Caring for long hair can often be a chore. Proper brushing methods can help eliminate the need for extra care and additional styling products. Brushing long tresses involves more than just taking a brush and running it through the hair each day. Maintaining it properly will keep it healthy, avoid troubles later down the road, as well as save time getting ready each day. As someone with very long hair, I have learned quite about caring for it over the years.
Choose the Right Brush by Hair Texture and Style
Always check the labels on a brush before you purchase it. The brush should be specific to the texture, as well as to the style you plan on creating. Brushing your long hair with the wrong brush could damage the ends, which is especially bad for long tresses. Split ends can cause long hair to look unattractive, instead of healthy. When a person's hair is long, the hair tends to be one of the first things people notice, so it is important to keep it looking healthy.
What are the Best Bristles?
The best bristles for brushing your long hair will actually depend on texture. Natural boar bristles are generally the best. But, if your long tresses are also thick or curly, the boar bristles may not brush all the way through. Thicker textures may require thin nylon bristles that are close together. Someone with thin hair might be better off brushing with thicker plastic bristles that are spread farther apart. To keep your long hair healthy, always check the labels to see which bristles are best in your case.
Brushing from Bottom to Top
Long hair gets knotted and tangled easier than shorter styles. If you start at the top, rather than the bottom during brushing, you are more likely to create more of a mess to untangle, which can actually damage the hair. Instead, start brushing at the very bottom. Brush until there are no tangles. Then, move up a couple more inches and do the same, Repeat that process until all of the hair has been brushed.
Brush Hair While Wet
Brushing long hair while wet helps keep the ends sealed and smooth. This is especially true if your hair is thick or curly. Brushing the hair while dry can sometimes cause split ends. Long hair specifically can react this way.
Of course, you should be brushing every day and as needed to maintain your style. However, people often overdo it on brushing. Overly brushing the hair can cause damage and split ends. The right amount of brushing can stimulate the natural production of sebum, as well as distribute it throughout the hair. Sebum is produced by the body and it coats and protects the hair, as well as creates shine.
Brush Shampoo and Conditioner into Hair
With long hair, during the washing and conditioning process, it helps to brush the shampoo and conditioner through, rather than lather it up. This ensures even distribution and also scrubs and moisturizes the scalp.
Brush Moisturizers into Hair and Scalp
Long hair needs extra moisturizing, as it dries and breaks easier than that which is shorter. Tea tree oil is my favorite moisturizer. It softens the hair, helps prevent dandruff and other fungus, makes it shine, and also helps to stimulate growth. To brush in the tea tree oil, put a quarter-sized amount in the palm of your hand. Rub both palms together. Now rub the palms through the hair and then brush it. Repeat until all of the hair is shiny.
Do not over-use the oil though. The point is to make the hair soft, but not to saturate it with the oil. If you prefer other moisturizers, the process would be the same. Just remember to avoid products that contain alcohol and chemicals. They may make it look good temporarily, but they are actually damaging over time.
Avoid Styling Products that Contain Alcohol
This goes back to the chemicals. Many styling products contain alcohol. However, alcohol and other chemicals cause dryness, create split ends, and cause unnecessary buildup that is damaging to hair and scalp. All natural products that contain no preservatives, chemicals, or alcohol are best. Olive oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, cow's milk, almond extract, avocados, and eggs are all examples of natural moisturizers.
Like the tousled hair look? Unsure how to get your hair that way? Don't worry. There are several easy ways to get your hair to look tousled, even with the straightest of hair. Straight hair is sometimes the toughest for this style, but really it can be done fairly easily. Tousles look best in loose waves or straight hair, but can also be done in curlier hair. All of these methods work for all hair types and lengths.
How to Get Tousled Hair by Teasing
For this method, first wash the hair. Don't use conditioner and let the hair air dry. Now, take a comb and grab a random section of hair. In random areas of that strand, take the comb and comb the hair backwards. This is called teasing. However, for tousled hair, you are just going to do it slightly, not all the way up the strand. Just grab random sections and repeat this process. Then, hold your head upside down. Spray it with Honeybee Gardens Alcohol Free Hairspray and put your head back up. If need be use the hands to further shape the hair. This hairspray has an added benefit of sunscreen protection.
How to Get Tousled Hair by Planning Ahead
To get tousled hair the old-fashioned way, wash and condition the hair right before bed. Comb or brush it, but don't dry it. Place a towel on your pillow and put all your hair behind you onto the towel. Those with longer hair may need to extend the towel beyond the pillow. Let the hair dry while you sleep. When you wake up your hair will be tousled. Don't comb or brush it. Just spray it with Honeybee Gardens Alcohol Free Hairspray and maybe shape it a little with your hands. Of course, if there are any big knots or completely unruly spots, those sections can be combed out. If your hair is extra short, this still works. Just skip the upside down part and rub hands across hair with the hairspray in the hair.
