Healthy hair: How to look after your hair

Express.co.uk consulted the experts to put together a list of DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to your hair. Leading Colourist and founder of The Hair Boss, Lisa Shepherd, and leading trichologist Stephanie Sey working on behalf of Nizoral tell you all you need to know about hair care.

What are the benefits of a consistent hair care regime?

Looking after your hair isn’t only for aesthetic reasons, it is essential for the health of your hair and scalp.

In fact, if your scalp health is a shambles there is no way you will have the hair of your dreams.

Stephanie said: “Making sure your scalp is in good condition means that you can produce healthy hair.

“If you have a scalp issue make sure you seek help and use any necessary treatments, such as Nizoral, to maintain it once cleared up.

READ MORE- How to dye your hair at home

DO cut your hair

You can’t get to the salon at the moment, but there are ways to trim your ends at home.

Stephanie said: “Make sure the ends of your hair are well taken care of and preserved, get your hair cut when the ends become weathered and split.

“Not tackling split ends means it will travel up the hair shaft causing more damage.”

Make sure you have sharp scissors and follow a Youtube tutorial, copying exactly what the stylist does.

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DON’T avoid washing your hair

Washing your hair is the only way to get rid of product build-up, sweat, and atmospheric dirt and smog.

Removing that on a regular basis gives the hair lustre shin and keeps the scalp clean and healthy, meaning you can produce better quality hair

However, the hair needs some oil from the sebaceous glands to keep it moisturised.

If your hair is lacking moisture, it will look dry and frizzy and will break more easily.

There’s a fine line between washing your hair too much and not enough.

Stephanie explained: “How often you should wash your hair really depends on how oily your scalp is and your activities levels.”

If your skin is naturally oily and you find your hair getting greasy quickly, you will want to wash it more often than those with dry skin on their scalps.

The same applies if you are extremely active and love working up a sweat in the gym.

Stephanie said: “As a general rule no less than once a week and for those who are active more often – two to three times a week.”

She warned: “For people who not suffer with dandruff I would suggest a minimum of once a week.

“If you have dandruff or seborrhoeic dermatitis, wash your hair two to three times a week with a specific treatment to keep it under control.”

DO apply creams and oils

Frizzy hair? No worries.

Lisa said: “Humidity is a big factor that can cause frizzy hair, which is usually from excess moisture in the atmosphere.

“To fix this, you need to help control the frizz – it is about surrounding the hair shaft with a suitable product that stops the excess moisture getting in.

“For finer hair – I would advise that you use oil as the barrier.

“For medium, coarse or thicker hair – use a cream product as the barrier.”

Stephanie added: “Use a rich hot oil treatment, which you can massage into your scalp and rinse out, once a month.

“In terms of serums look for ones that serve the purpose you need it for such as combating frizz or imparting shine – you can use these as and when.”

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DO choose your shampoo and conditioner wisely

Alcohol-based shampoo and conditioner get a bad rep for drying out your locks, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Lisa said: “Alcohol in hair products swells the hair and makes it appear thicker.

“It is not something to be afraid of!

“The first port of call is opting for a really decent volume shampoo and conditioner, and anything that gives volume has got alcohol in it.

“For fine hair you would use a volume spray and medium hair should use a volume mousse.

“You need to use the right weight product for your type of hair to achieve the best volume.”

Stephanie recommended: “Pick a good moisturising shampoo and a rinse-out conditioner with hydrolysed proteins and use both every time you wash your hair.

If you suffer from Dandruff it would be a good idea to include Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo as a scalp treatment a few times a week.

“This will keep it under control because it contains ketaconozole, which treats the dandruff-causing fungus, malassezia.”

DON’T use a conditioner first

You’ve all heard the rumour that applying your conditioner first is the key to nourishing your hair without weighing it down.

However, Lisa says you should stick to conditioning after you have shampooed.

She explained: “Some products tell you to put a conditioner on first, but I don’t recommend this.

“Shampoos open and clean the hair, whereas the conditioner smooths and closes the hair.

“Using a conditioner first will give an over porous, dehydrated and dull finish to the hair.”

DON’T hide your hair from the sun

While your sun needs some protection from the sun’s rays- such as a UV protecting serum- you don’t need to wear a hat all summer, according to Lisa.

She said: “Summer hair is one of my favourites.

“Most people think that they need to cover it up, but I personally don’t.

“I like the sun doing its thing.

“If you are planning to sit out in the sun all day, make sure that you use a hair mask in the morning and if you can – keep the mask on all day.

“Don’t let your hair dry out, as hair needs to be moisturised and protected just like skin.

“Don’t worry too much about the sun and the colour, because sun-kissed colour can look very pretty.

“It is something I actually try to recreate in the salon.”

DO use a hair mask

A hair mask is a pampering ritual for most people, offering a chance to unwind, regroup, and massage that scalp.

Masks are just as good for your hair as they are your mental health, especially if you’re blonde.

Lisa said: “It is important to use a good hair mask, especially with blondes as maintaining a healthy-looking condition is harder.

“This is because lighter colours absorbs light. Light bounces off darker colours.”

Try The Hair Boss Double Hair Mask (£19.99, Superdrug) to achieve strong, healthy and moisturised hair.

Stephanie also recommended hair masks, she said: “Hair masks are made to improve the look and condition of your hair after washing.

“Using a good mask will help you restore moisture and also help give the hair a lovely look and feel – in some cases it may make it more manageable.

“Great ingredients to look for are rich oils such as coconut which can penetrate the hair shaft and argan oil which imparts shine.”

She explained exactly how to apply a hair mask.

She said: “When applying a hair mask it is best to apply it to the mid-section and ends of the hair avoiding the roots.

“The ends of the hair are the oldest and most weathered and need the most care and attention.

“I’d also recommend: covering your head with a warm towel for 10-15 minutes (depending on the hair mask).

“Leave the mask on for at least 20 minutes and use a wide-toothed comb to untangle the hair.”

If you have dandruff, you should use a targeted scalp treatment such as Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo, before applying the mask. 

She said: “add it to the ends and mid-sections only, being careful not to get too much on your scalp. 

“Unnecessary product build up on the scalp can aggravate the condition.”

DO be cautious when using scalp scrubs

Just like the skin on your face, exfoliation is a great way to get rid of dead skin cells on your scalp.

However, the many scalp scrubs on the market could be doing more harm than good.

Stephanie said: “I am cautious though about recommending physical exfoliants and prefer chemical exfoliants such as active ingredients like sulphur, zinc and salicylic acid.

“Physical exfoliants contain ingredients that create friction against the scalp and micro tears and if not used properly they can cause sensitivity to the scalp.”

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