Regardless of length, there are two things about hair that most off-putting: greasiness and split ends.

These are the most often cited problems people have with long hair. How to keep long hair healthy is an art in itself.

It also requires a lot of practical loving care. Good results are achieved by avoiding practices that damage hair and there are a few secrets, which we will reveal, that will give your long hair the vibrancy and shine that merits admiration – and the occasional well-deserved compliment.

We’ll untangle the strands here by talking about what to avoid, and what remedies there are is your hair is currently at less than its utmost best.

  1. Have Your Hair Cut Regularly

Most hairdressers will tell you that it’s ideal to have your hair cut every 6–8 weeks. Signs that you are overdue for a trim include:

  • hair that has split ends or is frizzy (if you have the straight or wavy type of hair)
  • your hair tangling easily or lots of individual knots
  • it is out of shape or looks untidy

The Thing to Do:

When you have your hair cut, always make an appointment for 6–8 weeks’ time. Consider the outing as a way to treat yourself, and combine your visit to the hairdresser with other nice things, such as manicure, or a coffee shop date.

The other thing to do is find a good hairdresser who cuts your hair well and is someone you like. Having a regular hairdresser brings with it the advantage that they know how your hair behaves, and they can basically be left to do their creative thing. After chatting briefly with you about what you would like them to do, that is.

  1. Wash Your Hair With Shampoo and Conditioner

While shampoo cleans your hair, while conditioner moisturizes it and prevents it from becoming brittle. You should only ever use warm — not hot — water.

Your scalp produces natural oils that prevent your hair from becoming too dry. If you wash your hair in very hot water and too often, it will become dry and lifeless, despite what the labels on your hair products say.

Talking of what the label on the shampoo bottle says, you do not have to shampoo, rinse, and repeat. One wash with shampoo is enough. With two washes, you’ll be stripping away those natural oils completely and contributing to a potentially itchy scalp.

The part about the rinsing is important, though, especially for people with long hair. Rinse the shampoo from your hair very well. Residue in your hair from the shampoo will not give you that clean feeling and will tend to make your hair lackluster.

The Thing to Do:

Your hairdresser will probably recommend that you wash your hair twice a week at most.

If you have very oily hair, washing it three times a week is fine. Incredibly short hair (not the case here) that is cut and styled frequently can also cope with being washed three times a week.

  1. Combing Wet Hair

Your hair is more delicate when wet than when dry, and breaks more easily. Brushing your hair when wet, especially if tangled, tends to break the strands of your hair. The visual manifestation of these breaks is what we know as split ends.

The Thing to Do:

After shampooing and conditioning your hair, gently comb from the ends of your hair to remove tangles. Do not start combing from the top of your head, and do not tug hard when you hit a snag. Be patient; this should be easy since they say that people with long hair are patient.

  1. Drying Your Hair

Vigorous towel-drying creates tangles and knots in your hair. Gently squeeze your hair with a towel around it instead to remove excess water. Try to let your hair dry naturally.

Using a hairdryer too frequently or heated curling tongs or straighteners will damage your hair in the long run.

Sun also dries out your hair. After a day at the beach, a good wash and rinse, as well as conditioning will go a long way to keeping your hair looking lovely.

The Thing to Do:

Wait until your hair is almost dry before brushing and styling. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, wash your comb and brushes and remove any old hair from them every time you wash your hair. It makes no sense to transfer dirt from your brush onto clean hair; it’s unhygienic.

The rules for brushing your hair are the same as for combing. And that thing about 100 brushstrokes before bedtime is nonsense. Only brush your hair when you need to and then only until it is neat and tidy.

  1. Dyeing Your Hair

Even with the fantastic advances in hair colorings in recent years, hair dye still contains very strong chemicals. If your hair is weak or in poor general condition, your best option is to stick with your natural color or use a temporary hair dye, which washes out after several washes. Remember to use a color-safe shampoo (and conditioner) if you dye your hair.

The Thing to Do:

Most hairdressers will let you bring your own hair color to the salon, and will apply it to your hair. The kinder thing you can do is choose a product from the salon. That way, you’re supporting local business.

Oh, and definitely get the hairdresser to dye your hair. Doing it yourself could spell disaster!

  1. Tying Your Hair Back

Tying your hair back in a tight ponytail should not be your go-to hairstyle, this puts stress on the roots and can lead to hair loss, particularly on your forehead hairline.

A slightly looser tying back does less damage to your hair, even if you are playing sports or going to the gym. If you need to tie up your hair for work, try alternating between a high and low ponytail, and don’t, whatever you do, use rubber bands!

  1. How to Keep Long Hair Healthy with Diet

Plenty of exercise and sleep, as well as a nutritionally balanced diet, is guaranteed to give your hair that extra bounce and shine. Eating raw and fresh fruit and vegetables provide your body with the vitamins and minerals that your hair loves.

If you feel you need an added boost to your daily vitamin and mineral intake, then hair supplement pills taken regularly will help improve the condition of your hair.

Afterthoughts

You probably have a few secrets of your own about how to keep long hair healthy. We suppose that we don’t need to tell you that when choosing styling gels, mousses and hair sprays and fixatives that you should choose reputable products. We’re sure you will since your hair is one of your best assets.

We’re also pretty sure that while you’re waiting for your hair to dry that you’ll be diving into our other articles here on fun, food, and health. Enjoy!