into an inch and a quarter. Rest assured, Lifestyle stylists are specially trained to listen to exactly what you are asking for and then to check they have understood, so you really can trust us.
Tip 2 – Washing and conditioning
A good shampoo and conditioner are essential for long healthy hair as they will help to replenish the goodness that can be stripped away by years of drying, styling, sunshine and pollution. There are plenty of good quality shampoos and you’ll probably want to match it to your hair type – fine, thick, curly, coloured etc.
However, when it comes to conditioner, our advice would be to go for a product that is moisturising and apply it to the mid-lengths and ends. Then, about every two weeks use a hydrating hair mask that will lock in moisture and nourishment. We particularly love the Morocconoil hair masks.
Tip 3 – Drying long hair
Firstly, don’t underestimate the drying power of a fluffy towel! This can remove a lot of water without roughening the cuticle (it’s this roughening of the outer layer of the hair that causes frizz -the curse of long hair). The best way is to turn your head upside down and draw the towel down from roots to ends, absorbing the water along the way.
Never brush wet hair but use a wide-toothed comb instead. Wet hair is weaker than dry hair and pulling a brush through it can cause unnecessary damage. Also, comb your hair before washing and you’ll reduce the tangles and knots created during shampooing.
Tip 4 – Minimise heat damage
Long, short, thick or fine, we all know that heat can damage our hair. But with long hair, the amount of heat required to dry your hair is of course increased. To ensure long healthy hair, wherever possible, lay off the hairdryer and allow your hair to dry naturally instead. You can always air dry until it’s about 80% there, and then use your hairdryer to finish off and style. If you do this, make sure you use a heat protection product and don’t use the hairdryer’s hottest setting.
If time is tight and you need to use your hairdryer for all the drying, KMS Quick Blowdry spray is an absolute must. It cuts drying time by up to 50% so that’s half the time to cause damage to your hair.
Tip 5 – Add colour
If kept all one colour, really long hair can look heavy and solid – a bit like a blanket – but clever and subtle use of highlights can easily avoid this.
Tip 6 – Give long hair a boost
The long (and the short) of it is, long hair is heavy and heavy hair can go flat. So after washing, massage a blob of a light-weight volumising mousse like Paul Mitchell hydro cream whip into the roots of your hair to give volume and lift. You really will notice the difference.
Tip 7 -Let your hair down!
Of course, the great thing about long hair is how versatile it is – you can recreate so many amazing looks from beachy waves to a 60s bun and everything in between. But remember, over styling can cause damage, so try and have some days when you keep your hair natural and free.
Even something as simple as an elastic hair tie can cause damage. It can rub the outer layer of your hair making it brittle and causing breakage. Where ever possible use a fabric-covered one.
Finally, if you’re using heat to style your hair, try not to use it every day and always use a heat protection product. Also, if you’re using a number of different styling products, it’s a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo once a week to deep cleanse and remove build-up.
You’ll have invested a lot of time and effort into growing your hair, so make sure you follow our tips to help ensure your long hair equals long healthy hair.