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Longer and Stronger Hair

Updated on November 1, 2015
The Seven Sutherland Sisters
The Seven Sutherland Sisters | Source

Throughout the ages, people and cultures have considered long hair a sign of beauty. Many men envision women casually tossing back a mane of long, shiny hair while many women appreciate a man with a full head of hair. However, what most people don’t realize that long, healthy tresses take a lot of attention to keep them looking good. Read on for tips on keeping your hair healthy and looking its best.

Be Kind to Your Hair

Hair can be very fragile. Excessive brushing, blow-drying, or rough treatment can cause the hair to break and ends to split. Let's face it, nobody wants long hair that doesn't look good. Consider the following suggestions to protect your hair.

- Natural bristle brushes are more flexible and gentler on the hair. The softer bristles cause less breakage and fewer split ends.

- When you must use a blow dryer, set the heat setting on the coolest one available. Before you use the blow dryer, towel dry your hair first to remove as much moisture as possible, reducing the time the heat is on your hair.

- Avoid excess brushing when hair is wet. This is when it is at it's most fragile and is most likely to break. Consider using a wide toothed comb and a de-tangling spray.

- Before you go swimming, rinse your hair off. The water will soak into the hair, preventing it from absorbing as much chlorine as it otherwise would. Another option is to wear a swim cap to shield the hair from the chlorine.

- Using paper towels to squeeze water from your hair is gentler than using a towel. Paper towels also absorb more water.

- When combing or brushing, start at the ends and slowly work up towards the scalp. Always use a gentle, downward stroke and never force the brush or comb through the hair. Use your fingers to gently untangle hair where necessary.

- Shampoo in warm water as hot water dries out the scalp.

- Trimming hair doesn't make it grow faster. However, it does make it look healthier, neater, and may make it look as if it is growing faster by eliminating split ends.

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Don't Put Just Anything on Your Hair

Everyone's hair is different. It's important to find the hair care products which are right for your specific type of hair, so experiment with different shampoos and conditioners until you find what's right for you. In addition, the following tips may help you have healthier, shinier tresses.

- Avoid hair care products which contain alcohol. This will dry out the hair.

- How often you shampoo your hair depends on your hair type. Oily hair needs to be washed more often than dry hair.

-When you put conditioner on your hair, concentrate it on the ends in order to avoid split ends. If too much conditioner is applied to all of the hair, it can weigh it down the hair, making it look flat and limp. Also, conditioner applied at the scalp can clog the pores on the head.

- Make sure conditioner is completely rinsed off so it doesn't weigh the hair down. Be sure to use the correct amount of conditioner for your hair length. Long hair requires more conditioner than short hair.

- Rinsing your hair in cool water after you condition it will seal in moisture.

- Brushing with a damp hair brush reduces static electricity.

- When tying hair back, use scrunchies or coated hair bands. Avoid using tie-backs with metal on them, as this pulls on the hair.

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Pay Attention to Your Overall Health

If you don't take care of yourself, it will eventually show up in your hair, making it look lifeless and dull. Consider the following suggestions.

- Be sure to eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to ensure healthy looking hair. Too much junk food will eventually weaken your hair (not to mention making your weight go up).

- Drink plenty of water. It keeps your hair (and skin) hydrated and healthy looking.

- Take a vitamin supplement daily.

- Relax. Stress can affect the overall health and appearance of your hair.

- Get plenty of sleep and consider using satin pillowcases. Cotton pillowcases can snag the hair.

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