How to Take Care of Long Hair?

How to Take Care of Long Hair

Finally. I’m letting you in on ALL my secrets: how to get absurdly long hair, how long does it take, how much does it cost and is it even worth it? All the answers, to do and not-to-do list and some product tips inside this post. You’re welcome.

Unfortunately, long hair doesn’t grow overnight, so if you decide you want it, you’ll have to commit to this decision and stay true to it for at least a couple of years. No one can promise you that you will ever get hair as long as mine, but who knows, it might as well get even longer. It all depends on your genetics and in particular on the duration of anagen phase of your hair. It is the period, during which the hair grows about one cm every 28 days (which only makes about 10cm a year!). Scalp hair stays in this phase for two to seven years and that is genetically determined (easy math – if your assigned anagen period is two years, you should probably consider extensions). This is the base, but having the right genetics isn’t everything.

Let’s say my hair is about 80cm long, meaning that the ends have been with me for about six-seven years (I think I’m the chosen one and my hair actually grows more than 10cm a year). They do of course get dry and damaged, but the best solution for treating the problem (a.k.a. – cutting the crap off) won’t work in case you want really long hair. If you’re “saving” your strands, you shouldn’t cut them more then one-two times a year, which means you’ll have to take extra great care of your hair, so it can stay with you longer.

Here are my 10 best tips on How to Get Ridiculously Long Hair?

1. Don’t wash too often
The longer it gets the more time (and shampoo) you’ll need to spend washing it. The good news are you won’t need to do it as often. Normally I shampoo my hair once (maximum twice) a week. The problem with excessive washing is that both water and detergents will strip your hair off natural oils and amino-acids that maintain it well-nourished and healthy. I guess you can experiment with alternative ways of cleansing (like dry shampoo or balsam method), but I’ve chosen to do the conventional wash although much more rarely. To be completely honest, my hair does look lived-in and greasy after four-five days, but you can either learn to enjoy and rock this style or get creative with different up-dos (scroll down to learn more about it).

2. Use sulphate-free shampoo
I try to avoid products that contain sulfates, because they tend to irritate the scalp and are merciless not only to the grease but also to the natural oils, which keep your hair shiny and healthy. Two of my absolutely favorite shampoos are Rahua‘s 100% natural wonder and evo‘s Normal Person Shampoo. They do their job gently with no unnecessary fuzz. Both are a bit pricy, but I can tell you that growing long hair isn’t a cheap affair (so if you’re not ready to put in lots of effort and money, you can stop reading this post now).

3. Detox and nourish
Hair detox is something I’ve discovered quite recently, but it makes a lot of sense. Even though I try not to abuse styling products (especially those with silicones), they do occasionally reach my hair, leaving some residue that won’t rinse off with a mild shampoo. That’s why you should consider deep cleansing at least once a month.

A very talented hair stylist and blogger Therese Friberg has recommended me a treatment called The.KMX from an Australian haircare brand Kevin Murphy. You can either book this experience at any Kevin Murphy salon near you, or just purchase all the products and make your own hair-spa at home.

First, using Maxi.Wash “exfoliate” your hair from silicon- and other build-ups. The formula contains enzymes from papaya, pineapple, and citrus to deeply cleanse your hair. Reapply shampoo as many times as needed till it starts to produce thick foam, which will be an indicator that your hair is now detoxified. Continue washing procedure with one more round of shampooing, choosing the right product for your hair type, for me Therese decided on Hydrate-Me.Wash. Finish off with a proper conditioning mixing together rich in anti-oxidants Born.Again treatment with your favourite Kevin Murphy conditioner (we used Hydrate-Me.Rinse).

The result speaks for itself – on the picture below you can see my 100% natural hair with no styling products. My mind was blown away by how shiny it could be when washed and nourished properly. It’s been 1,5 week since I went to Therese’s salon, but my hair still looks gorgeous.

