A Care Guide For Long Hair

Caring for long hair requires a bit more thought and attention than shorter styles. With short hair, it gets trimmed and refreshed fa...

A Care Guide For Long Hair

Caring for long hair requires a bit more thought and attention than shorter styles. With short hair, it gets trimmed and refreshed far more regularly; you don’t need to worry about what the tips look like in a year or two because they’ll be cut off. Longer hair quickly shows when it’s not been taken care of, which is harder to correct without chopping several inches off.

My hair is more than just hair to me, it’s a sign that I’m happy and healthy. At one point in my life my hair was falling out in clumps and I had to keep it cropped short due to my health. It’s now hip-length and in great condition all thanks to the solid hair care routine I’ve created. I'm occasionally asked what my hair care routine is so this post breaks it all down for you.

Hair care doesn’t have to be complicated or require a lot of products; when you know the crucial elements, it’s easy to strip back your routine to keep hair care easy, manageable, and effortless. If you're growing your hair out or want tips of keeping yours looking its best, this is my care guide for long hair.



Health

Diet plays such a huge role in how your hair looks and feels, it’s the reason my hair went from falling out to super long. Eating natural fats and drinking lots of water really makes a difference to how your hair looks and feels; it gives it a natural glossy shine and strength.

If you want to grow out your hair, don’t trim it regularly (despite what people might say). Regular trims are great for maintaining a finished style and length; if you're growing your hair, they'll only set you back. I get my hair cut once every 8-10 months or whenever the ends start to look split or dry. I get at least an inch cut off and I find that’s enough to keep my hair looking good while it grows. It’s also really important to find a hairdresser you like and trust. I go to The Parlour Hair salon and always book in with the same hairdresser; he never fails to cut my hair exactly how I like it and never tells me off for cutting my own fringe! Having someone who listens to you and gives you the cut you want plays such a huge role in having a hair style you love.



Washing

Using gentle products is key to happy, healthy hair. A lot of shampoos and conditioners are packed with sulphates, parabens, and silicones, which can be very drying and damaging when used regularly. I only use hair products that are ‘naturally derived’ and free of those ingredients to keep my hair looking healthy. When it comes to specific hair care products I’m not loyal and I’ll happily switch up my shampoo and conditioner so long as they do not contain sulphates or parabens but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my favourites. I'm in the process of making the switch to a zero waste option but right now I'm using products from either the Noughty range or Tropic Skincare range. I love both and they work.

To cleanse, I’ve been using the Tropic Nourishing Hair Cleanser*. It lifts dirt without foaming to gently cleanse the hair and care for the scalp. I have a sensitive scalp and find massaging it, either with my hands or with a Scalp Massager* helps ease that. By far the most important step in washing long hair is conditioner. I’ve been using the Tropic Hair Feast* packed with aloe vera, jojoba oil, plant derived keratin, murmur butter, and natural oils to deeply condition from root to tip. It gives the hair enough slip to avoid friction or dryness but not so much the hair is left slick or waxy. Every couple of weeks and especially around the time my hair needs a trim, I apply a hair mask like the Noughty To The Rescue Intense Moisturise Hair Treatment* to deeply condition and treat frizz and split ends. I like to apply this, wrap my hair up, and leave it on as long as possible to really treat my hair.

Everyone’s hair is different so telling you how often to wash it seems a little redundant but it’s advisable not to wash every single day; this can dry out your hair and cause damage. I wash my hair once every three to four days. I’ll wear it down for the first couple of days and pin it up with a hair pin on days three and four.



A Care Guide For Long Hair


Drying

Drying can be one of the most damaging parts of a hair care routine; too much heat, not enough protection, and the use of tools can have a dramatic effect on the condition of your hair. Air drying isn’t usually a viable option for super long hair, it’s certainly not for me - it would take hours! So using a hair dryer is unavoidable. The products you use and how you apply heat is, in my opinion, far more important than the hair dryer you use. Applying a hair oil that smooths or maintains curl, creates shine, and protects against heat is essential for great looking hair. Using a cool setting and moving the hair dryer in a smooth downwards motion will dry your hair without causing frizziness, and blasting it with cold air really smooths everything out.

When I’ve just got out of the shower, I pat my hair to absorb some of the water and then brush it out. I apply the Tropic Hair Smooth Radiance oil* to the ends, and blow dry my fringe, which gives my hair time to dry a little and for the oil to settle in. On a cooler setting, it’s slow and steady to dry my hair; it takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to fully dry, and then I blast it with cold air from the dryer to smooth out any frizz or flyaways. I’m always left with sleek, glossy looking hair.



Styling

Super long hair can be tricky to style especially if it’s straight because it requires a lot more products. If you do want long hair that can be curled and styled, it’s important to have a cut that enables you do that easily.

The longer my hair has become the less inclined I am to style it. I have a simple hair cut with a blunt fringe and blunt ends with all the hair being the same length. The classic cut means it's easy to care for and style yet looks intentional and effortless. If I do ever curl it, the curls drop out within a couple of hours because of the weight of the hair so it feels pointless and a waste of time. I love loose waves and curls but I don’t want to load my hair up with hairspray so I rarely bother anymore.

When I do style my hair, heat protection is so incredibly important. It’s easy to cause damage from brushing, curling, and applying heat. I always use a Tangle Teezer to brush my hair and reputable curling tools. I have the ghd Curve Wand with an oval barrel to create loose, flowing waves, and the Enrapture Encode Totem Hair Styler, with a large barrel and three independent heat zones to create tight curls or soft waves. For daily styling I either wear my hair straight or pin it up with a hair stick or tangle-free hair bands, which limits stress and damage.



A Care Guide For Long Hair


Product List

A complete list of all the products I currently use in my hair care routine. I'm in the process of testing out zero waste hair care options although in the past I've found it tricky to find suitable alternatives for super long hair.

•   Tangle Teezer
•   Tropic Scalp Massager
•   Faith In Nature Shampoo
•   Faith In Nature Conditioner
•   Tropic Nourishing Hair Cleanser
•   Tropic Hair Feast
•   Noughty To The Rescue Intense Moisturise Hair Treatment
•   Tropic Hair Smooth Radiance oil
•   BaByliss 'Iridescent Salon Pro' Hair Dryer
•   ghd Curve Wand
•   Enrapture Encode Totem Hair Styler
•   SAYA Tapioca Lead Hair Stick
•   Superdrug Hair Ties

I recently switched to using Faith In Nature shampoo and conditioner, which I can purchase packaging-free from my local bulk supermarket.




What are your tips for healthy hair?
Share them in the comments!





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