How to: Detangle Long Hair (in Eight Easy Steps)
Tue, 18 June 2013 11:06AM
It seemed to happen overnight. One morning, as I was going through my usual mane-maintenance routine, I realised that I suddenly had really rather long hair.
Ever since this revelation, I have had to rethink my hair regimen. My locks have become so long that attempting my once signature style – a textured, beachy look – simply leaves me with knotty, gnarly, not-very-nice-at-all hair.
You see, when you have lots of hair, there are so many more chances for it to twist and tangle around itself. Something, I’m sure, Girls actress Jemima Kirke knows all about.
Sound like you, too? If so, I’m here to help! Here’s what I do in order to keep my hair tangle-free …
1. Brush hair before washing it. You see, the shampooing process can dry hair out a little, making for strands that are more likely to catch each other and knot up. So it pays to make sure that your locks are a knot-free zone before you hit the shower. Tip: when brushing long hair, never brush from the roots down, as this can compound any knots on the way. Instead, brush the ends, then work up in stages. This means you can zone in on any knots and more easily work through them.
2. Treat hair before shampooing it. I’ve added in the pre-shampoo step of treating the ends and mid-lengths of my hair with an oil (namely, Kérastase Paris Elixir Ultime Les Grand Crus, $55, salons). Again, this smooths hair, making it less likely to knot up during shampooing.
3. Use smoothing haircare. I’m currently in love with the new crop of keratin-based haircare ranges. As you might know, keratin is a protein, and one that can be stripped during the colouring process. So, shampoo and conditioner that have been formulated with this protein help to reinforce weak hair fibres, which in turn makes strands strong and smooth. Sold? Thought so! Check out these new ranges:
- Matrix Biolage Advanced Keratindose Shampoo & Conditioner, $29 each
- Organix Shampoo & Conditioner, $19.99 each, Coles
- Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner (below), $11.49 each, pharmacies
4. Leave conditioner on for a few minutes. Most conditioners require this much time to work to full effect – AKA leave hair soft and supple.
5. Try a Tangle Teezer. This genius flexy brush manages to do what it promises – tease out tangles – in next to no time, and with next to no pain. I use it to work through my conditioner, and then once again after rinsing conditioner out. My favourite is the ‘Aqua Splash’ Tangle Teezer, which has been especially created for use in the shower; it’s $32.95 – call 03 9848 8388 for stockists.
6. Lavish hair in styling product. Whether you use a silicone-based serum or a leave-in blow-dry cream, such a styling aid works to coat and condition individual hairs, meaning they’ll be less likely to get caught up as you blow-dry them. Speaking of which …
7. Blow-dry like a pro. The only way you’ll get swishy, swingy, silky hair is if you take the time to style it that way. Using a paddle brush and a hairdryer (complete with nozzle), section hair into several tiers, and work across each tier in three to four sections. With the brush underneath each section, always aim the dryer nozzle on top, pointing downwards, to encourage the cuticle to lie flat (and the hair strand to stay smooth). Pack your brush in your bag so you can smooth things out during the day as needed.
8. Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. Seriously! Cotton pillowcases can snag and rough up the hair cuticles; however a smoother surface will mean that your hair will slip and slide over it, rather than snagging and roughing up the hair cuticles.
Tell us, Primpers, do you have any detangling tips of your own?