We all recognise the signs of hair neglect, not to mention chemical over-treating. Loss of colour and shine, frizz, brittle ends, and breakage, are merely variations of the same distress call from your parched mane. That's why we've put together an emergency response designed to get dry hair happy, healthy, and rehydrated - and in the world of hair care, where prevention is always better than cure, we're going to begin with the practices and procedures to avoid on the path to maintaining naturally glossy, well-moisturised hair.
It may be psychologically contrary, but those with tumbling corkscrew curls frequently yearn for straight hair, while those with arrow-straight tresses hanker for shoulders full of bouncing waves. More often than not we want the option to sport either, whenever we please, and the solution is heat. For decades home styling has been ruled by flatirons, hot-rollers, and hair dryers. Preserve hair's moisture and condition by keeping their use to a minimum; let washed hair air dry, and to maintain curls try putting in some good old fashioned cold rollers before bed.
Initially that might sound a little icky, but what we mean is there's simply no need to wash it everyday. Washing hair every other day is more than sufficient for cleanliness, and it gives your hair a chance to produce its own nourishing natural oils without them being constantly stripped away.
Initially it would appear to be a completely innocent (although somewhat narcissistic) pastime, but over-brushing hair actually thins it and causes split ends. Those with a Rapunzel complex need to control their urges; just like teeth, brushing once in the morning and evening is sufficient. Those with fine hair should avoid nylon bristles.
Products with alcohol
The number one offender for drying out hair, alcohol is found in numerous hair sprays, styling gels and mousses - read your labels and do your utmost to avoid any hair product that contains it.
Products with sulphates
You'll find sulphates in agents for engine degreasing, floor cleaning and, up until recently, nearly all shampoo. Sulphates are what create the foaming effect, but there's evidence they also dry out your hair and scalp, and exacerbate dandruff. Try switching to a sulphate-free shampoo, such as Kerastase Discipline Shampoo Bain Fluidealiste.
Perms, dyes, and bleaches strip away your hair's protective outer layer, known as the cuticle. This makes hair more porous and therefore prone to losing its natural moisture. Keep these treatments to a minimum.
Okay, we're not saying a five mile jog will immediately make your hair shiny, however a whole host of toxins that affect the condition of our hair can be naturally expelled from our pores before they do their damage, simply by working up a good old-fashioned sweat.
We're all now aware of getting our 'five a day', but what about your eight? We're referring to glasses of water, and this is the daily intake recommended for keeping your body healthy and hydrated. Does something as simple as drinking enough H2O have an effect on dry hair? You bet it does.
Eating the right foods
Without getting deeply into the nutritional science, omega-3 fatty acids, quality protein, biotin, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E are all especially important for maintaining hair condition. Containing these respectively are mackerel, chicken, eggs, oysters, carrots and spinach, so make them a part of your regular diet.
Conditioner with added moisturiser
For those with naturally dry hair, a conditioner that contains added moisturising ingredients is a must. We're big fans of the replenishing and detangling effects of Redken Clear Moisturising Conditioner.
Hair mask treatments
A good, nourishing hair mask can swiftly transform the condition of dry hair, quickly restoring its natural moisture content. Many of us tend to use hair masks as a bit of a 'first aid' measure, but we prefer to think of them as part of a weekly cycle of TLC for your tresses. For deeply damaged hair, try Shu Uemera Art of Hair Ultimate Remedy Masque, for weekly maintenance try Redken Extreme Strength Builder.
Hot oil treatments
If you don't have time to devote to applying a mask then consider a hot oil treatment instead. Coconut and argan oil are two natural products that can work wonders. Simply warm through for 30 seconds then massage into your scalp, leave for around 20 minutes, then rinse, for powerful revitalising effects.
Want to learn more about caring for your hair? Any one of our team of hair specialists in Islington, Tunbridge Wells, or Sevenoaks would only be too happy to help!
Featured Image Credit: mehmet dinler / Shutterstock.com