I've always been fairly happy with my hair. I can only describe it's length as 'boob length' really.. I thought i would share a few of my tips and tricks i have picked up over the years that i use to keep my hair healthy and long.
One thing i am extremely fussy about in life is my hair. I always have been and i probably always will be. I remember going to the hairdressers when i was a young'un and feeling terrified at the thought of somebody with a sharp pair of scissors being let loose to trim my tresses. I still hate it now. I will happily go and get it coloured, but getting it cut results in me feeling extremely nervous and staring intently into the mirror whilst some poor hairdresser attempts to cut my hair to my 'half an inch' specifications.
When all the other girls in my year at school went through that phase of cutting their hair short.. i didn't. And my hair has always remained relatively long (amidst a few layer-cutting, hair dyeing mishaps).
Here are a few things i use/swear by:
Now, i am by no means a hair expert, hair dresser or in any way a 'proffesh' but this is just what has worked for me over the years in maintaining the length of my hair. This should be quite a long post so if you're interested in growing your hair or just picking up a few tips on hair care, then grab a cuppa, get comfy and have a read. :)
- Conditioner. This is an obvious one. Always condition your hair. I don't tend to fuss too much over what shampoo i use but i always try and use a richly moisturising conditioner to keep the ends healthy and smooth. I leave it on for atleast two minutes each time i wash my hair and i NEVER skip it. I alternate what i use quite a bit. At the moment i'm using Wella's 'Enrich' range.
- Deep conditioning treatments. Once a month i treat my hair to a deep conditioning treatment. If it's in a particularly bad state then i'll do it twice in a week. At the moment i'm using the Herbal Essences Intensive Mask (they're so good if you're on a budget).But i really recommend the John Frieda ones. Again, i alternate this to whatever i fancy on the shelves when i need to purchase a new one..
- Trimming split ends. I hate to admit this and theres probably a few of you that will gasp in horror, but i cut my own hair. I just know how i like it to look and my hair isn't really in a particular style anymore. If yours is in a certain style i probably wouldn't suggest this. But if you are going to take the split end matter into your own hands i would suggest investing in some 'professional' hairdressing scissors. Blunt ones from your mum's kitchen drawer will cause havoc on your poor ends and make it worse. I bought mine from Boots and they do the job for me.
- Heat Protectant Spray. Heat in any shape or form is going to be bad for your hair. I'll be the first to hold my hands up and admit i absoloutely frazzle mine. BUT, i never ever skip the heat protectant. Ever. I use the Tresemme one because it lasts me for ages but whatever your heat protecting spray of choice - USE IT!
- Vitamins. Of course any form of vitamin is going to do you and your hair some good. To boost my hair's 'growing potential', i use Lee Stafford's Hair Growth Treatment. I want my hair to grow just a couple more inches but i'm struggling to get it past a certain length. I often pick this up if it's looking a bit bedraggled. For your hair to grow it needs to be healthy, so i find this gives it a boost (if you want a separate review on this please let me know - as i have quite a bit to say about it!)
- Hair Serum/Leave in conditioner. If the ends of my hair are looking a bit dry, i use a richly moisturising leave in conditioner, and apply serum to the ends to help seal any split ends. It's usually a temporary measure but i use a Botanics one which contains nutrients for your hair. It comes in a lovely travel sized bottle and i often make most use out of this abroad when my hair does tend to feel very dry.
"Rich in anti-oxidants it can act as a barrier against environmental damage".
- Tangle Teezer - It's a well known fact that brushing your hair when wet has the potential to cause a lot of damage. I only ever brush it through with a wide toothed comb, or just recently i've been using the Tangle Teezer. It's so gentle on your hair and doesn't feel as if it's tugging at your scalp when you brush through.
- Build-up removal sachets. Like me, Every so often, my hair needs a bit of a detox! So i buy a few sachets of 'build-up removal' shampoos. I haven't got any for photographic purposes right now, but once in a while i use one of these to remove any of the product build-up that may be damaging my hair. If i find it's becoming unmanageable or unruly, then these tend to do the job. You can also buy bottles of these shampoos but i find the sachets to be enough for me when i need to remove build-up.
- Protect your hair from the sun. If i'm on holiday i tie my hair up in a bun or plait it so that the ends aren't always being frazzled by the heat. I also protect it using one of those mini sunshine-y protecting sprays that you can get for cheap from the holiday section of Boots or Superdrug. I've used the Mark Hill one for the past 2 years and it does the job (i love the palm tree on the front..if that doesn't get you in the holiday mood i don't know what will!)
- Cut down on Dyeing/Bleaching. I'm naturally blonde and i've always liked my hair colour so i guess with this one i'm fairly lucky. It can get a little bit 'mousey' sometimes and i will admit i do sometimes get a few highlights or use lightening sprays or blonde dyes, but just recently i've embraced my natural tones and my hair is looking much better for it. If you are going to dye your hair, try to just concentrate on your roots, or use a good conditioner alongside it.
- Where possible, let hair dry naturally. Once or twice a month, i try to let my hair air dry as much as possible. I always use a hairdryer because if not my hair just wouldn't dry (it's quite thick), but sometimes i limit the amount of heat i use just to give my hair a bit of a break.
- Don't overly wash your hair! I don't wash my hair every day. The more you wash it, the greasier it will be because you're constantly stripping your hair of it's natural oils and in turn it will produce more. Natural oils in your hair will help it to grow and prevent it from becoming dry. If you're an over-washer-rer.. then embrace the wonderful invention of dry shampoo! Your hair will love you for it.
- Alternate your shampoo. I find that a good mix of shampoos works best with my hair. If it's looking brassy, i'll use a purple toned one. If it's in a bad way, i'll use a moisturising one. If i'm on holiday, i'll use a sun protection based one. If it's looking dull, i'll use one for bringing out blonde tones.
- Tie up your hair at night. It limits any damage and if you do have long hair like me, it can prevent all kinds of hair-strangling-madness.
- Scalp massaging. I picked this tip up from my hairdresser! Now and again if you massage your shampoo in with your fingertips and concentrate around your scalp, then it stimulates your hair follicules. Oof.
- Hair extentions. Don't get them glued in! Your hair will be wrecked. Use clip-ins if you are going to use them and make sure you use real human hair. It's a good way to experiment with lenth and they can make your hair appear fuller too. If you're waiting for your hair to grow but want to see results in an instant, then this is a good way to do so.
I also have long layers at the back of my hair to help keep it looking full. Growing your hair doesn't mean your hair has to look flat and boring and keeping long layers trimmed into it can help to add movement and keep it looking healthy. I also have a little side-swept fringe to keep things a bit more interesting (what a risky little devil i am..)