One year ago I was in California visiting my BFF, my hair was the longest its ever been in my life and I decided that it was finally time for me to chop all (16 inches of) my hair off and donate it. Annelise gives me confidence like that. I have always been told that I have great hair and for 4 years I grew out my hair and took extremely good care of it so that one day I could cut it off and someone else, who is going through what is presumably the hardest time in their life, could have great hair too.
I have never been the kind of person that is into trendy, dramatic hairstyles. I’ve never dyed my hair and my “thing” is just to grow it out and cut it off. So I’ve learned a few tips and tricks here and there to ensure that you will have the healthy hair you want (and hopefully will donate to an awesome cause when you’re ready to change things up).
I would like to disclaim here that I am not a hair professional, this is simply a collective list of what I do for healthy hair.
Limit heat styling. I normally shower at night to allow my hair to air dry. Then I use heat styling on my hair MAYBE once a week and get creative the other days. If I don’t have to leave the house (or go anywhere that I need to get dolled up for) I just rock my natural hair or throw it up in a top knot.
Dry shampoo is my best friend. It makes it so that my heat styles last longer, second day curls are my favorites.
Use a wet brush. It’s best not to brush your hair when it wet since that’s when you’re likely to do the most damage, but if you’re like me and you can’t help it, “invest” in a wet brush. I have a couple now because they’re the most gentle and effective brushes I’ve ever used. I’ve tried SO many brushes and these are the best ones out there. The super flexible bristles detangle but if your hair insists on being knotty, the bristle will bend around your hair instead of ripping out the knot (this isn’t sponsored, I just really love them).
Find the right shampoo and conditioner for you. I wash my hair, realistically 2-3 times per week depending on how I feel, what my hair looks like, all kinds of factors play into this (and for those of you that just read “I only shower 2-3 times per week,” look again). I use the L’oreal Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner. I concentrate the shampoo at the roots and the conditioner at the ends to ensure clean, grease free hair for as long as possible. For in between washings, see my point about dry shampoo ;)
Sleep in a bun. I’ve always read that I should sleep on silk pillowcases but I don’t like them… so I try to limit how much hair contacts my pillow. The hair on pillow friction can cause split ends, so I twirl my hair until it’s in a loose bun on top of my head and gently secure with a worn out ponytail holder or scrunchie.
Virgin hair. My key to healthy hair is never dying it, beaching it or putting chemicals of any kind on my hair. This is also very important to hair donation. Chemically treated hair is not accepted because it takes about 5 ponytails to make one wig, which they need to dye one color and chemically treated hair doesn’t take on color like natural hair does).
Trim your hair. Contrary to semi-popular belief, trimming your hair doesn’t make it grow any faster BUT it does make it healthier with fresh ends. Plus getting a trim and sprucing up my hairstyle makes it easier to go longer between big cuts so I can grow it out at least 8 inches.
Now for why I donate to Pantene beautiful lengths. Pantene, via the American Cancer Society gives wigs to women battling Cancer free of charge. I know there is a lot of opinions out there surrounding who you should and should not donate to but for me, what is important is that the recipient of the wig doesn’t have to pay for it. Pantene supports women with many types of cancer who lose their hair due to cancer treatments.
If you’re interested in hair donation I would recommend that you do your own research and find an organization that works for you. As for me, it’s been a year and my hair has grown about 7 inches; I still have quite a way until I get to a good donation length but my hair is oh-so happy and healthy. If you have questions about growing out your hair feel free to reach out!