Caring for Your Hair

Caring for Your Hair

My hair has probably the most complimented part of my body, for all 17 and a half years of my life. It’s used to be insanely long when was a child, until I got tired of it when I was 10 and got it all cut to shoulder length. I maintained ‘just past shoulder length’ hair til I was about 14, when I started letting it go. One day last year, when I looked in the mirror, I suddenly realised, ‘damn. I have really long hair. It’s past my waist.’ That was probably the moment when I realised I had to start caring for it if I wanted it to stay this healthy. That, and my mother’s insistence.

So, here’s my guide to taking care of your hair.

Brushing is Good

Now, I’ve met people who don’t like brushing their hair. And admittedly, I’m one of them. I never have time to brush my hair in the mornings, and that’s usually okay for me because my hair’s stick straight no matter what I try to do to it. But honestly, hair should be brushed.

Brushing distributes your natural hair oils down your hair. The oily substance, sebum, is secreted at the root of your hair, and acts as a protective barrier, keeping your hair shiny and healthy. Also, brushing it prevents greasy buildup around your scalp.

Pick a good hairbrush. Do some research and find out what brush type is good for your particular type of hair. It’s worth it. I personally just use a tangle teaser when my hair is super messy, and carry around a gorgeous little wooden comb in case I suddenly need to look presentable. Usually, wood is better than plastic, especially for combs. But this isn’t always the case, so, remember: do your research. When you find the right brush, a single stroke with it through your hair makes your hair so much softer and a delight to touch.

Know your hair brushes:

Less is more and more is less: Washing your hair

People often talk about how you shouldn’t wash your hair too often because it damages your hair, or you shouldn’t go without washing because it’s disgusting. The correct thing to do is gauge your own needs. Thicker, oily hair could get away with being washed every day without being damaged. Non greasy hair doesn’t need to washed as often, and finer hair should be gently washed, and less often, to avoid breaking. I myself wash my hair every two days.

Washing your hair should be done with the right shampoo. I used the same kids shampoo until I was thirteen. Then, I started buying a different shampoo every time a bottle ran out. It took me countless tries to find the perfect shampoo that suited me, and I’ve stuck to it for almost two years now. Some people say that you should switch up shampoos or your hair will ‘get used to it’ and the shampoo won’t be effective. But this isn’t antibiotics we’re talking about. If you find the perfect shampoo like I have, stick to it. I use the Aussie Luscious Long shampoo, and the matching conditioner.

Speaking of conditioners, always condition. It doesn’t matter how greasy your hair is, or how short it is. If you’re worried about grease, simply apply the conditioner to only the tips. If you have short hair, use less conditioner. I apply conditioner to the tips first, then work my way up, gently rubbing in the conditioner until I reach approximately the shoulder length area.

Hair Treatments and General Faffing Around

I only use treatments if my hair is super dry. I don’t usually like store bought hair masks, and instead, mostly use different oils.

I warm a bottle of oil, either almond or coconut, in a bowl of water that’s warm but still comfortable to rest a hand in. Before washing my hair, I scoop some of the oil out, and massage it into my scalp like I would shampoo. Then, I rub more into my tips, and comb through my hair gently with a wide toothed comb (plastic – wood can be damaged by the oil). Using a towel, I wrap up my hair and pile it onto my head. After about 30 mins, I unwrap and wash as usual.

If you buy treatments and hair masks, try to buy as organic and natural as possible. Lush does some amazing ones, and I think I’ve sampled almost all of them by now. The people at the shop will usually be happy to help you find the perfect mask to match your hair, and explain how to use it.

Also, something major I have to say to you: dye will damage your hair. This is unquestionable. Perhaps the only dye I have ever seen that does not completely strip your hair is henna. When using all natural henna, it actually keeps your hair healthy. Other than that, every dye I have seen my friends get, professionally done or not, damages their hair. This includes the old ‘using lemon juice to bleach hair’ trick.

General Advice

Keep your hair tied back. If I’m not leaving the house, I always wear a soft silk hairband and plait my hair. Plaiting your hair is probably the best way to keep your hair from damage – leaving it loose allows it to get caught on various things (zips, door handles, buttons, earrings… Usually other people’s). A major long hair problem. Tying it up in a ponytail or tight bun can stretch the hair and puts pressure on the scalp. Plaits are good.

Elastic bands are bad. Just don't subject your hair to that. Please? Use soft hair ties, without the metal bits. Scrunchies are the best, but failing that, just the ordinary no-metal hair bands will do.

