“Long hair, don’t care.” Does this phrase apply to your hair care routine? Definitely not! Long hair requires extra TLC as it is more prone to tangles, dryness, damage, and discoloration than shorter locks. Maintaining your long, flowing tresses and keeping them looking healthy and shiny is tough – but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is use the right hair care products and styling tools and follow a balanced diet. In this article, we have listed 12 tips for long hair. Read on to understand how you can make your hair look healthy and luscious like Rapunzel’s!
12 Tips For Long Hair
1. Focus On Scalp Care
It all starts with your scalp. A healthy scalp creates the environment for healthy hair – it impacts the hair growth rate and hair health. Taking good care of your scalp helps blood and nutrients reach the hair follicles, resulting in stronger hair and lesser hair loss.
Wash your scalp with gentle shampoos to get rid of the oil, dirt, and product buildup. Make sure you massage the scalp while shampooing to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles. You can also go for scalp massages for a rejuvenating experience.
2. Oil Your Hair Twice A Week
A hot oil head massage is one of the best home remedies for long hair. It not only offers relaxation but also enhances hair thickness (1). Oiling the roots provides nutrition and helps your hair grow long and strong. It also helps rejuvenate dead hair shafts.
Use coconut, lavender, or almond oils to massage your scalp and promote hair growth. Here’s what you can do:
- Apply hot (warm) oil to the scalp and massage gently with your fingertips.
- Oil your hair and let it soak.
- Wrap a hot towel around the head for 10 minutes for better absorption of the oil into the hair. Leave it on for 1-2 hours.
- Wash your hair with cold water and mild shampoo.
The purpose of shampoo is to eliminate dirt and product buildup from the hair and scalp. But using it daily can make your hair dry, frizzy, brittle, and prone to breakage. Certain shampoos contain sulfates, and their excessive use might damage your hair. Hence, choose a sulfate-free shampoo based on your hair needs and type. Make sure it is mild to avoid stripping hair’s natural oils.
Be gentle while shampooing – lather at the scalp and let the suds slide down the hair. Your hair becomes softer while wet, and rubbing the shampoo harshly on soft hair can lead to breakage.
4. Dry Your Hair Gently
Drying your hair roughly with a towel increases the chances of breakage. Use a soft towel or an old T-shirt to pat your hair and air dry it.
Do not use bath towels to dry your hair as they make your hair rough and create tangles, frizz, and flyaways. Instead, use microfiber towels that are thin and have high water-absorbing power. They also reduce the drying time of your hair.
5. Use A Wide-Toothed Comb
Long hair is susceptible to tangles, but brushing it daily helps remove snarls and large knots. Use a wide-toothed comb for your hair. When your hair is dry, start combing it from the bottom and then work up gradually. This detangles the knots and prevents pulling, damage, and hair fall.
Boar bristle brushes are suitable for distributing the scalp’s natural oils throughout the hair. Brush your hair before bedtime for better blood circulation to the scalp while sleeping.
Wet hair tends to stretch more than dry hair and breaks easily. Thus, avoid brushing your hair while it is wet. If you want to detangle it, work through the knots gently with your fingers.
6. Trim Your Hair Regularly
While it might seem counterintuitive, trimming your hair and regular intervals can help you get rid of split ends and breakage that make your hair look dull, rough, and thin. Trim your hair every six to eight weeks to ensure minimum damage and promote healthy hair growth.
7. Ditch Your Cotton Pillowcase
Cotton pillowcases are one of the reasons for messy and tangled hair in the morning. Instead, use satin and silk fabrics as they are soft and cause lesser friction than cotton. These materials prevent split ends and tangled hair. Also, cotton is more porous than silk, and it absorbs moisture from your hair, leaving you with dry strands or flaky scalp. Silk pillowcases ensure your hair moisture is intact and help preserve your hairstyles for a longer time.
8. Cut Back On Heat Styling Tools
Overuse of heat styling tools like straighteners and curling wands can damage your hair. These tools reduce the thickness and shine of the hair, making it dull and dry. Hence, cut down on the use of these tools. Instead, twist your wet hair with a towel to curl it without using any heat.
If you cannot avoid heat styling altogether, make sure to use a heat protectant. This product forms a protective barrier on the hair shafts, preventing damage and ensuring a sleek and frizz-free hairstyle.
9. Change Up Your Hairstyle
Ponytails and similar hairdos look awesome, but tight hairstyles create stress on the roots and lead to hair breakage. Try loose hairstyles to avoid tension on the cuticles. A loose top knot or braids are amazing to showcase long hair. Also, use hair bands that do not pull at the roots.
10. Choose Nourishing Hair Products
Long hair needs special nourishment. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products with chemicals can have adverse effects on the hair in the long run. Prolonged exposure to chemicals and their buildup is detrimental to your hair health. To avoid this, use mild, lightweight shampoos and conditioners to hydrate the hair. Also, use a heat protectant spray before blow drying or styling to create a barrier between the hair and heat styling tool.
11. Maintain Proper Diet
Maintaining long hair requires more than just using the right products. You also need to feed your hair with the right nutrients. Consume foods that are rich in the following nutrients:
- Protein: The hair follicles are made of protein, the lack of which can lead to hair loss (2). Hence, consume protein-rich foods, such as eggs, legumes, yogurt, and fish, to maintain long hair.
- Vitamins: Vitamins B, C, D, and E help prevent hair loss and premature graying of the hair (2). Hence, include green leafy vegetables, avocados, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, liver, egg yolk, citrus fruits, and tomatoes in your diet.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. They provide essential nutrients to your hair and hydrate your scalp and hair (3). Fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout), flaxseeds, chia seeds, oats, avocado, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
12. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to skin and scalp dryness and make your hair brittle, frizzy, and limp. Drinking water contains trace elements like zinc, copper, iron, and calcium that affect hair health. It also strengthens the roots and prevents breakage.
Summing It Up
Long hair needs extra care to look healthy and lustrous. Proper scalp care, using the right hair products, and following a nutritious diet can help maintain your long hair. Follow the tips mentioned above to keep your long hair shiny and smooth.
- Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use
- Mackerel-Derived Fermented Fish Oil Promotes Hair Growth by Anagen-Stimulating Pathways
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