View Full Version : Noobie long-hair here has a few questions :-)

October 22nd, 2009, 10:21 PM
Hello all! :)

I've sorta been reading the boards a lot for some time now and never really thought to register until today, so here I am!

The last time I got a haircut was about 14 months or so ago. I decided to start letting my hair grow out because 1) it keeps you warmer in the winter (snowboarding is my obsession) and 2) being a "long-hair" is something I've never experienced before and I was up for something new and different like this.

I've never measured my hair but the longest sections in back are about an inch or so passed my shoulders, with the shortest parts in front coming down just passed my lips. I'd say I'm pretty much passed that "in between" stage of hair growth where your hair isn't short, but it isn't really long either, so I'm happy about that. The day I could finally keep my hair out of my face with assistance from my ears was a good day hehe. My hair is straight, but it does like sort of "flare out" at the ends, however that has started to disappear ever since it has begun passing my shoulders.

So, I have a few questions. Today, being the day I finally decided to register, is also the day I figured that I should probably take better care of my hair, and from what I've read here, it seems many of you are very knowledgeable in the area of hair care ;).

Since I am a beginner "long-hair," I'd love to hear some general do's and don'ts when it comes to dealing with longer hair. For example...

What is a good rule of thumb when it comes to:
-wearing a hat, sun glasses, beanies, etc...
When I wear a hat, I usually send my hair up and over the ears and keep it in back since hair hanging over my ears naturally with a hat on forces my hair to stick out or do all sorts of crazy things... With a beanie pulled over my ears, I keep my hair loose at the side of my face since there is no 'ears fighting with the hair, fighting with the pressure of a hat' issue.

-brushing hair and choosing the right brush
I'm totally clueless here. I brush my hair after a shower (when still damp), again after it's dry and occasional light brushing when I wake up in the morning. I have no idea what kind of brush I have...it's just been one that I've always had, but since I've never had long hair, it's probably the wrong type of brush to have.

-washing hair
I wash my hair every 2 days or so. I read constantly about how you shouldn't wash your hair EVERY day. Sure getting the oil out of your hair feels better but it's there for a reason. So, tips on washing hair? Shampoo? Conditioners, etc? I'd say my hair is pretty lightweight and strong.

-side burns and "napes"
"Napes" are the hairs at the lower back of your neck right? Really lightweight fuzzy kind of hair...? Been reading this term here quite a bit. Doesn't really bother me right now because I'm not quite at the pony tail stage but when I do get there I have a feeling I WILL be bothered lol, what do I do with this hair? Also, side burns, do I trim these or let them grow? I only let the sideburns go down to about the middle of my ear, maybe a little above that. They grow really slow for me and this is probably the same for most. What would be your advice for sideburns...what's the "norm" for people with long hair?

I've realized my post is getting quite long now so I'm gonna stop here and maybe ask more at a later time haha, thank you all very much for your answers (assuming some of you made it to this point :p).

October 22nd, 2009, 10:32 PM
I don't wear hats, so I can't help you with that.
For brushing, I've found what works best for me is to not brush at all. This is mostly because I have curly hair - brushes pull out the curls and damage my hair. I comb with a seamless wide tooth comb in the shower while I have conditioner in my hair. I know several other members also do this. :) A lot of people seem to use the seamless wide tooth comb approach, actually.
For washing hair, there's so many different approaches. This depends a lot on your hair type. Personally, I wash four times a week (every time I exercise) with a little bit of shampoo (mostly only on my scalp) and a lot of conditioner. I currently use sulfates and cones, but I'm actually planning on making the transition to sulfate and cone free this weekend (kinda). I'll see how that goes - it works for some people, but not for everyone.

