ELLE: What are some simple things we can do to help us in our quest for lengthy locks?
Kattia Solano: More salon visits! Haircut appointments should become more frequent. Schedule a trim every six to eight weeks. Then every four weeks, pair it with an in-salon deep-conditioning treatment because the longer your hair is, the fewer natural nutrients it gets–especially the length and ends. Follow up with a hydrating treatment mask, once to twice a week at home, to add moisture. A quirky tip is to get haircuts according to the moon phases–trimming regularly three days after a new moon or three days before a full moon. Some of my clients swear by it!
ELLE: Supplements can be a slippery slope. Have you found any that work without unsavory side effects?
Kattia Solano: I recommend a prenatal supplement, as well as Viviscal! The latter is a hair vitamin that decreases hair loss and stimulates hair growth in both men and women. We have just recently started to carry it at Butterfly, and our clients have already seen a huge difference.
ELLE: Which products and heat tools should we use to encourage less breakage?
Kattia Solano: I like leave-in conditioning treatments, whether you style your hair or not. My favorites are the Kerastase Thermiques–there is one for every hair type, which have an added bonus of thermal and UV protection. Shu Uemura makes a versatile leave-in oil (Essence Absolue), containing camellia oil to repair and protect long hair. It doubles as an overnight or pre-shampoo treatment, as well. Be gentle when using hot hair tools–nothing too hot. When blow-drying, don’t hold the dryer directly onto your hair and refrain from using metal brushes; they can cause damage to your ends. A must if you are ever using a curling or flat iron: Kerastase Fiber Architect! It’s a dual, non-oily serum that protects from heat, mends split ends, and helps your style stay longer.
ELLE: How about deep conditioning masks?
Kattia Solano: Apply your mask or treatment on just the ends, avoiding the root and scalp. Put your hair in a ponytail and apply the product only to the tail. A little goes a long way–about a nickel to a quarter-sized amount. This helps in preventing greasy or limp hair. If you wash once or twice a week, apply a mask every time. Those with thick or coarse texture should always use a mask because conditioners may fall short in adding the right amount of moisture for their hair. For fine and medium hair or those shampooing daily or every other day, one to three times weekly works.
ELLE: Which products are you using to care for your own mega mane?
Kattia Solano: My go-to hair care line is Rahua, made with organic and natural ingredients like Rahua Nut oil and palo santo, which is strengthening. I switch between that and Shu Uemura’s Shusu Sleek. The black cumin oil controls my unruly hair and gives it a silky, fluid-like touch. I apply the Kerastase Fusio-Dose Homelab treatments every couple weeks for color protection. Right now I adore the Milbon Nigelle HY treatment. It’s a three-step in-salon treatment to immediately smooth and reduce frizz. It also comes with a four-week follow-up conditioner to use once a week at home. It takes away ALL of my frizz and makes my hair a lot more manageable. At home, I stick to my Shu Uemura masks for smoothness like Prime Plenish, which has a restorative effect on hair.
ELLE: What are some ways you’ve discovered to switch up your look without busting out the scissors?
Kattia Solano: I’ve played with different variations of long haircuts: bangs, no bangs, very layered, long layers, etc. Currently, I have long layers and a long side-swept fringe. I have some strategically placed balayage highlights to give my hair the illusion of movement. The easiest way to make the most out of long hair is to create different styles (playing with your part, for instance) or changing the fringe area and/or color. If you ever want that updo, bun, or pony to complete a look for evening, use extensions as an accessory. We recently used that mindset when we created our Butterfly Bangs Bar. Fake hair is the new faux lash!
ELLE: How about DIY treatments that help when growing out hair?
Kattia Solano: If you have thick hair, condition with a blend of oils by applying it straight onto your hair. I love making an all-oil treatment to condition where I blend any natural or organic oils I have in my kitchen, like almond with coconut. Add a capsule of vitamin E into the mix for easy hair nourishment. Half an avocado is great too: The protein helps to strengthen hair and makes the treatment’s consistency rich and creamy. Leave on for 15-30 minutes. For fine to medium hair, add in that extra pump of almond or coconut oil into your existing mask treatment once a week.
ELLE: How about tips for dealing with awkward lengths during the grow-out phase?
Kattia Solano: Be patient! Give yourself a little height at the crown, which helps elongate your hairstyle. Add a headband or scarf to bring the attention to the accessory and away from your length (or lack thereof). I have a favorite haircut that I give to clients at an awkward length stage I call the “waterfall haircut,” because it gives the illusion of long, flowing hair. The angles around the face start from the cheek and reach toward the lengths without taking the corner off. Then you over-direct all the layers towards the front. Clients always react the same way, with a big smile saying, “Wow, my hair seems longer!”