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I like keeping my hair long because it requires minimal styling; I can hop out of the shower in the morning, put in a little holding gel and let it air dry while I finish getting ready. But just because longer hair means I can bypass this step in my routine does not mean that it requires no maintenance.
The average person loses between 60-100 hairs every single day!
You don’t want to be on the upper side of those numbers, and split ends and dried out locks aren’t a good look; you need to make sure you’re taking care of your hair. Whether you’re a fella rocking long locks or a lady considering taking advantage of summer beach waves, you should take note of these chemical-free techniques that maximize the look of your flow.
Contrary to what you might think, you shouldn’t shampoo your hair every time you shower. Your body is pretty good at producing it’s own natural oils that soften your hair and keep it healthy, and each time you use shampoo you are washing those away. Over shampooing will cause your hair to actually get weaker and look less healthy.
I skip shampoo once or twice a week depending on what my activity level is like. Shampoo is number one for getting rid of dirt and sweat, but otherwise a simple water rinse, followed by conditioner, will do. The conditioner step is really important because it nourishes and replenishes. Fellas, two-in-one shampoo and conditioner combos are not going to cut it if you want to grow out your hair or keep it long. Every time you shower, you need to make sure you condition. My hair tends to get a little greasy, so I don’t necessarily condition my roots every day, but I do make sure I hit the ends on a consistent basis.
Try adjusting your shampoo and conditioner ratio. It’s different for everyone just based on hair thickness, texture and lifestyle. As a guide, though: frizziness means too much shampoo and greasiness means too much conditioner.
As for brushing your hair, that’s not something I would ever advise against, but just use your brush with care. If your locks are a little tangled, use the brush slowly to work through the knots. You shouldn’t use your hair brush any more aggressively than you use your tooth brush so be sure to keep that in mind.
People often forget about the importance of regularly scheduled hair appointments. The myth that “trimming your hair makes it grow faster” isn’t exactly true, but you do need to make sure you regularly trim your hair in order to minimize split ends, and, therefore, maximize the its strength. If split ends go untrimmed, then the strength of your long locks gets worse and worse as they can continue to split up the strand. Your hair will look thin, and when you do go get a trim, you can say goodbye to multiple inches. You should get your hair cut every two to three months in order to keep it looking its best.
Now that you have the basics down, consider adding an oil or aloe lather to your routine. It honestly works wonders on your hair and is just as easy as your normal shampoo and condition. Three of the more common products that I’d recommend trying out are coconut oil, hemp seed oil or aloe vera gel. You don’t need to completely drench your hair in this stuff but make sure you hit the roots and ends in order to make the most of the treatment. Try massaging the gel or oil into your hair 10-30 minutes before you shower and proceeding with your regular routine. For coconut oil, you need to make sure you heat it up to get it in liquid form first; TRY rubbing it between your hands, heating it on the stove or mixing it in with equal parts hot water. These treatments are recommended once a week. If that seems like a little much to put on your plate right now, try once a month instead. I promise once you try it out, you will want to do it more often.
If you have tried all of these things but still can’t seem to keep your locks from thinning out, then it could be time to look at your diet. Like your skin, the healthiness of your hair is directly related to what you put into your body, so you need to make sure you are getting the right nutrients to maintain healthy locks. That starts with, first of all, consuming a balanced diet. Eating a lot of protein, organic fruits and leafy vegetables are going to go a long way for making sure your body, in general, run smoothly. Next, you can focus on your vitamin intake. Biotin is a B vitamin crucial for hair health and is readily available in supplements. Vitamin C and Iron are also linked to hair health. If your hair is starting to not look so hot because of what you are eating, chances are more than just the top of your head will benefit from fixing up your diet.