Updated: May 21, 2020
This is a post for the people who ask me variants of "how did you get your hair so long?" and also the people who touch my head in search of hair extensions (???). It happens. People skip the "what extensions do you use" chat and just start digging.....in my hair, only to emerge confused that there are no wires or glue or whatever extensions are made of (I've been informed that there are six different types).
I don't have a top-secret breakthrough discovery that made my hair long & healthy, and I don't have any magical Rapunzel potion to sell you, but obviously, I've learned and put into practice a number of somewhat unconventional experimental methods. If it's of interest, read on.
First of all, biotin supplementation is not our Lord and Savior. While there may be some incredible supplement for hair and nails out there (& I would love to see the data) I don't take biotin or anything consistently and my only deficiency is, to absolutely no one's surprise, vitamin D.
My approach to hair is similar to my approach with most things: simple, straightforward, low-maintenance and natural. I don't get my hair or nails done in salons anymore because it's time consuming and I don't like the waiting, physical contact, or someone else handling my hair who doesn't have to live with the charred aftermath. Personally I dislike the look of frequently cut, constantly tampered-with hair....reminiscent of that early 2000s "bangs glued to the forehead" look and outdated in this era of back to basics, embracing what is natural.
Actually, the last time I was in a hair salon something spectacular happened. While the stylist was blow drying my hair, I said, "one moment," stood up, and promptly collapsed. I regained consciousness lying on the floor surrounded by concerned, confused salon occupants. Not in the mood to deal with ambulances, I reassured everyone that I was fine, not suing anyone, and carried on with my day. It must have been a combination of having my hair ripped on, a sudden onslaught of unfamiliar product chemical exposure (which I'm not accustomed to at all) and heat. I don't know. But it was around that time that I realized I prefer doing my own hair anyway and having it pulled on and machine incinerated by others is not necessarily my cup of champagne.
Excessive hairstyling is time-consuming and generally terrible for hair. Your hair is not designed to be washed in hot water, blown with hot hair, further cremated by various hot torture devices designed to make it an unnatural shape, and repeat.
To clarify & summarize, my hair routine is essentially this: - Minimal intervention/effort
- Before I even get in the shower. I put conditioner on my hair and leave it on for about ten minutes.
- With shampoo, I apply and rinse it out as quickly as possible. I also try to use the cleanest/most organic ones I can find. Shampoo is designed to remove natural oils from your hair, so it's not good to overdo it.
- Zero heat. I usually shower in cool water and never wash my hair with high heat.
- Brush gently, start from the bottom. Do not pull or be rough. Use a wig brush or something soft. Do not abuse. Common sense.
- Hair is not designed to be abused, burned, brutalized, artificially temporarily enhanced by damaging products, etc.
- Do whatever you want with your hair and of course be mindful of who you entrust with its care.
- As often as possible, I use organic, vegan haircare products. I use very little consistently other than coconut oil and the like on the ends. Cosmetic animal testing is deplorable and I'm in staunch opposition of it and would never knowingly buy a product that was unethically created. So I opt for products that are gentle and clean but nothing consistently mainly because I travel so frequently.
- Ensure that your health, hormones and hygiene are functioning well and when natural things like split ends happen, don't panic, rock em or chop em, your call.
- I do not dye or put any harsh products in my hair ever. It looks good on some people but there are certain places that I frequent where blue hair would not be lauded as my smartest ever aesthetic decision.