editorCourtney replied over 2 years ago:
As someone who also has long hair down to her waist, I understand what you are going through. First things first: with very long hair, the golden rule is, do as little to it as possible. Treat your hair like a silk shirt - very delicately. Avoid heated tools like flat irons as much as possible, and when you do use them, don't hold them in one spot on your hair - keep them moving so you don't scorch the hair. Once you scorch your hair there is little you can do to reverse the damage. When you comb your hair after the shower, use a wide-tooth comb, either made of smooth plastic or smooth wood. Brushes can tear the hair. Comb your hair from the bottom up - in other words, work the tangles out at the ends first, and then work your way up to the crown of your hair. If your hair is wet, instead of a ponytail, try a braid, and never ever use rubber bands as hair ties. Use soft, wide elastics without any metal or rubbery pieces on them. Dying your gray hair every 2-3 months shouldn't damage your hair too much, so I wouldn't worry about that. But keep the dye on the roots only. No need to do your whole head every time. Highlights, however, can be damaging to the hair since they bleach out the color. If your hair is very, very damaged, I wouldn't recommend highlights. A darker, vibrant color will look amazing without damaging your hair. As for the thinning, it could be due to stress, hormonal changes, or a medical issue, so look at those areas of you life. Or, it could just be a sign of aging. Hair (usually) gets thinner as we age, although Hispanic women usually don't have that problem as much as other ethnicities. For that reason, I would see if you can check your stress, hormone and thyroid levels, all of which can cause hair to thin. Finally, my suggestion is to get a lot of the length cut off to get rid of your damaged ends. Then, you can grow it long again but use the tips from above to make sure the ends don't get as damaged. Deep conditioner in the shower can help. Deep conditioners are also sometimes called "hair masks." Use one every 3-4 washes in place of conditioner after you shampoo. Shampoo at the beginning of your shower and then put the deep conditioner in your hair. Leave it there while you do the rest of your shower, and then rinse it out at the very end. No need to spend a lot of money on them - Pantene makes good ones. Good luck and have fun on your cruise!