COLD, damp weather, plus weeks of partying, bad diet and not enough sleep means winter can be a recipe for hair disaster. So at this time of year, there’s no better time to give your tresses some TLC.
We asked nine hair experts for their advice on what to do...
1. Look after your scalp
“When it comes to hair health and growth, scalp is king,” says Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “If you think of each hair as a flower, and your scalp as the soil supporting it, it makes complete sense to nourish and care for your scalp.
“Just like the skin on your face, your scalp benefits from weekly exfoliation. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and pesky flakes. It also encourages healthy skin cell turnover.”
Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask, Marks & Spencer
2. Protect properly
“Excessive use of hot styling tools is causing some of the most badly damaged and worst conditioned hair I’ve ever seen,” says hair industry expert Rachel Southwood.
“Make it a New Year resolution to always use a thermal protecting product to shield hair from temperatures as high as 400 degrees.”
Affinage Mode Styling Heat Shield Thermal Styling Protection Spray, AllBeauty
3. Don’t brush too much
“Avoid excessive brushing, as this stretches the hair and will break weak or split ends,” says hair stylist Charlotte Mensah.
“Try to only brush the hair once a day, and opt for a paddle brush, due to it being great for all hair types and textures.”
4. Get regular trims
“If you want to maintain a consistent hairstyle, you should keep up a regular hair trim appointment every six weeks, to keep the look constant and in good condition,” recommends Pro:Voke expert stylist Lisa Laudat.
“Anything past 12 weeks is not recommended, as this is where split ends start to appear.”
5. Soothe split ends
“You can’t actually repair damaged hair with a styling product, but you can use products with good ingredients to moisturise, and products with protein to help strengthen the hair strand and keep hair from further splitting,” says Moroccanoil artistic director Kevin Hughes. Try:
Moroccanoil Mending Infusion, FeelUnique
6. Pay attention to what you’re putting on your hair
“Start looking at the ingredients,” says celebrity hairdresser Phil Smith. “The way you would look at food or skincare, start to educate yourself on what goes into your hair products.
“Look for natural ingredients such as avocados, coconut water and shea butter. These are all great for the condition of your hair. Parabens, on the other hand, are damaging so don’t buy haircare products that include these in their ingredients list.”
Phil Smith be Gorgeous Glam Shine Ultimate Glossing Shampoo
7. Try an onion juice treatment
“The one thing that everyone will be applying to their hair this year is onion juice,” predicts The Salon owner Neil Cornelius.
“Onions are very good at hair follicle nourishment and help restore lost nutrients to your scalp. They are rich in sulphur, which is known to minimise breakage and thinning, they have potent anti-bacterial properties and help fight infections of the scalp.”
8. Up your protein intake
“If you want to improve your hair health this winter in the best dietary way, measure your protein,” advises trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver from The Cotswold Trichology Centre. Calculate it using an app such as MyFitnessPal.
9. Tie your hair with care
“Stop using clips and rubber elastics to create sleek up-styles, as eventually, they can lead to an unexpected texture to your hair,” says Michael Shaun Corby, global creative director for Living Proof. “And stop putting your hair up at bedtime — allow your follicles to relax instead of being tugged on by that elastic all night. Instead, use soft cloths, scarves and fabric elastics to secure you hair to reduce breakage.”