Hair goals, hair goals everywhere. No matter where we look, we can find something telling us how to get healthy, shiny hair. But the funny things is, we’re told to use bajillions of products for that coveted shine, yet if our hair was truly healthy, we would only need a few things to keep it that way!
As a girl with thick, waist length hair, I know a thing or two about haircare. My desire for long and healthy locks started when I was very little; Jasmine and Pocahontas were my hair role models! So, throughout my life I’ve researched tips and tricks to give me that Disney princess hair.
From all that research, I’ve compiled a list of the tips that have worked for me, and a few promising time-tested techniques that I would like to try in the near future.
Without further ado, here’s my ultimate guide to long and healthy hair!
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#1 Nutrition and Hydration
Let’s get the basics out of the way, shall we? If you’re body isn’t healthy, you’re hair won’t be healthy. It’s as simple as that. So, eat a well-rounded diet and drink that water! If you don’t feel you’re getting the necessary nutrients from your daily diet (or you have a health problem that makes it difficult), I do recommend taking a high quality multivitamin.
The very best I’ve found is Smarty Pants Women’s Complete vitamins. They contain all of the essentials, plus a few bonuses like fish oil and biotin (both great for your hair!), and they’re free of allergens and fillers. But the best part is, they’re gummies and taste great!
#2 Gentle Products
Always, always get a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates strip your hair (and if you dye, your color too) which isn’t good for your ‘do’. Go for the natural and non-toxic products on the shelves. And remember to get the variety specific to your hair type! If your hair is a bit dry, get a deeply moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. If it’s flat (because thick + long hair = flat roots most of the time) don’t be afraid to try a volumizing products. They’re not only for the thin haired ladies! I’ve tried several brands, some I’ve liked and some I didn’t.
California Baby is one of the purest hair and body care companies out there, but their formula barely lathers. As someone with tons of hair, it’s hard to get it clean with a super low lather shampoo. A clean brand I do like is Everyone; it lathers and the conditioner leaves my hair soft and shiny. However, another super clean brand that I’m really looking forward to trying out is Carina Organics. They have great reviews and it looks very promising! If you’ve tried them out, let me know if you like them!
#3 Moisturize the Ends
It seems that the majority of girls with thick hair have oily hair too. If that’s the case with you, as it is with me, you may have thought your hair was already well-moisturized in the past. However, just because your roots get oily, doesn’t mean that oil gets to the ends of your hair. Moisturized ends are what keeps your hair from being a big frizz ball!
I’ve tried using coconut, castor, argan, and olive oil hair masks, but nothing works as well as applying an oil hair serum to the ends of my hair daily. My favorite brand is Badger hair oil. I soaks into my hair and takes away any brittle or dry feeling that creeps up from time to time.
Another way to make sure the ends of your hair are moisturized is by focusing your conditioner below your roots. After I do that, I leave it in my hair for the rest of my shower and rinse at the very end. I find that this makes my hair a lot softer than if I rinse it out only a minute or two after putting it in.
*Bonus tip: Make sure to brush and detangle your hair before showering so that you don’t have to work through tangles in wet hair; that leads to breakage!
#4 Wash Less Often
Washing everyday if you have shorter hair is probably okay, but when you have longer hair, it dries out because your natural oils don’t get the chance to reach your hair ends. I typically wash every other day, but I’ve recently discovered that brushing your hair with a boar bristle brush is supposed to help you go longer. It works by spreading your natural oils all the way down your hair shaft so that they don’t build up at the roots.
This is something I really want to try because it’s been used by women for hundreds of years! I even recently read an article that told of a woman in either the 1800’s or 1900’s who was dubbed as having the most beautiful hair only used this method to clean her hair. Now I’m not sure if I would go that far, but I would definitely use a boar bristle brush to extend the time between washes.
#5 Style Without Heat
I’ll start by saying that using heat occasionally is totally fine. But try to style without heat as much as possible; we don’t want to be singing our hair! And if you have thick hair, you knkw first hand that heat styling doesn’t always hold very well anyway. I usually take my showers in the evening so that my hair can air dry. This is also helpful if you want to do heatless overnight curls, which requires your hair to be slightly damp. Here’s my absolute favorite heatless curl tutorial!
#6 Protectively Style For Bed
Believe it or not, this tip has been a game-changer for my hair! Either put your hair in a loose bun or braids before going to sleep so that it doesn’t tangle as you toss and turn in bed. Before I started doing this, I would wake up every morning with my hair all knotted together. Then I would try to brush it out, which only lead to hair breaking off and split ends. After I started styling before bed, no more tangles!
#7 Ditch the Chemicals
Not long ago, I was still having my hair dyed a very dark brown at the salon, but recently I found a natural dying method that works well and doubles as a conditioning treatment! It’s a mixture from the company Henna Color Lab. I got mahogany, which was made from a blend of indigo, henna, and other plants. The color turned out beautifully, although I think I’ll need to redo my roots because henna color has to build up to achieve a true dark color.
The best part though, is that my hair has become ridiculously shiny and soft since using this! I’ve tried many sore-bought hair masks and DIY masks in the past, but all of them seriously pale in comparison to this hair dye, for reals. My air has always been on the course side, but this stuff has turned it into the soft hair I’d always dreamed of. You can dye your hair any color except blonde with henna mixtures, because they can’t lighten color.
There are many more tips out there, like scalp massage, using silk pillow covers and hot oil treatments, etc. but the above are the only tips that have made a difference for me. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from this hair care guide! Make sure to comment below with any hair advice that has worked for you!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this one about my secret weapon for acne!