It was meant to be Samson - a man - who lost his strength when his hair was cut. But for most modern women, the same concept sounds incredibly familiar, doesn't it?
There's something about long hair that most of us can't resist. It becomes a form of security blanket, separating us from the world and giving us our own private space. Whether you wear it natural or straighten it out, there's no denying the feeling that there is something more inherently feminine about long locks. Many a reality TV show contestant has had a meltdown when faced with the idea of her hair being cut. While we may judge their melodrama just a smudge, there's also a part of us that thinks: "I get it. If someone tried to cut off my hair I'd do more than just cry..."
So for most of us, we're the female equivalents of Samson. Our hair is our crowning glory. Not only do we feel the psychological and confidence-related boosts of long hair, but we also treasure the practicalities. There are more style options to play with and more styling products to use to create different looks.
Long hair remains the thrall for most of us - but does that mean we know how to care for it?
It seems not. It's easy to think that if hair is long it is healthy; after all, unhealthy hair would not be able to sustain the length - or so we think. Yet as soon as your hair gets past a certain length (around ear length), the demands placed upon you to maintain its luster begin to grow.
What such demands? It's simple enough - so long as you know the golden rules to follow. As soon as your hair begins to gain any length at all, you have to swear to abide by these - or risk a frizzy, untamed mess that you'll never be able to get to look good...
Golden Rule #1: You Do Need To Cut It
When you are growing hair out, the idea of taking a pair of scissors to it is anathema. It's not helped by the fact that we have all had a hairdresser experience that was less than thrilling. It’s all the more concerning if you have difficult or natural hair - anything a hairstylist has less experience with is rife for errors. We have all bitten the inside of our cheeks, nodded our assent to the stylist and then walked home crying - why risk that again given you're growing it out anyway?
Hair needs regular trimming to keep its shape, prevent split ends and ensure it's growing uniformly. Just don't go back to a hairstylist that has upset you in the past - ask friends or click here for recommendations to prevent future catastrophe.
Golden Rule #2: Search and Destroy
Long hair - no matter how you wear it - is more likely to suffer stresses, which can lead to split ends and torn strands. Every few days, go through the ends of your hair on a "search and destroy" mission. You can't heal a split end, so when it happens, the best thing to do is just remove it entirely.
Golden Rule #3: Keep Products Light
When your hair is longer, gravity plays more of a role in how you want to style it. The longer it is, the less product you should be using to control it. This is especially true of the roots, which can be pulled down and cause even the most natural curls to lose their oomph. Keep conditioner and other smoothing products from the ears down, leaving the roots to do their own thing.
Golden Rule #4: Scalp Massage
Massaging your scalp should be a regular part of any hair care routine, but it's especially important when your hair is long. A quick massage stimulates blood flow to promote healthy growth, and will also help rid you of loose hair that can make things look messy.
Don't be alarmed by hair loss, especially if you have used weaves or extensions in the past - when your hair is long, more fall is to be expected thanks to gravity. It may take awhile for your hair follicles to adjust to hair being longer and heavier.
Golden Rule #5: Don't Wash Too Often
Excessive washing will make hair harder to style. Given styling is an essential for long hair, you don't want to make life more difficult than you have to! Washing once or twice (depending on your hair type) a week is more than sufficient, with a quick spritz of dry shampoo to keep your roots fresh where needed.