About five years ago I was really struggling with my hair. It felt and looked thin and oily so much of the time, and it was long but didn’t look very healthy. And then I made some drastic changes and my hair is healthier and longer than it ever has been.
I want to share five things I do that has greatly contributed to my hair getting super healthy and growing really long.
Five tips for longer and healthier hair.
Take it easy on the color.
When I found my current hair dresser here in California, I’d been dyeing my hair for years. I liked it dark, rich brown, and thought my natural color was a gross, dishwater brown. She convinced me to try growing out my natural color and instead just adding some highlights and toner to frame my face, add some brightness, and play up my natural color. Her good advice paid off big time and my hair was instantly healthier and looked much more natural and flattering. I didn’t need a whole head of dye!
if you’re local and are looking for a good hair dresser, my girl is Jana and her instagram page is here.
Wash it less frequently.
Washing my hair less frequently has made a huge difference in the health of my hair. Plus it significantly cuts down on my getting ready time. I wash my hair once a week, usually on Saturday so it’s clean for church and the upcoming week, and then use dry shampoo throughout the week.
Also, it sounds strange, but you have to train your hair to go longer in between washes. If you wash your hair every day, try going to every two days for a 2-3 weeks. Then every three days. Your scalp will adjust and stop producing as much oil over time.
Shop my favorite dry shampoos here and here.
Use high quality shampoo.
Using a high quality shampoo was a game changer for me. I’ve talked about this Pureology shampoo so many times, but I just have to keep talking about it cause it’s so. darn. good. Besides a good dousing of dry shampoo each day, this shampoo is absolutely the reason I can go a week between washes.
It makes my hair healthier, fuller, stronger, and cleans it so well. It’s pricey, but it’s concentrated shampoo so a little goes a long way. I buy the large bottle and it lasts me over a year.
I swear it’s worth every single penny. I’ve had so many people try it and tell me it’s changed their hair too!
Note: I don’t use the Pureology conditioner. I’ve tried tons of different conditioner with the shampoo and it hasn’t made a difference. I currently use Tresemme conditioner and like it!
Shop the shampoo right here.
Limit heat damage.
A few years ago I started air drying my hair almost exclusively. I try to wash my hair on Saturday afternoon or evening, or Sunday afternoon after church, so it has hours to air dry before I go to bed. I can’t go to bed with it wet or I wake up with it looking oily. The next morning I straighten it so it’s smooth and flat, and then the day after that I’ll curl it. I touch up the curls each day until I wash it again.
Check out my hair curling tutorial here!
I used to struggle with my hair breaking, and since moving to air drying my hair, I have no split ends and my hair is less frizzy and much stronger. I have very little breakage anymore!
Also, I don’t use a heat protectant on my hair, but I’d like to! Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Take your vitamins.
Vitamins and hair supplements help a ton in your hair growth and strength. I take a daily women’s vitamin and a daily collagen supplement. Both help with hair, nails, skin, and joints, and if you’re looking to get stronger hair, this is a great place to start.
I take my collagen powder every afternoon and blend it in the blender with some orange juice. It’s like an orange julius!
Shop my collagen powder here, and my vitamins here.
love this post…thanks for sharing! do you get highlights every time you go to your hairdresser? I was wondering if you get them all over sometimes as well since your hair looks lighter in the back than your roots.. Just curious because it is such a beautiful color. 🙂
Yes, I get highlights every time, but I only go once a year. She does them in a very natural way so that they grow out really well and don’t turn brassy. I have a video of me getting my hair done right here if you want to know the exact techniques! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOsbAHrPnRE
The tigi s-factor papaya leave in moisture spRay is great! You can get it on Amazon.
Awesome, thank you for the recommendation! xx
Hi Merrick! This is a great post, thanks for sharing! I wanted to ask you how you manage to keep your hair looking good even after your workouts. i did bbg for a while and i sweat like a crazy person…now i run and go to the gym during the week, and can’t manage to not wash my hair every 2 to 3 days…any recommendations? i’ve never tried dry shampoo because i feel my hair will still be dirty…help! 😉
Hey Jessi! I did a blog post about how I revive my hair after workouts: https://www.merricksart.com/2018/01/how-to-revive-your-hair-with-dry-shampoo-after-exercising.html Check it out!
Love this post! Love your haircolor! Everyone needs a little brightness or diMension. I try to talk my clients out of doing an all over color And thermal styling is the worst!
Yes! I love that you do that, cause as a regular non-hair dresser person, we have no idea what’s good and not good for our hair. We appreciate when professionals tell us what’s best. You’re amazing!
