How to Grow & Care for Long Hair
How to Maintain Long Hair
In order to keep your long locks looking luscious, you must care for your hair properly. Maintain your long locks with regular trims and a well-balanced diet. Choose tools and products that benefit and protect your hair, while avoiding those that lead to damage and frizz. Take additional measures before bed to protect your hair throughout the night.
Caring for Yourself and Your Hair
Schedule regular trims.While cutting your hair often will not cause it to grow faster, trimming your hair regularly will help to maintain its length. Trim your hair every 6 to 8 weeks to rid your locks of damaged ends and to prevent split ends from re-splitting. When you maintain this hair trimming schedule, it will only be necessary to cut approximately ½ an inch off your tresses each time.
Shampoo less.Shampooing your hair strips the scalp of its natural, nourishing oils. These oils ensure the health of your long locks. If you choose to use shampoo, apply the product 2 to 3 times per week and always condition your hair after.If you wish to avoid shampoo, replace the product with cleansing conditioner.
- Always apply shampoo directly to the scalp and conditioner to the ends of your hair.
Dry your hair with care.After showering, squeeze the excess water from your locks with a towel.Use a wide tooth comb to detangle your long locks. When possible, leave the blow-dryer in the drawer and air dry your tresses.
- Avoid roughly rubbing your hair with a towel—this leads to frizz and split ends.
- Use microfiber towels to dry your hair, which are less harsh and damaging than regular towels.
Maintain a healthy diet.Your diet impacts the health of your hair. To maintain a healthy shine to your long mane, drink lots of water and eat a diet rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K.
- To increase your intake of vitamins A, C, E, and K, consume more mangos, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, and apples.
- To increase your intake of vitamins B and D, eat more animal products.These include fish and dairy products.
Avoid tight hairstyles.While ponytails, braids, and top-knots are adorable and stylish, the tension these hairdos place on your hair can cause damage. The optimal style for long locks is to wear your hair down. If you prefer to pull it up and back, opt for a low chignon or ponytail, and don't wrap the hair too tightly.
Reduce your hair’s exposure to friction.When your hair rubs against certain fabrics, the resulting friction causes split ends. Pull your hair up into a low bun or sweep it to the side when you wear fur, faux fur, or wool.
Choosing the Right Products and Tools
Choose nourishing products formulated for your hair type.When selecting products, read the label and ingredients list carefully. Always buy products that are formulated for your specific hair type. Avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and isopropyl alcohol. Instead, seek out products that contain natural items, like avocado oil, honey, and or coconut milk.
- Don’t haphazardly test new products on your hair.
Select your heat tools carefully.Routinely exposing your hair to excessive or harsh heat will damage your long locks. If possible, invest in salon quality tools.When purchasing a flat iron or curling iron, opt for a tool that lists its temperature in degrees instead of “High,” “Medium,” or “Low.” This feature will allow you to control the temperature. When buying a blow-dryer, search for a product with a heat distributing nozzle and or a diffuser attachment. These features spread the heat evenly throughout your hair.
- If you use a heat tool to style your hair, apply a heat protectant spray to your hair first so it doesn't get damaged.
Purchase a high-quality hairbrush.When you have long locks, a great hairbrush is a worthwhile investment. Select a brush with natural bristles—a boar bristle round brush is ideal. Your brush should be firm enough to detangle your hair, yet gentle enough so that it does not pull too hard on your hair.
Limit your use of hair dyes and hair products.Hair dyes will damage your hair and overusing products will weigh it down.
- It is best to simply avoid dying your hair—wear your natural color proudly. If you choose to dye your locks, only dye your hair when it absolutely needs it.
- Use a marginal amount of hair products to keep your long locks full and bouncy. Over time, hair products build up on your scalp. Using too many products will weigh down your already heavy locks, causing them to look lifeless and flat.
- To remove built-up hair products, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo.