Don’t play with your hair. I’m guilty of this, and it’s really not a good habit. It’s terrible.

Heat is not good for your hair. Hairdryers, straighteners, curlers, radiators, are all bad. I usually try to air dry when possible, and when I do use a hairdryer, I put it on a comfortably warm, not hot, setting. I never use straighteners and only curl my hair with heat maybe about twice a year.

Don’t stress, exercise, drink lots of water, and have a healthy diet. Ultimately, those are the most important factors. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day, depending on your body mass and level of activity. Your hair grows from you, so keeping your body healthy comes first.

Happy Hair Caring!


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What Guys Said 6

  • But... I still don't know which brush is best for me?

    Also, the only thing conditioner seems to help me with is making my hair less staticky, and it makes it look less disheveled over time than if I don't use it.

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    • I'm afraid outlining exactly which brush is good for certain types of hair would take an entire other MyTake. I might try writing one sometime.

  • i have to care my hare but i put short hair

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  • Thank you for the advice! I want to grow out my hair and have sexier hair look. I need to drink more water and not play with my hair either...

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  • So mean... I'm balding... :(

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  • I used to have fairly long hair (think below shoulder-length) so even though I'm not a girl, this was a nice read. But really, using shampoo every day generally just isn't good for your hair and scalp even though it feels nice to do. Also don't turn the water heat up too much, though that's mainly problematic for your skin. It will make it dry.

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  • I know this is more of a girl's take, but a lot of dudes care about their hair too c:
    I'm one of them, I use loads of different hair shampoos. I hairdry my hair sometimes too. I use Loreal hair putty/wax on my hair. Luckily, my hair is fairly easy to maintain.

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    • Yeah, I'm afraid I probably couldn't help you much with guys hair care... Maybe I'll brush up on my knowledge and write another one for guys.

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    • "I use loads of different hair shampoos" Don't overdo it my man. Hair is actually more healthy when not shampoo'd often. Not even joking! I like caring for my hair too, but I've toned it down a bit recently.

    • I don't go all out dude, don't worry. 😂

What Girls Said 21

  • Most hair brushes don't stand a chance against my hair and break really fast. :D

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  • Tying your hair back can actually cause breakage too. If you're at the house, wearing it down or loosely tied is better. Also, it's not as much that brushing is good but more so detangling your hair is good. A person should find the right comb/brush to keep it from notting up which can cause serious breakage in the long run. Although, brushing in general can help stimulate your scalp. Too much brushing can be bad.

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  • Great take. I thought brushing was bad for my hair.

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  • Great take! Taking care of your hair is super important. I have thick, wavy hair... that tends to have a mind of its own. I don't think hairdryers are bad unless you're not taking the right precautions. Meaning every time you use heat on your hair, you use a serum to coat the hair and prevent it from damage or breakage. I had a Pixie cut, and now its in a bob, but the entire time I had my short hair, I used heat... my tips are still very healthy. The oil treatments also do wonders. I use coconut oils and sometimes olive oil... most because olive oil is the only oil that is closest to the body's natural oils. Or so I've read.

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  • Thank you so much!

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  • Thank you 😊

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  • Thanks for your advices, i would love to see a picture of your hair !

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  • I need to use a wood brush for my hair and my mom can't usually really brush her hair at all since she wouldn't even really get through her thick and very very curly hair - just like mine it's naturally almost afro (I straighten my hair though). I think that brushing afro or curly hair in general is actually pretty bad because pulling it like that can damage or even break the hair ends so you shouldn't brush your hair a lot if it's very curly. It also makes it look very frizzy if it's already curly and it just doesn't look good.

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  • It would be cool if all hair textures could endure the same thing o. e, me personally, I can't brush my hair. the bottom paragraph would be helpful for everyone though and the treatments.
    And like what anonomyous said, you have better hair (maybe not all asians) your hair can handle more washes and since it's straight you can do a lot of things without it going dry easily or ripping it out from brushes and sometimes combs

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  • But you Asians would have no clue of what's the real struggle like. You all have thin hair anyways.

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    • Really I thought we have thick hair or somehing

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    • All, literally all, the Asians I know have amazing hair naturally

    • Surely nobody fully understands a fellow persons struggle? It's not like you change hair types in your life. I have thin straight hair, of course I don't understand what it's like having an Afro. And the other way round.

      No need to get aggressive at an entire ethnicity because you've got beef with your hair.

  • Depending on your hair, hairdryers aren't bad. As long as you're not concentrating heat on a certain area, you're fine,

    And though I would not recommend using curlers/straighteners---a better way is to use the round brush and hair dryer--you can use heat protectant and it will protect your hair from the heat.