I’m so grateful for this post today! 6 months post partem and my hair is still struggling, so im taking these tips to heart. I love to use sebastian trilliant heat proTectant. It leaves a beautiful shine without lookinG oily and has a great sMell!
Thank you for the recommendation!!
I use the suGar shine sYstem from biolage. The illuminaying mist is AMAZING! Its a heat protectant and it smells sooo Good and it makes your hair look glossy and so smooth. Definitely recommenD. Also, how do you help your hair after you work out? I just feel like my hair is so dirty and smelly after i go sweat and work out.
Thank you for the recommendation!! I just did a blog post about how I revive my hair after workouts — check it out here! https://www.merricksart.com/2018/01/how-to-revive-your-hair-with-dry-shampoo-after-exercising.html
On wet hair I love using Morocco N oil, that is the number one product that Helped my hair grow. And then on DRY hair I recently started using Bigsexyhair’s hot sexy hair: protect me (in the pink can). I like it because it doesn’t feel too heavy but also works as a slight texturizer to help seperate my curls.
Tey morOccan oil thermal protactant sPRay! Its awesomE! If you haven’t ever used moroccan oil products then tou need Them in your life! They also make an oIl thats just called “moroccan oiL” and its the best. Im a hair dresser and i Seriously have gotten so many of My clients hooked on it!
I sEcond b & B’s sprAy!! I Recently realizeD how damaged MY hair had become and was on a mission to find A PROTECTANT that didnt leave me greasy or weighed down. My hairdresser also recommended kerastase’s serum therApiste. But i went with bumble and bumble and love it!!
Hi! For a heat protectant, i love bumble & bumble hair dresser’s inViSible oil! You can put it on wet or dry hair, and it not only protects from heat but it makes your hairy silky, detangles, and fights frizz. Plus, it smells like a dream!
HI merriCk! Just curious, are you covering any grays with your hIghlIghts?
No, no grays yet! My 80 something year old grandma still has brown hair with very few grays, so maybe I’ll get her good genetics 😉
Thank you so much for these tips! I used to Have very oily hair as well. I used to wash my hair every day and the worst was by the end of the day my hair was so Darn oily again! So i started washing mY hair less (1-2 times a week to be exact) and use dry shampoo in between washes and its amazing how my hair has been able to produce much less oils than when i washed it every day.
Also, I was wondering how often you get your hair trimmed and how much you take off every trim? My hair can get long but it gets super stringy and thin.
I am a hairstylist, hIghly recommend kenra blow dry spray for heat protectant. It smells delicious and works!!! You can use in damp and dry hair.
I recently started Using Kerastase nutritive nectar thermique on weT hair after reading a gal meets glam hair post. I Let my hair air DRy too. Not heavy and has worked so well! Love it!
I second the Nectar thermique suggestion. Its a nice leave in conditioner too- but does not weigh your hair down at all.
Youre hair is gorgeous! My Favorite heat protectant is Redken frizz dismiss instant deflAte. I Smooth about two drops into my hair before i blow dry and then you can always use a tiny bit On your endS after heat styling To smooth any strays or coarse looking pieces. Love it!
My fave drugstore heat protection spray is the Tressemme HEAt spray! Fave salon quality one is the it’s a 10 miracle leave-in spray 🙂
This is all so good to know! I’m definitely going to try training my hair to go longer between WASHES! As far as heat PROTECTANT Goes, I LOVE the Bumble & Bumble invisible oil heat/UV protective primer. It’s awesome because you can use it on wet OR dry hair!
Yes! To all of these! Also i only condition the length of my hair and Not the roots so i can go libger between washes. And sleeping with my hair in a braid instead of a ponytail has hElped prevent breakage too. Took me forever to get long healthy hair And these tricks DEFINITELY helped
What do you do when working out?? Does your hair get dIrty with sWeat?
For heat protectant, I highly recommend kenra’s sIlkening mist! I love the way it smelLs and feels…and it reAlly wOrks!!
The blowout cream from Monat is a great heat protectant and cuts your hair drying time by a lot. It used to take me 5+min to blow dry my hair now it takes maybe 2 min. And I have thick medium length hair. And monat products are botanical based. They also have a great dry shampoo!
