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Expert tips for looking after your hair at home the natural way

Since the UK lockdown was put in place back in March, many of us have been missing our regular trips to the hair salon. The braver ones among us have tried our hands at cutting our own hair and that of our loved ones – often with varying degrees of success! At the time of writing, hairdressing salons were due to begin reopening at the beginning of July. In the meantime, we gathered some tips from the hairdressing experts for how to look after your locks at home the natural way.

Healthy hair, healthy scalp

“Avoiding harsh synthetics and preservatives is the simplest way to see real results from your haircare,” says Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of natural and organic beauty brand Green People (www.greenpeople.co.uk). “Sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS) are known to cause irritation while parabens have been shown to weaken oestrogenic activity; something that isn’t ideal for personal care products. Equally, synthetic fragrances and perfumes are key contributors to an irritated scalp.”

Whatever your hair type, Charlotte recommends choosing gentle and natural products to help restore the health of your scalp and your hair’s natural shine. Naturally-derived ingredients to look out for include yucca, coconut, aloe vera, green tea, avocado and pineapple. Also look for products containing essential oils such as neroli, bergamot, orange, mandarin and lavender. Gentle cleansing agents such as these will leave hair clean and fresh without irritating the scalp or stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Colour confidence

Coloured hair has a tendency to fade, particularly if you’re unable to get to see your regular hair stylist. Try these tips from Live True London, an award-winning independent group of hair and beauty salons, and see your colour last for longer.

Apply a protective spray or natural oil. Heat causes the colour to fade quickly, so before picking up those heating tools, use a protective spray. If you don’t have access to anything like that, did you know that you can apply coconut oil? It has a natural heat-protectant property!

Rinse in cold water. Heat can elevate the hair and open cuticles whereas the cold has the opposite effect. Rinsing your hair in cold water has many benefits; it will close the cuticles, add shine to the hair and reduce frizz, making the hair more manageable. There’s a reason why this is part of a hairdresser’s repertoire!

Protect your hair from the sun. With the sun making a welcome appearance early this year, try using sunflower oil. It has natural antioxidant properties to protect against free radicals activated by the sun and wind, which causes damage. Just remember to use a small amount on dry hair.

Do it yourself

If you dye your hair to disguise grey roots, the prospect of having to wait until your next hair appointment can be very disheartening. A handy temporary measure is to try a root touch-up product. There are numerous products to choose from and these come in various forms such as sprays, crayon sticks and colour palettes that you apply with a brush or sponge. Look for products that are natural and organic and free from checmical nasties such as SLS, SLES and parabens.

If you are planning to dye your own hair with a home kit, always make sure that you read the instruction leaflet and carry out a skin sensitivity test. This should be completed 48 hours before you colour your hair, every time you use the product. Anyone can develop a sensitivity to ingredients found in hair dyes – even the most natural ones – so be sure to follow this rule each time.

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