So summer is well and truly over. Temperatures are dropping. We’re desperately trying to get back into our old routines. All that we have left now are our memories…and summer damaged hair! Sun, sea, chlorine, a vast array of chemical hair products to give us that carefree summer look so we can be selfie-ready in a second, maybe there was even a change of hair colour – it all adds up! Even extra washing due to the fact that we’re more active or sweating more, can strip the hair’s outer layer and expose the cuticle leaving it vulnerable to breakage and frizz.
No matter how great you thought your hair routine was or how healthy your hair may have been at the start of summer, there’s a strong possibility that it’s now not in the best of health and may be dry, dull and brittle. Now drier, colder air is on it’s way which can exacerbate the damage and make it even more vulnerable to breakage, which can ultimately lead to hair loss and thinning. So what steps can we take to restore the hair’s vibrance before the harsh winter season is upon us?
Have a trim
If you’re suffering from split ends, you’re not going to mend them. All you can do is smooth and disguise them and prevent them from travelling further up the hair strand and causing breakage. So why not just cut them off? Who needs damaged hair anyway! A new season is a great time to introduce a new look.
Give your hair a vacation
A break from a rigorous hair routine will do your hair the world of good. Let your hair be natural for a while, forget excessive styling with harsh chemicals and heated styling aids. Let your colour grow out until the hair is more healthy, wear your hair loose if possible or at least don’t pull the hair tight to protect the roots from added stress, and reduce your hair washing schedule. There is really no need to wash the hair more than once or twice a week, otherwise you are just stripping away its protective oils and making it dry and brittle and thus more prone to breakage. If you usually wash your hair every day, then go an extra day without washing. Gradually build this time up, and you’ll soon see how many days you can go between washing before your hair demands a wash. Remember that even when you forego the shampoo you may still use a wash out or leave-in conditioner, particularly if your hair is looking and feeling dry or brittle.
Cleanse your scalp
Summer may have left our hair with a lot of build-up due to excessive use of products, sweat, dirt, minerals and even chlorine, which can clog the hair follicles. Jojoba oil is a great scalp cleanser and can unclog blocked follicles, restoring proper nutrition and allowing hydration levels to be restored. As a natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal agent it can also remedy an assortment of scalp ailments including acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. Plus, being structurally and chemically similar to the sebum which we naturally produce it can remedy a dry or oily scalp too. Massaging oil into the scalp also stimulates blood circulation which in turn promotes oxygenation and supports the growth of new hair follicles. A healthy scalp is instrumental in healthy hair.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
It goes without saying that moisturising your hair is the most important step in reviving your end of summer hair. However, putting harmful ingredients on your hair such as sulphates, parabens, alcohol and artificial perfume whilst it is in recovery is not the answer – you may get an instant result visually due to high silicone content but the effect is short-term and will not repair the problem, and these ingredients are known to drying and damaging in the long-term to both your hair and overall health. Natural oils such as argan, coconut and wheatgerm are structurally able to deeply penetrate the hair follicles and structure to nourish, rehydrate, restore elasticity, eliminate brittleness, promote hair growth, in addition to adding a protective coat to shield against further damage or moisture loss, and acting as a detangling treatment with added slip for breakage-free brushing. Natural oils will also eliminate dullness and impart a healthy glossy shine and restore bounce.
Introduce natural hair oils to your haircare regime
Use as a pre-shampoo treatment, a weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning and repairing hair mask, or even by just adding a few drops to your usual hair care products. You can also add a couple of drops of argan oil to the palms of your hand and smooth over your hair to protect against damage from heat styling tools, and to smooth away frizz and flyaways. Apply any of the oils to replenish dry ends between washes.
Pre-shampoo treatment – Mix one teaspoon of wheatgerm oil with two teaspoons of coconut or or argan oil (actual amount will depend on hair length and volume, and argan oil is recommended for fine or thinning hair, with amount increased to four teaspoons). Warm by placing the container in warm water or by rubbing briskly in the palms of your hands, in order to reduce its viscosity and ensure better absorption. Gently massage into the scalp with fingertips and smooth over the hair strands. Use a wide toothed comb to ensure even distribution. Cover the head with a shower cap and towel, and leave for ten minutes. Shampoo out with a natural herbal (non-chemical) shampoo for your hair type.
Deep conditioning and repairing mask – Warm two to three teaspoons of wheatgerm oil, coconut oil or argan oil (actual amount will depend on hair length and volume) and massage into the scalp and spread over the hair, ensuring even distribution by using a wide-toothed comb. Cover the head with a shower cap and towel, and leave for 3-4 hours or overnight if preferred, before shampooing out. Hair will remain soft and lustrous for days!
Embrace the new season with a new hair regime to prioritise reversing summer hair damage and preventing cold weather damage. It’s also a great excuse to cosy up in front of the fire on a cold autumn’s evening with a cup of hot cocoa, some warm fluffy socks and your favourite movie as you treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment.