Lockdown hair SOS

Natural haircare tips to look after your locks in lockdown

From split ends to root regrowth, we’re all struggling to maintain healthy hair as salons are closed due to lockdown measures. Fortunately, our natural haircare experts are on hand to help solve your hair problems in the short-term.

Hydrate your hair

“In the case of split ends, attempting to cut them yourself can cause more harm than good,” says London celebrity hairdresser Tom Smith (www.instagram.com/tomsmithhd). “Split ends can get worse when they are left to dry out further, so keeping them hydrated with serums and oils every day, even multiple times a day, is a good way of keeping them soft and supple. Little and often is the best approach for these types of products, and this will keep the ends hydrated and stop them from splitting even more, until you can get back to your hairdresser. Securing the hair in a gentle braid using silk scrunchies or using hairbands is a really good way of minimising friction or tension on the hair. Also, definitely minimise heat styling or at least avoid heating the problem areas.”

Soothe your scalp

“Massaging the scalp has lots of amazing benefits and is something that is often overlooked when it comes to haircare,” says Kieran Tudor, creative director with natural haircare brand Centred (wearecentred.com). “Massaging the scalp not only helps to exfoliate but is great for relieving tension. It helps us to relax, and it’s also great for increasing blood flow to the hair follicle, which is amazing for boosting hair rejuvenation and growth. You can give yourself a scalp massage once a week. Start at the neck area and use the palms and fingertips to apply pressure and slow circles as you work up the head to the forehead, down the sides to the temples and then back around the ears to the neck area again. Keep the tempo slow with a decent amount of pressure. Repeat the pattern three or more times; it should last a minimum of five minutes to gain the benefits.” For an added natural boost, try using a small amount of oil during your scalp massage. Avocado oil, almond oil and coconut oil will all help to give your locks some lustre.

Lay off the heat!

“Exposure to central heating can cause havoc on your hair if you are working from home,” says Tom Smith. “Extremes of temperature (going from cold to hot) affect the cuticle of the hair, meaning moisture can easily get lost. Going from one extreme to the other can cause the hair to become distressed and sensitive to damage. Fluctuations in temperature also means your scalp can produce more oils or go flaky, meaning the hair will need to be washed more, leaving the ‘mids’ and ‘ends’ of the hair even more vulnerable.” Tom recommends washing your hair no more than three times a week and avoiding the use of hairdryers, tongs or straighteners when working from home to give your hair a break and let it dry naturally. He adds: “You should also maintain a healthy hydrated diet to give your body back any lost moisture from your central heating.”

Choose natural ingredients

“If you like to keep your beauty products as natural as possible, you’ll want to avoid any haircare items that contain sulphates and other man-made chemicals,” says Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy (www.theorganicpharmacy.com). “These can strip your hair of its natural oils, drying it out and making it brittle.”

“Avoid high-street shampoo brands which contain silica as it’s a cheap ingredient which coats your hair to make it seem shiny,” says Laura Krippner a Certified Functional Health Coach (www.practicalhealthcoach.uk). “In fact, it’s stopping your hair from absorbing moisture. Also avoid ingredients like parabens (a toxic ingredient which has the potential to impact normal breast cell function.”

“Instead, prioritise natural ingredients that are going to keep your hair hydrated,” says Margo Marrone. “Shampoos, conditioners, and masks containing the likes of argan oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, and manuka honey will all help to nourish your hair in a natural way.”

Disguise those roots

“The technology behind root touch-up sprays is better than ever, and you can think of this as make-up for your hair,” says Tom Smith. “It just washes away and doesn’t interfere with the chemical structure of your hair. When it comes to applying the spray, a really good trick is to hold a pintail comb along the line of your parting before you spray. This stops the colour spray coating the scalp, and making the result look unnatural, as the comb protects the area of the scalp that would normally show the scalp rather than hair colour.” Tom also recommends trying out a zigzag parting as a way of minimising the appearance of your roots. “Anything that distorts the line of the parting will minimise and soften the appearance of roots,” he explains.

Nutritional knowhow

“It’s important to include plenty of lean, healthy protein in your diet,” says Kathryn Danzey, the founder of natural skincare brand Rejuvenated (www.rejuvenated.com). “This is because our body uses amino acid proteins to make keratin (the protein in hair formation.) Think poultry, fish, nuts, beans and legumes. If you find it difficult to include enough protein into your day, you can boost your intake with a drink; there is a huge variety on the market from vegan powders to dairy-based drinks and also collagen supplements. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body; it’s rich in proline, the protein which is vital for the production of keratin. Try adding plenty of dark green vegetables to your diet such as spinach, broccoli and kale. To support hair health, it’s important to eat a variety of vitamins and antioxidants full of nutrients such as vitamin A and iron. B vitamins are particularly beneficial for hair as they are essential in creating red blood cells to carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which helps to protect against oxidative stress and create collagen, thus helping to support hair structure. Zinc is also a key nutrient as it plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It helps to keep the oil glands around the follicles working effectively and studies show that zinc supplements can help to reduce hair loss.”

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