October 23rd, 2009, 07:48 AM
I tend to wear my hair up in a bun with a hat, so I get 'hat hair' less, but generally I stick to wide headbands and earmuffs in winter. Sorry, not much help I know.
I used to brush my hair damp until I realised how much damage it causes; wet hair = fragile hair. I give mine a very gentle once over with a wooden wide-toothed comb just before I rinse the conditioner out, and then leave it be until it's dry. But then, I do baby my hair a bit. :o In terms of brushes generally, I use a wooden-pronged brush for my tangles. Ideally comb-only would be best, but it's just not practical for me. Maybe you'll have more luck? A lot of people like boar bristle brushes (BBBs) too, but I'm still working on that one. :)
I wash my hair every fifth day, sometimes six. It took a while for the hair to get used to it, around two months or so, but I save quite a lot of money on shampoo now, and my hair seems a lot happier. Really, it's up to what works for you.
I have a lot of nape and side fuzzies, too. I'm afraid I've no idea what to do with them myself, but it's not all bad, as they tend to soften up-dos a bit. :)

Redheaded Raven
October 23rd, 2009, 07:55 AM
I do use a brush, but very gently and only on dry hair. I have several boar bristles that I love. I mostly use a comb though, I love my horn combs and use them regularly. I oil the ends of my hair to keep them sealed and cut down on frizz. I cannot think of other things right now, other than welcome to LHC. Here is an article with newbie advise that is here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=39)

October 23rd, 2009, 10:21 AM

I can't help you much with hats... I tend to wear my hair in a braid with one, but buns often don't fit in them. Beware of nose pads on glasses and sunglasses, especially if you put them on top of your head. Plastic glasses with built-in pads rather than those little sticking-out ones are better in this regard. (Also be careful about hair getting caught in the hinges.)

With regard to brushes and combs:
Ideally, minimize how much you handle your hair when it's wet. It's more fragile then, and straight hair can often get away with letting it dry before detangling. (Curlies tend to better with a wide tooth comb while their hair is loaded with conditioner for slip.)
If you have a brush that looks like this (http://www.jupiterimages.com/Image/royaltyFree/71077662), I'd suggest replacing it ASAP. The short bristles that hold in the long ones and sometimes the balls at the ends really tear at hair. You'll notice a difference when you switch to a good brush. What is good? Wide tooth combs without seams are really nice (horn and resin/bone are nice materials, if the teeth have been cut out from a solid block), and there are some wide tooth "shower combs" made of plastic that have incredibly smooth seams. Lots of folks here like the brushes Denman makes (http://www.amazon.com/Denman-Large-Styling-Brush-Rows/dp/B00011JP0Y), but you'll do well with anything like that with smooth bristles without balls on the ends. The Body Shop makes a wide tooth comb and a "quill brush" out of wood which I've also heard good things about.

Washing -- the standard advice is to get conditioner and use it. Whether you want silicones or not, protein or not, light or heavy, shampoo or no, etc. is really a matter of personal preference and experimentation. Less washing is usually better, but wash often enough that you're happy about how you look.

Nape hair -- most people let this grow as long as it'll get. Which usually isn't as long as the rest of hair, but it might go into ponytails and updos. Mine occasionally ties in knots, and if it does I'm known to trim it to about an inch long. But that's not really normal, just me being more pragmatic than concerned about looks. I don't have a lot of advice about sideburns, as a female. I would tend to regard them as facial hair once they come in front of the ear and the texture changes and would probably keep them trimmed accordingly with a beard trimmer or the like. I've heard trimming them at about mid-ear is standard, but that's personal preference.

October 23rd, 2009, 11:05 AM
Thank you all very much for the responses. I now know a little bit more than I did before! As a guy it's a little difficult sometimes to figure this kind of info out without having to ask girl friends about it. My buddy (a drummer in a metal band) used to have his hair long. His advice for me when I told him I was going to let my hair grow out was "the day you to have to ask a female for hair care advice is the day you should get it cut." He was being funny of course hehe...

Pepperminttea -
I will now refrain from brushing my hair when it is wet! I had no idea it was more fragile when wet, it's just something I never thought about. What might you suggest for drying one's hair then? The way I've always dried my hair was putting the towel over my head and doing kind of the aggressive drying. I don't wrap my hair up in a towel, maybe I should?
As for washing, I wish I could go 5 days without washing my hair. I can usually go 2 days but by the 3rd day the oils start creeping out. I'm not sure if that's unusual or anything...

RedheadedRaven -
Oiling the ends of your hair... Could you expand a little on this? As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to hair stuff hehe.
I did actually read that "VIT" and will be taking advantage of some of the advice there. I've always used the shampoo-conditioner combined stuff so, I guess maybe I should start getting them separate now and what that does for my hair.

