That will change the way you treat your hair forever...
Words by Lexxi Davis
Last year a study revealed that the UK beauty market reached £4billion for the first time – making it bigger than the French. And the hair care sector is only growing. Women in the UK spend on average around £751 a year on their hair alone. (According to the Daily Record). That’s over £60 a month!
So when we realised that everything we ever knew about keeping our treasured tresses clean and healthy was wrong, we had to share the revelation. With the help of hair experts Sam Burnett of Hare & Bone and Errol Douglas MBE, we set the record straight…
How to wash your hair properly (yes, really)
So we’ve already answered the age old question of how often you should wash your hair, but it’s not just this that will help keep hair healthy, but the way you wash it too.
Sam Burnett, owner and creative director of Hare & Bone tells us shampoo should only be applied to the areas it’s needed; the scalp. ‘The ends don’t need to be scrubbed and should be left alone as this can distress the hair by the rubbing motion of working in the product.’ Teaching us that the placement and amount of shampoo has a huge effect on hair health.
If you have coloured hair, it needs even more attention in your washing routine. ‘Over-washing coloured hair can cause the hair to lose its glossy sheen very quickly. To combat this, shampoo less regularly and rinse and condition the ends every other day. Where possible, try and incorporate cold and tepid water into your washing routine, this helps to cleanse the scalp, aid hair growth and lock in the colour. ‘ Sam adds.
Treat your hair scalp like your skin
Even when you’ve figured out the best routine for your hair type, you’ve got to consider your scalp too. Sam explains, ‘Just like your skin type, no two scalps are the same. Treat your scalp with the same attention as you would your skincare routine. Knowing and understanding what your scalp reacts to is the first step to achieving healthy hair.’ So if you’re prone to stress induced psoriasis, or know you need an anti-dandruff shampoo, don’t ignore the signs. A hair oil can work wonders for your scalp. Find the perfect one with this quiz.
How to brush your hair the healthy way
We’ve already revealed why you shouldn’t brush your hair when it’s wet. Not only brushing wet, but the way you’re brushing your hair dry could be ruining it too. It’s really important to adapt your routine to suit your hair type. From afro and coloured, to bleached and thin. Each type needs different care.
Hair expert and salon owner Errol Douglas advises, ‘Know your brushes and when to use them. Wide tooth combs are perfect for detangling wet hair, whilst investing in quality bristle brushes (such as the Mason Pearson brushes) for styling will help to minimise frizzy, split ends.’
You also can’t go wrong with a trusty Tangle Teezer, we love this compact gold style from John Lewis.
He also recommends treating your hairbrush as you would a makeup brush. ‘Dirty brushes covered in hair are huge breeding grounds for bacteria. Give them a good clean once a month with hot water and shampoo.’
Hair treatments are your new BFF
Use a good hair mask at least once a week. See our pick of the best hair masks to sort out even the most damaged tresses. but coconut oil works wonders too. Errol tells us, ‘Applying a regular leave-in treatment or mask can be the difference between hair that’s in good condition and hair that’s in great condition. When applying your mask, ensure you towel-dry or remove any excess water as this can stop the product from absorbing and penetrating the hair follicle.’
If you absolutely must blow-dry your hair or use straighteners and tongs, use a heat protection spray. Spritz each section before styling. Errol adds, ‘The direction, force and positioning when blow-drying your hair can vastly effect the amount of damage to the hair. Invest in a quality heat protectant, keeping the nozzle at three inches distance from the scalp and moving constantly for an event distribution of heat.’
We have all fallen in love with Maria Nila’s Heal range, use the shampoo, conditioner and mask for the full treatment (your hair will thank you for it). And if you’ve bleached your hair seemingly beyond repair, you’ll want to see our pick of the best hair oils, too. These will liven even the most damaged ends.
Make some simple lifestyles changes
Lastly, hair cells are the fastest growing in your body, so are the first to be affected by poor diet and lifestyle. So make sure you eat lots of healthy fats (like nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish) to get the shine from inside out.