Locks, tresses, barnet… whatever you like to call it, maintaining your hair is important (especially if you’re reaching for that hair dye once in a while!). My hair has been through a LOT, and while my one true saviour was getting it professionally fixed at Ena Salon, heading to your hairdresser isn’t exactly practical right now, I know. But, while its impossible to go and see someone and you might be feeling bored with your hair at home, this is the best time to let your coloured hair breathe, let your roots grow and save your pennies for a nice treatment post-Corona!
Before I get started I did just want to shout out the wonderful salon I go to because it’s been about three years since I started going and I still get the most exciting colour but my hair is 100 x healthier and stronger than when I walked in after bleaching my hair at home. The service is great and if you’re just looking for a haircut in London and have a fringe, fringe trims are always complimentary, as well as neck hair touch-ups if you have really short hair! For this post I’ve teamed up with Ursula my wonderful hairdresser, who will be letting you in on some easy ways to maintain your hair during lockdown.
Don’t Overwash Your Hair
How many showers are you taking a week during lockdown you detty pig? well, to be honest the less you’re washing your hair, the better! Not only does this help preserve the colour if you’ve got dyed hair, but it preserves the natural oils produced by your scalp too. So if you’re currently washing your hair say, four times a week, cut it down to two or three and stick a shower cap on your head for any other showers you take.
Shampoo the scalp, condition the ends
“We always overuse shampoo by habit, when actually only a small amount applied to the scalp is enough.” – Ursula
It’s so true! When we’re in the shower, it’s so easy to grab a big dollop of shampoo and really scrub the hair. But it’s all about being super delicate with our tresses. Shampoo really is meant for the scalp alone, and a small amount is sufficient. Save your conditioner or mask for the ends of your hair only, and when you’re applying conditioner it’s more effective to step out of the shower and towel dry the hair first so the conditioner is more concentrated when you apply it.
Treat Yourself to a Hair Mask (Often)
Because we aren’t going anywhere fast, it’s a great opportunity to open up your own hair spa, treating your tresses to a much needed deep condition! Once a week, I towel dry the hair, comb through my hair mask and stick on a headscarf before starting my day, leaving the mask in for a few hours to really soak into my hair. I rinse with cold water and let the hair dry naturally.
Homemade Hair Masks Work
If you don’t have any fancy hair masks, you can make your own with what you have lying around. The most popular combinations are:
– Avocado, egg and olive oil (for damaged hair): Half an avocado, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil ,and 1 tablespoon of honey.
–Plain coconut oil (for dry and coarse hair): this is multiuse anyway, but heat some of this up and apply to the scalp. Be sure to shampoo afterwards though, as the hair can become crunchy!
– Banana and olive oil (for a thicker mask): mix one banana with a teaspoon of olive oil for a super thick mask.
Rinse with Cold Water
There’s definitely a science when it comes to hot water vs cold water. I like having cool showers because it wakes me up, but if you’re prone to a hot shower, make sure you leave washing your hair until last, and rinse with cool water, it’s so important! When hot water hits your hair, it causes the cuticles on the outer layer to rise, which basically causes frizz, and of course leaves your hair suseptible to damage. Cool water closes those cuticles and locks in colour, protecting from damage.
Look after it while you sleep
While we’re dreaming of festivals, holidays and general freedom come bedtime, we could be inadvertantly damaging our hair. A general rule if you’ve washed your hair in the evening, is don’t, pleaseee don’t go to sleep with wet hair. When your hair is wet, it’s at its most fragile and prone to damage, and wet hair is subjected to a lot of friction if you’re a fidgety sleeper like me.
If you have long or medium length hair, tying it up can also cause breakage so I usually use a headscarf to protect it. If you’re looking to braid the hair, loose braids are more gentle on the scalp and prevent frizz.
Use Heat Protection, Always
“Before using heat protection or any styling products to wet hair, remove any excess moisture before applying. This saves on product, and ensures it’s more concentrated”.
Heat protection is key if you’re looking to use any instruments on your wet hair.
Try not to Use Your Hairdryer too often
I know it’s annoying, especially if you have medium to long hair (and if it’s thick) to let it dry naturally, but honestly it really helps. This lockdown means there’s more time to let your hair dry naturally, so where possible I think it’s a really good idea to just let it dry on it’s own and limit the hairdryer use. If you do need to use it for styling reasons, stick on some heat protection spray!
Don’t Tie it up all the time
My hair is not only medium length, but I’m at an awkward stage where I’m growing out my fringe so the temptation to tie it up all the time is real! But tight hair ties can do a lot of damage. I’ve seen it myself when it gets to day three of a high pony, I’m pulling out the hair tie and I have to kiss goodbye to a clump of my hair that’s knotted around the bobble.
Tying the hair tightly not only creates pressure and tension at your roots, but also friction and in turn, breakage. If you fancy tying your hair up, opt for a scrunchie instead and stick to looser looks.
Brushing is a really good way of maintaining the hair and keeping it super sleek BUT make sure you brush smart. Take note:
– Don’t brush when your hair is just washed, this is when it’s at it’s most vulnerable so try and avoid brushing straight away. I gentle brush it once I’ve patted it dry
– Brushing is beneficial as it spreads the natural oils through the length of your hair
– Brush especially gently before bedtime as this prevents knots while sleeping