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Back To Basics
Thirsty doesn’t even begin to describe my hair after a summer of fun, so once the holidays are over, ‘mission: rehydration’ is put into action. I’ve really been enjoying Briogeo’s Superfoods collection, which consists of three smoothie-inspired blends all designed to nurse your hair back to health. My favourite is the Apple, Matcha + Kale Shampoo and Conditioner because: a) it’s formulated specifically for dull, parched hair and helps hydrate and balance the scalp; and b) its name makes my hair feel healthier just by looking at it. It’s not glamorous, but the summer tends to be the time of year that my hair suffers the most from sensitivity issues – I blame the build-up of salty styling products, not to mention actual salt from the sea. When it starts to feel uncomfortable and itchy, I need something gentle that’s going to reduce the irritation but boost shine and softness. This year I’ve been trialling Kristen Ess’s Extra Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner – both of which have been formulated with sensitive scalps in mind, gently cleansing while restoring health and moisture.
If you’ve enjoyed time in the sun this summer, spare a thought for your poor hair. UV, humidity, chlorine, salt water and styling might sound like the makings of a brilliant holiday but they’re all leading causes of hair damage. Back home, I need to reinstate strength and I do this by drenching my strands in Ouai’s Leave-in Conditioner after every hair wash, which I love because it’s enriched with amino acids, vitamin E and strengthening proteins. For an intensive once-a-week treat, I use Sam McKnight’s Deeper Love Hair Mask, which is infused with plant keratin and two proprietary molecules called Rep’Hair and Crodabond. Working to repair split ends, improve resilience and boost health, Deeper Love is clinically proven to strengthen hair by up to ten times after only six uses and mend 50% of split ends after only one.
UV exposure is notoriously bad for fading colour-treated hair, so aside from ensuring it’s well protected in the sun (thanks to Clarins’s Sun Care Body & Hair Oil Mist SPF30), I’m fastidious about trying to reduce fading as much as I can. For this, I have long loved Aveda’s Colour Control Shampoo and Conditioner, potent plant-powered solutions which minimise colour washout for up to eight weeks while helping to maintain shine. Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Leave-in Multi-tasking Spray is another must-have at this time of year, defending against colour fade as well as offering heat protection and detangling action.
I’m a big fan of hair oils year round but this is when they really become the star of the show. I’ve made no secret of my love for the jasmine-scented saviour of strands that is Fable & Mane’s HoliRoots Hair Oil, but Larry King’s excellent rosemary-infused Spoilt for Choice Oil is great for stimulating the scalp, improving blood flow and strengthening vulnerable hair. I also keep the wonderful Grow Strong Hair Oil on hand – it’s a rejuvenating blend by Ayurvedic brand Mauli. Partly because it’s so fantastic, and partly I’ll admit because I’m hoping if I use it enough it’ll give me hair as luscious as founder Anita’s.
Of course, the best plan of attack when it comes to repair is preparation and prevention, so as we move into autumn I’ll be ensuring my repair regime continues. A weekly scrub with a good exfoliator will get rid of build-up from styling products and ensure follicles are stimulated into good regrowth; I love the St Barts edition of Ouai’s Scalp & Body Scrub, not least because a dual-purpose product is always a good thing, but also because the tropical scent will kid me that I’m still on holiday. I’ll also be continuing my diligent application of L’Oréal Paris’s Full Resist Elvive Anti-Fall Serum with caffeine, aminexil and arginine, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I like the whole range (shampoo and conditioner) but the serum is the hero product and I swear it’s responsible for me holding on to many more strands than I usually do post-brushing.
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