Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Long Hair: Best Tool Kit For Long Hair Friendly Care


Rinko Kikuchi All Rights Reserved

The right long hair friendly tools can protect your beautiful long hair from unnecessary wear and tear, breakage or long term damage.

Build your long hair care toolkit based on your budget and extended care goals. It is not necessary to buy all your tools at one time. In fact, it is best to acquire different tools with some thought and research.

The right "long hair friendly tools" can definitely guarantee a long stretch of good hair days.

Consider adding the following tools to your long hair tool kit:

1. Top of the line bushes.

Most hair care experts will agree that 100% all natural boar's bristle brushes are the most gentle for healthy hair care.

Mason Pearson and Kent are considered the two top-of-the-line brush companies known for consistent quality and excellence. Both companies offer a series of brushes in different sizes and shapes for different hair care duties.

If a Mason Pearson or Kent is not within your budget, you can find alternative faux boar's bristle from Conair and related brush companies.

Whether you buy a high end brush or not, it is important to never purchase or use a brush that has nylon bristles or come equipped with hard round knobs on the ends. Some wire bristles may also tear and rip hair. Look for soft plastic bristles without knobs that will glide through hair softly.

2. Long hair friendly combs and/or picks. 3. Hair accessories such as bandeau head bands, hair friendly clips, pins, elastic bands and related items. 4. Long hair friendly blow dryer with either a slow/cold setting and add-on devices such as long finger diffuser and concentrator. 5. Professional quality trimming scissors for removing split ends in-between hairdresser visits. 6. Satin bed clothes, night cap. 7. Long hair utility items such as clean rags for rag curls, sponge rollers, spray bottle, heat friendly bowls & dishes for hot oil and home recipe cooking. 8. Long Hair Planning Book for tracking long hair care regimes, recipes and resources.

Brush Types:

Hair brush technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Conair is one of the leaders in innovative brush technology and has introduced the ceramic, ionic and Tourmaline infused brush technology. They also introduced the large round metal brushes designed to hold in heat.

Unfortunately the large brushes designed to hold heat in the hair can be damaging for delicate long hair and should be avoided or only used sparingly.

Paddle Brush

This style of brush is built upon a larger flat base which is perfect for styling hair that is long. A paddle brush is also often used to anchor the ends of curly or wavy hair so that it can be blown out straight. The paddle brush usually contains a rubber style base with a range of bristles including plastic, rubber, all natural or faux boar bristles, metal and nylon. The best brushes for long hair are based upon a rubber or natural base with all natural bristles without knobs on the ends.

Round Brush

Designed to add body and volume in conjunctions with blow-dryers, the round brush can help styling hair for maximum volume and lushness. Round brushes are available in a wide range of materials ranging from natural bristle, ceramic, ionic, tourmaline, metal, plastic, wire and faux boar's bristle, to name just a few popular offerings.

Vent Brush

Manufactured with carefully engineered base holes, the vent brush is designed to work with root hair to build in maximum volume. The air from a blow dryer easily moves through the brush making overall drying time much faster, which is actually beneficial for long locks.

Combs & Picks:

Finger Raking & Picking

One of the best ways to detangle and style long strands is with the fingers. Known as "finger picking" or "finger raking" the fingers are used in a manner similar to a comb to remove hair knots, snarls and tangles.

Wide Tooth Comb

A wide tooth comb is a valued tool for detangling when finger picking or raking is not preferred. The more width between the teeth on a comb, the better. Hair is most fragile when wet. Therefore a wide tooth comb should be using carefully and starting at the very ends while working up the length of the hair.

Select a comb with smooth teeth and rounded ends. Avoid combs that have broken teeth, rough edges or knobs or bulbs on the ends.

Hair Pick

Hair picks look like an abbreviated version of a comb. Some pick come with a long handle for easier use. Avoid picks made of metal or cheap plastic. Look for a pick that is easy to use, feels comfortable in your hand and has wide teeth.

Similar to long hair friendly comb selection, acquire a pick with smooth teeth and rounded ends. Avoid picks that have broken teeth, rough edges or knobs or bulbs on the ends.

Long Hair Friendly Accessories:

Hair accessories can serve multiple purposes ranging from helping to secure long strands into updos to assisting with growing out fringes. On the flip side hair accessories such as headbands, barrettes and adorned pony elastics can turn long hair into an instant fashion statement.

