Having a bad hair day? Indeed year? Join the club. Of course, there are the traditional causes, such as pollution, product build-up, overuse of chemicals and excessive heat styling, says four-time Australian Hairdresser of the Year Joey Scandizzo, but add to that the extraordinary stress of 2021 and you’ve got a major disaster on your hands.

When you consider other factors as well, including not enough exercise and too much processed food and alcohol, it’s no wonder the strain is showing on your hair. So, to help soften, strengthen and restore its youthful shine, try these useful tips.

1. Treat your hair like your skin

“As you get older, your hair becomes drier, because it stops retaining moisture and proteins as easily,” explains Joey. The latest haircare products have been inspired by skincare – think nourishing oils and leave-in masks to return your hair to Shine Town. For best results, start applying a hair mask at least once a week.

2. Pick the right shampoo

A nourishing shampoo is your first line of defence. Check the ingredients list and avoid these: silicone, which prevents hair from absorbing moisture; alcohol, which dehydrates your strands; and sulfate (aka sodium lauryl sulfate), a detergent that can strip hair and create frizz. Instead, look for ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba, argan or coconut oils, which are effective moisturisers.

3. Look after your scalp

A study published in the International Journal of Trichology found a direct correlation between a healthy scalp and healthy hair. Natural oils, dead skin and product build-up can clog your scalp’s sebaceous glands, leading to dandruff , infl ammation and dry, fragile hair, says Gary Goldenberg, a professor of dermatology. Try using a scalp scrub once a week, before you shampoo and condition. When you do shampoo, concentrate the lather at the roots of the hair (where your natural oils are) and focus the conditioner on the ends, as this is where hair tends to be driest.

Try these effective products, hand-picked by the Prevention Best of Beauty Awards 2021 expert panel:

1. Joico Defy Damage Protective Shampoo, RRP $33.95

With a luxe lather and gentle formula, this shampoo cleans and avoids stripping the hair, leaving it shiny and resilient. “It does what it says and is a really good all-rounder,” says Sue, Prevention Best of Beauty Awards 2021 expert. It also gives your colour more staying power and keeps your locks smoother for longer.

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2. Growth Bomb Shampoo, RRP $24.99

Utilising organic compounds from the Yerba Maté leaf from the Amazon Jungle, this potent shampoo is packed with antioxidants that help to strengthen hair, provide charged growth and leave it feeling fuller. It smells great and lathers beautifully, too. 

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2. Davroe Scalp Remedy Shampoo, RRP $29.95

Designed to reduce flaky scalp, this shampoo is also suitable for people with eczema and psoriasis. Made with anti-itching wonder ingredient aloe vera, it cleanses and protects and offers an instant cooling sensation. Best of all, it leaves hair feeling soft and healthy.  

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