The International Long Hair Club's
Protecting Long Hair Page

There are many ways in which hair can become damaged.  Long hair is especially prone to this, as it is much more fragile than short hair. Long hair is easily damaged by chemical treatments, such as perms, coloring and bleaching, we all know.  It can also be damaged by the sun and from excessive heat, such as blow dryers or curling irons.  Even heavy winds can cause massive tangling and snarls.  These things are all very harsh on long hair.  Just one usage of a curling iron or one perm treatment and long hair can be harmed badly enough to require the damage be cut out due to severely split ends.

However, many summer pastimes unfortunately wreak havoc on long hair as well, and we forget this in our haste to enjoy life.  Riding on a motorcycle is usually a great time, and so is swimming, boating, riding in a convertible or riding on roller coasters, but these can create incredible messes, stress hair out and do damage.  The longer the hair, the quicker the damage will accrue.  The best way to protect hair is to braid it or use a ponytail restrained with multiple fabric-wrapped hair bands or scrunchies going down the length.  A simple braid will completely remove the possibility of damage that just the wind blowing would cause to unbound hair.  Also, the closer to the ends of the hair that the braid or bands go, the better the protection of the ends.  A good practice is to take the ends and loop them under, secured by a fabric-wrapped hair band, so that they begin to go back up the length of the ponytail or braid.  This further protects those fragile tips.  Anytime the hair is going to be subjected to such a condition, consider protecting it this way.  Additionally, any updo, i.e. buns, French twists or other styles, will work just as well or even better, as long as the entire length is secured and the style withstands the intense blowing of the wind.  The simple braid is just one of the quickest ways to reduce the chances of harming long hair (and updos donít fit under helmets!).

There are other times when a braid or such style as describe above can spare hair much abuse.  Many people do not realize that when asleep, tossing and turning can cause unnecessary stress and tangling to long hair.  Laying on and pulling hair while sleeping not only wakes a person up (and thereís nothing pleasant about finding oneself wrapped in a veritable spiderís web of hair), but it encourages breakage.  A braid or updo can significantly reduce chances of damaging hair at night.  Another remedy is to use a silk pillowcase.  This has helped many, especially those with thick or curly hair, because with fine hair, silk sometimes encourages the hair to fall back into the bed more, defeating its detangling purpose.  But for most, silk reduces the friction of hair rubbing against usual cotton fabric.  This is good for individuals who cannot sleep with their hair bound.  A third idea is to pull the hairís length above the head and pillow.  This is good for those who do not toss and turn very much while asleep.

In closing, the less stress hair goes through, the fewer trims it will need, and the fewer trims, the longer the hair will grow.  For some, growing as much length as possible is the goal, so they should follow these simple rules and enjoy the healthy growth of their hair.  Even if others are at their desired lengths, these tips will also encourage better hair health.  Think about it: what good is long hair if it is not healthy?

Send in your tips or styles for protecting your hair against the long hair foes of life.

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