The key to successfully utilizing hair accessories for long hair is to first determine your ultimate goal: function, fashion or both and choose accessories that are long hair friendly.

Spray bottle

One of the handiest items to have, use it to spray problem areas rather than rewetting your hair all over. Any plastic bottle that spritzes water will do.

Hair pins or clips

Metal U-shaped hair pins work better than traditional bobby pins. Hair pins secure hair better and are easier to conceal. Use clips for pin-curl sets or clipping sections of hair back as you style it.

Ponytail holders and barrettes

Elastic holders and barrettes are necessary basics for quickly pulling your hair back.


A good blow-dryer should have a minimum of 1250 watts. Look for one with at least two speeds and three heat settings—hot, warm, and cool. Higher speeds and hotter settings remove moisture; lower speeds and cooler settings “set” the style in place with minimal heat damage and greater control.

Many blow-dryers also come with attachments; look for one with a diffuser. A diffuser acts to spread out air flow, minimizing damage from direct heat. With a diffuser, it’s much easier to style hair, because the air flow doesn’t blow strands every which way.

Curling iron

A good, stainless steel curling iron can be used to create a variety of curly styles. Avoid plastic irons, which can overheat. Look for one with multiple settings and a safety switch that shuts off in case you forget.

Depending on your styling needs and the length of your hair, you might also want to invest in some of the following:

  • A hood attachment for your hairdryer or a traditional soft of hard hood dry

  • Good quality hot rollers or steam rollers

  • Professional quality trimming shears

  • Blow-dryer with brush, comb and curl attachments

  • Hair ratts for putting hair up.

  • Volume enhancing tools

  • A wide range of hair accessories

Listed below are a few essentials you might also want to keep handy at the office or when you’re on the go:

  • A long hair friend comb or brush

  • Hair friendly barrettes, ponytail holders and hair pins or clips

  • Travel-size bottle of styling spray or hairspray

  • Travel-size bottle of your favorite styling product

Try the above long hair friend tips on for size and then select the tips that you find work best for your hair, budget, lifestyle and commitment levels.

Yes, it takes a certain level of commitment to have long lush locks.

Knowledge is ultimately power. What you may think is good for your hair may be inadvertently damaging it.

By properly caring for your hair and following proven long hair techniques you can have long, beautiful and healthy strands.

Long Hair Friendly Blow Dryers

Many long hair experts recommend that long haired wearers stay clear of hot blow dryers and related styling tools such as hot rollers as well as hot curling and straightening irons.

Whether you follow this ban the heat advice or not depends on your level of long hair commitment, your lifestyle and willingness to take extra precautions to protect your long tresses.

How you protect your hair while sleeping can also impact the overall health and strength of your strands.

One of the most common causes is poor maintenance – and infrequent trimming. Lifestyle factors, such as poor nutrition, stress and even restless sleeping can also lead to hair damage.

The Long Hair Tool Kit

1. Make a serious commitment to having healthy lush strands. Although your commitment can span the range from total to minimal, long hair requires focus, concentration and the willingness to nurture it.

2. Invest in the very best hair care products and tools that you can afford. If you can't afford a Mason Pearson or Kent go with a Conair look-a-like in a decent quality faux boar's bristle.

Improper use of hair tools combined with incorrect detangling, brushing and combing techniques can cause long term damage to delicate long tresses.

3. No matter what some experts say, when it comes to hair care, you do get what you pay for.

I have tested and used over 200 different brands of hair care ranging from $1.00 shampoo to $100 shampoo. Although it is not necessary to buy the most expensive brands, the cheap drugstore brands are definitely more risker to use than high quality salon brands.

4. Buy hair care products keyed to your hair type, texture and condition.

For example, if your hair is dry, utilize moisture enhancing products. If it is curly or wavy, address frizz and moisture loss.

5. Never us a hair brush with hard bulbs at the ends. These will rip out delicate strands.

6. Avoid cheap plastic combs that may also rip and tear strands. Always use only wide tooth combs on long delicate strands.

7. If you opt to trim your own split ends in between visits to the hairdresser, always use a professional grade scissor to avoid ripping ends. (Conair makes some good hair trimming scissors).

8. Keep fingernails trimmed and rough skin moisturized if you use your fingers or hands for finger picking or styling your strands. Rough nails and skin will snag delicate strands.

