Longer Hair – How to Avoid Damage

www.4haircare.com.au When you’re enthusiastic about hair care and dedicated to a healthy hair journey it can be difficult to be objective about your hair. It’s easy to talk about things that keep the hair healthy like gentle handling, good conditioners, laser treatments and low manipulation, but if those were the only things that mattered, everyone’s hair would be doing great. In reality, despite meticulous efforts to grow a long, thick head of hair, many women still struggle to maintain length and reach their other hair goals. To get past a length hurdle or stop persistent breakage you have to realize one important thing: Damage is unavoidable. If your hair isn’t making progress that means it’s being damaged faster than it can recover. Many women already steer clear of heat and chemical treatments, but mechanical damage is still an issue and it can be difficult to recognize.

What’s my own secret to grow hair long? How do I get it to grow so long?


I wish I had an answer for everyone, but the truth is that there is no magical solution. Because while there’s no one top-secret magic pill you can take, there are Pandora box solutions you can do to help speed the process along.
Weaknesses in your hair care routine will catch up with you as your hair gets longer. No matter what your hair type, the longer your hair gets, the more demanding it will be. Shoulder length hair is already about 2 years old so any weaknesses in your hair care routine will begin to show, just like bad eating habits start to catch up with you as you get older. If you hit a plateau in your healthy hair journey– if you want it to look halfway decent – so here are my tips for doing so!

  • get at least ½ inch cut off by a professional,
  • stop hash brushing and blow dry your hair, and
  • apply a reconstructing treatment every week or two:
Trim regularly, but not too much and not too often. You’ve likely heard people tell you that if you want long hair, you need to trim it regularly. This is partly true and partly false. No one wants raggedy ends – so when they start to split, you should get a trim. Otherwise, you could end up with hair that’s difficult to brush or comb, which may result in losing hair. Split ends, not protected by cuticle also contribute to dryness of your hair shaft. However – and this is a big however – you don’t want to trim too much hair off at a time, and you don’t want to trim too often. Hair is already dead, if that makes any sense, and so cutting it is not going to change whether it grows more or not. The trimming is just about keeping it healthy and neat. Frazzled ends, no matter how long your hair is, aren’t sexy on anyone.

Minimize damage by combing and brushing less. Every time you move or touch your hair, the cuticle layers of each strand rub up against each other and cause tiny abrasions, similar to light scratches. Those little abrasions may not affect how your hair looks or feels but they’re always there. If you rub and pull your hair and then follow up with a comb or a brush, you’ve inflicted a lot of stress on your hair at one time. Yes, there are some women who can comb and brush their hair all day without a problem, but those women usually have thick strands and very few (if any) kinks or coils. Finer strands break more easily than thicker strands.

Boar-Bristle Brush
OK, so there are all sort of crazy rules you have to follow about brushing and combing your hair in order to grow it long and perfect. LIKE: Do not even THINK about brushing it when it’s wet. You can only brush it when it’s dry, and preferably before every shampoo, so you distribute the oils over every strand to protect them from shampoo and don’t have to detangle much post-shower -hair is most vulnerable to breakage when it’s dripping and you’re roughing it up with a towel.

Keep the heat styling to a minimum. I know this is going to be a hard one for some of you who like to have perfect hair everyday. When you’re out of the shower, comb out wet hair and tangles with a wide-toothed comb. And that’s it. You’re not allowed to blow-dry your hair too often ! Or flat iron it, or curl it! Seriously! If you’re serious about growing your hair long like a fanatic, at least. That’s the biggest lesson you’ll learn from reading the Long Hair Community message boards posting about crimping your hair in one of those forums would be like waltzing drunk into an A.A. meeting. No one would be feeling you. So if you’re seriously trying to grow your hair long, curb your hair tool enthusiasm at least a little bit and, again, patience is key. I only blow-dry my hair about once a week – after keratin treatment to bond keratin to hair! Usually, once over the weekend is good enough for me. Because not only is it damaging to your hair, the longer it is, the more of a pain in the ass it is to blow out. Learn how to work with the natural texture of your hair. My hair is naturally wavy, so I generally blow-dry and apply styling product I’m currently obsessing over. If you need more polish, you can wrap it into a bun. And you’d be surprised at how much men prefer a natural look;   The other plus side of this is that when you actually do spend the time to do your hair, it makes it that much more exciting. Think of it like applying false eyelashes – if you did it everyday, would it still have the same effect? Kim Kardashian, for example – she looks exactly the same no matter what she’s doing, whether she’s going to a red carpet event or going to the gym. Where’s the fun in that?

Deep condition once a week.
I’m talking a full treatment here, where you first towel-dry your hair and then let it sit with the conditioner for at least 20 minutes.
OK, OK, OK. How bored are you about reading about how important it is to deep condition? Answer: not as bored as I am about writing about it. I’ve written the same article 10 times! Because, intensive treatments are crucial if you want healthy long hair, and I promise you that no one will ever tell you otherwise. I love to do this and lay by the pool, or under laser hood so that the heat from the sun or laser red light activates the conditioner or keratin mask even more. You can also wrap your hair in plastic wrap (or use a shower cap) and then wrap a warm, damp towel around it for the same effect.  Use hair oil on dry split ends: anything really works here.
Diet and vitamins play a key role in the health of your hair. Biotin (often found in those “hair, skin, and nails” formulas) is one vitamin in particular you may want to try. Your body needs nourishment for your hair to be healthy, just like your skin. You can imagine that a healthy diet full of nutrients is going to impact your hair; think of the case of the anorexic whose hair falls out. Protein and iron are especially important for strong, healthy hair. I use only one and only product tablets AA Plus, everything hair needs to grow and keep away from shedding in one bottle.
Whatever you do, just don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve avoided damaging your hair. The only way to avoid damage is not to touch your hair as it grows out of your scalp, and we all know that’s impossible. If you love your hair, you want to style it and show off its beauty. There’s nothing wrong with that. You wouldn’t buy a beautiful new sweater and leave it on the shelf all the time. What fun would that be? Instead, you have to wear it lightly, wash it gently, and get small holes mended as soon as they appear.

One thought on “Longer Hair – How to Avoid Damage

  1. Pingback: DIY Hair Smoothies | LOVE IN SYDNEY

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