Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

How To Store a Cut Ponytail

Q: I've had long hair since I was a child. Now that I'm almost 40 I'm ready to cut my hair short. I would like to keep my ponytail as a souvenir. What is the best way to store and preserve my ponytail to make sure that it will still look ok in let's say 10 years? Should I treat it with certain hair products?
A: A lot of folks who make a dramatic change in their hair want to save the ponytail when they cut it off, but many make the mistake of forgetting that the hair - once it has emerged from the scalp - is not alive. The reality is that the fiber of the hair has a lot in common with other natural fibers derived from animals, such as wool and silk. And just as you wouldn't store a garment of wool or silk without properly packaging it and protecting it, you need to take equal care with the hair you want to save.
ponytail, ready to cut

Here are some quick tips for saving the hair and to help it keep looking healthy as long as possible.
First: Make sure the hair is clean when it is cut. At the very least be sure that you've shampooed the hair within at least 24 hours. Also be sure to condition the ponytail thoroughly before the cut. You want to make sure that the hair is the best possible condition.
Second: In many cases the hair will be put into a ponytail before it is cut - particularly if the hair is very long. If this is the case, then be careful to keep it in the ponytail. You can even secure the cut end of the ponytail to keep the hair from coming loose by dipping the cut end in glue and allowing the glue to dry fully.
Third: The hair should be stored in an air-tight container to keep it from dust and soil. If the container isn't air-tight, the hair can dry out and become brittle.
Finally: If you need to clean and retreat the hair after it's been cut and stored. You should use a solution of baby shampoo to cleanse the hair and then rinse it thoroughly. Follow this up with an application of leave-in conditioner.
This will allow you to keep the hair looking as healthy as possible.
Related posts:
How to cut hair
How to put your hair in a ponytail
How should I cut my long hair off when I want to donate it?