Long Hair Washing Tips

One of the most common causes of long hair damage and breakage is related to excessive or improper washing.

1. Always detangle strands with "long hair friendly" brush, comb or fingers before wetting or washing hair. 2. Detangle hair from ends to roots working with small sections at a time. Take your time and do not yank, pull or force the comb, brush or fingers through tangled strands. 3. Pre-treat dry, damaged or other challenged hair before applying water and/or shampoo products.

Note: Use a great pre-treatment oil such as jojoba or HairTopia Beautiful Hair Oil (BHO - my own private formula) which is chock full of long hair healthy essential oils and secret flower essence ingredients in a pure jojoba base.

Massage Beautiful Hair Oil or similar products into the ends and dry sections. Apply a few drops to fingertips and massage into the scalp to stimulate natural oils.

4. When possible it is best to cleanse long hair in the shower rather than in the bathtub (where hair can absorb soap & other water scum) or a sink where hair can become more easily tangled in the drain.

5. Always cleanse with lukewarm NOT hot water.

One option is to use clean plastic bottles (empty Evian or similar bottles) pre-filled with lukewarm water. Douse dry hair completely with lukewarm water before applying shampoo formula.

Long hair experts have discovered that it is best to start with lots of water and some shower heads may not get strands wet enough before applying shampoo formulas which can dry out delicate long tresses.

Note: If you adore hot showers or baths, wrap dry strands in a thick terry cloth style turban to keep steam and heat out while you enjoy your hot soak.

6. Consider extending cleansing/shampoo periods so that hair is only washed only once or twice a week.

7. Experiment with alternate cleansing formulas such as:

- Conditioner/Shampoo/Conditioner Formula (CSC) - Diluted Shampoo/Conditioner Formulas (DS/C) - Conditioner Only Wash (COW) - Water Only Cleanse/Leave-in Conditioner (WO/C)

8. Never apply shampoo, diluted shampoo or conditioners directly to the hair or the scalp.

Either apply shampoo to the palms of the hands and mix with water before drizzling onto wet scalp and strands or pour diluted formulations over the top of the head and as the suds flow down the ends, pat carefully into the tresses.

9. Massage scalp with the pads of your fingertips. Avoid scratching scalp which can cause long range problems.

10. Always work any lather or suds down the length of the strands as gently as possible.

11. Never pile wet hair on top of head as this will cause breakage.

12. Deep condition tresses on an "as-needed basis". Deep conditioning treatments should be focused on the middle and ends of the hair with the roots being excluded from direct product application.

13. Concentrate conditioner on hair from ear lobes down to the ends.

14. Rotate shampoo and conditioning products utilized for washing depending on seasons and overall behavior of your hair.

As an example, during hot summer months hair may need more moisture while in the Fall hair may need less moisture. Let your hair and how it behaves be your ultimate guide.

15. Rinse hair complete. Consider the plastic bottle trick to make sure hair is dowsed well. Hair experts report that dry tresses and scalps are often the result of hair that has not been properly rinsed.

16. Always finish with a cool/cold water rinse. To avoid blasting your body with a freezing spray, fill the handy clean plastic container with cool/cold water and then lean over at a 45 degree angle and pour hair from roots to ends. This prevents water from making contact with your body.

Long Hair Out Of The Shower

1. Before stepping out of the shower, use fingers to gently squeeze excess water from the ends. 2. Gently blot wet hair in an absorbent towel or special wrap for removing excess water. 3. Air dry hair whenever possible. 4. Invest in a special towel that is super absorbent to "drink up" excess water and drip page.

Your Hair Is What Your Eat & Drink

1. Just as the coat on an animal acts as an overall health barometer, hair determines the body's general state of wellness. What you ultimately eat and drink will help or hurt your hair.

2. A balanced diet that incorporates all the major food groups is best for producing balanced hair.

Long Hair & The Elements

1. Just as the coat on an animal acts as an overall health barometer, hair determines the body's general state of wellness. What you ultimately eat and drink will help or hurt your hair.

2. A balanced diet that incorporates all the major food groups is best for producing balanced hair.

Long Hair Styles

1. For lush natural waves, braid long hair when it is damp, but not dripping wet. Braiding super wet strands will cause the braids to shrink when the hair dries. Try a simple three strand braid. If you want special wave patterns experiment with many braids spread out all over the head.

