Tender Loving Hair

Tender Loving Hair

We’re all familiar with the mantra: cleanse,tone, moisturise. But how many of us would apply this rigorous regime to  our hair?

The simplistic ‘wash and go’ technique that was once so prevalent just doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, the haircare industry has advanced to a point where its products are on a par with those of the skincare giants. The main shift came with the discovery that hair – like skin – is one of the key areas that the signs of ageing style="color:white;" target first. So when  it comes to looking after your skin and hair, the same magic formula applies.

In the skincare world, no one could have predicted the runaway global success of the groundbreaking Beauty Balm (BB) creams and their subsequent Colour Corrector (CC) cream cousins. These applications have now been successfully translated for hair to work as primers that even out texture and protect from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Serums and oils are other good examples of a crossover, and work by nourishing the scalp and infusing individual strands with vitamin-enriched formulas. These types of products are particularly effective at delaying ageing and appeal to those keen to take preventative steps rather than reparative measures once the damage is done; they’ve proved particularly popular in countries such as Japan and Korea. And exfoliators hold much the same benefits for the scalp as they do for the face and body by stimulating cell renewal.

Most recently, we’re seeing a steady introduction of dual-purpose products to the market. These hybrid treatments can be applied to both skin and hair in the same sitting and further highlight the similarities between the two. So, what does the future hold for haircare and where will it take us?

From left to right: Mizani Supreme Oil, £12.95, label.m Therapy Age-Defying Radiance Oil, £26.25, Moroccan Oil Treatment, £31.85, 
Kérastase Densifique Density Activator Coffret, £71.25

Once one of the best kept secrets of Asian women, the western world has been quick to recognise the benefits of oils. We’ve moved on from the clumsy oil treatments of the 80s, which needed to be heated up before application. Many of today’s oils are self-heating and work their magic in mere minutes. The market is blessed with oil products that can be used to specifically style="color:white;" target problem areas, for example, label.m Therapy Oil includes a signature Rejuven-8 Complex that is proven to help fight the signs of ageing.

From left to right: Kérastase Soleil CC Cream, £15.75label.m Brightening Blonde Balm, £13.75,  label.m Pliable Definer, £12.95, label.m Heat Protection Spray, £12.25  label.m Protein Spray, £13.75

Every day, we put our hair through its paces with heated irons, tongs and high voltage hairdryers so it’s vital that hair is prepped beforehand if you want a style that has staying-power. Protein sprays make the hair less porous, thus evening out texture while heat protection sprays  coat the hair to keep it strong, yet supple enough to style.

From left to right: label.m Organic Orange Blossom Conditioner 1000ml, £35.75label.m Organic Orange Blossom Shampoo 1000ml, £27.95label.m Organic Orange Blossom Shampoo 200ml, £13.95 label.m Organic Moisturising Lemongrass Conditioner, £17.95

The idea of using all-natural ingredients to encourage healthy hair growth is as old as time, but there’s surprisingly little in terms of offering when it comes to effective organic haircare products. The benefits are obvious: hair isn’t overloaded with hidden chemicals, which are difficult to absorb and can lead to build-up on the scalp. Organic products tend to be more potent, so a little goes a long way and there’s also the added eco-friendly benefit of using a biodegradable substance that won’t harm the environment.

From left to right: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo, £26.35, label.m Peppermint Treatment, £11.95 Kérastase Elixir Ultime Bain Shampoo, £14.63

Billed as the ‘anti-shampoo’,  low-lather cleansers are relatively new to the market. Co-wash (short for conditioner washing) involves washing hair with conditioner or oil-rich cleansers instead of traditional shampoo, under the premise that oil attracting oil makes for a gentler cleanse. It’s a technique that works particularly well with curls as textured hair tends to be drier and brittler than straight locks.

  • Words: Catriona Taylor

  • Photography: Steph King (main image), Anthea Simms, catwalking.com, Debbie Bragg, Kris Mitchell, Nic Serpell-Rand

  • Hair (main image): Jude McEwen

  • Make Up (main image) : Tamzin Mulder