Strong, shiny strands need more than just a weekly wash. Here, our experts share the best nutritional tips, daily habits to tweak, and the supplements and shampoos to try to get hair so good it could be on an ad.
The stresses and changes to lifestyle habits associated with coronavirus and isolation have likely taken a toll on your tresses. Luckily, simple tweaks to your daily rituals, an upgrade to your at-home hair care and a boost in nutrition can help you face the rest of winter’s chill with your best hair ever.
A note on nutrition
A healthy head of hair comes down to genetics,general health and lifestyle. That’s why nutrition is the most important step in what you can do to help.“Nutrients essential to combating brittle hair,hair loss, dryness and for encouraging hair growth include vitamin B1, vitamin B5, lysine, biotin, silicon,DHA/EPA, copper and zinc,” explains Madeline Calfas, founder of The Wellness Group.
“It may seem like a lot, but they’re easily accessible through a well-balanced diet.” The human body is designed to get what it needs from food, but some people may need supplements for a nutritional boost. “If you have any digestive issues,gut dysbiosis, problems with hydrochloric acid in your stomach, medical conditions or poor food quality, supplementation is a great way to pick up the slack,” says Calfas.“Vegetarians and vegans must supplement as they can miss out on essential nutrients.”
Apotecari Hair Food ($99.95, at Adore Beauty)
Aéde Hair Activist ($60, at Aede)
Get down to the root cause
It’s time to take scalp health seriously. By now we know the condition of our hair (and the rate at which it grows) directly depends on the health of our scalp, so instead of looking to quick fixes and treatments to wind back the damage done to your lengths and ends, focus your attention on your roots. You should treat your scalp like you do your face. “We now know that the scalp ages six times faster than facial skin and 12 times faster than skin on your body, and this ageing directly influences our hair health and condition,” explains Rita Marcon from Kao Salon Division.
“It’s accelerated by external stress factors that cause oxidative stress and result in a dehydrated,imbalanced scalp and weak, thinning hair. It’s been said that one of the most common causes of hair loss is restricted blood flow to the follicle and product build-up on the scalp, which is why a twice-weekly detox is essential. “It ensures hair grows thicker, shinier and fuller,” says Marcon.
To unclog pores, use an exfoliating scalp scrub,tipping your head upside down and massaging in.Then, look to a micellar shampoo or pre-shampoo specifically formulated to remove debris withoutstripping natural oils.
Goldwell Kerasilk Revitalize Nourishing Serum ($45.95, at Salon Style)
Pantene Micellar Rosewater Shampoo ($7.69, at Chemist Warehouse)
Do damage control
When it comes to repairing hair, look to its texture to determine how to deal with your mane’s current state. Just because your strands are dry doesn’t mean the texture is – plus, some products aren’t one-size fits-all. Instead, go back to basics: is your hair fine, medium or coarse? The texture will determine the products you should use. “When hair is feeling dry, it has lost moisture so water-based products are best, combined with conditioning ingredients,” explains Lisa Caddy, a consultant trichologist for Philip Kingsley.
“Hydrolysed elastin is a protein that gives your hair incredible elasticity, stretch and resilience, and also helps the hair hold on to water. Wheat proteins are great for fine hair, giving moisture without weighing down the hair.”
Davines Naturaltech Thickening Tonic ($52.95, at Salon Style)
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep-Conditioning Treatment ($72.95, at Adore Beauty)
Change your daily hair habits
By making tweaks to your regular rituals, such as turning down the shower temperature while washing your hair and making your brushing habits gentler, you can help to prevent breakage, dehydration and future weakening of the hair shaft. “Hair is at its weakest when wet, so use a comb to detangle after shampooing. Start at the bottom and work your way up,” says Caddy. Otherwise, wrap it in a hair-friendly microfibre towel and allow it to dry before brushing.
“Keep the temperature of any thermal styling tools as low as possible and limit the amount of times a week you use them,” she adds. “It’s also really important to keep your hair dryer at least 15 cm away from your hair [to prevent burning].”
When it comes to caring for your hair once it’s dry, silk is still the number-one choice. Opt for using a silk pillowcase in bed, and a silk hair tie or scarf to secure and protect strands from pulling, tugging and breaking.
Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler ($21.95, at Mecca)
Eloise Panetta Silk Scrunchie ($20, at Bond Clean Beauty)