Every girl dreams of a waist-length mermaid mane, but the reality of growing and maintaining long, healthy hair is a feat unto itself. We get it: There are only so many hours you can spend washing, conditioning, and blow drying before you find yourself daydreaming about what you’d look like with a choppy, shoulder-grazing bob or piecey pixie cut. Instead, set the scissors aside (with the exception of the occasional trim, of course) and make the best of your long hair.
When it’s clean, conditioned, and well cared-for, long hair is the ultimate, most versatile accessory. Need proof? Just ask our Hair Crush, Jemima Kirke. She may not be so quick to divulge her hair care secrets, but we’re willing to bet that she’d make good use of these five products.
Kérastase Cristalliste Masque Cristal ($62.50, kerastase-usa.com)
The entire Cristalliste line is fantastic—it caters specifically to the long-haired masses—but this lightweight perfecting masque is a particular standout. The sweet-smelling formula contains aloe vera and a wealth of nourishing oils to deeply condition hair, combat the natural drying process, and make lengths shine. Apply way more than the recommended quarter-size amount to slightly damp hair and let the masque work its magic.
ALTERNA Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo ($32, sephora.com)
We tend not to give our scalps too much thought unless they’re itchy or flaky, but having a squeaky-clean foundation is super important for maintaining healthy hair, especially for the product junkies among us. This detoxifying formula contains cooling peppermint oil for deep cleansing to eliminate build-up at the roots, which makes it perfect for alternating with your regular shampoo as a weekly treatment.
Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray ($23, oscarblandi.com)
Whether you heat style on the daily, only on special occasions, or somewhere in between, heat protection is critical for long hair. This spray is a godsend because it can be used on damp hair before blow drying or on dry hair for curling or straightening at up to 450 degrees. Plus, it actually contains keratin, hair’s key structural component, to nourish and strengthen while you’re styling.
John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler ($26, johnmasters.com)
Detangler may seem at first like just one more superfluous product to add to your routine, but then you obviously haven’t tried this one. Long, fine hair especially benefits from a lightweight leave-in conditioner, and with soy protein, wheat amino acids, and coconut oil, this formula makes a visible difference that’s almost as satisfying as the grapefruit and neroli fragrance. Just work a dime-sized amount into damp hair for shiny, manageable, thoroughly restored hair.
Dr. Bronner’s Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil ($11.49, vitaminshoppe.com)
Touted as the natural beauty holy grail, there’s seemingly nothing coconut oil can’t do, but we like it best as a seriously nourishing overnight deep treatment for frazzled hair. Once a week, or as frequently as you can swing spending hours (preferably in solitude, this is a no-boyfriend zone) with oil on your head, melt a palmful and use it to saturate lengths and ends. If you aren’t afraid of a little grease, rub it into your roots, too. It may take a few shampoos to get it all out, but the residual softness and shine will be worth it.
Read more: How to Get Long Hair ASAP