If there’s one thing I constantly get compliments on I would have to say it’s my hair. I have naturally dirty blonde hair that I typically dye blonde. It’s naturally pretty thick, grows well, and I have these subtle beachy type waves, that remarkably look best when I just do nothing with them. I got lucky in the hair department.
Most of my life I used minimal product, cheap shampoo and conditioner, and just didn’t pay much attention to my hair. Since hitting my mid-twenties, I’ve really started to care for my hair (and skin!) a lot more instead of just relying on my genes to get me by. I’ve seen big differences in both categories and wanted to share with ya’ll my best tips for growing and caring for long, healthy hair.
Fun fact: I was voted “best hair” in my senior class in high school! Head here for some other fun facts about me!)
My best tips for long, health hair
Air dry as much as possible
Unless you absolutely have to, avoid blow drying your hair when you can. I personally like to shower in the evening which means my hair can air dry and is ready to style in the morning. If you must blow dry often to style your hair properly then my best suggestion is to commit to going completely blow dry free on the weekends, and on your non-wash hair days. I also recommend not using your blow dryer at its full high heat setting. You can typically get equal results on a medium setting and save yourself some possible hair damage.
Keep heat tools to a minimum
Trust me, I love my straightener and my curling iron as much as the next girl, but they definitely take their toll on my hair! My best advice for this one is to find some fun heat free hairstyles you can try and play around with. Literally just type into google “heat free hairstyles”, you’ll get tons of articles and good ideas.
I don’t know how, or where, or when it became normal to wash hair every day, but it is definitely not helping your locks any! Your hair just doesn’t need to be washed that often – plain and simple. Your hair and scalp produce so many (good) oils naturally and more washing means stripping your hair of these healthy oils. I currently wash my hair about two times a week. For showering on non-hair washing days I just pull it into a top knot on the top of hair and then wear a headband to keep any flyaway off my face and neck. I use dry shampoo in between washes to keep my hair from getting oily.
Shampoo your roots / Condition your ends
A few years ago I learned I had been shampooing and conditioning my hair completely wrong my entire life. I really just lathered both of them all over and then rinsed. But here’s the thing: Shampoo is specifically for the roots. Conditioner is specifically for the ends.
That means when it comes to shampoo you should really dedicate your attention to lathering at the roots and messaging your scalp. Conditioner should be applied no higher then the mid-lengths of your hair and specifically at the ends. This helps detangle and hydrate damaged ends.
I currently use this shampoo (it’s sulfate free) and this conditioner. I recommend doing a deep conditioning hair mask once a week or every other week depending on how much your hair needs it. This hair mask is in the same line as my shampoo and conditioner and does a great job. Otherwise I’ve heard amazing things about this one and am dying to try it.
I also recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a month. Clarifying shampoos are meant to eliminate product buildup and to help restore shine. This is really important for us blondes who tend to get a little brassiness in our hair over time from hard water. I haven’t found a clarifying shampoo that I love love love yet. The one I’m using now is just OK. I’ve heard good things about this one and am looking forward to trying it soon!
Rinse with cold water
I have to admit, this is the one I struggle with the most. Who wants to end their blissful hot shower with a quick shock of cold water?! Not me, that’s for sure, but this tip really really helps for growing long healthy locks. Warm water opens up the hair cuticles, allowing product to penetrate deeper into your locks. Cold water closes up the hair cuticles, sealing the product into the hair. The quick shot of cold water keeps all that wonderful conditioner locked into the hair.
Invest in a hair, skin, & nails supplement
I just recently started takin a hair, skin, and nails supplement. I don’t think a supplement alone can give you amazing hair, but I do think when it’s added along with other good hair practices it can really help. I’m currently taking this (I also take this for my skin). Again, I just started them so the verdict is still out on how effective they are, but I will say they taste delicious, and have great reviews.
Avoid tight ponytails
Another one I struggle with! Because I have such long, thick hair it tends to make me really hot at night, unless it’s tied up out of my face and off my neck. The down fall of this is that all that extra time with your hair in a ponytail can lead to more breakage, especially if it’s a tight ponytail. I personally hate sleeping in braids, so I compromise and softly twist my hair into a top knot and loosely secure it with a hair coil or better yet, a scruchie! Both of these are looser and gentler then typical hair ties and I only twist them twice as opposed to twisting them three times like my typical hair tie.