Thursday, 23 July 2009

Project Healthy Hair: 10 Commandments

1) THOU SHALT APPLY A WARM OIL SCALP MASSAGE RITUAL TWO TIMES A WEEK.

This will help to stimulate and moisturise your scalp. You can use good quality coconut, almond or olive oil. I will be applying some warmed oil to my hair and will then gently massage it into my scalp evenly. I will leave it on overnight if I can or at least an hour or two, then wash it out with shampoo.

2) THOUGH SHALT GO NATURAL

All shampoos contain cleansers but those with naturally derived cleansers are less likely to strip your hair of vital oils. Aveda use natural cleansers in all of their shampoos so I will be using my Aveda Damage Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner.

3) THOUGH SHALT DEEP CONDITION

As you will have seen in my last post, I am currently using Kerastase Chroma Riche hair mask to improve the overall condition of my hair. Because I like to blow dry my hair every day, I really have to ensure that I am preventing any dryness caused by this. I apply the mask from midshaft down, so as not to weight my roots down, comb it through with a wide tooth comb, then leave on for 10 minutes. The steam created by the bath/shower helps to open up the hair shaft and allows the mask to penetrate a bit deeper into your hair. I always make sure I rinse my hair thoroughly after using an intensive mask as you don't want to leave any of the product in your hair. This would just increase the chance of static once you have dried it.

4) THOUGH SHALT AVOID THE BURN

Alot of professional-grade blow-dryers on the market come with the concentrated super slim nozzle designed to smooth down the hairshaft and therefore make hair shiny. It's handy for speeding up the drying process but keep in mind that they were designed to be held high above your hair by a stylist and would generally be moved around a lot to avoid applying too much heat to one area of the hair directly. I always remove the nozzle and use my fingers instead of a brush until my hair is 80% dry. That way, your not tugging at damp hair with a brush, which will just end up with breakage. Only then do I attach the nozzle and use it to smooth my hair out. This way, you're diffusing the heat across your hair and avoiding burning specific areas with a nozzle.

5) THOUGH SHALT NOT SUFFOCATE MY HAIR WITH PRODUCTS

I try not to load my hair with too many products when I am blowdrying it, simply because I have fine hair and don't want to weight it down. It also can make your hair dull if you apply too much to it. Silicon based products (such as Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum that I use) are great at preventing frizz and enhancing shine but I only apply it after I have blow dried my hair. If you apply it before blow drying, it can fuse to your hair and have a "shrink wrap" effect, sapping all the moisture from your strands.

6) THOUGH SHALT TAKE MY SUPPLEMENTS

I generally like to keep myself in good health so I take a multi vitamin every day but I am going to start taking an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement too. Although getting these vital oils from fresh food would be ideal, I am not a great lover of fish and I don't eat that many nuts so I always feel like I need to up my omega oils. Hopefully after a few months of taking it, I will start to see a difference in my hair.

7) THOUGH SHALT VISIT MY HAIRDRESSER EVERY 5 WEEKS

I already do this so I'm on top of it. I like to have my hair trimmed regularly to make sure I am keeping it as free of split ends as I can. As you probably know, getting regular trims encourages hair growth too. Although it sounds counterproductive, dyeing your hair more often can actually help prevent chemical damage. Since the ends of your hair will be less likely to fade, your hairdresser won't have to leave the dye on as long. To avoid colour fade, I try not to shampoo for 48 hours after getting my hair coloured and use only color-safe products.

8) THOUGH SHALT KEEP MY TOOLS IN TOP SHAPE

Old, worn bristles on your brush can damage your hair’s cuticle when you are blowdrying and can also cause split ends. I always make sure my brushes are in good condition and replace them straight away if they are becoming damaged. When shopping for a new one, I always run it down my arm and if the bristles feel abrasive, I just skip it. Natural bristles are probably the best bet for getting alot of shine and smoothness with a blowdry but they tend to be more expensive. I think they are worth it though.

9) THOUGH SHALT STEER CLEAR OF METAL

I only ever use ceramic or porcelain heated appliances (like my GHD's or my amazing Babylis Conical Wand). Unlike metal heated appliances, ceramic heats up evenly, so they are less likely to scorch random areas of your hair.

10) THOUGH SHALT LIMIT HEAT

For about 3 months now I have only been blowdrying my hair as described above however I have not been using my GHD's every day as I used to. This is a mixture of two things, one being the fact that I don't want to damage with hair by straightening it every day and the other being the fact that I now actually prefer my hair when it isn't poker straight. My fine hair has alot more natural volume and bounce when I just blow dry it. That means I don't have to apply as much product to it. I have been restricting my use of my conical wand to special occassions like a night out (i.e. only using it once a week). When I do use my wand, I have it set at a low heat and never heat any one section of hair longer than 10 seconds.

I hope these tips have helped those of you who are looking to improve the overall condition of your hair and if you have any questions, as always...just ask!

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