A majority of people hate something about themselves, be it the colour of their eyes, the shape of their body, we always want what we don’t have, it’s a perfectly natural thing. For those with health issues, it’s often soul destroying when side effects take over too, either way you hair is something you CAN change so make the most of it!
I’ve a slightly under-active thyroid so my hair and nails are as brittle as you can imagine! To make matters worse, I’ve been abusing my hair for the last decade, when I got my first straightener, I thought it was the most miraculous thing, it made my hair feel sleek and glossy, this was the height of Jennifer Aniston’s fame in Friends, famed for her ever stunning locks. Heading to the States every Summer, I’d be singeing my hair with my straightener and anti frizz serums in an effort to beat the frizz from the humidity.
Over the years, my hair got drier and I would often look down to find inch long pieces of broken hair, peppering my chest and shoulders like cupcake sprinkles. I must admit I started to panic, images of British TV presenter Gail Porter would come to mind, the poor girl lost her beautiful blonde hair in the 2000’s to Alopecia and never regained it.
I discussed my concerns with a friend who worked as a stylist in her own home and she told me to stop using silicone based shampoo’s, virtually anything with a word ending with ‘ -one’ in the ingredients is a silicone. Essentially they coat your hair in silicone which is a beast to remove and you hair feels like satin-for a while. The hair cuticles are sealed shut and oxygen and moisture can’t penetrate, essentially suffocating and strangling your hair, over time, you change shampoo and think that one is doing the damage, so you turn back to the last one, going full circle and the damage continues. The stylist recommended I used a deep cleaning, chemical stripping shampoo and then moved to silicone free versions. I did just that.
Top Tips for Glossier Locks
CUT THE SILICONES!! Deep Nourishing, reduced/trace silicone Shampoo like Kerastase Resistance, available from Tony & Guy Salons, protects hair from breakages and styling damage, pollution and what have you. I LOVE the scent of Kerastase products, they really do feel like the caviar of haircare and you get that lovely ‘just been to the salon’ feeling. I love it but can’t splurge until we buy our house..
I got to try Viviscal when they headline-sponsored the first Bloggerconf before it hit the shops and I fell in love with the stuff! An Irish product too I might add, it thickens your hair to the point that my stylist even noticed the difference, natural curls are defined and your hair just feels luscious. It’s gentle enough to use every day and nourishes from within with Biotin, Keratin & Zinc. Definitely gets the thumbs up from me especially the elixir. the Densifying Elixir is a leave in treatment, I use it as a serum, adding it to my hair before styling in the morning, it’s just gorgeous and makes you feel like you have a new head of hair.
I just adore The Duchess of Cambridge’s hair, it’s always rich and glossy.
On a budget like me?
No problem! Herbal Essences ‘Clearly Naked’ range are silicone free and won’t cost more than €10 for shampoo & Conditioner.
A good brush can make the world of difference to your hair, every day I use a Denman d14 styling brush that I keep in my handbag but when styling in the morning, I can’t recommend getting a good set of roller brushes enough, get used to these and you’ll never want to use a straightener again, with the right set, you can have big bouncy hair like you see on TV, yes you! If you want to get a proper kit, the Faro roller brush kit in a host of sizes for €49, Achieve straight or bouncy hair with the ceramic barrel that retains heat and allows air to pass through it, allowing better styling of the hair, just remember not to allow the nozzle of your dryer to touch your hair or get too close and turn the heat to medium if you have fine hair like me! My brushes are however on their last legs, I must treat myself to this though, tailcombs are brilliant for smoothing down a fringe, especially if you notice it kicks out at the edges like mine. I love when everything matches!
Using a paddle brush, my stylist told me to finish my hair with the dryer, bristles facing out, reducing flyaways..I try not to use a paddle on wet hair though a they can tangle and break the strands. But they’re excellent for achieving that sleek look. Go easy on the mousse and hairspray too, the less product you use unnecessarily the better. If you’re using a straightener after mousse or hair oils, you can fry your hair, mousse gets like a glue and can make it snap.
I like a use moisture masks on my hair once a week, the Kerastase Masque Intense is my favourite, it smells like heaven too. After towel drying, apply a walnut size and massage into your scalp to the ends of your hair, place a showercap over your head and then wrap a towel around the lot to keep the heat in and your cuticles open, leave in for about 20-30 minutes and rinse. Your hair will feel amazing! It’s just a little way of rewarding your poor hair for putting up with being styled all week and keep it deliciously soft.
Pill Popping..the good kind!
Beauty comes from inside too, taking daily supplements of Biotin, Iron, Vitamin C , Folic acid and Zinc will aid strong & healthy growth of hair, lots of healthy fats and proteins, fresh oily fish, avocados and lentils. There are loads of supplements on the market, I have tried Nourkrin and found it really good and I did notice a difference. Your mood and hormones also effect your hair as well as your diet, as in my case with an underactive thyroid. I also take kelp tablets which are capsules of dried seaweed, they provide with me with the iodine I need to keep my thyroid working as I’m not so bad that I need medication to correct it. Hair loss can also be accredited to iodine deficiency to another reason for supplements! Do consult the pharmacist or professional before buying supplements and let them know of any health issues you have because some vitamins can cause problems of you’re on medication or pregnant.
It’s almost the time of the year for holidays and beach days. As much as most of us love the feeling of the sun on our skin, your hair suffers like crazy in the summer, chlorine from swimming pools, and UV damage all play a part in damaging your tresses. It’s a good idea to keep your hair up, keep a leave-in conditioner in it during the day too. I’m a HUGE fan of Nuxe and La Roche Posay especially during the summer. Nuxe body oil with shimmer is gorgeous on tanned skin and it nourishes your skin and the bonus is that you can put it in your hair and on your face as a cleanser. Nuxe products smell divine, a friend of mine called it “smelling like a rich French lady” and she was right. They also do an aftersun shampoo for hair and body (saving room in your suitcase) it removes all traces of chlorine, salt and sand from your hair and body while moisturising. I’ll be stocking up on this for the summer!