Lisa Thomas, Consultant Trichologist at Hair Clinical gives us some self-care tips for your hair during lockdown.
Our hair says a lot about us. It gives us, in part, our confidence to face the world, our image and our identity. To do all this, our hair has to put up with a lot! We style it, it colour it, we strip it, we bleach it, we heat style it, – the list goes on and on…
Whilst we are in lockdown and a lot of us are self – isolating, now could be the perfect opportunity to put some TLC into your hair care regimen, and maybe to reduce some of the styling processes that you might do on a normal day to day basis. Also, this is the perfect time to maybe add one or two treatments into the routine that you may not normally have time to do.
Here are my top tips:
- Now is the perfect time to re-asses the products you are using and make sure you are using the right shampoo for your hair type. For example, if your hair is fine, try to find a volumizing or thickening formula. A good example would be our Gold Star Treatment shampoo. This has an ingredient in it which has been shown to increase the diameter of the hair shaft. https://hairclinical.co.uk/product/gold-star-shampoo/
- Wash your hair every day. Don’t wash it any less often now that we are in lockdown, even though that may be tempting. Healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp and shampooing every day ensures that any dirt, sebum or flakes are removed. If you find your scalp is flaky or dandruff is bothering you, you might like to try our Itchy/Flaky shampoo. https://hairclinical.co.uk/product/itchy-flaky-scalp-shampoo/
- If you find your scalp becomes sensitive when you shampoo daily, it could well be that you are using the wrong product, or maybe ones which are too harsh. It might be that sulfates do not agree with your scalp (all of our shampoos are sulfate free by the way). Perhaps you are not using products which are dedicated to hair care. For example, many baby shampoos are formulated so as not to sting the eyes. Eyes are a totally different pH to our scalp and hair! These shampoos are kind to the eyes but are harsh on our hair and scalp. Ideally, shampoos with a pH of about 5.5 are good.
- If your scalp is irritated or sore you could try our Ultra Mild Shampoo. https://hairclinical.co.uk/product/ultra-mild-shampoo/
- Always double shampoo, but don’t use too much shampoo to make the lather, as too much could cause dull hair. Rinse for as long as you think you need. Then rinse again! When I ask patients in my clinic who have dull hair about their shampooing regimen, I often find that they simply don’t rinse for long enough.
- Gently brush the tangles out of your hair before you wash your hair. That way you will have less tangles to get through when your hair is wet, ie when your hair is then at its most fragile.
- Never start at the roots to ease tangles – start at the ends and work your way up. Use a wide toothed comb, not a brush for this job.
- Always use a conditioner after shampooing – even if you have greasy hair. Conditioner restores the correct ionic bond ratio in the hair after washing, is also helps the cuticle of the hair shaft to lay flat and therefore shine more.
- If you find conditioner weighs your hair down, or makes it greasy, it’s likely you haven’t found the right conditioner yet.
- If your hair is greasy, or fine, you could try our oil-free conditioner. https://hairclinical.co.uk/product/oil-free-treatment-conditioner/ This gives hair a lovely bounce without weighing it down, and also gives it a wonderful shine.
- You cannot over-condition your hair. Limp or dull hair is the result of the wrong product or, again, not rinsing well enough.
- It you have dry or over-processed hair try and leave conditioner on for longer and apply more to the ends of the hair. Our Coconut Oil Intense conditioner https://hairclinical.co.uk/product/coconut-oil-intense-conditioner/ is specially formulated for dry or over-processed hair.
Take a break from heat styling
- Now could be the perfect time to let your hair dry naturally and give your hair a break from the blow dryer and heat styling (tongs, heated curlers etc). I love freshly washed, dried and straightened hair, but is now worth all the time, effort and damage when a lot of us are in lockdown? Your hair will love the break from excessive heat styling.
- Heat can really dry out your hair. With hand-held blow dryers, damage to the hair can be caused if the temperature is too high, the dryer is held too closely to the hair, or the length of drying time is excessive. In the extreme, moisture in the hair shaft will reach boiling point and expand. This can cause the hair shaft to burst open and this will lead to hair breakage. Trichologically this is called ‘bubble hair’ because under the microscope the hair shaft looks as though it has ‘bubbles’ in it.
- How about putting your hair in a ‘turbie towel’ for a while, to take a lot of the moisture out, and then leaving your hair to air dry.
- Taking a break from blow drying will allow the natural texture of your hair to show through. That way when selecting your next purchase of products you will really know what your natural texture is and you will be able to choose wisely.
Take a break from chemicals
- For many of us right now we have no choice but to take a break from the chemicals involved in colouring (myself included)! These chemicals used in bleaching, colouring, perming etc, can be quite harsh and drying, even in the hands of professionals and our tresses will be better for the break.
- The lighter you colour or bleach your hair the more damaged and drier it will be. Make sure to put the condition back in by using re-moisturising products.
- Really concentrate on making your hair shine by regular shampooing, thoughtful hair care and good nutrition.
Change how you wear your hair
- If you have long hair, why not wear it down more often? Elastic bands can pull at the hair and if over-tightened can damage the strands. Over-tight styles, such as tight plaits can even damage hair follicles.
- If you need to wear your hair up, how about a half-up, half-down style with some pretty side clips. Or a loose French plait maybe.
- If, like me, you have been spending more time in the garden lately, make sure you protect your hair from the UV rays from the sun. Too much UV can cause hair to turn brittle and break.
- Use products with UV blockers or SPF for hair and/or wear a wide brimmed hat.
Use this time well and you could emerge from lockdown, like a beautiful butterfly from its cocoon, with your hair as your crowning glory. And when you can, finally, get to your hairdresser for that much needed colour refresh appointment, your hair will be in lovely condition for your long-awaited salon appointment.
And how good will that feel!
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