Some may say being cooped up in a tower was the most daunting problem facing the beloved fairy tale character, Ranpunzel. I say it was her hair. I’m sure once it flowed past the waist of her corseted gown she was already exhausted from combating a bird’s nest of tangles, texture as dry as tree bark and a hot tool-heavy styling routine that does more damage to her hair (not to mention her electric bill!) than it’s worth. Must this be the fate of all who wish to rock this eternally stylish and feminine ’do? Not to fear, Chictopians! Whether you already have a mane of endlessly cascading locks or are looking to get growing, these tips will help you get your tresses under control.
Hydrate For Days
One of the main problems I face with lengthy locks is lack of moisture. Tallying in at 25 inches long, it requires more than a quarter-sized dollop of conditioner to keep my ends from looking like bristles on a broom. Luckily the solution requires little effort. I simply limit washing my hair to every three days. This provides my hair with ample time to absorb natural oils and gives it better texture for holding cute bobby pins and headbands in place. To avoid getting it wet while I shower, I simply twirl it up into a high bun and push on a headband to keep my bangs back. Of course you could go old-school glam with a cute shower cap, which works just as well.
When I do lather up, I make sure to coat my damp hair with a nourishing serum as soon as I step out of the shower. After receiving a bottle of Moroccanoil last Christmas, I now totally understand why it has such a cult following. Packed with Vitamins F, A, and E, this serum strengthens and protects long hair. What’s even better is that the Moroccanoil brand engages in fair trade with citizens of Souss-Massa, Morocco.
Don’t Be Knotty
There have been mornings that I have awoken with sloppy beehive ‘do atop my head and been entirely unsure of how it got there. This is one of the curses of long hair: tons of tangles. It is a problem I thought I would outgrow along with not being tall enough to reach up into my mom’s jewelry box or chronically forgetting how to tie my shoelaces. Sadly, tangles have followed me well past my elementary years, but thankfully detangling products have grown up too. Although I do still love that green fishy guy on the bottle of L’Oreal Kids detangler, I was stoked when I saw Pantene come out with a line of wee bit more sophisticated tangle solution products. I use the Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Silkening Detangler which smells amazing and pacifies my daily fight with my wide-toothed comb.
To prevent tangles in the making, I always sleep with my hair in a low ponytail or braid. Silk pillowcases keep hair tangle-free and don’t absorb much moisture which means –bonus!- you’re keeping your hair even more hydrated.
Long hair is especially prone to breakage as the ends are the oldest and weakest part of your mane. As you hair savvy Chictopians already know, the most obvious way to reduce damage is to keep your paws off hot tools as frequently as possible. For those of us addicted to the straightener, the spring 2011 shows are saving us from ourselves. Marc Jacobs showed gloriously voluminous locks which, dare I say, crossed the border into frizz territory. My favorite way to add extra poof to my look is with good old foam curlers. They’re cheap (I found some at the dollar store), friendly to brittle strands and, c’mon, don’t you just feel impossibly glamorous slinking around the house with a head full of curlers? It’s hard not to pretend you’re Beyonce as a sultry 1950s housewife from her Why Don’t You Love Me video.
Another stylish alternative to damaging hot tools is the fool-proof ballet bun. It’s an eternal classic and seems to instantly improve the posture of even the slouchiest fashionista. Simply hold your head upside down, gather hair in a ponytail at the crown of your head, flip head up and coil hair around itself. Wrap another hair elastic around the bun and bobby pin the perimeter. No worries if some strands fall out of place, you’ll just look all the more like a ballerina fresh out of class. As this is such a conservative hairstyle, I love pairing it with something wild and unexpected such as ripped jeans or anything cheetah print!
Managing long hair can be tricky, but with a nod to a few old school beauty tips and a couple of fresh new products you can have strands that even Rapunzel would be jealous of!
Hope these tips help! Now get growing!