Four Girls Reveal Their Long Hair Secrets

There's hair, and then there's hair. Whether it's wildly curly, super straight, or laid-back and wavy, long locks have been lusted after throughout the ages (Rapunzel, anyone?). So, we're seriously stoked to bring you round two of real ladies and their beauty secrets, this time with four very different but equally dynamic long hair looks from ladies who are diehards for growing it out. From free-flowing tresses to day-to-day styles to hair-down-to-there, and a few updos thrown in the mix, these arbiters of abundance prove that when it comes to long hair, nothing is off-limits. Plus, they share their in-the-know tips on mastering long hair: Products and tricks for getting maximum impact out of a 'do with minimal effort and how to tie it all together with their on-point signature beauty looks. Read on to get inspired…
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Darlene Okpo, 24, Creative Director of William Okpo
 
What's your go-to style? Hair up or down? 
"Putting my hair into a big bun. I do a lot of running around and the updo takes one minute, and then I am out the door."
Do you have any hair icons that helped inspire your look? 
"Lisa Bonet and Erykah Badu. They both have a unique style when it comes to hair." 
When did you decide to start growing out your hair and why? 
"This is actually not my own hair, it's attachments that are braided into my own hair. I always used to wear braids when I was in high school, but I decided to wear them longer two years ago. I wanted to wear longer braids because it was an out of the ordinary look. At the time, braids were considered old school and reminiscent of the '90's. It became part of me and who I am."
How long did it take to get your hair to this length? 
"It takes about 12 hours to braid my hair."
Do you have any secret styling weapons? 
"I usually use a ton of bobby pins to keep it in place, since it's so long." 
What are the hazards to having long hair? Any horror stories? 
"Note to everyone: Having long hair can be very dangerous. I step on it all the time. Even when I am sitting down and my hair is out, I constantly step on it. I have become a master at avoiding hair accidents by being extra careful because it can get caught in a lot of things. My sister's hair actually got caught in the fan. Thank God she caught it just in time!"
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What do you love about having long hair? 
"I love having long braids because it's like having an accessory that compliments any outfit." 
What's your everyday hair routine? 
"It’s fairly simple: I either leave it out or tie it up into a huge bun. If I want to get fancy, I do an exotic hairstyle." 
Besides your hair, what's your signature makeup look? 
"Black eyeliner and blush along with some shea and coco butter lotion. I don't wear any eyeshadow or foundation. I try to keep it as simple as possible."
Do you switch your makeup looks depending on how you wear your hair? 
"My makeup look always remains the same. I am a routine person, so I barely switch up when it comes to makeup. I love being simple." 
Willow Lindley, 21, Student
 
