The secret to any good hair day is a healthy head of hair… that’s just common sense! Whether you’re creating a poker-straight supermodel look or going for beachy waves, your style just won’t last as long or look as fabulous if your locks are damaged and prone to breakage.
To get a professional’s advice, we caught up with Lisa Caddy, Consultant Trichologist at Philip Kingsley to ask your most common questions, from the top reasons for damaged hair, to the best ways to reduce breakage.
Sometimes it’s a pure case of genetics that determine the fate that befalls our hair. Lisa reveals that those with fine textures are more likely to experience the nuisance of breakage, explaining that this hair type is the narrowest in diameter and so the structure is “not as robust” as coarser textured hair. Naturally curly gals or those with coiled hair are also susceptible to a case of the split ends, as this hair type can be weaker due to the structure and shape of the hair shaft.
How you wash and brush your hair is just as important as styling and maintenance.
But while we can’t help the hair we were born with, there are a few external factors that Lisa warns can cause the most damage. It won’t be news to lots of us but it bears repeating that chemical processing, including colouring, relaxers and straightening treatments, along with excessive heat, can all wreak havoc on our manes, causing weakness and dehydration. Add to that UV light from your sunbathing sessions, chlorine from swimming pools and aggressive brushing and combing, and you’re in for a cocktail of split end consequences.
So how do we take care of our hair and keep it looking its best? “It’s all about treating hair respectfully!” asserts Lisa. Creatures of habit would be well-advised to find a haircare routine that’s quick and easy but also as gentle as possible. You may not think it, but how you wash and brush your hair is just as important as styling and maintenance.
The Dhatelo Restore Cleansing Hair Treatment from Tweak’d is a fantastic option to use in place of shampoo for a deeply moisturising finish thanks to its shea and coconut oil-infused formula. After washing, comb your hair with a saw tooth comb as you condition it, rather than trying to tackle knots after your hair has been towel dried. “Hair is at its weakest when it’s wet – that’s the time to take most care”, explains Lisa.
When it comes to reducing heat damage, blow drying is allowed, but there are some rules we should abide by. “Always keep the temperature of the hairdryer medium to cool and at least six inches away from the hair”, advises Lisa. “Stop drying once the hair is dry, the damage occurs when you keep going beyond this.” And as for the best heat protectant? Lisa recommends the non-oil based Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence. “It’s lightweight and water-based which hydrates the hair whilst protecting from heat, and it’s a superb detangler”, she advises.
Never underestimate the role your styling tools play too. Try to go for brushes with round, widely-spaced pins as these won’t split your hair, and always opt for a wooden or plastic body rather than metal as these materials won’t retain heat and scorch the hair like metal can. Philip Kingsley’s Radial Brush, Paddle Brush and Grooming Brushes are designed by Trichologists and are a great option for taming your mane with minimal hair pull and damage. Taya’s Paddle and Round Brushes, plus its Treatment Comb are also fantastic as they’re made with smooth wood and gentle boar bristles.
Don’t be tempted to cover up damaged or thinning hair with hair extensions.
And what about hair that’s already damaged? Though there’s no miracle cure, Lisa assures us that eventually, hair grows out and therefore so does any damage, although it can feel like a long time. “Hair grows approximately 1cm – 1.5cm in a month so patience is required!” she confirms. In the meantime, getting a regular trim removes any split ends that can travel up the hair shaft, so it’s important to keep up those trips to the hairdressers.
Fans of a dye job should try and leave at least 12 weeks in between colouring to give hair a rest and to ensure the colour doesn’t overlap, and don’t be tempted to cover up damaged or thinning hair with hair extensions; this is a false economy as Lisa warns that they can actually contribute to further hair breakage.
If you only follow one piece of advice, Lisa leaves us with her absolute bottom line: “use as little heat as possible… and be diligent with your Philip Kingsley Elasticizer!”. We have to agree there; if you haven’t tried the award-winning pre-shampoo treatment before, it’s definitely one to add to the list. Formulated to add elasticity to dry and brittle strands, it’s “super-charged with moisture to leave the hair bouncy and hydrated” says Lisa. Massage into damp hair, don your shower cap and leave on for a minimum of 20 minutes, before rinsing off and continuing with your shampoo and conditioner.
Whether you’re a fan of a super low-maintenance ‘do, or your hair is the focal point of your look, we trust you’re now armed with the best knowledge for keeping it in fabulous condition. Heat lovers and bleach queens, take note!