goodbye, dry Brittle Hair
Now here’s a scary story... last month I had a hair-raising experience, literally. I don’t know if it was caused by heat elements or colouring, whatever the reason was - my hair was breaking (splitting from the roots and falling off) and it was a hot mess. I quickly realised the only solution to avoid further hair breakage was to get to its root cause. So what went wrong? Possibly causes : over-processing, dryness in the air and poor diet.
Now that I am in a full hair-care-recovery-mode, there is no way I will give up caffeine and sugar just yet. BUT what I can do is try and maintain healthy haircare habits, throughout the rest of the dreadful dry season (and maybe sign up to Headspace).
Hair-care during winter requires special consideration and care. I have picked up up a few new (tried and tested) haircare discoveries that have helped add the moisture and strength back into my locks.
So here are my top three solutions to reduce dryness and hair breakage.
1. Old cotton tees to speed up the drying process
How you treat your hair right after washing it is the key to healthy, frizz-free hair. “Hair is made up of keratin held together by hydrogen bonds,” explains Britta Cox, founder of microfiber fabric brand Aquis, as told to Byrdie. “Hydrogen bonds have an affinity for water, and if the interior of the hair stays too wet for too long, it actually changes the chemical structure and the hair gets mushy inside and stretches—sometimes up to 30%.” So instead of the towel drying my hair, I now use a couple of old tees to dry my hair right after a shower, and gently squeeze water out with an old absorbent t-shirt, and then use the second tee to wrap it up and further absorb (I need two tees to do this because I have long, thick hair). Cotton is gentler on the hair follicle and easily absorbs water. This has significantly cut down my drying time. Win. Win.
Silk pillowcases are actually magical
Using a silk pillowcase at night is the shizz. Friction between hair and cotton pillows causes quite a lot of tangling and hair breakage. Cotton yanks all the moisture out of your hair and a heat pump further dries it out during winter. Unfortunately, ‘bed-head’ is not as glam when there are chunks of broken hair involved. Meh. Swapping my cotton ones with a sexy silky one has been a real boom to my haircare routine. Also, silk is inherently dust mite-resistant and hypoallergenic. So it’s good for the skin too!
Sulphate-free shampoos are key
My long wavy hair is breakage-prone, so switching to a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner has been a really good move. The main reason behind this is : sulphates or surfactants are emulsifiers, and they remove all the dirt and grim for your skin and hair (which is obviously a good thing) but in doing so, it can add to the dryness and breakage.
So avoid products that have the word ‘SLS’ in the ingredients list if you are trying to fix brittle hair.
my current hair care routine
I have been alternating between Oribe Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo and Kérastase Aura Botanica Bain Micellaire (shampoo). The Kérastase Aura Botanica range also comes with a multi-use Argan Oil than can be used as pre-shampoo or treatment oil. I prefer to massage this onto my scalp and wrap it in a hot towel for 10 minutes prior to washing it. This has helped keep the for dryness to add to the shampoo while washing (warning : this oil is better potent and doesn't work well as a leave-in product. It's best to wash it off). I follow this up with a Kérastase masque for conditioning, but lately I have been using the Schwarzkopf Beology conditioner (it smells so freaking good!). This process has been keeping my strands relatively smooth, sans product build-up. After drying my hair with a tee, I use the Kevin Murphy Leave-in Repair or R+Co High Dive Crème. Once it's dry and styled, I normally run the Moroccan Oil Glimmer Shine spray to help it settle in and give it some sheen.
Here are some of our favourite products that will give you that slip and bounce without the heavy product build-up.
Cover Image | Clara Pafundi (saba salon)
words | Zeenat Wilkinson
more on hair :
Zeenat Wilkinson is the Founder and Editorial Director of Sauce.
Her work as a fashion producer, writer, and freelance stylist can be seen in the likes of Vogue, Grazia, Nylon and Black Magazine, internationally, and locally in Fashion Quarterly, Viva/NZ Herald and more. 100% dog person.