    I would also suggest Fish Oil and Biotin pills (I can attest to both. Fish Oil REALLY grows hair).

    Other than that, great take!

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    • They probably do, but as I have never tried them, I couldn't put them in my take. Thanks for the help though.

  • Ughhh your do lucky that you can just run a comb through your hair and it's soft and detangled.

    Afro textured hair here 🙋 It can't be tamed 😧...

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    • Tha sounds sucky sorry... or I dont know

    • Hahaa! Lately it's been hell. @hypno-trip

      Like I thinking about going back straightening it, but that's a worse hell in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, my natural African hair is fun to play/ experiment with but the upkeep is very demanding. Sometimes I wish I could leave it alone and watch it grow 😥

    • Try AsIAm. I just tried someone different with my hair tonight and it was like a different head almost.

  • Yeah it's the same with me my hair would probably have to be my best trait. Everyone goes crazy when they see my hair ever since I was little really. Everyone always asks is that your real hair or what are you mixed with which gets kind of annoying.

    When I was little my hair was just above my butt and then as I grew of course my hair didn't seem as long when my height caught up to me but it was still around the middle of my back.

    I'm not going to lie I became obsessed with the flat iron and getting my hair done everyone warned me that it's damaging my hair but I didn't listen and then one day i began to get split ends, myore hair started to fall off but it was also due to medications and stress buti know the heat also had a significant part of it.

    So I got my hair cut shoulder length which surprisingly everyone liked. They said it suited my face better and made me look more adult like. It took about half a year for it to grow back to around where my chest started and just in time for my graduation.

    The same thing actually happened again and around the middle of my Sophomore year it starts to break off again. This time it was actually strainer and not as thicke not to mention it didn't break off evenly but lucky me the asymmetrical bob had just became popular so I went with that.

    Now my hair is even again and it's really long but I'm thinking about cutting it to shoulder length again but it's just so hard not to damage your hair when my natural hair is shrivvled up and super short and curly. I liv off of the flat iron.

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  • I don't know what brush, shampoo and conditioner is right for my hair. My hair is naturally thick, wavy, long to like my mid back where my braline is, and I'm a blonde. I used to wash my hair every day until I was 15. Then I changed it to every other day. Now with my bleached/dyed blonde hair, I wash my hair every 3-5 days. And my sister colors, bleaches, and cuts my hair so I follow what she says. And she does her hair too

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    • And I know it's different with bleached hair. And my sister has been doing her hair since she was 15, now she's 22 and currently we're both blonde. She switches hers up with different pinks, reds, purples and now we're both platinum blonde

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    • I don't know how the mane and tail conditioner is

    • I've never tried the mane and tail conditioner. I have a dyed blonde friend who uses a Lush shampoo for blonde hair; apparently that's good.

  • I can agree with this because I think we have a similar hair type.

    People find it disgusting that I don't condition my hair (I use spray conditioner afterwards - hairdryer on medium or cool and spray through or airdry) and I was it no more frequently than every other day. My hair falls out otherwise.

    I'm terrible for playing with my hair. Twirling is my weakness.

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    • That's honestly stupid/ignorant on the people's part for thinking it's gross for not conditioning your hair. The whole point of conditioner is to add back essential oils and nutrients stripped from washing so it makes no sense to say it's gross.

  • I have huge fro so don't even get me started about hair care, products and regime lol😂😃
    Total different world)

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  • Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

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    • No, I don't personally think it is. I use dry shampoo sometimes, and it doesn't seemed to have damaged my hair. It could be different for different hair types though, in the long term.

  • Lol I haven't brushed my hair in years, and I rarely ever shampoo...

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    • You don't brush? It doesn't get tangled? Lucky... When I had long hair it got tangled so often! Rarely using shampoo is actually good for your hair as long as you don't suffer from dandruff.

    • @Remonster I only comb in the shower and but I usually just finger detangle. I only shampoo once a month

  • How do you know which is the "right" shampoo? I use the shampoo I'm using because it makes my hair really smooth and it smells nice. Does it simply mean using a shampoo you like? Because if it is, I've been following all of this all my life :D

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    • The right shampoo is the shampoo that has the effect on your hair you like best. However, it may not be the healthiest choice (shampoos generally are very chemical). Though unfortunately I cannot help you with that.

  • awesome mytake. this was pretty informative. and i think this is a pretty common question too. i see lots of questions about hair care. good job!

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