You've probably heard of the phrase, "A good hair day is a happy day", unfortunately, we don't all have an in-house hairdresser to make us look fabulous each morning. The next best thing would be good genes, but alas, not everyone can be that lucky. So, what does this mean for the unlucky among us? Does this mean we should just give up and hope that stylish hats stay en vogue – even indoors? Thankfully, it does not. There are 9 easy ways to ensure your hair can look expertly coiffed, without breaking the bank and without getting up an hour earlier every day. Say goodbye to bad hair days in 3, 2, 1…
- Know how to wash your hair
I know what you're thinking. Do we really need to go into this? Yep, we do. I also thought I knew the ins and out of proper washing, but it turns out there are a few things I didn't realise. Maybe it's the same for you. Other than brushing before washing, experts recommend massaging your hair down to your scalp with your fingertips – be gentle, there’s no need to make scrubbing motions or use your nails – and letting the shampoo rinse down the hair shaft as opposed to piling your hair on top of your head. So, goodbye to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's hairstyles while I let the shampoo work its magic… A final rinse in cold water will close the cuticles for shinier and smoother hair.
Though it depends on your hair type, most pros acknowledge that too much is never a good thing. Overwashing can damage your hair as it strips away the natural oils and proteins necessary to keep your scalp and locks healthy. Three times a week, or every other day if your hair is particularly oily, should be sufficient.
- Get the right shampoo and conditioner
All you ladies with fine hair, be careful with products containing argan, coconut or olive oil – unlike thicker strands that require more nourishment. Though incredibly hydrating, these ingredients can be too heavy on fine hair. Choose aloe vera instead as it’s much lighter while still providing ultimate nourishment and hydration. Thick, coarse or curly hair just loves jojoba oil and shea butter.
In general, stay away from products that contain parabens, silicones and sulphates – none of which is present in our hair collection. Good conditioners are crucial for all tresses, even the very fine ones. Apply to the middle or ends of your hair and let it sit for a minute or two. The heat from your shower will promote the conditioner's effectiveness, but you can also cover your hair with a plastic cap and apply heat outside the shower with your hairdryer. Curly and thick strands benefit the most from deep conditioners, which add moisture and protein.
- Dry shampoo to the rescue
Yes and no. It's perfect for helping soak up excess oil in between washes, but it can also create build-up on the scalp and clog hair follicles, which in turn can hinder hair growth. Don't overdo it and, if you can, use a purifying scalp scrub the next time you wash your hair to make sure your scalp is squeaky clean once again.
- Protection is key
Just like our skin, our needs a little protection from UV rays (not to mention heated tools!). Heat protectors like the Elixir Blow Dry Spray have been infused with a UV filter and vitamin E to condition your hair with extra shine, elasticity and flexibility, and shield it against damage from straighteners and too much sunshine. If you're worried your hair has seen the business end of a hairdryer a little too closely and a little too often, treat your hair to an intensely nourishing hair mask once a week or a restoring hair serum to put a little love back into your locks.
- The perfect blow-dry can be done at home
Dry your hair with a towel without any vigorous rubbing as this can break strands or rough up the cuticles. Letting your hair air dry for as long as possible will also help prevent damage. Flip your hair upside down and shake it all around while you use the hairdryer. The more you move, the more volume you get. Remember to use that protector I mentioned, and don't hold the hairdryer too close. When it's nearly dry, flip back up and blow-dry in sections to smooth everything out. Try not to bring out the hairdryer again the next day; using volumising styling mousse or hair spray should ensure your coupe lasts a couple of days.
- Need Volume?
Besides volumising shampoo, mousse, dry shampoo, and blow-drying upside down, you could also try changing up where your hair naturally parts as this will create instant volume at the crown. Another trick is to shower before bed and pull your hair up into a high, loose bun when it’s just slightly damp and let your locks dry lifted up off the scalp for volume plus waves the next morning. Use a soft elastic to make sure you don’t wake up all creasy.
- Healthy from the inside out
Your daily water intake influences the glow of your skin as well as the condition of your hair. So make sure to drink at least 1.5L of water a day. It follows that a balanced diet will also help balance your hair cycle from within. Leafy greens, avocado, bananas, eggs and salmon all contain hair-boosting proteins, fatty acids and vitamins.
- Don’t stress
Easier said than done, right? But it's well-worth knowing nonetheless; stress plays a huge role in hair health. Have you lost your shine, or is dandruff raining on your shoulders – eh, parade? Regular exercise can help reduce everyday stress and increase blood flow to the head and scalp to help stimulate hair growth. If your go-to excuse is, I can’t work out now – I just washed my hair; simply apply some conditioner to the ends of your hair and pull it up into a bun before exercising, then rinse it out afterwards to wash away the sweat and leave it smelling freshly washed and hydrated.
- Scalp massage
Like exercise, a regular scalp massage will also increase blood flow to the scalp, which is excellent for healthy manes and hair growth. Start from the edges and work your way towards the crown while applying light to medium pressure with your fingertips. Starting at the periphery stimulates the lymphatic drainage as well. Massaging in small circular motions, continue for a minimum of 5 minutes until you’ve covered every bit of your scalp. This can be done in the shower before applying shampoo or on dry locks before styling as per usual.