Sapna Chooses Her Hair Heroes
 Sapna Chooses Her Hair Heroes

Sapna Chooses Her Hair Heroes

Sapna loves all things beauty, but if she has to play favourites, haircare always wins. Here, she shares everything she’s enjoying in the category right now – from millennia-old rituals to exciting new launches…
By Sapna Rao

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When my hair needs a detox, the Ouai Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is my go-to. ACV is one of the best ingredients if your hair is prone to build-up. I use this every two weeks or so. It’s non-drying, smells great and doesn't strip your colour. 

If I could only use one haircare brand forever, it would hands down be Davines. Its Oi range is my absolute favourite – especially the Shampoo, Conditioner, All In One Milk and Hair Oil. While it’s now pretty popular, I’ve always loved that this Italian family owned brand uses natural, sustainable ingredients. The Oi range’s key ingredient us roucou oil, which gives your hair an incredible softness and shine. The entire range smells incredible too – so much so that the brand even does a solid perfume version of its signature scent. 

The mask that brings my hair back to life is the Colour Wow Money Mask. It’s the secret to nailing that glassy shine. I sometimes use it as a conditioner, but other times I will work it into my lengths, brush it through and let it sit for 20-30 mins then rinse it out. You’ll instantly feel a newfound silkiness. I’d especially recommend this to my fellow thick-haired ladies. 

Adding an oil to my routine has completely transformed my hair. Being Indian, hair oiling has always been a significant part of my routine, especially when I was younger, as hair oiling is a practice dating back thousands of years in Indian culture to ancient Ayurvedic rituals. After years of me dying and frying my hair, I began introducing oils back into my routine properly and have since seen a significant difference in its look, feel and health. My current favourite oil to use is the Larry King Spoilt For Choice Hair Oil which I apply to wet hair, and then again to my lengths when it's dry. Sometimes I’ll even massage it into my roots before hair-wash day to replenish my scalp. 

Being Indian, HAIR OILING HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT PART OF MY ROUTINE, as hair oiling is a practice dating back thousands of years in Indian culture to ancient Ayurvedic rituals.


My budget secret weapon is the CoLab dry shampoo. I’ve got a bottle of it in my desk drawer at work and will spritz it in whenever my hair is feeling greasy or flat. Dry shampoos can be tricky with dark hair, but this one never leaves behind any white residue – plus it smells divine. 

A hair trend I’m loving is the cool bob. It’s not something I’ll ever do myself – due to how thick my hair is – but I can admire the look from afar. There’s something so effortless and off-duty-model about it. My key reference is naturally Hailey Bieber, but most recently I loved seeing Ayo Edebiri rock one at the Golden Globes. From those I know who’ve got the chop, it’s surprisingly easy to maintain and style. 

My hair resolution for 2024 is to wear fewer slicked-back buns. Controversial I know. It’s typically been the look I gravitate to on bad hair days to feel my most ‘sleek’ self. However, after chatting to my hairdresser before Christmas, agonising over why I had so many broken hairs and baby hairs, I’ve concluded that – while cool and functional – the slicked-back bun isn't doing my hair any favours. Instead, I’m trying to go for a looser up-do, fastening things in with a big claw clip. 

I’m really inspired by runway hair stylists and looks. At London Fashion Week I had the chance to go backstage at a couple shows, and one of the key things I noticed was, where hair once used to be bigger and bolder, the runway is now paring things back – letting the outfit take centre stage. The effortless wave look is therefore a great skill to master for day to day. The advice from the experts backstage was to use a curler with a clasp, and only hold it vertically adjacent to the face. After creating your curls, brush them with a wide-toothed comb to soften but not ruin the look, then finish with some oil. 

At the hair salon, I ask for a trim and a gloss. It’s nothing ground-breaking but I much prefer it to the days where I had a hard-to-maintain blonde balayage routine. Now I just make sure to get regular cuts, and every 4-6 months or so I will top up on hair gloss to get that super silky finish. I visit Annie at Larry King, though I loved Taylor Taylor for maintaining my blonde balayage. 



An under-the-radar hack I rate is for taming flyaways. Simply turn off your hot tool after using it – for example curlers – then, using the residual heat, gently sweep the wand over your baby hairs to flatten them. It’s important to turn the tool off though, as a super-hot tool in that delicate area would just cause more breakage. Follow this with a little oil or – another flyaway hero – the Larry King Social Life For Your Hair

The new launch I’m excited about is the L'Oréal Elvive Hydra Pure range. Perfect if you’re prone to an oily scalp and dry ends, this salicylic and hyaluronic acid-infused range will dehydrate the hair without weighing it down. It comes as a shampoo, conditioner and scalp rinse, meaning you can create an entire routine around the range without breaking the bank. 

My most used tools and accessories are my hairbrush, scrunchies and claw clips. They may seem simple, but it’s hard to find accessories that work well with thick hair. My favourite claw clips are from Boots and COS. When it comes to scrunchies, I love the slip silk ones, as well as a super affordable pack of velvet scrunchies I got from Amazon. My hairbrush of choice is the  REHAB Vital Hairbrush

The hair gadget I’d love to try is the Hello Klean Shower Head Filter. If you live in London especially, the hard water can not only strip colour, but also dry out your hair, so a product like this is ideal for filtering out the nasties.


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