Good Hair Days

Best Health - - LOOKS -

Main­tain­ing healthy hair is like main­tain­ing a healthy mar­riage: It takes work! Use the right sham­poo, avoid colour-re­lated pit­falls and learn how to hack a hair mask and you and your strands will live hap­pily ever after. Beauty di­rec­tor In­grie Wil­liams shares her “Three C” plan for the ul­ti­mate love, er, hair aair.


THE ROAD TO DREAM HAIR starts well be­fore you pick up a styling tool or even set foot in the shower. Se­lect­ing the right sham­poo can be a game changer. “It’s im­por­tant be­cause the proper sham­poo will tar­get your par­tic­u­lar hair is­sues, such as dry­ness, lack of vol­ume and colour pro­tec­tion,” says Marie-Pier Les­sard, in­te­grated com­mu­ni­ca­tion leader at L’Oréal Pro­fes­sion­nel in Mon­treal. “It will help you man­age your hair and make styling so much eas­ier.”

Find­ing the right fit can take some ex­per­i­ment­ing and big-pic­ture thinking. “Your every­day habits play a huge part in the over­all health of your hair,” says Marie-Eve Faucher, brand am­bas­sador for Red­ken Canada. “From how of­ten you hit the gym to how fre­quently you use hot tools, your life­style can af­fect the look and feel of your hair.”

For Roger Me­d­ina, a hair ex­pert for Garnier, fo­cus­ing on the needs of your roots rather than your ends is the se­cret to find­ing a best-foryou sham­poo. “You need to ex­fo­li­ate the scalp,” he says. “It stim­u­lates hair health and pro­motes growth. But you don’t want to strip all the oils out of your hair.” As a pre­ven­tive pre-sham­poo step, Me­d­ina sug­gests comb­ing your hair to dis­trib­ute nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring oils, which he calls “the best rem­edy.”

Keep an eye on la­bels, opt­ing for sham­poos that are free of in­gre­di­ents that may coat hair or have a harsh dry­ing ef­fect. Avoid waxes, sil­i­cones, sul­fates and parabens when- ever pos­si­ble. The same goes for con­di­tion­ers, which play a key role, too. “Con­di­tioner re­stores the hair to op­ti­mal health, adding shine and hy­dra­tion,” says Les­sard, who ap­plies it from mid-length to ends only and leaves it on for two or three min­utes be­fore rins­ing. For Me­d­ina, this can be a make-or-break mo­ment. “If you’re not rins­ing away con­di­tioner prop­erly, you’re go­ing to no­tice residue, which will even­tu­ally cause buildup,” he says. “It’s more for­giv­ing on curls, but fine hair will look stringy.” Your take­away? Put some mus­cle into the fi­nal act.


WHETHER IT’S USED TO ban­ish greys, en­hance a nat­u­ral shade or achieve a new hue, colour­ing hair comes with con­se­quences. “You’re ex­pand­ing the cu­ti­cle,” says Me­d­ina of the chem­i­cal process. “If your hair isn’t hy­drated, it’s go­ing to frizz up and look like a mess.” The more ex­treme the colour goal, the higher the risk. For any­thing be­yond a root touchup or sub­tle colour shift, it’s best to seek pro­fes­sional help.

“Blonde, in gen­eral, dam­ages hair most,” says Faucher. “Make sure that you don’t push the hair too much, too fast. With­out proper steps, prod­ucts and treat­ments, it could take a long time – or even be im­pos­si­ble – to re­turn hair back to a health­ier state.”

With ded­i­ca­tion and a proac­tive ap­proach, you can have your de­sired colour and keep your hair healthy, too. “You want to tar­get two goals: an­tifad­ing and mois­ture re­ten­tion,” says Les­sard. “You want to keep your colour vi­brant as long as pos­si­ble be­tween ap­point­ments while giv­ing your hair an ex­tra dose of hy­dra­tion be­cause it tends to get drier with the use of hair colour.”

Us­ing prod­ucts de­signed for colour-treated hair is a non­nego­tiable – as is adopt­ing a min­i­mal-sham­poo­ing pol­icy. “I wash twice a week,” says Faucher, who changes her hair colour of­ten. “If you have an oily scalp, you can sham­poo up to three times. But try to avoid wash­ing your hair every day.”

For those who feel that daily cleans­ing is a ne­ces­sity, Les­sard sug­gests us­ing al­ter­na­tives to tra­di­tional sham­poos, such as cleans­ing con­di­tion­ers. “Even if it sounds like com­plete tor­ture, us­ing colder wa­ter to wash coloured hair is really im­por­tant,” she says.

To de­liver the strong­est re­turn on in­vest­ment, step up to a rou­tine of reg­u­lar con­di­tion­ing. Faucher swears by a weekly hair mask to strengthen strands and an ar­se­nal of leave-in treat­ments prior to styling to pre­vent break­age and re­store hair health. There’s an­other vi­tal pay­off to han­dling colourtreated tresses with kid gloves: The re­sults have more stay­ing power. “Healthy hair will pre­serve colour longer than dam­aged hair,” says Me­d­ina. Copy his go-to strat­egy with a nour­ish­ing treat­ment, such as a hair mask, be­fore the mane event.


WHEN IT COMES TO STYLING YOUR hair, your blowdryer, curl­ing wand or flat­iron may seem like the star player, but hair care prod­ucts are the true MVPs. “Pretty much ev­ery­body needs to take the time to do more treat­ment to their hair,” says Faucher. “We do so much with it, and hot tools have never been more present in our rou­tines. Plus, you have a lot of op­tions to re­pair your hair.”

Leave-in con­di­tion­ers, hair oils and masks can help max­i­mize hair health, and it’s easy to cus­tom­ize a rou­tine to suit your needs. “Some­one who has fine, straight hair doesn’t need a mask, but us­ing a leavein con­di­tioner and a lit­tle bit of oil on the ends is good,” says Me­d­ina. “Ends don’t pro­duce oil like roots do, so you al­ways have to bring them back.” He loves the pro­tec­tive prop­er­ties of a leave-in con­di­tioner, which is ben­e­fi­cial whether you choose to heat-style or air-dry your hair. “It acts like a primer on the skin,” he says. Choose a cream prod­uct for thick or coarse hair, and opt for a spray for­mula if you have a medium or fine tex­ture. If you’re blessed with curly hair, dab­ble in a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. “Curly hair tends to look duller, so go crazy on mois­ture,” says Les­sard.

A weekly hair mask is a must for all dry types, in­clud­ing curly and coloured hair. If you’re faced with a se­vere, straw-like tex­ture, try Me­d­ina’s beauty hack for nextlevel con­di­tion­ing: Mix a few drops of hair oil into a cream mask be­fore ap­ply­ing it. “Put it on the mid-length and ends of dry hair, but don’t touch your roots,” he says.

“If you want to get more bang for your buck, sat­u­rate the hair and mas­sage it in. Push the prod­uct and in­gre­di­ents into the hair – you don’t want them to sit on the sur­face.”

Me­d­ina also re­lies on the old-school tech­nique of wrap­ping hair in a shower cap or plas­tic bag and let­ting the con­coc­tion sit for 20 min­utes. “Heat from your scalp will ac­ti­vate it,” he says. Con­sider your Sun­day #self­care plan looked after.





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