Do you have any hair icons that helped inspire your look? 
"My goal is to get as close to the Brigitte Bardot look as possible—she really knew how to handle volume."   
When did you decide to start growing out your hair and why? 
"It wasn't really a conscious decision, I've had long hair forever. It's probably been this length since middle school. It's actually a big joke in my family because I have so much hair now, but I was definitely bald until I was about four-years-old (and strangers would call me Buster thinking I was a boy)."   
Do you have any secret hairstyling weapons? 
"Leave your conditioner in as long as possible before rinsing it out, a little leave-in on the ends goes a long way, and a curling iron (with a 1 inch barrel) is more useful than a blow dryer. A blow dryer just makes my hair bigger and I think it's less damaging to let it dry naturally and then curl parts of it."
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What are the hazards to having long hair? Any horror stories? 
"No horror stories, per se, but I've definitely gotten a lot of comments about how much hair I have. It was particularly large around the beginning of high school and someone actually came up to me at a concert and touched my hair simply saying, "Woah, it's like a lion." I was definitely a little traumatized after that, but I like to think I've come up with enough tricks to tame the mane since then."  
What do you love about having long hair? 
"Options—it's fun to play with!"
What's your everyday hair routine? 
"I wash my hair at night to give it time to dry and calm down. I switch between using different drug store shampoo brands—like Herbal Essences and Garnier Fructis—because I like the way they smell, they're cheap, and they make my hair plenty smooth and shiny. I comb it as soon as I get out of the shower, spray on some Tresemmé Smooth & Silky No Frizz Shine Spray and add some MOP Leave-In Conditioner to the ends. Depending on how it dries and where I'm going, I either leave it as is or add some heat with a curling iron to simultaneously give me the waves I want while smoothing it out."
Do you use any special tricks to combat hair issues and keep it healthy? 
"I'm a big fan of using braids to keep my hair in check. Whether at night to tame it or plaiting it and pinning the braids on top of my head, (which I call my rain helmet) it really saves me on the days my hair most wants to frizz out. Also, a beanie can really come in handy: I use it to flatten out the top of my hair (and I tie the rest back in two little buns at the nape of my neck) while I'm getting dressed or putting on makeup. It's quite a look. My friends think it's hilarious." 
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Besides your hair, what's your signature makeup look? 
"There's definitely a Bardot influence here as well. I love creating a subtle cat eye with liquid liner along the upper lash line, and I like to use a white eye pencil along the bottom rim to make me look more awake and tie-in a little '60s influence. I also add a little lip gloss to the inner corners of my eyes (Revlon's Super Lustrous lip gloss in Shine City is the best for this—a little glittery!). It works wonders when you look a little sleepy. I curl my lashes and put on a few layers of mascara (Chanel's Inimitable Intense is my favorite these days), and moisturize with some lip balm over some Benetint and I'm good to go. This spring I've gotten into adding a little bronzer to my daily routine, too. I love Benefit's 10 bronzing/highlighting powder duo: I use a little of the highlighting power along my brow line and the bronzing powder along my upper eye lid like eyeshadow along with brushing a little on my cheeks." 
Jasmine Benjamin, 30, Stylist and Creative Consultant
What's your go-to style? Hair up or down? 
"Down and wild."
Do you have any hair icons that helped inspire your look? 
"Neneh Cherry, Lisa Bonet, and Cree Summer."
How long did it take to get your hair to this length? 
"It took almost four years. I used to have bangs and crazy layers for years, but I wanted to grow it out to have sexy, hippie hair. It takes forever to grow out tightly curled hair like mine, because it never looks like it's growing. Curly hair is really is so much longer then it seems. If I straightened my hair, it would probably be past the middle of my back."
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Do you have any secret styling weapons? 
"I cannot go without Paul Mitchell The Conditioner Leave-In Moisturizer. Hands down, it's the best leave-in conditioner I have ever used. I drench my hair in it! Also, my natural hair color has always been a sandy-blondish color, and growing up in California, I was always in the sun. So, to intensify that color, in the summer I spray on lemon juice and go to the beach. It totally creates a natural ombre look."
Do you ever flirt with the idea of chopping your hair? 
"I did that once and it was totally Babs in A Star is Born. I wouldn't do it again because it takes forever to grow."
What are the hazards to having long hair? Any horror stories? 
"My hair is really wild. So if I walk under trees or something, you better believe that when I wash it, twigs come out in the shower. And one time, I brushed my hand through the front of my hair and there was a bee stuck in it. That freaked me out!"
What do you love about having long hair? 
"I love that it’s like a natural accessory. It goes perfect with my personal style and out of all of my hair-dos, this is my most favorite. It's so fancy free."
What's your everyday hair routine? 
"I wake up and put a little BioSilk Therapy serum in the palm of my hands, run through my tendrils, and go." 
Do you use any special tricks to combat hair issues and keep it healthy? 
"I always deep condition and when I'm in the shower, I detangle my hair with a very wide-tooth comb. I also let my hair air dry (it takes about six hours), so I take a shower at night and go to bed with it wet. When I wake up in the morning, it's dry and the curls are perfect."
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Besides your hair, what's your signature makeup look? 
"My signature makeup look is kohl eyeliner from Pakistan (I buy it on eBay), MAC's Cremeblush in Cheery (it's been discontinued, but I can still find it online), and Nivea lip balm. My lips are naturally very pink, so if I wear lipstick, I put foundation on my lips first, then apply the color. Sometimes—when I pull my hair back,I wear MAC's red Ruby Woo lipstick and mascara, and that's it."
Ariane Goldman, 33, Owner and Designer of twobirds Bridesmaid and HATCH by twobirds
What's your go-to style, hair up or down? 
"Up, for sure. I love to put my hair in a pony or sweep it up in a bun." 
Do you have any hair icons that helped inspire your look? 
"I admire women who are effortlessly chic. Not too much effort, just a natural ease that comes through."  
When did you decide to start growing out your hair and why?
"Every time I've tried to go for a shorter, more styled haircut, I'd regret it afterwards. Finally, a few years ago, I was so unhappy with shorter hair I decided to let it grow long and only trim a few inches to keep it healthy. Sometimes the looks you see in a magazine are ridiculously hard to keep, so I'm committed to styles that aren't high maintenance."
Do you have any secret styling weapons? 
"Bobby pins—just sweeping a few pieces off my face adds a little bit of style. I also think the hair comb is an overlooked and under-appreciated accessory. My mother gave me two from Paris and I wear them all the time."
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What are the hazards to having long hair? Any horror stories? 
"I was at a dinner party a few months ago and my hair dipped in a tea candle. I smelled something weird and knew something was on fire, but didn't realize it was my hair until I had lost a clump of it!  Also, now that I have a baby girl, she loves pulling at it when she can (which doesn't feel so great either)."
What do you love about having long hair? 
"The ability to tie it in a bun with out an elastic, the possibilities to style it in umpteen different ways, the way it looks in a pony all the way down my back..."
What's your everyday hair routine?
"Wake up and hope it looks okay! I wash my hair about every two to three days, so depending on how it looks in the morning, I'll decide whether to put it up or wear it down."
Do you use any special tricks to combat hair issues and keep it healthy? 
"I love great smelling hair and I've been using Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner since I was a teenager. And I sometimes use BioSilk Therapy serum to create shine. I use it on my skin, too, since it smells so good and makes everything so silky!"
Besides your hair, what's your signature makeup look?
"Just like my hair, I'm fairly low maintenance and don't use many products. I wear moisturizer and a little blush or bronzer to give me some color (I like Guerlain's bronzer), and sometimes a little FACE Stockholm highlighter in Dignity for an added glow."
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