“But I don’t DO anything to my hair! Why is it so damaged?”

I hear exactly this sentiment from about a third of my long haired clients. So let me explain how hair can get damaged even if you don’t use heat tools or color it. Some of these are big shockers to my clients!

1. Putting your hair up into one of those towel turbans after the shower. Towels are very heavy, especially when wet, and that is a ton of weight to put on your hairline, where the hair is already the most fragile.

2. Never brushing or combing your hair. A lot of long hair clients will put their hair back in a messy bun when it is still dripping wet and just leave it up until their next shower, where they rip through the knots while shampooing. Except for some of the curliest of curly haired folks, you need to get that brush though those strands. Brushing is great for hair!

3. ALWAYS having hair up in a bun/pony tail. Elastic bands are not great for hair for continuous usage. If you always have your hair back get a butterfly clip or something that won’t pull it as tightly. Braids are also wonderful. Styling hair (yes, even blow drying and flat ironing) can be great for your hair as long as you are using heat protectant, since you are thoroughly distributing the oil though your hair and stimulating the scalp from continuously brushing/combing.  And let’s be real, the scalp can get really weird really quickly if it is always wet… I’m talking fungus weird!

4. NEVER using product. I’m not sure where the rumor went out that product is bad for your hair…? If you use a product suitable for your hair it will not only look better right away, it will also protect your hair from the elements.

5. Never getting it cut. This one should be obvious, but doesn’t seem to be.  As hair travels through the world, the ends get battered by wind, water, changing clothes… everything!  The ends fray and if those ends aren’t cut, they travel up and up and cause tangles and the tangles cause more damage.  It’s a vicious cycle.

6. Not getting color. This is a strange one because, yes, some colors can cause damage, especially if poorly formulated, but a demi or semi permanent color can work wonders for the hair, adding shine, improving texture and sealing down the cuticle. Consider a clear gloss!  Even gray coverage goes a long way toward evening out the texture of salt and pepper hair.

7. Not conditioning enough. Many of my long hair clients should be getting a conditioning treatment at least once a month, either in salon or with a quality at home mask. Just conditioning in the shower a few minutes is probably not enough. The bottoms of your hair may have been with you two, maybe even three or four years! Give ’em some love. Leave-in conditioners and styling conditioners can work wonders for smoothing, silkening and protecting! Check out Potion 9 from Sebastian.

ADDITIONALLY, a leave-in conditioner is wonderful for protecting hair against sun, chlorine and saltwater!

Don’t we all just want beautiful, healthy hair?

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Sydney Perez of Taxi Talent, Photo by Megan Gardner Photography, Hair and Makeup by Rachel Lynn Carr (me)

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