9 things Rapunzel must have known
Beautiful long hair is a symbol of beauty, health and appeal. Many aspire to grow their hair and end up in a struggle to control split ends, frizz and dryness.
Growing hair takes time, as it grows on average ½ inch per month or 6 inches in a year.
Amazing-looking long hair takes commitment in care and maintenance, just like caring for a delicate plant.
Here are some do’s and don’ts that make all the difference:
-Do trim your hair regularly. Sure, not cutting your hair at all sounds like it will gain length quickly, in the same way as not eating at all would make you slim quickly. Your hair will have split ends and look dull. Ideally, trim the ends by ¼ inch every 2 to 3 months.
-Don’t let your stylist use Thinning scissors (serrated blades), razors or slide-cut along the hair-shaft. All of these methods will cause frizz, dryness and split ends and are subject of a future column.
-Do apply conditioner away from scalp to mid-lengths and ends only. The first part of the hair near the scalp is newly grown, well protected and never dry. Applying conditioner on the scalp is wasteful at best and may even cause your hair to look flat or oily. Now is the best time to gently comb your hair using a wide-toothed comb, sectioning your hair and starting from ends. The creaminess of the conditioner will facilitate detangling.
-Don’t towel-dry your hair by rubbing a towel as you would with a child. This causes new tangles and contributes to dry hair. In fact, even the best hair care products cannot work for you, as long as you towel-rub.
Instead, wrap towel around your hair like a turban and squeeze the moisture into the towel by pressing your flat hands against it. If your hair is very long already, you can lean your head sideways and gather it like a ponytail. Wrap the towel around it and squeeze like you would with laundry. This way, the hair will not get tangled.
Stephan says: ‘Avoid re-bonding, relaxing or straightening long hair, it weakens the structure and limits your style options to one-length cuts. There are almost always better alternatives.’
-Do have a Hotoil treatment or Hair-Spa regularly. Clients often ask, how often these treatments should be repeated. The answer is every 12 to 15 shampoos. So, if you are shampooing every day, the frequency is two weeks. If you shampoo every other day, it means 3 to 4 weeks. These treatments are cosmetic, the conditioning agents adhere to the surface of the hair and gradually shampooed away. Having your treatments at long or irregular intervals is as effective as brushing your teeth occasionally. You can also do such treatments at home.
-Don’t do a hundred brush-strokes. You’ve heard the traditional saying that a hundred brush-strokes will make your hair beautiful? This originated at a time when women washed their hair with soap once a month! Inbetween, they would brush the oil from the scalp distributing it throughout the hair. It made sense then, it will only make your hair dry now.
-Do blow-dry your hair. Many woman think using a blow-drier will make their hair brittle. Hair actually likes gentle heat, it closes its outer layer, the cuticle, and imparts shine, protecting it. Over-drying with excessive heat, on the other hand, will damage your hair.
Margie says: ‘Long hair will look even better with a subtle 3-D colour to enhance movement and layers.’
-Don’t tie your hair when wet. The strands underneath, near the scalp will remain moist for hours. This moisture combined with your natural body heat from the scalp offers a perfect environment for fungi and micro-organisms, often resulting in dandruff and scalp problems.
-Do the ‘undone’. One of the big trends in long hair are chignons or upstyles that look haphazard, done just using your fingers; no combs, no brushes. With a little practice, you can create this sexy look by pinning sections up, using barrettes or little clamps.
Contact us with your comments and questions, we’re happy to share what we know and research what we don’t.