YOUR STRANDS BUT STRONGER

Shine, vol­ume, body – it all hap­pens when your hair is re­silient to ev­ery­day tor­ture. Here’s your best de­fence against dam­age.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

Toughen en up your hair and make it re­silient to ev­ery­day tor­ture. rture.

Although hair starts as a liv­ing cell, the part you see is ac­tu­ally a dead fi­bre, which nat­u­rally de­grades with time, says Michelle Blaisure, a cer­ti­fied tri­chol­o­gist (hair and scalp spe­cial­ist) for Bosley Pro­fes­sional Strength hair care. Tech­ni­cally, hair fi­bres can’t be re­built af­ter they’ve left the fol­li­cle, but you can for­tify and pro­tect the hair’s outer cu­ti­cle layer with proper care. The re­sult: silkier and health­ier-look­ing strands over­all.

WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN

“Dry shampoos are great for a sec­ond or third day, but they don’t take the place of a sham­poo,” Michelle says. “There’s a whole mi­cro­biome of bac­te­ria on the scalp that needs to be cleansed on a reg­u­lar ba­sis; other­wise you’ll get buildup that could af­fect growth.” When you do cleanse, which should be at least twice a week, depend­ing on your hair tex­ture, go for a mild yet strand­for­ti­fy­ing sham­poo like Es­sen­tial Nour­ish­ing Break­age De­fense ($10.90, Wat­son). For coloured or chem­i­cally treated hair, use an even milder op­tion, such as Rita Hazan True Colour Sham­poo ($38, Sephora).

FEED YOUR FOL­LI­CLES

When your body lacks the right bal­ance of vi­ta­mins, pro­teins, and min­er­als, the hair it pro­duces can be­come weak and de­fec­tive. “It’s like a fac­tory that’s try­ing to man­u­fac­ture some­thing but is short on parts,” says David Bank, a der­ma­tol­o­gist and the direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Der­ma­tol­ogy, Cos­metic and Laser Surgery in New York. “Lim­ited nu­tri­tion doesn’t al­low the hairs, when they’re ac­tu­ally be­ing pro­duced in the fol­li­cles, to be at full strength and thick­ness.” Cer­tain med­i­ca­tions, like the pill, can also weaken the hair, he ex­plains. Bot­tom line: In­ter­nal sup­port is what re­ally helps to grow high­qual­ity hair. Your best ap­proach is to take a bi­otin sup­ple­ment daily (at least 2,500 mil­ligrams), along with a mul­ti­vi­ta­min and fish oil, and make sure your diet con­tains plenty of pro­tein.

TREAD LIGHTLY

“The more gen­tle you can be with your hair, the stronger it’s go­ing to be,” Dr Bank says. “Be­cause you’re not fully able to re­pair break­age once the hair has left the scalp, it’s re­ally about not adding in­sult to in­jury.” In other words, be es­pe­cially care­ful when your hair is wet and in a frag­ile state; for ex­am­ple, gen­tly squeeze freshly washed hair rather than rub with your towel. And when blow-dry­ing, be mind­ful not to pull or tug your strands too taut with your brush.

SWITCH IT UP

We all have a go-to do, but wearing your hair in the same style ev­ery day can ac­tu­ally harm the strands. “Part­ing the hair a cer­tain way or wearing it in a pony­tail with a rub­ber band re­peat­edly for too long can cause break­age,” Michelle says. Ex­ten­sions and weaves are no ex­cep­tion. Stress­ing the same strands over and over weak­ens the hair fol­li­cle it­self, which can even lead to hair loss over time. If that does hap­pen, go au na­turel for six months to give your hair a rest, Michelle says.

GET IN CON­DI­TION

“Us­ing con­di­tion­ers will help strengthen and coat the hairs, re­in­forc­ing them from the out­side against dam­age,” Dr Bank says. In­vest in a deep-con­di­tion­ing treat­ment that con­tains rice ex­tract and pro­tein, which helps strengthen and re­pair the hair shaft. Aim to use it at least once a week, Michelle says. On days when you don’t use a reg­u­lar con­di­tioner, make sure to pro­tect your ends with a light-weight oil-based serum or spray.

DON’T BE A HEAT FREAK

If you reg­u­larly heat-style or spend a lot of time out­doors, it’s cru­cial to arm your strands with ther­mal pro­tec­tion be­fore­hand. Af­ter shower, run a UVA- and UVBpro­tec­tive primer through damp hair be­fore reach­ing for the blow-dryer, and dis­trib­ute it evenly from mi­dlengths through ends. If you plan to use a straight­en­ing or curl­ing iron, spritz a mul­tiuse pro­tec­tive spray, like Verb Ghost Hair­spray ($24, Sephora), on dry hair be­fore styling.

CHOP TO IT

Since the ends are the old­est and there­fore the most-worn part of your hair, get­ting them snipped reg­u­larly will help pre­vent the strands from fray­ing, Michelle says. When you no­tice the ends be­gin­ning to split, it’s time for a trim – usu­ally ev­ery six weeks or so, depend­ing on your hair length.

Dry ends need oil-based nour­ish­ment, like OUAI Hair Oil ($42, Sephora).

UV pro­tec­tion is key – no mat­ter what time of year. Try OGX Re­new­ing + Ar­gan Oil of Morocco Pen­e­trat­ing Oil ($16.90, Guardian).

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