Putting the Ponytail Out to Pasture
Tired of pulling that long hair back into the same old ponytail?
Seems like those long flowing tresses we work so hard to grow spend a whole lot of time being pushed out of our way, bridled with a hair tie and visible only from the back view. Although the ponytail is an easy, quick way to control frizzy, flyaway long hair, today’s modern hair care tools and products make styling long hair easy whether you choose to let it all hang loose or you choose an ‘updo’.
First, though, if you’re just not ready to let go of that ponytail, you can still add some flair to your hair with just two simple long hair styling tips and techniques.
Giddy-up & Go -> Change your ponytail into the easiest of updos. Simply twist the tail up and fasten it to the hair closest to your scalp with a large clip. Leave some tendrils around your face to give you a gentle, romantic look.
Practical and Stylish -> Braid your ponytail. A braid not only keeps long hair out of your way, braids are neat, chic looks that add an executive flair to your style. An additional advantage of braided hair is that when you “let your hair down”, the braid has “set” your hair into a natural, glamorous wave that lets you easily move from the work place to more pleasurable night time activities!
Tip : Braid your hair at night to both minimize tangles during morning comb-outs and take advantage of the ready-made waves during the day.
Maintaining the Mane
Before you begin styling long hair, take care to maintain it properly. What you do when you shampoo and immediately after has a major effect on the ease of styling long hair.
- After shampooing, never rub long hair dry. Friction is a major cause of hair damage that results in split ends, frizzies, and breaking – all factors that can put a big crimp in styling long hair.
- The next step after shampooing is to comb through any tangles. While hair is damp, take out snarls using a stiff wide-tooth comb. Flexible combs stretch hair follicles and weaken them. The same goes for the flexible bristles of a brush. Never brush wet hair. Always use a comb.
- When combing, always start at the ends and work towards the top. It’s a whole lot easier (and better for your hair) to work through little tangles, working bottom to top, than it is to tear through big snarls that accumulate from top to bottom.
Curling Long Hair
A basic problem with curling long hair is achieving lasting, natural-looking curl. The top goes flat; the ends go limp and out comes the scrungie. To create long lasting curl, first build volume into your long hair. Apply a volumizing product to clean, damp, detangled hair starting at the roots and then combing it through to the ends.
Scrunch it -> Mix some finishing (heavy-hold) hair spray with some mousse or gel. Using more mousse or gel gives you a softer curl. For stronger curl, use more spray. (Pump types of hair spray are best for mixing.)
Work the mixture into your damp hair and then scrunch the hair. You’ll get more curl with smaller sections and more wave by scrunching all of your hair at once. Let your hair finish drying naturally. This is an excellent technique to get long-lasting curl on hair that is damaged from chemical treatments (such as perms or relaxers) without causing further damage through applying heat.
Blow it -> When styling with your blow dryer and styling brush quickly dry your hair, again starting at the roots and using the high heat setting of your blow dryer. Keep the heat away from the ends. When hair is near dry, use your styling brush to hold hair in place and reset your blow dryer to cool to finish drying and ‘set’ your style. Use a high-hold finishing hair spray to keep your style in place throughout your day.
Tip : Carry a light-hold hair spray with you in your bag. They’ll help maintain your style throughout the day without adding a stiff, over-sprayed look to your hairdo.
Roll it -> Curling irons are best used to style just the ends of long hair. Use a thermal protector along with your curling iron to minimize damage from heat.
Hot rollers are another styling alternative for long hair. They’re quick to use, taking just minutes to put in and take out again. When styling long hair with hot rollers, use a working spray for long-last curl. Spray the inside of the curl as you roll it. Leave rollers in for 10 minutes or for stronger curl, a maximum of 20 minutes. (By then the rollers will have cooled anyway!)