Easy tips to reclaim your best natural hair health.

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If your hair is six inches long, the ends have been around for 365 days. 12 inches long and that’s 730 days, etc. How you habitually treat your hair in those days all adds up. Using a less damaging technique, and half as often, has a massive impact on hair health.
For example, people ask if shampooing everyday is bad for the hair? The answer is no if you are using quality products and airdrying, but over blow-drying or ironing hair with poor technique seven times a week is much worse than twice a week. The difference is burning the same piece of hair an extra 261 times a year. Over a thousand extra times on the ends of long hair!
Using small improvements in different habits will completely transform the condition of your hair over time. Here are my top five.

1.  Get real – stop faking it – As hair ages and suffers the onslaught of poor haircare, the surface cuticle lifts and the internal structure starts to leech away. This is most easily seen by feeling the hair at the root where it’s full, shiny and supple and then moving your finger and thumb down to the ends of the same hair where it’s less so. Thinner, drier, rougher, flat and dull. Often dramatically so when hair is not well cared for; split and broken too.

Over 95% of hair products use silicone additives to smooth the surface and varnish over the cracks in hair. Despite the manufacturers claims, this isn’t haircare. It’s a cosmetic illusion. Most silicones are hydrophobic so whilst they make hair appear pretty today, they dry it out further tomorrow, so you reach for more silicone laden product. Kerching!

Breaking the cycle can be difficult for people with very damaged hair, in the same way that a green salad doesn’t happily replace the heroine-fix of a drug addict on day one. But persistence pays off as genuine health returns.

Ditch the silicone products- look out for cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, trimethicone, or any …conol  or …cone in the ingredients list.

2.  Give back – Once out of the scalp, your hair is no longer connected to the metabolism so cannot repair itself. It emerges from the roots at its healthiest fulsome best. Our lifestyles of heat-styling, colouring, sun, sea and poor quality products slowly rip the life out of it. This is why hair becomes dry, thins out, splits and breaks. Commit to feeding your locks with LifeSaver Prewash Treatment twice a week. Good hair treatments aren’t just for Xmas or special treats. Just like the rest of you, it needs consistent regular feeding for proper self-care. https://www.vanclarke.com/products/lifesaver-prewash-treatment

3.  Get a better haircut – If you’re working your hair too hard and it then doesn’t last, chances are the haircut isn’t helping. So often when I see new clients, their haircut is designed to do the exact opposite of how they are trying to style it. This means extra heat and stress on the hair, and more wasted time and struggle for the wearer. Just as in fashion, where pattern cutting creates biases for how fabric falls, so it is in hair. Great stylists know this. The line and the shape are so important.

4.  Have a rest – Heat style less often. Try air-drying once a week with a gentler finish.

5.  Use a better colour strategy – One of the biggest problems I see with new clients is totally unnecessary, excessive colour damage. Either too much colour, or repeated over and over on the same hair.

You could argue that killing the hair for a great effect is worth it, but ironically, excess colour ALWAYS delivers less effect. People that strive for a brightness don’t understand why 100% blonde doesn’t look bright enough for long. Blonde is usually brighter with the contrast of virgin hair and bridging tones too. And the hair stays much healthier. Or why over-coloured redheads lose the intensity so quickly. Or why that brown hair fades to orange on the ends.

Find a colourist that cares about hair health, and looks beyond just collecting the bill today. One who wants your hair to look its best for as long as possible, rather than making you return asap to spend again.

More is not more when it comes to colour. There is often a trade-off between condition and effect. The bigger the initial effect the worse for condition so the shorter time the effect lasts. More and more colour then delivers less and less effect. So colour hair safely and keep it healthy.

All these tips are linked as each one improves the effect of the others. Commit to the changes and see the dramatic improvements in your hair health.

Michael Van Clarke, Renowned Hairdresser, www.vanclarke.com

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