Top tips to keep your hair game strong in lockdown
Jessica Ward | 8th May 2020
So, we have officially been in lockdown for some time now. The days of the week are merging into one weird long ‘blursday’ and no-one is quite sure when this madness will end.
Since the lockdown began, the British population showed an increased interest in self-care products. Within the first week we witnessed many of the men in our lives shaving their own heads (why??). Even our very own Paddy McGuiness took matters into his own hands by bleaching his hair at home, starting what can only be described as the “Eminem trend” amongst Northerners.
Meanwhile, many of us have already turned to the box dye to keep our colours in-tact. So before we reach for the colander and the kitchen scissors (let’s not bring back the bowl cut), we thought we would ask the experts exactly what we should be doing to keep our hair game on point, so that we may emerge from this lockdown like a magnificent butterfly, and not a dodgy hairy moth.
We caught up with Anabel Kingsley, the Brand President and haircare guru behind beloved haircare brand Philip Kingsley and asked her exactly how we can maintain our luscious locks in lockdown.
While lockdown has its many pitfalls, it’s also is a great opportunity to give your hair some serious extra TLC. Not having to commute daily (or to travel anywhere!), and working from home, has given most of us extra time to play with – and I suggest you invest some of this in your strands.
BOOST YOUR HAIR HEALTH
So many people get shampooing wrong. Now that morning routines aren’t as hectic, you don’t have to rush your shampoo and can give your scalp a good massage, which helps exfoliate dead skin cells. At least 60 seconds is ideal. Remember, the aim of the game when you shampoo is to clean your scalp – which is a living, oil producing, skin shedding, sweating tissue. There’s no need to scrub your hair, which in fact can be damaging; the suds that run through them are enough to get rid of daily grime.
Another thing we have more time for is masking – which is great as the best way to strengthen your hair is to use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment once to three times per week – depending on the condition of your hair. The more damaged your strands, the more treatments you should do. I love our Elasticizer originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn. Containing strengthening Hydrolysed Elastin, moisturizing Olive and Castor oil, and hydrating H20, it strengthens and adds elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine.
How to do it:
Dampen your hair in the sink, shower or with a spray bottle.
Work Elasticizer into your hair in sections, paying particular attention to your mid-lengths and ends (where hair is older and dryer).
Pop on a shower cap and leave for at least an hour.
Shampoo twice and condition as usual.
I suggest multi-tasking when you’re masking by applying it before
Doing a yoga, Pilates or HITT class
Cooking up a storm
Soaking in the bath with a book and your favourite beverage
Wear it in your hair all day as you work from home. For a slick back look that leaves you ‘video-call ready’, you can gently comb Elasticizer through, starting at your ends and working up.
Since you’re not going out as much, now is also a great time to give your hair a break from heated styling tools.
TAKE SCALP HEALTH SERIOUSLY
Use this time to up your scalp-care game. Your scalp is your hair’s support system and a healthy scalp is key to the growth of healthy hair. Looking after your scalp is even more important at the moment as stress, which we are all feeling, can negatively impact your scalp – especially if you already suffer from dandruff or other scalp conditions.
Your scalp is simply an extension of the skin on your forehead, so should be given similar care to the skin on your face. I suggest cleansing regularly (ideally daily to every other day), leaving no more than 3 days between shampoos. Daily toning can also be very beneficial. I love our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner, which contains cooling Camphor and anti-microbial Piroctone Olamine. I also suggest that, once a week, you apply a targeted scalp mask. Use:
PK Exfoliating Scalp Mask if you shampoo less than every other day for clarifying. Formulated with the gentle exfoliant, Betaine Salicylate, and Zinc to soothe and control sebum (oil production)
PK Flaky/Itchy Scalp Mask if you have dandruff or flaking. Formulated with anti-fungal Piroctone Olamine, exfoliants Salicylic and Lactic Acid, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and anti-oxidant-rich green tea extract.
PK Soothing Scalp Mask to calm irritation. Formulated with hydrating and calming Aloe Vera, and moisturizing Olive Oil.
PK Stimulating Scalp Mask if you have hair volume concerns. Formulated with Menthol, Camphor, Peppermint and Vitamin E.
N.B. You can purchase the scalp masks by clicking here. If you want to give yourself the ultimate hair AND scalp treat you can apply Elasticizer, or your hair mask of choice, to your hair at the same time as you apply your scalp mask to your scalp.