HAve you ever tried Awaken Surface Shampoo and conditioner? My hairdresser and good friend had me try both pureology and awaken (since they are the two top notch shampoos on the market) back to back to help me decide which one to invest in (because lets face it, a massive bottle of high end shampoo when your husband is in medical school is an investment, haha!). I was surprised how much I loved awaken more than pureology (and i really did like pureology). Next time you want to shake things up a bit, try it out! 🙂
MOntana hair stylist here Lanza keratin healing oil. A LIttle bit goes a long way but you PUt it in wet and works both to heal cuticle and heat protect. I also add a small bit once i am dry and hair curled it settles the fly aways and helps define the curls a little more. I was ecery three days & can ise daily in dry hair after tOuching up my curls.
I always love your hair tips! I feel like girls are Hesitant to go longer in between washes, but your tips work! I usually only wash my hair every few days, but now that I’m pregnant and not running so Much, it’s usually only every 4-5 days. Besides practice, Do you have any tips for speeding up curling your hair? I never do it because it takes so long, but i’d Like to, even though I’m abiut to have less time with a kid! And heat proteCtant – i use pureology 21! Tons of benefits, expensive, but lasts forever and worth it!
I spray “It’s a Ten” (blue bottle) on my wet hair before blow drying to protect it from the heat. Not sure if it works on dry hair or not. It smells fantastic and I like it, although I’m not super experienced with hair products! However, it seems to be a poplar item among other women as well.
Agree! Its a 10 products are some of my favorites 🙂 the miracle leave in and also the shine spray is super light (+ has heat protectant too!)
Wella EIMI peRfeft setting Blow dry lotioN is amaziNg! Protects your hail, smells phenomenal, and cuts down blow dry time Drastically. Plus, its on sale at ultA right nOw for almost 50% off. It’s a must have for me because i have a lot of thick, coArser hair, and this produCt makes all the difference in getting beautIful, shiny hair in a quick amount of time.
Im kind of a hair ProduCt junkie so ive tried out so many heat prOtectants and the one i go back to is cHi total prOtect. I have very thick hair And this doesn’t weigh it down at all, smells amazing, and works so well. I notice a definite difference when i don’t use it.
The it’s a 10 miracle leave in conditioner is aaaahmazing
I love this post! I have been working on gRowing my hair out but since i had kids my hair is not what it used to be… I definitely want to try the collogen pOwder! As far as ReccomendatiOns for heat products go, Aveda makes a few great ones! I use dAmage remedy Daily Hair Repair evERy single day that i wash my hair no matter if i heat style or not. It helps prot from thermal damage up to 450 degrees. When i don’t wash my hair, i use the Shampure Thermal dry conditioner or Dry Remedy Damage control SpRay. All of these products are also wonderful detanglers!
I love Matrix total results sleek iron smoother. It doesnt leave the hair feeling heavy with product. If you need something a tiny bit heavier and that smoothes frizz a little i like sTyle sexy hair 450 protect! My clients love both for sofferent reasons, too!
Monat has an awesome heat protectant, and a little goes a long way!
I Use the Davines blow dry primer (thats the name- its A heat protectaNt so works if yiy skip the dry and just use a hOt tool). Its the best One i have found- and ive tried a lot!
IT’S A TEN MIRACLE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER! I HAVE TRIED SO MANY PRODUCTS, A FEW OTHER PEOPLE MENTION THIS IN THEIR COMMENTS, TOO. IT IS PERFECTION. AND IT HAS EVEN MORE BENEFITS THAN JUST HEAT PROTECTION. 🙂
I’ve been following you for years now, and I have noticed that you have reccomended the pureology shampoo a number of times. I currently have long hair, but it is flat and dull. ive wanted to get this shampoo for a while now but just havent bit the bullet! Talking with my husband, he of course doesn’t like the price of it, but i explained that it should last a while! Well….he didnt believe me with how much shampoo i currently use. soo….can you tell me how you use it? Does it last you a while because you wash less often? Do you use less when you wash? Does it get sudsy (bubbly…you know what I mean?) How do you get enough for all of your hair? Sorry so many questions!! He said if I could really make it last and figure out how to use it right then it would be fine to get haha! Thanks in advance!!
It’s a concentrated shampoo so a little goes A long way. It lathers up just like a regulr shampoo.i have long haiR and usually wash my hair once a week (thanks Merrick!!!) I bought the smaller bottle at Ulta last summer to try it out and still have about half a bottle left. Hope thaT helps! My husband wasn’t a fan of the price tag either so i feel you! Haha
Thank you for your response! That is helpful to know! I just ran out of my other shampoo sooooo now would be a good time! I think ive got him convinced! 🙂
I am a drugstore girl for hair products, and I think that the Loreal Blow Dry It Quick spray is great. It Protects and does quicken how long it takes to dry my fine but thick hair.
Could I put the Collagen in my daily protein smoothie?
very nice post
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