It’s shocking to hear people comment about how my hair looks healthy, because it wasn’t always this way. Throughout elementary and middle school I had short, chin-length hair and blunt bangs. Even when I was a ballerina, I was the only kid without a bun because my hair could only be worn one way — Lucy van Pelt-style. By the time I got to high school, I was ready for a change. I grew out my hair into a rib-length, scene-kid cut with side bangs (you know the look). I loved having long hair, but not enough to treat it well. I would dye it a new shade of red or brown every other month, use 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, and tear it apart when trying to brush out tangles. As a result, I went through a pretty intense cycle of growing it out, cutting it short, growing it out, cutting it short, etc. in a haphazard attempt to salvage whatever healthy hair I had.
But we’ve all been there — experimenting with expired hair products found tucked away in a cabinet, stoping mid-bleach application because you forgot to spot check and now your head burns, and lying to your stylist about your botched attempt to trim your split ends — Right?
Regardless, I’ve had my fair share of mishaps to somewhat know better when it comes to taking care of my hair now. I’ve had long hair for quite a few years, and I get that I can’t treat it like garbage if I want it to cooperate. I don’t know it all, and I am in no way a hairstylist, BUT feel free to check out what works for my mane below.
There’s an unspoken rule that, for long hair, you should visit the salon at least once every three months for a trim. I’m pretty consistent about this. Even though I want to keep my length, I make sure to book an appointment with my stylist regularly to clean up my layers and trim any dead ends. When your hair is really long, you’ll hardly notice an inch or so being cut off, especially if it helps lighten your weight and makes your mane look more sleek. Plus, I really like getting my hair washed in a fancy sink and catching up with the tabloid magazines my salon subscribes to, so there’s that.
The last time I dyed my hair was well over a year ago. Since then, I haven’t used any products to lighten or darken my color, and because of that I’ve had the opportunity to see my natural color come back to life. Unsurprisingly, I’ve also seen the health of my hair improve. Dying your hair, especially if you do it on a regular basis, can be so damaging. Unless you’re somebody that can put in the extra maintenance to properly care for colored tresses, I suggest sticking to more laid back color options. If you do want to experiment with a new hue then try something more low maintenance, like balayage-style highlights.
Cleansing & Masking
Once a week, I dedicate part of my morning to deep cleansing and masking for not only my face but my hair as well. Right now, this weekly routine includes washing my hair with the Christopher Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt then layering on one of my favorite masks — I really love the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask and the Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment. I let this sit for about 20 minutes or so before rinsing in cool water. Not only is this process really relaxing, but it makes my long hair feel extremely soft and full. Plus, since I don’t do it every day, it’s easy to work into my schedule.
Not going to lie — I’m temped to just reach for my boyfriend’s drugstore-brand, 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner every time my $20 shampoos or conditioners hit empty. However, to the dismay of my wallet, shelling out a little extra on my hair care products seems to really make a difference in my overall hair health. It’s not necessary to spend A TON on every hair product you buy, but investing in a salon-grade shampoo and conditioner and a few solid heat protectant or detangling sprays/serums can really make a difference. Right now, I’m really digging the R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer, and Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist. While these products may cost more money upfront, in the long run they’ll save you a lot of time and $$ because they make your hair easier to manage.
Despite the cult-appeal of The Flintstones chewables, I was never a kid who could get onboard with vitamins. But, as I’ve grown older and more aware of the likelihood of falling and breaking a hip in old age, I’ve grown pretty fond of taking a daily vitamin, especially the tasty, candy-like gummy varieties. Vitamins, obviously, help supply your body with much-needed nutrients, but, bonus: they’re also really, really great for your hair (and skin and nails). Most women’s multivitamins contain at least some trace of Biotin, which can keep your long hair feeling thick and strong if you take it regularly. I chew two of Olly’s The Perfect Women’s Multi a day.
Do you have any tips for taking care of your hair? Share them in the comment section!