Kevin Murphy KMX

After Kevin Murphy The.KMX treatment. Naturally healthy and glossy hair with no styling products.

4. Get yourself a proper brush…
The one I’m referring to is this cult & classic from Mason Pearson. It costs as much as a nice pair of shoes (depending on the size from 100€ to 150€), but as I warned you before, long hair is expensive. It brushes through even the thickest and longest hair without damaging or breaking it, while natural bristles make sure your hair doesn’t get charged, which prevents fly-aways and tangles. It’s perfect for blow dries and whenever you need a proper brushing. For other occasions and emergencies you can always keep a Dtangler in your purse.

5. … and brush your hair before washing.
Trying to comb through long thick strands while they are wet is very much like trying to detangle a deadlock. Believe me, I’ve done that way to many times, before I realised I’m much better off brushing my hair while it’s still dry and kind of greasy. The time you spend doing it and the amount of damage done to the hair will be at least halved. Seriously, I hope you’re keeping notes here.

6. Never leave the roots wet…
As it might be the main reasons why your scalp is getting flaky. It’s hard for the skin to evaporate all that moisture underneath so much hair, so it works on its full capacity to ooze away any excesses, which naturally may leave it extra dry. When you use your hair dryer, always start at the roots.

7. … but don’t overheat your hair either.
Although blow dries are essential when you have long hair (otherwise it might take days for it to dry), you shouldn’t overdose them. Again, once a week on the lowest temperature setting is fine, but ironing your strands everyday – not so much. If you want to manipulate your hair, use styling products instead. For the fans of glossy flat iron look I recommend Aveda‘s Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener, the results are just as impressive with minimised damage.

8. Don’t wear you hair loose all the time (and never to bed).
Generally, buns, ponytails and braids will become your best friends if you decide to grow long hair. I doubt there’s a person in this world who can wear long strands for days without smudging them in all types of silicones or treating them with flat irons (you do that and the next time you visit your hairdresser, they’ll have to chop off quite a bit of your heat damaged hair). You can of course use styling instruments from time to time but try to be thrifty and pay extra attention to the tools you’re using (here‘s a good one for curls, for example).

Moreover, if you don’t braid or put your hair up at night, you’ll probably wake-up with a bee-hive the morning after. While it may be trendy and good-looking, I promise you’ll get tired of it eventually, especially after spending hours and hours trying to brush it through. Putting your hair up in a simple bun takes just a couple of seconds, but will save you a lot of time and nerves. As a nice bonus, sleeping with a bun will give your hair some nice soft waves and a bit of edgy texture. Win-win situation.

9. Be smart when choosing styling products.

Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Finishing Spray

As I told you earlier, not washing your hair everyday might sound a bit challenging at first, but if you’re being smart about the styles you create and products you use, you’ll figure out the ways to enjoy all stages of your hair dirtiness. I have a cycle of different hairdos that I rotate depending on how fresh my hair looks: first couple of days I’m wearing my strands loose slightly fixating them with a super light-weight hairspray with UV filter (I hope I don’t need to remind you that you MUST protect your hair from the sun, just as you protect your skin. Every damn day. Even in the winter). My favourite one is Sheer Lacquer from Shu Uemura.

When my hair starts to look and feel a bit dirty, I usually put it in the bun or a simple braid and rock that for a couple of days. And then comes my favourite part, because I actually like my hair grungy. What I do is that I use a lot of volume powder or texture spray on the roots to create a big wavy mess. Try Kevin Murphy‘s Texture.Master, it allows you to go from Kurt Cobain’s greasy weirdness to Beyonce’s va-va-voom awesomeness in just a couple of minutes (watch the linked video to learn how to use it).

10. And most importantly of all – be patient

It took me almost 10 years to get to this length. You have no idea how often I was on the verge of cutting it all down, but it is a part of my personal brand now and it’s also the longest relationship I’ve ever had. Like with any partner, you need to commit, be loving, caring and have a lot of patience.

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