The picture above is me. I model part-time so I have to take care of myself and this includes my hair. I get asked all the time how is it my hair is so long? What do I use? Don’t I encounter hair breakage? Is my hair fake? etc. etc. Ha, that last one is my favorite! I also get complimented by people on how much they love my hair and love the length, shine, etc. I decided to write this blog on my hair because, even though genetics play a part in whether or not your hair is thick or thin, it is possible for everyone to have healthy, long hair despite genetics. And healthy hair is beautiful hair.
The Secrets to Healthy, Long Hair:
- Don’t use sulfates, parabens, or any chemical concoction on your hair. In fact, these expensive, pricey salon products that your hair dresser pushes on you or you think you need are junk and a waste of money. I have tried my fair share of Biolage, Matrix, and Paul Mitchell before I was enlightened to the fact that these are just overpriced versions of Suave and Herbal Essences. I have fallen in love with Shea by Moisture products. These smell amazing! And they are all natural, sulfate and paraben free, plant and herbal based formulas. (see- this is a blog about herbs 😉 ) They have many different varieties and they all smell wonderful! Even after your shower, the smell stays in your hair all day. My husband thinks I’m weird because I’ll constantly be smelling my hair during the day. No joke, these are great products! My personal favorite is SheaMoisture Low Porosity Protein w/Baobab & Tea Tree Oils. But I do like to mix it up between the different kinds they offer.
- Don’t wash your hair everyday. I know, society has taught us that we need to wash our hair everyday or it’s just not clean. Such lies, propagated by guess who? The advertising agencies for those cheap hair products out there. How else are they going to keep profits up? If you are using more of their product, they sell more. Bottom line. Think about it. In the latter part of America, history tells us that people didn’t wash their hair everyday. It was more like 1 or 2 times a month or even once a week. And yes, they had to conserve water, but the concept of washing it all the time to retain hair health was also foreign to them. It’s kind of like the diamond rings to symbolize your love on your wedding day. Yeah.. that was brought about by an advertising agency for a jewelry store and now it’s just been mainstreamed into society making people think they need to do it when all along it was really just an advertising ploy. But I digress… Washing your hair everyday is simply just not good for your hair. It stresses it out, creates frizz, and creates even more split ends. Not just that, it eliminates the oils from your hair that are protective to your scalp and hair cuticles. Your hair was meant to retain a certain amount of oils for good scalp and hair health. Personally, I wash my hair every other day or every two days, but I don’t go beyond that unless I’m camping. 🙂
- There is a right way to wash your hair. A lot of us have been taught to put the shampoo and conditioner on all throughout the hair too, am I right? Well, that only really applies to short hair. Those who want long hair should not wash their hair in this manner especially if you have bangs (like I do). Conditioning bangs can make them look greasy, instead of full and fluffy.
- First, never buy an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner! These do not belong together.
- Second, shampoo needs lathered all throughout your hair first, scrubbed, and then washed out.
- Third, conditioner should only be applied to the ends of your hair meaning from the top of ears down, lathered, and left for 3-5 minutes (or longer!) before rinsing out. Conditioner is very important. In fact, skip the shampoo some days and use just the conditioner. If you do this, it’s okay to apply to the whole head.
- Lastly, wash your hair in cool water. The hotter the water, the more damaging it is to your hair.
- Allow hair to dry naturally and don’t brush it. Try and avoid hair dryers. Even with the products out there that state they prevent hair dryer damage, it’s still not good for your hair.
- Add oils back into your hair. Once hair is dry, put oils back in it. As I mentioned before, washing eliminates healthy oils from your hair so if you don’t want your hair to frizz up or break, it needs oils. My favorite is Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil. It’s pure Argan Oil and nothing else. You don’t need much and once applied, you can brush this through the hair. I just use my hands to apply it throughout. If you find you need more throughout the day, you can always put on more just be careful not to use too much and to comb this evenly through the hair or your hair will look greasy.
- Trim your hair once in awhile. I only trim my hair every few months and I only cut off a little bit, at the most half an inch. This gets rid of split ends and makes the hair look healthier. My mom taught me how to cut hair so I trim my own. No use spending 10-30 bucks just to trim my hair. By the way, trimming has nothing to do with how fast your hair grows. It’s the end of the hair, not the beginning….
- Treat your hair with Almond Oil once a month. I like to use Mountain Rose Herbs – Almond Sweet Oil. Treat the hair by covering it in the Almond Oil, covering it with a shower cap, and letting it sit for 45 minutes. Wash out with shampoo. You may need to wash it twice to get it all out. It just depends on how soft your water is and the water pressure. My hair never looks as good as it does after this. You will be amazed at how good your hair will look and feel after an almond oil treatment. It’s pretty awesome!
Warm almond oil and massage into hair.
Wrap hair in a warm towel.
Let sit 30-60 minutes.
Rinse oil out & Condition.
- The right way to brush your hair: Brush the ends first and then the top through the ends. This will avoid split ends and hair breakage during brushing. If you have a knot in your hair, use an oil/condition detangler to spray on the hair to get the knot out and brush gently. You don’t want to pull on these and stress the hair and a detangler will help lessen that stress as you work to get the knot out.
- Take your vitamins. Everything we take in directly contributes to how we look. Vitamins are a huge component of this. I really like Garden of Life from VitaSprings because these vitamins are sourced from non-GMO organic whole foods, contain Biotin which is essential for hair growth, a lovely herbal blend for adrenal support (as we all know stress can contribute to hair loss so this has a positive effect on hair growth as well), no synthetically derived ingredients, and the Vitamin A is not excessive. Too much Vitamin A is actually detrimental to your health. Optimal Vitamin A that women need ranges from 2300 IU-2500 IU. Most vitamin supplements go wayyy overboard on this. I’ve seen some supplements contain well at 6,000 IU. Unless you have the measles, it’s completely unnecessary.
- Increase your iron intake. Lack of iron contributes to hair loss and balding and as we get older, we lose our iron stores and need more of this. You see our body constantly uses iron in hair growth and bone and blood health. Excess iron gets stored in the body for later. In fact, it’s a good idea to increase this while you are in your 20’s just so you have the necessary stores available for your body as you get older.
- It’s important to know what kind of iron to buy. Ferrous or ferrochel iron chelate are both non-constipating, easily assimilated into the body, and easy on the stomach. There’s debate on which is the better iron however. I’ve read ferrochel is better, but what is even better than those two is bioavailable iron because it is synergistic. I buy bioavailable Iron Fuzion from Dr. Group’s Organic, Herbal Supplements. This iron is herbal based and very easy on the stomach. Below are the supplement facts on this product and you can go to his website where he provides more information on the Murraya koenigii extract. It’s good stuff! 🙂
So to summarize: use of damaging hair products, excessive washing, lack of oils, incorrect brushing techniques, and lack of vitamins and iron all contribute to unhealthy hair and hair loss.
Follow the regimen I’ve outlined above and you will obtain the healthy, long beautiful hair you desire. 🙂 It may take awhile so be patient! My hair didn’t grow overnight. And you need to remember that your hair has been stressed for a long time with bad grooming practices so your hair will need to recover from the damage caused by the chemical hair products that were used on it. That takes time, but you should see results in under 3-6 months (depending on the damage) on the strength, shine, thickness, and length of your hair.
I’d love to hear results! Please comment below if you’ve tried this regimen and how it worked for you!