Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul : 2020-07-12

FRONT PAGE : 13 : 13


T he stresses and changes to lifestyle habits associated with coronaviru­s and isolation have likely taken a toll on your tresses. Luckily, simple tweaks to your daily rituals, an upgrade to your at-home hair care and a boost in nutrition can help you face the rest of winter’s chill with your best hair ever. A note on nutrition A healthy head of hair comes down to genetics, general health and lifestyle. That’s why nutrition is the most important step in what you can do to help. “Nutrients essential to combating brittle hair, hair loss, dryness and for encouragin­g hair growth include vitamin B1, vitamin B5, lysine, biotin, silicon, DHA/EPA, copper and zinc,” explains Madeline Calfas, founder of The Wellness Group. “It may seem like a lot, but they’re easily accessible through a well-balanced diet.” The human body is designed to get what it needs from food, but some people may need supplement­s for a nutritiona­l boost. “If you have any digestive issues, gut dysbiosis, problems with hydrochlor­ic acid in your stomach, medical conditions or poor food quality, supplement­ation is a great way to pick up the slack,” says Calfas. “Vegetarian­s and vegans must supplement as they can miss out on essential nutrients.” Hair habits By making tweaks to your regular rituals, such as turning down the shower temperatur­e while washing your hair and making your brushing habits gentler, you can help to prevent breakage, dehydratio­n and future weakening of the hair shaft. “Hair is at its weakest when wet, so use a comb to detangle after shampooing. Start at the bottom and work your way up,” says Caddy. Otherwise, wrap it in a hair-friendly microfibre towel and allow it to dry before brushing. “Keep the temperatur­e of any thermal styling tools as low as possible and limit the amount of times a week you use them,” she adds. “It’s also really important to keep your hair dryer at least 15cm away from your hair [to prevent burning].” When it comes to caring for your hair once it’s dry, silk is still the number-one choice. Opt for using a silk pillowcase in bed, and a silk hair tie or scarf to secure and protect strands from pulling, tugging and breaking. Root cause It’s time to take scalp health seriously. By now we know the condition of our hair (and the rate at which it grows) directly depends on the health of our scalp, so instead of looking to quick fixes and treatments to wind back the damage done to your lengths and ends, focus your attention on your roots. You should treat your scalp like you do your face. “We now know that the scalp ages six times faster than facial skin and 12 times faster than skin on your body, and this ageing directly influences our hair health and condition,” explains Rita Marcon from Kao Salon Division. “It’s accelerate­d by external stress factors that cause oxidative stress and result in a dehydrated, imbalanced scalp and weak, thinning hair. It’s been said that one of the most common causes of hair loss is restricted blood flow to the follicle and product build-up on the Damage control scalp, which is why a twice-weekly detox is essential. “It ensures hair grows thicker, shinier and fuller,” says Marcon. To unclog pores, use an exfoliatin­g scalp scrub, tipping your head upside down and massaging in. Then, look to a micellar shampoo or pre-shampoo specifical­ly formulated to remove debris without stripping natural oils. When it comes to repairing hair, look to its texture to determine how to deal with your mane’s current state. Just because your strands are dry doesn’t mean the texture is – plus, some products aren’t one-sizefits-all. Instead, go back to basics: is your hair fine, medium or coarse? The texture will determine the products you should use. “When hair is feeling dry, it has lost moisture so water-based products are best, combined with conditioni­ng ingredient­s,” explains Lisa Caddy, a consultant trichologi­st for Philip Kingsley. “Hydrolysed elastin is a protein that gives your hair incredible elasticity, stretch and resilience, and also helps the hair hold on to water. Wheat proteins are great for fine hair, giving moisture without weighing down the hair.” Apotecari Hair Food, $99.95, adorebeaut­; Aéde Hair Activist, $60, Davines Naturaltec­h Thickening Tonic, $52.95,; Philip Kingsley Elasticize­r Deep-Conditioni­ng Treatment, $72.95, adorebeaut­ Pantene Micellar Rosewater Shampoo, $13,; Goldwell Kerasilk Revitalize Nourishing Serum, $45.95, Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler, $21.95,; Eloise Panetta Silk Scrunchie, $20, bondcleanb­ 13 V1 - MHSE01Z01B­S

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