I have had long hair since forever which means I don’t cut my hair more than just a regular trim when I visit my hairdresser. The only time I have ever had hair just a little longer than shoulder length was when I was in primary school. My hairdresser, that I have been going to for nearly 10 years, knows very well not to get scissor happy (like most hairdressers do). But having said that, this means I have to make sure my hair is well looked after, so my ends don’t get dry and full of split ends. This also means that I have figured out what works for my hair and what doesn’t.
So, how do I maintain my long hair? Here are 5 things I do …
1. I use good quality shampoo and conditioner
I buy my shampoo and conditioner from my hair salon. Firstly, because my hairdresser knows what my hair type is, she recommends what works best for my hair. Secondly, salon quality products are of the best quality. They hardly contain a million and one ingredients with some names being hard to pronounce. The ingredients also tend to be gentler and contain less sulphates, silicones and any of the nasty stuff that tend to do more damage than good. I found when I would use store bought brands, my hair became greasier more quickly, making me wash my hair more often than needed, which then made my hair very dry.
The products I am using now: I swear by Pureology because the range is sulfate-free with highly concentrated formulas to moisturise, volumize and protect damaged dry hair. I alternate between the purple hydrate range and the blue strength cure range. However, now that it is winter I tend to suffer with a dry itchy scalp. The only shampoo that soothes this is Eucerin’s calming urea shampoo which is just brilliant! It is available from Clicks and Dischem for about R110. After I shampoo with this I use Pureology’s strength cure conditioner.So if you’re looking to up your shampoo and conditioner game, I recommend asking your hairdresser what range of salon quality products will be best for your hair type. Using a good quality shampoo and conditioner is the first step to maintaining healthy hair! If you find that salon quality products are expensive, just think about your hair being an investment. Also know that good quality products last forever and a day! You only need to use a minimal amount at a time, making it last really long!
2. I air dry my hair
I’m quite lucky when it comes to air drying because I have naturally straight hair with a slight curl/wave to it, so because of this I like to let my hair air dry. I also find that when my hair has air dried, the texture is thicker and wavier (if that makes sense). Another thing I like to do, which I know isn’t the best way because I may catch flu (is this an old wives tale?), is I like going to bed with wet hair because when I wake up in the morning, it looks like I just had a perm – my hair is so thick and curly! Ha!
If you’re able to, try let your hair air dry. You’ll soon start falling in love with the natural state your hair dries, I promise you! I used to straighten my hair with a hair iron nearly every two days because I absolutely loved the feeling and the look of perfectly straight hair. After a while I realised how much damage was being done to the ends of my hair so I stopped! Now I only use the hair iron if I really have to (more on this below) because I actually love the natural state of my hair when it air dries!
3. I apply a hair mask once even twice a week
Hair masks put all the extra moisture, nourishment and shine back into the hair. Just as much as I love a good face mask, I also love a good hair mask. And on days when I will be working from home the whole day, I apply the hair mask in the morning. I let it soak up in my hair the whole day, until I rinse it that evening. I also do this with coconut oil. If you want to read all the benefits of coconut oil, there’ll be a blog post on this this week, but it is just the best as a hair mask. Some of my favourite hair masks include Dove’s Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Mask (R80.95 from Clicks) and Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask (R475 from RetailBox).
If your hair is really dry and needs a moisture surge, I definitely recommend starting off with coconut oil masks once a week. I also recommend using an intense treatment mask (like the Dove one I mentioned above) as a conditioner until you notice your hair is getting well nourished. Often I will use a treatment mask as a conditioner and it really helps a lot!
4. I use the best quality hair tools when I really need to use them
Like I mentioned above, I always try air dry my hair. But sometimes this is not always possible, especially in winter when I don’t want to get sick, so I will blow dry my hair with my GHD Air hairdryer. If I absolutely have to, like for a special occasion or an event, then I will bring out the GHD hair straightener. I try stay as far away as I can from the hair iron though, as heat kills the hair! I’m afraid to admit it, but it really does. We can’t even touch a hot hair iron with our fingers, because it’s just so hot, so can you imagine what our poor hair goes through?
I will be doing a post soon on how I use the GHD hair straightener with tips and tricks on preventing so much heat damage, so stay tuned for that.
5. Argan oil is my hair’s best friend
The number one product I use all the time, for anything and everything, is my Moroccanoil Light. After I’ve washed my hair, I apply a pump or two through it, especially focusing on the ends. As you know Moroccanoil is made of argan oil but what I like is that it’s of the highest quality compared to other argan oils I have tried.
Some of the benefits of argan oil are:
- eliminate’s dandruff and dry scalp
- tames frizz and fly aways
- repairs split ends
- protects hair from the heat of blow dryers and flat irons
- treats dry, brittle hair
- gives hair a shinier, glowier look
I stay away from using too many unnecessary products on my hair. This means I don’t use a dry shampoo or hair spray or anything for that matter, except for argan oil. The reason for this is I find if there’s too much product build up, hair follicles get blocked and clogged. That’s just my opinion though but I’m no hairdresser 🙂