View Full Version : Treatment of short hair vs. long?

July 6th, 2009, 10:50 AM
At what point(s) in your growing did you change your routine to better suit your longer length?

I ask because I've been reading a lot on here and I've come across a few suggestions to people with short hair that they not treat their hair as if it is long (ie, when your hair is short you can get away with styling aids or 'cones or daily shampoo to tame it as it grows and to resist the urge to cut). It makes sense to me, but I am not sure at which point you should start to use 'best practices' on your hair so that you keep it in better condition as it gets (older and) longer.

July 6th, 2009, 11:27 AM
If you are going to keep growing your hair with minimal trims, then you should always treat it gentley, because those currently short hairs will become the oldest, fragile ends. However, many of the treaments for long hair (deep conditioning, oiling, etc) aren't needed when your hair is that close to your scalp. Things such as not blowdrying and gentling detangling, combing, and/or brushing still apply.

I'm not sure if that quite addresses what you are asking, though.

July 6th, 2009, 12:24 PM
I have found that I need to pay closer attention to the condition of my ends after about shoulder blade/bra-strap level, and that once it is waist level I need to start babying it if I want to maintain condition and get it to grow even longer. That's when I need to start keeping it bunned a lot and oil, etc. with regularity rather than whenever I felt like it.

Waist level is the big behavioral change point for me, less than that it's just a matter of not doing anything that will overtly ruin the hair (bleaching, chlorine, etc.).

ETA: Oiling,etc. is good any time, I don't think anyone here will say it isn't, but you really need to watch the amounts you're using to avoid overload on shorter hair lengths.

July 6th, 2009, 12:27 PM
I think that this advice is generally given for styling purposes. Short hair can be very hard to style without aids and cones.
Once the hair is long enough to put in presentable updos, it is time to start using gentler techniques. IMHO, the main issue here is to look professional/presentable while growing the hair.
Just my :twocents:

July 6th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I think that this advice is generally given for styling purposes.

this is the reason why i recommend all the extra heat and styling products for shorter hair. it's a necessary evil for some until hair has fully reached bunning length.

July 6th, 2009, 02:06 PM
I think that the advice you mentioned (to not pay much attention to the condition 'cos it's gonna get cut off) applies until you can decently tie your hair back in a protective style (most likely a bun). Until then, it's getting wear and tear all the time, and shorter hair is often very difficult to make look good without heat styling and such, so you might as well blow it and trim that hair off later.

Also, stuff like oiling and deep treatments isn't really needed on such short hair. Once you have a decent division between length and scalp hair, your hair is probably long enough to start :)

July 6th, 2009, 02:23 PM
I started treating my hair well (stopped blow-drying, started protective styles, and started paying attention to ingredients lists instead of smell and label promises) when it was around APL, which is also when I decided to actively (rather than passively) grow waist-length hair.

I wish I had started being nice to it closer to shoulder. At shoulder, I could do a tucked-under French braid or two, a peacock twist, a French twist, or a ponytail. I also could do half-ups. I did that stuff occasionally, but if I'd been growing long on purpose earlier on, I would have used those styles as a matter of course instead of blowdrying it upside down on high heat full of product almost every other day.

Also worth noting - a ponytail (done with a hair-safe tie) IS a protective style for shoulder-length hair. It keeps it from whipping around in the wind and rubbing on clothing. Ponytails don't work well for protection on hair much longer than APL, but they're fine for shoulder or just past shoulder.

And half-ups keep the canopy hair, which is more likely to get environmental damage, safe. There's a lot of value in that. Plus, they allow the person to practice styles that he or she'll be able to do with all the hair once it's longer.

July 6th, 2009, 04:14 PM
I started making the change to good long-hair habits around shoulder length, and now that I'm at APL, I'm able to treat it like long hair all the time. I would never have survived the wasteland between chin and shoulder without my heat styling tools, but now I don't really miss them.

July 6th, 2009, 05:34 PM
no advice, just watching this thread with interest.

I do know though, that the changes I've made since joining the site have helped me to grow longer than I had it, and at a faster rate because I haven't had to majorly cut off damage.

July 7th, 2009, 03:30 AM
Thanks everyone, for the answers!

My hair is at collarbone length now. I am really happy with the changes I've made so far (given up heat styling, styling products other than aloe gel, delay washing, CO inbetween, using cassia for strength, and Monistat for growth) but I'm having trouble getting the hang of oiling and think maybe my hair just isn't long enough yet to warrent it?

Also, I've been using a ponytail or fake bun (pony folded over once) for an almost daily style. When I'm at home I use a soft scrunchie and when I'm going out I use a material hair band (like the ones kids use but in brown) and a hair safe octopus clip to make it look a little more neat and 'done'. This has been a lifesaver to keep me from wanting to blow dry or straighten it in this inbetween stage. But I'm worried that having to put it in the same place every day (nape of my neck since my underneath hairs are not long enough to put the pony tail any higher) is going to cause damage?

July 7th, 2009, 04:06 AM
"negative advice", if such a thing exists:

there could be something in the sholderblade / bsl suggestion... i only had long hair before i was 15, and as i was not very conscious about the whole thing, only too lazy to cut, it always started turning terrible at that length. It would have required different treatment at the time, and i chose to cut instead of realizing it.

But well, i wasn't going for really long at the time anyway - but then again, it reminds me how being too lazy to cut actually gets it long :)

July 7th, 2009, 05:44 AM
I changed my routine gradually. Though, the saying that short hair can take harsher treatment applies only to short hair that one intends to keep short. The moment one decides to grow her hair long, she should start treating hair more gently. The short hair of today will be ends of long hair in a few years. So the person is really no longer short haired but a longhair in the making!:p

Some changes like oiling and updos can be made only after hair has reached certain length (which varies from person to person). Some changes like gentler washing routine and avoiding heat styling can be made at any length. Besides growth, also other things like season, health and lifestyle changes can affect one's routine. A hair care routine is something that always changes- sometimes more quickly, sometimes slowly. Keeping a hair journal is a good way to stay aware of what is going on with that hair and how different changes affect its condition.

July 8th, 2009, 09:35 AM
I can't remember how I treated short hair (or rather how my mom might have treated my hair when it was short), since I haven't been "short" since I was younger than ten. :pinktongue:

I started taking better care of my hair around 2005 or so on the advice of a dearly departed friend, which was to stop the blow-frying and Pantening it to death, and to use a BBB.

When I started here at LHC I had 3 years of no heat-styling under my belt, but last autumn was when I really jumped on for the long run in good hair care. :)