If you visit here regularly, you've probably noticed I change my hair frequently. One week I'll be blonde, then the next week I'll switch to dark brown. Some days I curl my hair and other days I'll straighten it with the flat iron. I've even temporarily dyed it pastel pink! The point is…I can be rough on my hair with so many frequent changes. That's why I make an effort to take care of it and prevent damage. If you're wondering how to get long healthy hair, stick around because today I'm sharing my best secrets!
This picture makes me laugh because I can see a strand of pink hair from 2 summers ago when I dyed a couple strands pink with Kool-Aid and I thought it would wash out. It didn't!!
FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we’ll receive a small referral fee from purchases at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate policy here. We donate 25% of our “click money” proceeds to these charitable organizations.
How to Get Long Healthy Hair
Let's start with the “do's” for good hair, because I always like to start on a positive note. If you want to grow long, healthy hair, these are the top tips to keep in mind.
1. DO Go for Regular Trims
Hair needs to be trimmed by approximately half an inch every 6 – 8 weeks. That will get rid of dead ends so they won't split any further up or cause tangles. Hair will also look and feel bouncier when it's freshly trimmed. Once you've trimmed away the split ends, you can then focus on keeping the remainder healthy.
I had about 4 inches trimmed off shortly after this picture was taken bc I was beginning to see split ends. I seriously can't keep my hair the same for very long! 🙂
2. DO Turn Down the Heat
I'm not going to suggest that you not use heat on your hair, because I do it all the time. However, I do try to limit the amount of heat whenever possible. When I use a hair dryer, I never put it on the highest setting! I usually try to let my hair dry naturally, but if I'm in a hurry I'll set the hair dryer on a mid-range setting and I hold it at least 5 or 6 inches away from my hair.
3. DO Add Heat Protectant
Whenever I use any type of curling or flat iron, I always make sure to spray a heat protectant on my hair first or add oil to the ends. My favorites are Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment, TRESemme Keratin Flat Iron Smoothing Spray, and Kerastase Elixir Ultime Hair Oil.
I probably use the Macadamia one most often, because I just love how amazing it makes my hair smell. I discuss my love for it in this Ride Or Die products video:
The Kerastase is more expensive than the other two, but it's an Allure magazine “Best of Beauty” award winner and it's a nice splurge if you can swing it. If you don't like adding oil, the smoothing spray is a very easy option.
4. DO Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the most important things I recommend doing on a regular basis is to drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet. If something benefits your body, it usually also benefits your hair! Here's a helpful list of some of the best foods for beautiful skin and hair.
It's important not to restrict calories too much, because you starve your hair of important nutrients by doing that. The average female needs at least 1,200 calories each day — more if you're extremely active. Be sure to eat protein, since that's what improves the strength of your hair. Hydration is also important, so get those 8 glasses of water daily!
5. DO Ease Off the Shampoo
Try shampooing less frequently so the natural oils from your scalp can work to protect and repair hair. On the days you have to shampoo, add a small amount to the scalp area only and let the leftover suds wash through to clean the remainder of your hair. Excessive amounts of shampoo in the lower portion of hair can cause drying and possible breakage or split ends.
A sulfate-free shampoo is best! Mermaid Perfume Co. makes a sulfate-free shampoo I like that you can read about in my How to Get Healthy Mermaid Waves post.
Now it's time to move on to the “don'ts”. These are the things you should avoid if you want to keep your hair looking its best.
1. DON'T Use Harsh Chemicals
Try your best to avoid bleach since it is extremely damaging to hair. If you insist on lightening hair, it's better to stay within a few shades of your natural color and avoid extreme changes that are more damaging. Brunettes who want to go blonde (or vice versa), should go to a professional to ensure a minimal amount of damage.
It's also important to avoid chlorine and similar chemicals that are known for damaging hair. If you have to go in a pool, coat your hair first with a heavy conditioning treatment and rinse it well immediately afterward swimming.
My attempt at a “happy hair commercial girl” look came out goofy. Ha!
2. DON'T Brush Wet Hair
Hair is more fragile when it's wet, so that's the worst time to brush it. I wrap mine in a Turbie Twist as soon as I get out of the shower and then comb it using a wide tooth comb once it's mostly dry. I use the time while it's drying to moisturize my skin, brush my teeth, or do a mani or pedi touch-up. (Sometimes I'll just catch up on old Friends episodes!)
The wide tooth comb I use is made of wood, which I prefer because they break less often. They're also better for the environment than plastic.
3. DON'T Use Tight Rubber Bands
Tying hair into a ponytail using old-school rubber bands is damaging, so try to avoid it at all costs. The minute you tug your ponytail to tighten it, you risk breaking your hair. As long as it takes for hair to grow, breakage is the last thing you want or need!
If you have to pull hair away from your face, use soft fabric scrunchies or bobby pins that are less damaging.
4. DON'T Use Too Many Products
It's tempting to use every product on the market when you're trying to grow hair long and strong, but that's not a good idea. Too much product can actually make hair drier! That's because it overcoats the cuticle and prevents healthy serums from making it through to the core.
Using too much product also weighs hair down, which makes hair it look dull and flat. Apply conditioner to the bottom of hair only, where it's needed most. (This will also help prevent the pores on your scalp from clogging.)
5. DON'T Use Dirty Brushes
Did you know you need to clean your hair brushes just like you do makeup brushes? Remove old hair, oils, and hair product from brushes so they won't spread to clean hair each time you brush.
Run a wide tooth comb through each of your brushes to remove old hair, then wash each brushes and comb with a mixture of baking soda and water. You only need to do this once every few weeks, unless your hair sheds a lot.
What are your best tips for getting longer and healthier hair? Let me know in the comments and I hope you're having a great week!