Long hair has its own set of troubles in the monsoon; as the wind gets stronger and the skies get cloudier, you know your mane is headed towards frizz and damage, all the while you’re busy constantly trying to stay away from rain water. We chatted with London-based long hair styling master Patrick Cameron—who is also the resident hair expert at Wella Professionals—for his best tips and tricks on keeping long hair looking good and feeling great through the humid monsoon season. Hairstyles for long hair.
What are the common hair concerns that are specific to long hair?
The condition of the hair—you know, making sure that the hair is in the best possible condition. And I think when we speak to most long-haired people, almost the first thing they do is apologise for the condition. You did that too, just as we started talking. (I did!) So I think that’s probably the number one concern.
How do the rains affect your hair?
Humidity, here in India particularly, can have a huge effect. Because when you put moisture in the hair, it swells it straight away. People who have wavy hair, curly hair or frizzy hair would often find [that] when the monsoon comes, it comes with a really strong sense of humidity, and [the size of their hair] almost doubles. The hair starts to expand as a result of humidity. And so, you’ve got to fight that hair with a lot more product… with a lot more preparation. When you know it’s going to be really wet out there, if you’ve got a lot of hair, find some really interesting ways to tie it up.
What are the best hairstyles for long hair to keep it out of the way?
Obviously, [the best way to keep] long hair out of the rain is [to pile it] up under a hat, or [keep it safe] under an umbrella. For me, there’s so many beautiful styles out there. But if I had to say something really simple, I’d probably say braids —they’re very in. Or you could separate the hair into two, do two braids down along the side, and you can fold the braids up a little around your head itself for a really pretty hairstyle. You can also just braid your fringe across into a back ponytail—simple ways of styling hair that look beautiful. And another thing is flowers are so beautiful; artificial flowers. [And] Accessories that you can put into the hair, so that it feels special.
What’s the best daily hair care routine for someone with long hair?
Most people with very long hair wash it once or twice a week, and that’s perfectly alright. You know, you don’t have to wash it every single day. So, for me—I know from my own experience with my curly hair —I like to put moisture into the hair with flowing foam, or even very heavy conditioner. [Just take a] little bit of it on your hand like you would do for your skin, and put that into the hair.
Short straight hairstyles
How does one avoid split ends if they’re trying to grow out their hair?
Electrical appliances like straightening irons are very hard on the hair, which is fragile. So if you over-straighten hair or you chemically over-work it, you will be more prone to split ends. The only thing, I always say to every long-haired person, is to build a great relationship with their hairdresser. Get your treatments [done], and there are services that just deal with split ends. There are certain things like oils and saunas [that] are great to protect the ends of the hair. Here in India, a lot of people still have the notion, the pre-conceived idea that if they use too much product on their hair, it’s going to break. And I think that is complete rubbish because no one designs products to destroy hair. We’re in the business of maintaining hair. Invest in a good bristle brush, because plastic brushes will split hair and make it go electric. And another thing as well—whenever you’re brushing your long hair, always start from the end and gently work your way upwards.
What are the best accessories for long hair?
Flowers for me are very pretty because again, festival hair in New York is very big. It’s brave, it’s casual, you can use real flowers or plastic. Silk and plastic accessories are great because they can just make the hair look fresh in an instant.
What does long hair maintenance comprise of?
Long hair maintenance comprises of, first of all, treatments. Now I know in India, oil is very big. But I think there are a lot of better products in the market than the heavy oils because those often don’t smell very nice, don’t feel very good and can be hard to rinse out of the hair. Oil also separates the hair on the scalp, so it’s not a very attractive look.
Are there any hair colour tricks that make long hair look better?
If the hair is just a little bit fine, it’s nice to put a little bit of a highlight in the hair because it swells the hair a little bit and makes it thicker. I also love a fusion of pastels, so gradients from purple to pink to lilac. For me, when it comes colouring long hair, what you don’t want is visible regrowth. When you have long hair, it takes a lot of time to grow out a full colour job. What I suggest is to use flashes of colour right under your parting, so you’re able to flip your hair and you can cover the roots when you want to.
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