KEEP YOUR STRESS LEVELS IN-CHECK
When it comes to your hair and scalp, stress management is essential. For one, stress can trigger or worsen itching and flaking of your scalp. It can also throw your hormones off-balance, as well as impact digestion, making it harder for your body to break down and absorb nutrients. All of these things can cause hair loss. I am a fan of the apps Calm and Headspace, as well as the Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation. Pilates and Yoga are also great shouts – and there are a lot of good online tutorials at the moment.
OPTIMIZE YOUR DIET
Hair health is closely linked to diet. While your hair may be the most important part of your anatomy when it comes to boosting your mood, your body couldn’t care less about it as you can survive without it. Because of this, your hair is the last part of you to receive nutrients you intake and the first to be withheld from. Dust off your favourite recipe books or turn to food blogs for healthy recipe inspiration so you can create nutritious, balanced meals at-home. This will benefit both your hair and your body!
What to eat for healthy hair?
*Try to eat at least a palm sized portion (120g in weight) of protein with breakfast and lunch. Proteins are the building blocks of your hair and a deficit can cause the growth of brittle, fragile strands. Also, don’t skimp on complex carbohydrates – these provide energy to rapidly growing hair cells (hair cells are the second fastest growing cells your body makes).
*Ferritin, a stored iron, also has a huge impact on how long our hair will grow. To sustain your levels, eat foods rich in iron, like red meat, dried apricots and dark, leafy greens.
*Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin B12 and Omega 3s are other nutrients to be aware of.
Great breakfast examples:
*Whole wheat toast with smashed avocado and poached eggs
*Greek yoghurt with toasted oats, mixed nuts, flax and chia seeds and fresh berries
Hair healthy lunch options:
*Poached salmon or grilled chicken salad with spinach, new potatoes and green beans
*Tabbouleh, feta, edamame and chickpea salad
*Black bean, quinoa, avocado, sweet corn and hummus wrap
Hair healthy dinner
*Filet mignon or a lean burger with baked sweet potato fries and salad
*Chickpea and dried apricot tagine with a side of sautéed spinach
Because your hair has such high nutritional requirements, taking a supplement alongside a healthy diet can be very helpful. I recommend our Tricho Complex multi vitamin & mineral supplement and PK4 Soy Protein Boost.
SPLIT UP WITH SPLIT ENDS
It has been some time, and may still be some time, before we can get our hair cut, so it’s important to look after your ends. Firstly, check you’re using a hair friendly hair brush. Being a tool you use every day, the wrong brush can be very damaging. The best are those with rounded, plastic prongs and a vented cushioned base as these are gentle on both your hair and scalp. Avoid boar bristle brushes; they can tear away sections of your hair’s outer protective cuticle – a bit like string cheese.
Also, apply a strengthening split end protective product to your hair a few times a week, like our newly launched Bond Builder Split End Remedy. This contains next generation bond building technology. It instantly seals up to 98.6% of split ends to stop them from breaking further up the hair shaft, and heat protects up to 220 degrees C. However, the most exciting element of this product is that it strengthens the hair’s internal bonds and protein structure to minimize breakage and prevent split ends from forming in the future.
BRIGHTEN YOUR BLONDE
If you bleach or highlight your hair, please do not be tempted to touch-up your roots at-home – unless you have done it before and are comfortable doing so. Bleach can burn your scalp and break your hair if it’s applied for too long, allowed to touch the scalp, or mixed incorrectly. Instead, try using weekly intensive products to brighten your blonde hues. I love our Blonde Booster weekly intensive shampoo and mask. I’m also a big fan of root touch up products, which are more like a ‘paint’ and do not run the risk of damaging your hair or scalp.
ADDRESS YOUR HAIR LOSS CONCERNS
If you’re worried about hair loss, I suggest booking a Telephone/Video Consultation. Perhaps you’ve never had time before to give your hair or scalp the attention they deserved, and you’ve put off seeking help. Or maybe being at home has made you take note of your hair more than before and you’ve noticed a problem. We are offering a special rate on our Telephone & Video Consultations (starting at £150, whereas they usually start at £200). It involves a 30-45 minute call with one of our Trichologists where they deep dive into everything that may be affecting your hair and scalp – from genes, medications, scalp health and general health to stress, nutritional supplements, diet and styling routine. You also gain access to our hand-made prescription-only Clinical products.