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 2020 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 quick fixes
KYN CLEAN FORMULA SCALP SCRUB This charcoal and coconut scalp scrub detoxiﬁ es, exfoliates and moisturises your scalp to encourage healthy hair growth. $19.99, Priceline
PANTENE PRO-V INTENSE RESCUE SHOTS AMPOULES Massage into washed, damp hair to add shine and strength while preventing split ends. $9, Woolworths
ELEVEN REPAIR MY HAIR NOURISHING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER This nourishing duo increases volume and mends damage from excess chemicals and heat styling. $27.95 each, elevenaustralia.com