How to Get Tousled Hair With a Blowdryer
To get tousled hair with a blowdryer, wash and condition the hair. Comb or brush the hair. Now, hang your head upside down and turn the blowdryer on low heat. Too much heat can be damaging. If your blowdryer has a cool section with no heat, that is the best, but a low warm will work as well. Start drying the hair, still with it upside down. Once it is closer to being dry, spray with Honeybee Gardens Alcohol Free Hairspray and start scrunching the hair while it dries completely. Once the hair is all the way dry, flip it back right side up. You may need to do some minor shaping with your hands, but that's it. If your hair is extra short, this still works. Simply forego the hair being upside down. While the blowdryer is running, rub across the hair back and forth, still with the hairspray in it as well. Do this until it dries.
Tired of fussing with your hair every day? Frustrated with knots, frizzies, split ends, flyaways, or other hair styling problems? I went through many brands of hair styling products, both salon-grade and traditional, before I finally realized that most of that stuff is what caused the damage to begin with. This rang true for the varied hair types and lengths my family has.
Fed up with spending too much money looking for the right solution, I started opting for more natural solutions to solve my hair issues. Here are some of the things I do to keep my hair looking great without too much fuss and product. Organic tea tree oil (and sometimes other oils) is the only styling product I use on my hair, no matter the style.
Tame the Bedhead Look
To tame the bedhead look, apply tea tree oil to the hair by first rubbing it into the palms of your hands. For long hair, use about a quarter size drop and for shorter hair, use about a dime size. Now apply that to the hair, starting at the tips and working up to the roots. Take a boar-bristle brush, wet it, and brush through the hair. Start from the bottom and work up to the top as hair becomes untangled.
Reduce Static or Flyaways
If you have one stray hair or section that just won't seem to stay down, try taming it with some tea tree oil. You only need a small amount and this generally works for both straight and curly hair. Simply apply the tea tree oil to the troublesome area and smooth with fingertips. Sometimes brushing is required, but not always.
To reduce breakage, you guessed it, I apply tea tree oil to the tips and roots of the hair. Over time, it helps to heal split ends and keep the hair stronger and healthier.
Yes, it's true. The tea tree oil creates shine as well. If you would like your hair to be shiny without feeling weighed down, tea tree oil is the answer. Only a small amount is needed and its lightweight consistency allows the hair to still breathe while shining. Simply apply all over the hair, but sparingly.
Cure Dry, Itchy Scalp
If your scalp gets itchy and dry (or even flaky), apply tea tree oil to the scalp every night before bed. Doing so after a good shampoo and condition gives the best results. Gently massage a small amount all over the scalp, paying special attention to the driest areas.
Create Curls Without Using a Heated Product
After a good shampoo and condition, apply tea tree oil throughout the hair and scalp. Now, braid the hair in two braids down the side and sleep that way. This creates loose, wavy curls. For shorter hair, you may need more than a couple braids because of the shorter strands. For tighter curls, use more braids that are smaller. Take the braids out in the morning and just finger comb through the hair and go.
Fight The Frizz
Anyone with thick or curly hair probably has experienced frizz at one time or another. It isn't fun. It can look like you just received an electric shock. Instead of going around like that, apply tea tree oil throughout the hair, starting at the tips and smoothing down and into the hair, eventually getting up to the roots. Thick, curly, or long hair will require more than short or straight hair. After application, finger comb or use a wide-toothed comb.
Fight Dry Hair
To fight dry hair, apply just as if you were fighting frizz. Tea tree oil can fight the dryness without flattening hair. Be careful not to put in too much, especially if your hair is thin or straight.
In terms of healthy hair, what first may come to mind is what you put into your hair, not necessarily your stomach. However, if you want your hair to look its best, a diet for healthy hair must also be considered. Protein and certain vitamins and minerals are all required to create the best diet for healthy hair. This is not a complete list, as the required nutrients can come from many sources. However, the below foods should be a great start to a healthy diet for healthy hair.
Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green vegetables are on the list for the best healthy hair diet because they produce Vitamins A and C. These both help the body to create sebum, which is a natural hair conditioner. While we're mentioning Vitamin A, we can't leave out carrots, which also have a healthy dose.
Egg whites are an excellent source of protein and can be prepared in many ways. In the morning, try this diet for healthy hair by scrambling an egg white. For lunch or dinner, add a diced, hard-boiled egg white to a fresh salad.
Many nuts contain nutrients that are optimal for healthy hair. Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for smooth and shiny hair. Zinc is an important ingredient contained in many nuts. Did you know that not including enough zinc in your diet can actually cause your hair to shed? Be sure to eat plenty of nuts daily as part of your healthy hair diet to avoid this.
Zinc, iron, and the B vitamins all can be found in whole grains. Cereal, whole grain rice, and whole grain breads all are great sources for these. Depending on the time of day, choose which go best with your meal for a healthy diet. Including these items can help prevent hair shedding and increase shine and strength.
Don't just eat these food items. Some also can be used directly in the hair. Milk is a great rinse for extra condition and shine. Egg whites can be used as a shampoo for shine and strength. To get the most out of the healthy diet foods for healthy hair, be sure to blend them with each other -- and other food items -- to create well-balanced meals. Healthy hair also comes from a healthy body. Part of having a healthy body includes eating right.
*The author is not a licensed nutritionist or medical professional. Always contact your licensed doctor for your specific dietary needs.
**I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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