It’s no surprise that dull, dry, lifeless hair doesn’t rank highly on anyone’s list. However, common hair habits like colouring and heat styling can leave your locks longing for a little extra love. Thankfully, restoring your hair to its previously healthy state isn’t impossible, and we’ve rounded up five top tips to help you along the way.
Care for your scalp
It’s a strange concept to get your head (literally) around, but we all should be thinking about the scalp as an extension of the face. Beneath your hair is some rather delicate skin, which, though rarely thought of, also requires regular care to remain healthy. Along with hair follicles, the skin on your scalp contains sebaceous glands, which produce the oil necessary to keep the skin on your scalp lubricated and feeling good.
This is where you come in, and a healthy scalp care routine involves more than just regular cleansing to remove bacteria, sweat and excess oil from the skin. To help boost the skin cell turnover process, exfoliate your scalp on a regular basis. There are some great products out there that can help you do this correctly, and if you suffer from dry skin or psoriasis, you may need to get stuck in two or three times per week. If you’re conscious about adding yet more products to your ever-growing beauty arsenal, you can also use a gentle facial scrub – physical, not chemical – as a pre-treatment before you shampoo.
Shampoo regularly – but don’t overdo it
For many people, washing your hair once per day is ideal, though if you suffer from scalp problems or damaged hair, you may need to wash less frequently. And what you shampoo with is just as important as how often you do it. Look for brands that have their basis in natural, clean ingredients or those geared toward your specific hair issues. We are loving the waterless shampoo and conditioner duo from Dust & Glow, which cares for the planet too.
Start by eliminating the excess build up on your hair caused by your styling products – this could be what’s blocking your ability to shine. Add a clarifying shampoo to your regime and use it once a week, it will remove any build-up without harming your colour. Trust us, your hair will be gleaming in no time!
In addition, once or twice per week let your hair dry naturally – the heat from a hairdryer can really wreak havoc on a sensitive scalp – and make friends with a dry shampoo to go longer between washes. We love Alder New York’s 100% natural Texture Powder, a dry shampoo formulated for all hair types and colours. Designed with texturising kaolin and sea clay, shavegrass powder, and rice powder, plus natural eucalyptus and lime essential oils, it feels gorgeous and smells a treat too.
Ok, this doesn’t sound like something we want to be doing during the winter months, but cool water really does help seal hair cuticles after you wash, resulting in shinier hair. Just a few second rinse at the end of your shower will be worth it. Plus, cool water keeps your colour fresher for longer too! While we’re talking temperature, turn the heat down on your hot tools too. An overly hot hairdryer causes breakage and frizz, so, turn it down and brush to smooth it out from the root to the ends.
Find the right brush (or comb) for you
Detangling isn’t always the most delightful task, but important nonetheless to minimise breakage and ensure hair products get distributed evenly. Before reaching for your brush, start with a wide tooth comb working from the tip to the root. Finer, straight or wavy textures can follow-up with a brush as needed. Boar bristles are great for distributing your natural scalp oils all the way from root to tip, and if you use a round brush, you’ll get more tension while blow-drying, which means more shine. Use a bigger brush diameter the longer your hair.
Slap on a hat
Like the skin on your face and body, it’s essential to protect your hair and scalp from the sun. Skin cancer often develops on the scalp, which is nearly always exposed to the sun during the day, and colour also lightens faster when it’s not protected. When you plan to be in the sun for long periods of time, wear a hat to protect your scalp and hair. In addition, consider applying a spray-on broad-spectrum sunscreen to your part – no one loves a sunburn at the best of times, but this kind is particularly ouchy!