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Hair Care for Long-Haired Gals
Do you dye your hair?
Fluffy, Soft and Healthy!
The Products I Use:
Down to Your Waist Locks
As an older gal in her forties, I often say my long hair is my "remaining vanity", and indeed, it's the only thing that's stood the test of time without wrinkling, puckering, cramping or breaking. I exaggerate of course, but it sure seems that way! So, when Peach Purple suggested I write a HUB describing my hair care technique, I wasn't just on board, I wanted to immediately adopt this discerning HUBBER, and keep such peachy-sweet goodness for myself. * waves to Peach Purple *
The truth about hair is, like so many things in life, the less you do to it--the better. Aside from daily grooming, and as-needed washing, of course--I speak of extraneous manipulations so popular in this glossy, airbrushed era in which we live. Crimping, curling, moussing, molding, pinning, pulling, perming & dying. Sure, they call it: tinting. Yes, I've heard the term: touch-up. But let's call it by its true colors, shall we? It's dying. And dying is never good.
No coincidence its homonym "die" literally means death, because to convince your hair its one color, when it so clearly is not, is a one-way ticket to a pageboy. I have never dyed my hair--not even once! Yes, the sun lightens it in the summer--as does surfing and swimming in our beautiful, briny Blue--but that's just a bonus of my geography. Or a curse, since salt water also dries tresses, but dying your hair outright alters your hair's chemical structure! It should therefore never be relied on--for either a quick change to your look, or a means to disguise grey. Accept what God gave you for your hair color, or try a funky-colored wig for those crazy occasions you simply must shake it up, and half the battle is won!!
The other half of the battle--and don't be surprised if I mention several halves--is to eschew other tress-torturing techniques such as blow-drying, flattening, or hot rolling your hair. There are undoubtedly additional treatments that should be avoided, but to stay on point, I reference my initial statement up top: Daily grooming,and as-needed washing is enough to keep your hair looking its best. I don't own a blow dryer, personally, and achieve the curl I like in my bangs by finger rolling them as they dry. Worried your hair will still be wet when you hit the office? Wash it at night like I do. There's plenty of PM hours for hair to dry thoroughly, and more importantly: naturally.
On to another "half of the battle", and mayhap the most significant--for all that it is geometrically impossible. The Salon. I don't know about you, but I suspect you've had experiences similar to mine: you go in wanting a trim to your regular do, just a few inches off the ends, thanks, and come out with a feathered, contrived nightmare that's > this close < to a mirror reflection of the hairdresser's own coiffure. If you're a gal that dyes her hair, it's probably also a new shade of...something...Now why is that? * you wonder * and I'm here to explain with a time-proven adage:
Misery loves company
Sounds harsh, you think? Well, just eyeball the hairstyle of a given stylist and ask yourself if this is something you see growing out of your own head. Just as you should check the teeth on your dental hygienist, the skin on your dermatologist, and the "crazy eye quotient" on your therapist, if your hairdresser's hair is a mess--what qualifies her to do anything other than render something similar to your locks? I might take some flack for this, but I'd say a huge percentage of hairdressers play fast and loose with extreme cuts & extreme coloring--and probably extreme →
Permanents or body waves. I would love to say I never fell victim to this cosmetic correction, but alas, I was sucked in one time when I was in 9th grade. I believe it was a "LILT" home body wave that turned my head into a mass of cowlicks, and stripped it of all natural shine for a year or longer. Not the luxuriant curls featured on the box....nooooo, not by any means, and though I later relied on curling irons & steam rollers to achieve the wave I so desperately wanted, it wasn't until my 30's that I discovered the best "trick" of all for achieving "princess hair".
The braid! How easy and how natural. This discovery came about organically for me, a serendipitous primp to which I know those of you with longer hair can relate. What is long hair but a hella lot of iPod cord waiting to get tangled up overnight? It can get tangled in everything, too, from your pajamas, to the cat's tail, to the cat's pajamas when you're tossing & turning...turning your crowning glory into a rat big enough to upstage Oswald Patton in Ratatouille.
But a few minutes spent braiding that hair before retiring solves this painful problem, and results in an "instant" do for the next day. I weave 2 plaits, personally, going for the "Heidi" look or "Pippi Longstocking" overnight, and further, I make sure to French the braids, so that the nice ripple effect starts closer to the scalp than it would should I twist "regular braids".
How do you French braid hair? Why, it's almost as easy as regular braiding for your hair.
As women, we're probably all familiar with the standard "3 Strand Braid". This style divides one's entire do into three sections that are then gathered closely to the scalp to begin the weaving process. The difference for creating a French Braid is minor: One gathers 3 small sections of the hair high on the scalp—aka the crown--rather than one's entire hair, and after weaving these 3 smaller sections once, adds 3 additional sections of hair into the woven first 3--from farther down the pate. Depending on one's hair length, this can be a 2 step or 3 step process, each step involving grabbing 3 additional sections from farther down the pate, and adding them to the current sections being woven into a plait.
I do favor Salon products for hair washing & styling, though, since they are free of the harsh waxes (parabens) & unnecessary additives found in drugstore shampoos that can build up on your hair. I also use a heavy cream treatment each & every time I shampoo, rather than just a creme rinse. Sure, I'll pop the occasional hair vitamin once in a while, but I depend on plenty of sleep, cardiovascular activity & a diet rich in "good" fats to keep my hair glossy, too. (think avocados, nuts, etc.) Water water water--is good for anything that grows, and your hair is no exception, so keep those follicles humming by staying properly hydrated.
That pretty much sums it up. I hope this has opened some eyes--or closed some dyes--for you hairy, beautiful beasts out there, and remember: as little as a year of following such advice & you'll be well on your way to longer, stronger hair, too!