2. Try a top knot that is a good hairstyle worn either wet or dry. You can wrap damp long strands in a top style knot when hair is damp and let it air dry, removing the knot when hair is completely dry. Or you can wrap long hair into a knot and leave it for daily wear.

3. Experiment with a range of braids from simple to sophisticated. If you are not braid savvy, practice braiding styles with a long string mop or doll hair. If you are really serious about learning to do a lot of new braiding or updo styles, invest in a mannequin head.

4. If you have to blow dry, do it for just a little while, air dry it some, and then blow dry a little more. Repeat till hair is dry.

5. If you have to blow dry, keep the diffuser on so your hair won't get sucked into the dryer.

6. Consider wrapping your hair in a towel to remove excess moisture before blow drying.

7. Never brush hair when wet. No matter what anyone says.

8. Detangle hair delicately working from the ends up. Never try to power through tangles from the top down. Always use a leave-in conditioning detangler to help hair remain soft. When possible use fingers to detangle.

9. Although some people advise sitting near an electric or similar fan, this is not a good idea under any circumstance.

10. Whenever possible buy trial sizes of shampoo, conditioners and styling products in order to see if you like it before you invest in a large size.

11. Experiment with rotating your hair care products to see if your hair responds well to a change in brands.

12. Consider the fact you may require different products for different times of the year.

13. Remember that every scalp and its hair is different. Someone else's products may not work well for yours.

Additional Long Hair Styling Tips

1. For an easy and different braid, divide hair in 3 sections as usual, make a braid out of each section and braid the 3 braided sections.

2. If your hair is straight and you want just a little curl, set it curlier than you want and comb it out before bed - it will relax during the night.

3. Learn to french braid - practice makes perfect.

4. Learn other easy long hair styles.

5. Always use non-alcohol hair sprays which are less drying.

6. Use a leave-in conditioner before you do any heat styling.

7. Use a heat protectant spray whenever possible before heat styling.

8. Opt for wide toothed combs or picks with smooth teeth. Use your fingers if you prefer.

9. Trim your own tresses with a professional quality scissors if you don't have a hairdresser you trust.

10. You may wish to experiment with applying a leave-in conditioner or gel on ends before trimming to keep ends in place.

11. Trim the ends of individual hairs which are ripped or split. Always trim enough to prevent further splitting.

12. Frequent trims will be less traumatic than infrequent trims which cut off a lot.

13. If you can't trim your own hair enlist a trustworthy friend or family member.

14. Never let an enemy trim your hair. The results could be horrendous.

15. Avoid getting more than a trim unless you are absolutely sure you want a shorter cut. If you have any doubt, then consider that you may really prefer your hair long.

16. Look for hair accessories with sharp edges. Don't wear "automatic" barrettes with sharp edges before painting the sharp parts with clear nail polish. Let each coat dry before painting another coat.

17. Braid scarves, ribbons or similar into your hair to create interesting hairstyles.

18. Use updo foundations such as ratts, clean rolled up nylon stockings or donut shaped foam cushions.

19. Always keep combs, picks and plastic style brushes clean by removing loose hair and using diluted shampoo and a soft toothbrush.

20. Throw away brushes and combs with damaged teeth or bristles.

21. Use French twist combs with hair friendly teeth.

22. Chignon forks are excellent hair accessories for top knots.

Long Hair Book Options

All New Beautiful Braids by Mary Beth Janssen-Fleischman

Beautiful Braids by Patricia Coen and Joe Maxwell

Beautiful Braids by Mary Beth Janssen-Fleischman

Beautiful Braids by James Takos with Karin Strom

Braids and More by Andrea Jeffery

Braids and Styles for Long Hair Andrea Jeffery and Vickie Terner

More Beautiful Braids by Patricia Coen and James Wagenvoord

Twists and Braids Made Easy by Mary Beth Janssen-Fleischman

Great Braids by Thomas Hardy

Hair - A Book of Braiding and Styles by Anne Akers Johnson

Salonovations' Braids & Updos Made Easy by Jamie Rines Jones

Special Long Hair Site Dedication

This article is dedicated to Frank Ploenissen and The Long Hair Site was a guiding light to long haired ladies and their fans for many years. The site closed in December 2006 and we promise to continue to carry the long hair torch that Frank lit in 1996.

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Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised: 04/11/11

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