Living a fast paced city lifestyle? Steps to protect your hair from the elements

Expert Advice - Hair

Living a fast paced city lifestyle? Steps to protect your hair from the elements

01 Nov 2016

When it comes to protecting your hair, most of us just think about heat styling and colouring, but damage doesn’t just revolve around heat and chemical processing. Have you thought about how environmental factors or how a busy city lifestyle can impact the condition and health of your hair? Being short of time and constantly rushing, often means we neglect our diet, beauty, and hair care routine leaving ourselves open to some serious hair woes. So now is the time to put a stop to everyday hair damage: time to protect against all of the elements!

esp2k /
Image credit: esp2k /

Wasteful washing

If you commute and find yourself dashing from the train to the office, you may get home at the end of the day and want to wash your hair. However, over washing can be detrimental and encourage sebaceous glands to produce excess protective oil. Clever styling is key if you want to push back the time between shampooing, which will avoid stripping oils off your hair. Textured waves, blasted with dry shampoo are great between wash style, and if all else fails a classy updo is a failsafe option. When washing hair, take a couple of minutes to really massage your scalp to help stimulate blood flow, to promote good scalp health and hair growth

ssuaphotos / (Edited to black and white)
Image credit: ssuaphotos / (Edited to black and white)

Pollutant perpetrators

Traffic and smoke pollutants can leave your hair feeling heavy and lank, and if you have grey or very light hair you may notice a buildup of grime or yellow dirty tones. Try using a silver shampoo to freshen and enhance grey and ice blonde shades, and remove build up with a cleansing shampoo. Cleansing shampoos can make your hair dry, so always pair with a good quality conditioner, concentrating on mid-lengths and ends. Make sure when washing you keep the water tepid, and finish with a blast of cold water. This stimulates the scalp, keeping it healthy and helps to promote shiny locks, as it encourages the cuticle to lie flat on the head. Over time increased exposure to traffic fumes can give you an itchy flaky scalp, so if you cycle to work pop a head scarf around your hair, under your cycle helmet to protect your style and your scalp. Curls will hold all day if tied up and let loose when set.

Jodie, The Chapel Tunbridge Wells
Image credit: Jodie, The Chapel Tunbridge Wells

Stress less

Stress can be a major player in hair health. If you notice that you are shedding more strands than usual when brushing or washing, it may be time to take stock of your stress levels. Stress and fatigue can also be a cause of dandruff, and any sign you notice is your bodies way of telling you it’s time to relax. Give yourself a treat with a conditioning masque. Relax, sit back, and let the conditioning mask do its magic, or if you need to catch up on sleep leave on overnight to reap results. Another great way to help hair whilst you sleep is to swap your cotton pillowcase for a silk one. Cotton pillowcases can soak up sebum, tricking your hair into producing more which can cause hair to become greasy. It can also snag and catch hair causing breakage. Switch to silk and sleep easy knowing you are helping your hair.

Alena Haurylik /
Image credit: Alena Haurylik /

Dialing down your diet

Take a look at your diet and make sure you are getting plenty of keratin rich foods, such as kale, sweet potato, and garlic. Also ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet as this will help keep hair, and nails strong. If you are lacking in nutrients look out for supplements that can boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Whilst it’s good to get these through whole foods, a little help to top them up is always handy!

Routine is key

Keeping up with a busy lifestyle means you need a super quick routine, so look for leave-in conditioners and products that protect and condition all in one. And don’t forget to pack mini products in your bag, for daily styling crises. Make sure you keep a couple of metal barrette clips in your bag to quickly update a simple ponytail or provide polish to a half up casual style. Wearing your hair up can be a quick and easy way to style avoiding heat damage, and help to protect against the weather. Watch out for air conditioning and heating as these can really dry out hair causing split ends and breakage. If you begin to notice split and dry ends make sure you keep on top of regular trims, especially if you colour your hair. Not only will it prevent damaged ends from becoming more of an issue, but it will also avoid the chances of your style looking tired and bit frazzled from a hectic lifestyle.

By being completely aware of the potential damage your hair may face, and having an understanding of what is ‘normal’ for you, there is no reason why you cannot retain healthy locks —even with a fast paced city lifestyle. Want to find out more about how to best care for your hair? Get in touch with one of our senior stylists, or take a look around out expert advice section.