In the quest for perfection, we unintentionally damage our hair with all the flat ironing, coloring and one too many treatments. ‘Give your hair a rest,’ advises Jason Frichol from Braun South Africa. Scheduling demanding treatments during times of stress or using poor quality styling tools won’t do your hair any good either, he says.
HOT HOT HEAT
Excessive heat hurts fine, colored, porous and dry hair, says Frichol. ‘Even blondes, who have about 40 000 more individual strands of hair than people with darker hair, have finer and more delicate hair, making it highly susceptible to heat damage.’
When using a styling iron, keep an eye on the temperature settings. According to recent research, temperatures above 200º C speeds up color fade and can even wreck hair structure.
‘You should principally never use temperatures above 200º C,’ says Frichol. ‘But the right temperature depends on your personal hair type and desired style.’
If you have fine hair, don’t exceed 160º C and normal or colored hair shouldn’t go over 180º C. If your hair is thick and coarse, adjust your temperature settings to between 180º C and 200º C. If you hit the 230º C mark, you reduce the strength and elasticity of your hair by 50%. Permanently!
Because we’re always concentrating on looking after our skin and lathering on the SPF when we’re in the sun, we often forget to protect our hair from UV rays. Although it’s been said that applying sunscreen to your hair is effective, it’s not a good idea, according to a Wella Professional Hair expert. And don’t simply use a leave in-conditioner or mask, Wella suggests a good styling aid with a UV filter like Wella High Hair Gloss Serum (R220).
If your hair is chemically treated, Wella warns you to be especially careful when you’re frolicking by the pool. When you’re in the sun, your hair is more porous and therefore more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun and chlorine. When you’re out of the water, don’t reach for your hairbrush. Use a comb on wet hair, brushing places too much tension on the hair shaft and can lead to breakage.
BE HAIR KIND
Imagine this: You’re looking gorgeous and are about to hit the town with your girls, except for one thing; your hair’s just pulled a frizz-fest!
Keep your hair in tiptop condition and it’ll be easier to manage and less likely to get frizzy. Try applying a deep conditioner five minutes before you get under the shower. ‘It will penetrate better if you use it on dry hair,’ says New York celebrity stylist Ted Gibson. Wash it out using a hydrating shampoo and then apply a regular conditioner. Before you blow-dry, apply Healthy Sexy hair Soy Smoothie Bodifying Lotion (R180) to your hair. It works by depositing a thin layer of fattening polymers on each hair. Give the impression of thicker hair by blow-drying it upside down – this adds some oomph at the roots. Dry curly hair with a dryer set on low heat.
Wait as long as you can between dye jobs, suggests Gibson, especially if hair is damaged. Once a week, mix a tablespoon each of lemon juice and white vinegar into your normal amount of shampoo for megawatt gleam. And if you have split ends, apply olive oil to them and rinse it out after a few minutes.