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I am a complete slave to my long hair as I am sure many of you out there are. While we do love our luscious locks, there is always the care part though that has us confounded. Sometimes the hair care routine is as simple as just knowing your hair thoroughly and knowing what works for you and what doesn't. Here are some hacks, tips and DIYs that will make taking care of long hair a breeze!
1. Know your hair type. It is imperative that you know exactly what your hair type is. While you know it is long, it is better if you know your woes so they can be treated and you can pick the right products.
2. Embrace the natural texture of your hair. Trust me, you will have healthier locks because of the sheer lack of styling and heat torture.
3. Take a break from the heat. If you can, occasionally leave your hair in its natural state with some mild conditioning products so it can regain its strength. The days when you don’t have anywhere to be, avoid the heat completely.
4. Invest in good products and tools. Just make sure you buy the right products for your hair and that even the heat tools are of good quality and do not damage your hair as much.
5. Avoid excess shampooing. Make dry shampoo your best friend. Shampooing your hair a lot strips it of its natural oils and for girls with long tresses, it is absolutely not good. Ideally try and keep washing your hair in between 2-3 times a week, 3 if you absolutely NEED to.
6. Switch your hair products. Okay, the season is a real thing and your hair reacts to different seasons in different ways. So make sure you switch up your products regularly according to your hair type for each season. This helps.
Steer away from chemical treatments. Be it permanent straightening or colour, chemicals often cause hair fall and thinning. Do it only if you must, only after being thoroughly aware of it.
Get a trim after 40-60 days: Okay seriously, I know how much the scissor scares us. Especially when the hairstylist’s inch is an entire foot that took you months to grow, I get it! But you HAVE to get regular trims. No, not because myths say it helps hair grow faster but the haircuts get rid of the frizz and split ends, and that keeps your locks healthy.
1. Hair mask/pack: Once a week, I either oil my hair, use a hair mask or a DIY hair pack and apply it either before I shampoo or overnight. If it is a night mask or hair oil, I just cover my hair up in a head wrap or shower cap and let it do its magic overnight and rinse it in the morning.
My favourites: Mamaearth Argan Hair Mask (Rs 599); Kama Ayurveda Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment Oil (Rs 1,050)
2. Shampoo: I usually use a strengthening shampoo and conditioner or a colour sensitive one because I have coloured hair. While shampooing I make sure I don’t tangle up my hair. I just wash them straight down. Another trick that I use is that I brush through my hair before I wash it, that minimises tangles and breakage. I focus the shampoo on the roots and the conditioner on the ends. If your hair has really damaged ends, then do a rinse with conditioner before you shampoo (also known as the reverse shampoo method).
My favourites: Wella Professionals Resist Strengthening Shampoo For Vulnerable Hair (Rs 575); Organix Strength & Body + Bamboo Fiber-Full Conditioner (Rs 725); Kiehl's Sunflower Color Preserving Shampoo (Rs 1,800); Kiehl's Sunflower Color Preserving Conditioner (Rs 1,700)
3. Leave-in and detangle: I step out of the shower and use an old t-shirt or a non-cotton towel to pat my hair dry, I do not scrub through the hair roughly. After that, I immediately apply some leave-in conditioner and detangle. I usually use a tangle teaser or a wide tooth comb or wed brush again to minimise breakage.
My favourites: BBLUNT Climate Control, Anti-Frizz Leave-In Cream (Rs 500); Vega De-Tangling Comb (Rs 70); Tangle Teezer Limited Edition Pug Love Compact Styler Detangling Brush (Rs 1,350)
4. Another leave-in: After I brush through my hair thoroughly I pat my hair dry with the towel and usually apply Moroccan oil to the ends for added shine.
My favourites: Moroccanoil Treatment (Rs 2,880)
5. Dry or blow dry: I either put my hair up in a head wrap or let it air dry to about 70-80% before I blow dry it. If I am using heat that day, I use a heat protectant spray or mousse after my hair is 80% dry and then blow dry.
My favourites: Remington AC8000 Keratin Therapy Pro Dryer (Rs 7,895); Wella Professionals EIMI Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray (Rs 675)
Hair Mask #1
Coconut repair mask: Restores moisture and brings the shine back to your hair.
Directions: Mix all ingredients into a pot and heat up until melted. Apply to the hair from root to ends and cover with a shower cap. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse.
Hair Mask #2
Strawberry Hair Mask: Eliminates excess oil and grease.
Directions: Blend all ingredients to form a puree and apply evenly to damp hair. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse well with warm water.
Hair Mask #3
Brown Sugar Mask: Helps aid dry, itchy or flaky scalp and removes dead skin cells.
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and apply to your entire hair focussing on the roots. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse.
Flaunt your long hair, because you’re gorgeous! *hair flip*