Take Care of Long Hair Better With These 9 Tricks

If your go-to phrase (and life philosophy in general) is "long hair, don't care," you might be alarmed to know that there are some things you should never do to long hair. After all, when you're growing out long hair resembling Rapunzel's locks, it's likely that some degree of care is in order. And why not? You've already taken the time and effort to grow out your hair, so there's no reason to subject it to unnecessary damage or stress. Luckily, if you're guilty of committing one (or a few) of the following long hair crimes, there are plenty of solutions.

As with most things hair-related, a smart combination of product and technique can help you maintain healthy, shiny locks. The next time you head out for a workout, you can test out hairstyles that protect your long hair — and use snag-free elastics to fight annoying hair creases. Or, to wake up with a maintenance- and static-free 'do, you can swap out your cotton pillowcases for smooth satin pillowcases. Regardless of what you try, ditching the hair-harming habits of yesteryear and adopting new tricks will bring your "long hair, don't care" philosophy to life — because you'll be handling your healthiest hair yet.

Here are nine habits that are damaging your hair and helpful tips on how to do better by your long, flowing l

Drying Out Curls With Strong Hairspray: Finish With Elastic Spray

Osis Elastic Finish Flexible Hold Light Control, $16, Amazon

Long hair doesn't necessarily mean you should use more hairspray; in fact, stronger sprays can actually cause ends to dry out or break. Try a light control hairspray with a touchable, flexible hold that keeps your style locked in without making your hair hard or crunchy. One user praised the formula, saying it's "flexible, light, and almost invisible, but... holds your hair strongly."

Drowning Strands In Conditioner: Use Smaller Amounts Of More Nourishing Formula

Not Your Mother's Long and Strong Conditioner, $5, Amazon

Over-conditioning your long hair could cause it to become oily at the root. By using a smaller amount of an intensely smoothing conditioner that deeply moisturizes with castor oil, you'll give hair the conditioning qualities it needs (and save yourself money on products while you're at it). Users love how this conditioner keeps hair growing soft and smooth, too.

Teasing Hair For Body: Spritz On A Rice Protein Volumizer

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray, $11, Amazon

Backcombing hair is an easy way to cause major damage. To avoid repeatedly combing over your scalp and bringing unwanted flakes to the surface, try a lightweight rice protein volumizing spray. It should give your hair texture and body without causing tension on your roots. Spray this vitamin B5-infused product on wet hair and then gently blow-dry with a round brush for best results.

Brushing Wet Hair: Use A Quick-Dry Tool To Prevent Breakage

Revlon Fast Dry Compact Dryer, $18, Amazon

Instead of speeding up your routine by brushing long wet hair into an updo, try a blow dryer created for a faster drying time. This lightweight, fast-drying tool packs 1,875 watts, and it features a concentrator and cool temperature setting for minimal heat damage. Styling wet hair can cause painful and damaging breakage, so this is a helpful extra step. Bonus: the dryer's folding handle makes it perfect for travel.

Crushing Hair Against Cotton: Sleep On Satin For Healthier Hair

Oosilk Mulberry Pillowcase , $26, Amazon

If your long hair is rubbing against cotton fabric when you sleep, you're likely to experience frizz and major dryness. Stick to an easy satin pillowcase that allows hair to glide easily over the fabric, protecting the hair shaft and keeping strands smooth and healthy. This zip-open case is crafted in Mulberry silk — one of the highest qualities available — and one user said, "This is high-quality standards and the best pillowcase I’ve ever owned."

Avoiding Salon Visits: Trim Long Ends With Professional Scissors

ACEVIVI Professional Hair Cutting Scissors, $10, Amazon

Skipping regular salon visits (because you're afraid your stylist might get scissor happy) can actually slow strands from growing. If you're more comfortable trimming your own hair, use these sharp, professional scissors with a comfort grip for easy trimming. Bonus: They're made with high-quality stainless steel, so they won't need to be replaced if you treat them right.

Leaving In Chlorine: Purify With A Keratin-Infused Conditioner

SBR Aqua Therapy Chlorine-Out Conditioner , $10, Amazon

It's easy for chlorine to get trapped in long hair during the summer months. As you probably know, this can affect your hair's color, scent, and moisture level. This paraben-free conditioner contains keratin and proteins that help wash away every trace of chlorine from your hair; plus, it's nourishing enough to fight against that straw-like texture that chlorine tends to cause.

Tucking Hair Under Jacket: Smooth Into Loose Ponytail With Boar Bristles

Boar Bristle Hair Brush, $18, Amazon

While the "hair tuck" trend seems chic, it could be damaging to long locks. Instead, use an eco-friendly brush with boar bristles to manage frizz, stimulate your scalp, and smooth ends. Creating a loose, low ponytail (that won't be pressed underneath your top) will save your fly-aways and baby hairs from pulling underneath your clothes. This particular brush spreads your hair's natural oils from the root all along the strand for healthy shine, too.

Exercising In Hats Or A Stress-Causing Ponytail: Secure With Snag-Free Elastics

Love Me Knot Elastic Hair Ties (Set of 5), $10, Amazon

Hats can press sweat against your hair, and pulling long hair into a ponytail can create tension in your roots (resulting in unwanted creases and major breakage). Instead, secure hair into a French braid with snag-free elastics, which will keep hair in place without frustrating hair dents or excessive damage.

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Images: Amazon (9); Pexels (1)