Thanks a bunch for the brush advice. I do NOT have a brush like the one you first linked, but I will be going out and getting a new one immediately. It will be interesting to experiment with different kinds since I've always had this ONE brush for as long as I can remember and have never used anything different.
As for the napes I suppose I will let them grow until it becomes an issue. Sideburns I will probably start trimming them up a little higher at least so that they aren't doing that small sort of loop at the bottom to get over my ears hehe

October 23rd, 2009, 11:32 AM
Don't do the aggressive drying thing anymore. Squeeze your hair out (not wring it out) and then put a towel over your shoulders so the dampness doesn't annoy you, maybe?

Oiling - while your hair is still damp, you can put a tiny bit of oil on the ends. (some people do this on dry hair too - you can see what works best for you). This keeps the moisture sealed in and helps prevent frizz and split ends. Oil - coconut, jojoba, or lots of other options.

Welcome! :)

October 23rd, 2009, 12:21 PM
For drying, what I do is lean forward, put the towel against the back of my head, fold it around my forehead a bit (one end over the other sort of), give it a gentle half twist, and fold it back. It's really the standard "towel turban", but less twisting is easier on the hair. Just let the towel soak water up out of your hair while you use a second towel on your body. (You can dry yourself a lot easier if your drippy hair is wrapped up, too!)

Oiling the ends is something that's kinda unusual in the US, at least among caucasians, so don't feel ignorant about it. What you do is take a small amount of oil (a small drop will probably be plenty at your length and thickness), rub it between your hands, and then run your hands over your ends and the length of your hair (below the ears). I do this with damp hair and find it make detangling easier, and it keeps the ends from drying out. Others prefer it with dry hair. Favorite oils to use are coconut, olive, and jojoba, though I've gotten myself hooked on sesame. Check the oils section of the grocery store for everything but jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba), which you're more likely to find at some health food place.

October 23rd, 2009, 12:53 PM
Hello, and welcome!!

When I wear a hat in winter, I braid my hair and either fold the braid under itself and put the hat on, or just wind the braid up on my head and put the hat on. In summer (different kind of hat), I usually pull a buff over my head first (still use the braid) and then put the hat on.

Sunnies....I just make very sure when I take them off and on that hairs do not get caught in them.

I brush very occasionally, and I use a bamboo bristled brush (looks like little round tipped bamboo sticks instead of traditional bristles) on dry hair ONLY. Most of the time I finger comb. I haven't used a traditional brush in 15 years. They suck.

I wash with shampoo when I feel like my scalp needs it. That can be anywhere from 2-3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the season and what I've been up to. I will CO (conditioner only) or WO (water only) in between as needed. And I use heaps of leave in condish and oil.

My nape hairs are pretty long and the same texture as the rest of my hair, so I essentially ignore them. No sideburns. I'm a girl. But I've seen long haired guys with trimmed sideburns as though the rest of their hair was short. I think that looks really cool when their hair is bound back - very "groomed."

Nix on the aggressive drying techniques! You'll only cause irreparable damage to your hair! I wrap my hair in a towel, turban style and gently squeeze most of the water out (don't wring!), then finger detangle and either put it up or let it dry a bit before I put it up. It takes my hair a day or two to dry, usually. Yours will dry much more quickly.

Generally speaking, the less you handle your hair, the better off it will be.

Good for you for growing it out! Long hair on a guy rocks. (says the woman old enough to be your mama)

October 24th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Haha, thanks Island that's great advice. I like the idea of "finger combing" and I actually already do that. Not as much as I should but I will start doing that a lot more now. Some nights I'll just start doing that and it's kind of like pealing off sun burned skin, it's just so satisfying to find some real tight knot between two strands of hair and easily separate them. hehe, anyway...

Thanks again Anje and Amara for the directions on oiling and towel wrapping. I actually figured the towel thing out just a few minutes ago and my hair dried quite well (only took a few minutes) and compared to the aggressive drying I did before, this is much MUCH better.

Wish I had some recent pics to show...I should start documenting my hair's progress.