After years of chopping and changing, I finally have long thick hair which is 100% my own! That is not to say I haven't still dyed it many times and given my hair a slight battering along the way...
In today's post I'm going to be sharing my tips and tricks on how to achieve long thick healthy hair, without it having to be all natural in terms of bleaching and dye!
Changing colour without too much damage...
I am someone who likes to change up the colour of my hair, from dark brown, to red to light brown and blonde...not the greatest if you are trying to avoid those split ends when growing your hair. However if you dye your hair correctly and take care of it along the way, you really can still keep the length without too much damage!
My first tip when dying your hair is to do it gradually, don't go putting on 3 different dyes in the same week. Give your hair time to recover and repair itself!
In my experience going lighter causes the most damage...quite recently I had the red stripped out my hair and bleach all over. For those who have done this before you will know it is quite harsh on the hair! This did leave my hair rather dry and a little bit stretchy, to be honest I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep long hair after this :-(
After something like this my main tip is to use plenty of conditioner, serums and even coconut oil on the ends as an extra treatment and KEEP HEAT AWAY. I made sure I didn't use any heat on my hair where possible which really helped to reduce any further damage.
Finally I cut off about 2-3 inches from the ends of my hair. I know when you are trying to grow your hair you may not want to cut it, but sometimes it really does do you a favour for the future. Wouldn't you rather have shorter thicker healthy hair, instead of long thin straggles?! I know I would :-)
I like to cut my hair myself so I can be completely in control of how much is getting the chop...I also like to straight cut my hair. I feel this gives a really nice thick healthy look to the ends!
Next, Let's talk about heat and styling tools...
I rarely use heat on my hair, if I do need to dry my hair quickly I tend to use the cool setting on the blow dryer and only use hotter settings on the roots of my hair.
If you think about how it feels when you accidentally clip your skin with the hair straightens or curlers, ouch those tools are mega hot! So putting all that heat over your hair even with heat defence spray can't do it any good.
I can honestly say not using heat has been the single best thing I've done to improve the quality of my hair and get the length I want. I really recommend trying to use less or no heat on your hair if it's damaged and you are trying to get it back to a healthy state. You will be amazed how much of a difference it makes after a few months!
Wavy hair from sleeping in 2 braids, super simple quick hairstyle!
So how do I dry and style my hair without heat?
- Firstly have you tried drying your hair with an old cotton t-shirt instead of a towel? I was amazed with how well this works! It soaks up all the water soooo much better than a towel. When I wrap my wet hair in a t-shirt for 10-15mins it's almost dry or certainly in a state to be able to air dry quite quickly after this.
- When it comes to styling I often like to put my hair in braids while it's still damp before bed, I find this gives a really nice wave to the hair which can be a great alternative to using curlers. Not only that but all you have to do is undo the braids in the morning and you are all set to go!
- If you prefer more of a curl flexi rods are also a good option, they can be slightly uncomfortable to sleep in but you do get used to them after a while!
- I am lucky to have fairly straight hair naturally, although it is a little frizzy. I find using a good serum over the bottom half of the hair really helps to flatten it out and give a nice sleek look. A couple of my fav serums are the OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum and TRESemme Keratin Ultimate Smooth Shine Oil. I've found these 2 products really help with damaged dry ends, I apply these to damp hair then leave the hair to air dry.
Finally, when it comes to washing hair I like to use a sulphate free shampoo and really just wash the top section of my hair/scalp. Then apply conditioner to the bottom half. Sulphates dry and strip the hair of it's natural oils, so always best to avoid these where possible! A couple of my fav sulphate free shampoos are the 'Palmers coconut oil condition shampoo' and the lush 'seanik shampoo bar'.
When you have long hair it's harder for the natural oils to get down to the ends so a quick trick I use to it comb my hair for about 10mins when it is greasy before washing, this helps distribute the natural oils to the ends!
So overall if you are trying to grow your hair or improve the quality, my top tip is just cut back on the heat styling and go back to basics! Your hair will thank you for it :-)!!
Having a young child who loves to grab my hair at any opportunity means I often have my hair tied back, it's amazing how much it grows when you simply keep it out the way!
Products mentioned in this post:
I really hope you enjoyed reading this blog post :-) Do you have any tips of your own to share? Please comment on here or contact me on my social media accounts, I love to hear from you all!
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