Protecting Your Hair at Night
Brush your hair before bed.Your bedtime routine should include brushing your hair. First, detangle any knots in your hair starting at the ends and working up to the roots. Then, run through your locks with a wide-toothed comb or a boar bristle brush, going from the roots to the ends. This will detangle your locks and spread your scalp’s natural oils throughout your hair.
Use scrunchies at night.When worn at night, elastic bands can cause undue damage to your roots and hair shafts. If you prefer to wear your hair up at night, trade your elastic band for a scrunchie. Before bed, twist your hair into a top-knot and secure the high bun with a scrunchie.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase.When your hair comes into contact with a cotton pillowcase, the resulting friction damages your long tresses. Upgrade to a silk pillowcase to prevent split ends. If you cannot afford a silk pillowcase, wrap your hair in a silk scarf.
Consider using a sleeping cap.Waking up with tangled tresses is never fun. Protect your hair at night with a sleeping cap. Sleeping caps constrain your hair—when your hair moves less at night, you wake up with fewer snarls.
QuestionHow should I maintain my long hair during the summer?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerLong hair can be maintained during hotter months by putting it up off of your face and/or shoulders. You can wear a high or low messy or sleek bun, a variety or updos, or even a braided style.Thanks!
QuestionI have long hair and an oily scalp. What kind of shampoo should I use?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerFor an oily scalp, consider using a clarifying shampoo. They are made to remove oil, dirt, and product buildup from the hair and scalp. A tea tree shampoo will get rid of oil also.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I grow long hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou don't cut it. When you go to the hairdressers, get a trim, not a cut.Thanks!
QuestionWhat hairstyles can I use for long hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can do pretty much anything! For example, I would recommend a half-tied ponytail or a neat bun. There are tons of ideas online that you can search for. Pinterest especially has a lot of hairstyle suggestions for long hair.Thanks!
QuestionI don't like to apply oil to my hair. Will my hair still grow if I don't apply oil after cutting it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, hair grows naturally about an inch per month.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I have to tie my hair in two braids at night?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust be sure to keep the braids somewhat loose to avoid breakage while you're asleep.Thanks!
QuestionWhich is the best shampoo to use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on your hair and scalp type. There are many products available in stores, just read the small details on the packaging and try different products until you find one you like.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I keep my hair in a bun?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo keep your hair in a bun, I would recommend taking 3-6 hair ties (depending on your hair type) and using the first one to tie your hair in a loose ponytail. Then, wrap your ponytail into the shape of a bun and use the remaining hair ties to loosely secure your bun. Finally, take a ribbon (or a piece of fabric) and tie it around your bun to keep it in place. wikiHow's article on making a bun can give you some other methods too.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I treat split ends?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a hair mask or a hot oil treatment or use a vitamin E shampoo. Don't forget to trim your hair regularly.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of shampoo should I use for dry hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry using Schwarzkopf extra care, moisture gloss shampoo.Thanks!
Im on a swim team, so my hair is in chlorine on the daily. Should I still not shampoo it every time I swim?
How do maintain my long hair if I have a lot of dandruff?
What if you want the hair to continue growing what are you going to do
How can I make my hair straight?
If you use head and shoulders shampoo on curly hair could it ruin your curls?
To maintain long hair, limit shampooing to 2-3 times a week since it can strip the scalp of nourishing oils. After washing your hair, squeeze the excess water out with a towel and use a wide tooth comb to get any tangles out. When possible, avoid blow dryers as they can damage your hair. Another way to care for your hair is to brush it, from roots to tips, every night before bed to distribute the natural oils. Finally, schedule trims every 6-8 weeks to get rid of damaged ends.
- There are so many different styles for long hair, it's nice to try them out.
- Asking professional stylists on opinions is a good idea. Sometimes, people just might look better with short hair, and they will know.
- Tying your hair back is always a good idea when playing sports, or doing an activity where your vision is important.
- Applying coconut oil the night before you intend to wash your hair has been shown to reduce protein loss when washing hair.
Sources and Citations
- Rele, A.; Mohile, R. (2003). "Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage" (pdf). Journal of cosmetic science 54 (2): 175–192.
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