Taking Care Of Long Hair With Minimal Effort

Taking Care Of Long Hair With Minimal Effort

A'kin Shampoo for Sensitive Hair
This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir*
Philip Kingsley Tricho Pro Volumizing Protein Spray*
Tangle Teezer*

Long hair undoubtedly requires a lot more upkeep than shorter cuts but that doesn't mean it has to be a laborious chore, in fact it requires only minimal effort to have healthy, super long hair as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Less Washing

This all depends, of course, on how quickly your hair gets dirty. I can get away with two washes per week, one if I don’t mind plonking my hair into a messy bun and wearing it like that for a couple of days. Less washing means less stress caused to your hair especially if you’re unable to get away from blow drying or heat styling. When you do wash it, never wash in hot water and rinse using cold water. Use a conditioning hair mask (my favourite is the Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Nourishing Treatment Masque) every couple of weeks to provide an intensive treatment that will keep your hair looking its best. Coconut oil is a great conditioner and far cheaper than any branded hair mask. Apply liberally the day before wash day and leave it on for as long as possible to let it work its way into the cortex of the hair. Treating it this way will make it stronger and more resilient to breakage. Also: never brush your hair when it's wet.

No Heat

Ideally you want to try to air dry as much as possible. My hair can air dry in a couple of hours, easy to do in the morning while I’m getting on with work at my desk; understandably this might not be do-able for those with long, thick hair. Heated styling tools can cause a lot of damage and be devastating to longer locks, washing in the evening and waiting until it’s dry before you go to bed is a good work around. I find hair products do their job much better when left to do their thing on damp, towel-dried hair leaving a smoothy, silky, high-shine finish. Avoid using heated styling tools unnecessarily, let you hair do its own thing; if it's naturally curly, embrace it, if your hair has no waves or kinks and is dead straight (like mine) just go with it. Trying to force your hair to look the opposite of what's natural will result in otherwise avoidable stress and damage.

Simple Products

Finding products that create healthy, shining, “bouncy” hair can be tough yet make all the difference. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to discover products that keep my hair smooth, frizz-free, and nourished. I use either OGX or A'kin for shampoo and conditioner, following up with A'kin Lavender and Anthyliss Leave-In Conditioner combed (with a wide comb) through the mid-length and ends. One last product gives my fine hair more body and lift, the Philip Kingsley Tricho Pro*. Spritz all over and combed through, it helps hair and scalp look healthy, improves natural shine, and repairs damage. I also use This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir* at nighttime, which helps with restful sleep and leaves hair more manageable upon waking. Find simple products that work for you and stick with them.

Be Gentle

The most important thing to remember with long hair is: be gentle - really, really gentle. Use a quality hair brush designed not to tug, pull, or tear at the hair like the Tangle Teezer*; tie hair up when outdoors in windy weather and wrap or braid when sleeping to prevent tangles and knots (satin pillows will also prevent friction, which causes breakage.) Be careful when removing hair brands, unwind slowly instead of pulling and tugging at the band until your hair falls loose, and don't tug at a ponytail to tighten a band when putting your hair up. Brush hair slowly and gently, if you hear a crackling noise that's the sound of hair snapping and breaking off. Long hair requires careful hands to take care of it, damage is easily caused - be gentle.