I think I’m a bit of a pro for maintaining Rapunzel locks! Read my 10 tips for looking after long hair.
Words: Megan Carthy, Image: Tom Humphreys
In my life, I’ve had my hair shorter than shoulder length on only one occasion. Long hair has always been my ‘thing’ and, despite encouragement from friends to cut it short on multiple occasions, I’ve stuck firmly with my look. Because of this, I think I’m a bit of a pro when it comes to looking after long hair and have developed my own little system for keeping it healthy without spending a fortune on products and treatments.
- Use coconut oil as a hair mask. I can’t tell you enough how good for your mane this wonderful stuff is – simply run a dessert-spoonful through the ends once a week, leaving for around an hour before washing out. You’ll be left with moisturised locks that smell heavenly!
- Know how often to wash it. Some will swear that their hair needs washing everyday whilst others will refuse to touch shampoo more than once a week. Experiment and see how your dryness/oil levels balance out with different lengths between washes.
- Tie it up. If you’re going to bed, tie it up. If you’re doing sport, tie it up. If you’re going out in the wind, tie it up. You might love having your pride and joy flowing about but avoid the pain of unknotting a bad tangle and keep it up in rougher conditions!
- Step away from the heat. We’ve heard this 1 million times, but seriously, put the straighteners down. No amount of protective spray will save you in the end and it’s good to give your hair a break – if you really hate your hair anything but straight, give some new up-dos a try!
- Beware product build up. I use a lot of products to keep my hair looking swish and over time they build up, leaving my hair looking lank and heavy. A weekly wash with a deep-clean shampoo (I do it after the coconut oil) will reduce product build up, leaving it as weightless as if it has been freshly cut.
- Snags and bags. I find shoulder bags to be an absolute nightmare for trapping my hair. Badges, buckles and chains can get tangled with hair easily and cause breakages so avoid wearing your hair down for these ‘problem’ accessories!
- Dye with caution. I’m not saying don’t dye your hair, but be aware that years of growth can be lost with a bad lightening job. I can not stress enough to get your hair professionally dyed if you wish to change colours – would you rather have a lighter purse or a barnett beyond repair?
- Don’t put off the trim. The hairdressers can be a scary place for long haired gals, especially when trying to grow it. A regular trim is essential for looking after long hair as you can rid it off dead ends and breakages. Find a hairdresser who works well on long hair (ask long haired friends maybe) and simply ask for the minimum taken off – it’ll be back in no time!
- Stay hydratred. I’m a recent convert to drinking water. Though this seems like the go-to answer for any beauty question, drinking plenty of water really does help in keeping your hair (and skin!) lush and soft. Give it a try – I dare you.
- Look after your scalp. Though not as glamorous or sexy as most hair care routines, looking after your scalp is important. Avoid using products that react badly with your skin (dry shampoo, I’m looking at you!) and avoid sunburn by wearing a hat or head scarf in hot weather.
Looking after long hair really doesn’t need to be rocket science. I actually had to have a good think for most of these as they’ve all become second nature to me! So many of these tips can be incorporated seamlessly into your hair routine and you will see the difference remarkably soon.
What’s your best advice for maintaining mermaid hair?