Up until few weeks ago I had long, long hair. Like super long. So long that - if I fancied it - I could very easily tuck it into my trousers. I mean, it wasn't something I did that often (if ever) but whatever, the option was there should such an occasion arise..and there I go going off on another tangent again. Anyway, a few months ago I posted a photo of my ass-length hair, and - amazingly enough - I got a bunch of questions from you guys regarding how I keep my hair in decent condition, and how I grew it so long in the first place.
So I guess the first thing to do is to actually tell you guys my general hair texture and growth pattern. I'm sure it won't surprise any of you (judging by the appearance of my eyebrows/caterpillars) but I am a hairy, hairy person. Always have been (I was actually born with hair all the way down my back) always will be. My hair grows insanely fast, with or without any fancy concoction or techniques - so don't go thinking you'll become Chewbacca in forty eight hours. But, having recently had about six inches of my hair chopped off I have managed to find a variety of products that do genuinely work when it comes to keeping my hair healthy, and encouraging it to grow that little bit quicker. So you can be Chewbacca, but maybe not straight away..
Use minimal heat
Okay so we all know heat is bad for the hair and everything (I mean, when did it ever seem like a good idea to essentially flatten our hair with an iron?) - you've heard it all before, and it's true. Heat damages the hair, blah blah blah. In an ideal world, none of us would ever put a straightener to our hair ever again, buuuut to be honest I look way better with soft locks as opposed to my 'i just woke up' caveman hair. Just sayin'. Recently I've been trying out the L'Oreal Steampod 2.0 from LookFantastic which actually straightens the hair using steam, as opposed to ceramic plates. I'll be doing a full review over on my Youtube channel really soon, but in a nutshell the Steampod gives me super soft hair, that's not weighed down and - best of all - it keeps my mop in fab condition.
Brush it carefully
Years ago I used to hack at my hair like it was no ones business, because I thought that was the only way to get rid of knots and tangles. ow a days I'm the proud owner of around eight different detailing brushes that, well, de-tangle my hair. And boy do they de-tangle it well. I make sure to start at the ends and work my way upwards to ensure I don't snap any strands.
Take your vitamins
If you're healthy, your hair, skin and nails will be the best they can be. For a while I used to just take every day vitamins, but it soon dawned on me that popping maybe ten or twelve pills a day wasn't the most healthy thing in the world. I've since hopped on the Hairfinity bandwagon and - whilst I haven't been on them long enough to notice any difference in the length - the quality of my hair has definitely improved, even after my recent bleaching session!
Protect your ends
When people say you should get your hair cut to help it grow longer, it's true - but not for the reasons you might think. The reason we need the chop every once in a while is because the ends of our hair are the first things to dry up and split, which makes our hair a lot more prone to breaking. The best thing you can do is look after your ends and keep your hairdresser on speed dial. Just make sure they know the difference between 'just a trim' and 'ten inches'.
Massage your scalp
I do this because I generally like a good old head rub, but I recently found out that massaging your head on the regular can help to get rid of dry skin and oils that can stop the hair from growing as freely. You don't have to get fully involved with head oils or anything (although please, feel free) - you can just do it whilst you're scrubbing your hair in the shower!
Stop washing it (kind of)
I used to be a wash-my-hair-every-day kind of gal, but since cutting down my shampooing I've noticed a massive improvement in my hairs condition. Turns out, shampoo is great for cleaning the hair, but it also strips it like a biatch. I tend to keep my hair 'dirty' for as long as possible to allow it to retain as much moisture as possible. Dry shampoo is my best friend.
Don't do the towel turban
We all do the towel turban - don't even try to deny it - but it turns out that the turban technique actually does more harm than good. If you have remotely brittle hair, twisting your hair up into a rough towel can actually result in breakages half way up your head. Probably not the look you were going for, right? Instead, try using an old t-shirt to dry your hair or just pat it dry with a towel!
Blast it with cold water
Super hot water is known for damaging your hair - kind of like a straightener would. I'm not telling you to spend ten minutes showering on the cold setting (AKA my idea of a nightmare), but just blasting your hair with cold water can help to add a shine to your strands. Cold water also helps to smooth down the outer layers of the hair, which stops moisture escaping and - in turn - protects it.
Switch up your pony tails
Pony tails are pretty much crucial for long haired girls - or just any girl with hair for that matter - but if you wear your hair in the same style of up do day in, day out then you may run the risk of weakening the hair at the place the hairband sits. Switch it up every so often to ensure you're not damaging your 'do.
Apply a treatment weekly
Who doesn't love a good hair mask? They (usually) smell good, they're fun to do (hello sexy shower cap) and - of course - they do a lot of good. Even if you just leave a big old splodge of conditioner on your head for thirty minutes, doing it each week will help keep your hair in tip top condition (get it..condition..conditioner..ahem).
And that my friends, is how to go from smooth dolphin to hairy gorilla in four seconds flat. Um.