Haircare: Hair Commandments

Source: style.com

Hi everyone! This is pretty chatty, so make yourselves comfy!

Since the A/W 2010 show reports came out, I have been fixated on one thing - and no, it's not how to get my hands on the entire Celine collection (but tips are welcome, if you have any!) What has had my attention is the hair at the Chloe show, or as I am now christening it: The Chlo-Dry.

This style has everything I want for my hair: movement, waves and gloss, gloss, gloss. You could power all the homes in Britain on the shine from the models luscious locks. Anyway, split ends and frazzled tresses do not equal the Chlo-Dry: they equal the Hell No-Dry!

So, as I am on a quest for hair health, I thought I'd let you in on my current hair commandments, which, amazingly for me, I am actually sticking to! Let's hope I'll have Chloe Hair by the autumn...

1. Thou must rock thy natural colour, or something close to it: After all, Mousy is the new Platinum - After years of wondering, and hours studying teenage pictures of myself (ew) I have taken an educated guess at what my natural colour might be, and thanks to Clairol Perfect 10 in Medium Ash Blonde, I think I am there. Permanent dyes and bleach contain peroxide and many contain ammonia, all harmful chemicals. It’s stuff you wouldn’t put on your skin or in your body, so why put it on your already parched hair? If you have to have a drastic dye job to go back to nature (I'm talking from dark to light here: the other way is much easier to do at home), put it in the hands of the professionals. Otherwise, go for a good home permanent colour and maintain with vegetable dyes where possible (semi—permanents contain the same harsh chemicals as permanent dyes and the colour is generally a bit more of a gamble). I’d say opt for one last hurrah with a permanent and then spend the next 3 months pondering where your roots are. I am loving Perfect 10, so that's a good place to start.

2. Thou shallt layeth down thy straightening irons and curling tongues – Yes, I’m being strict on this one. If you can tolerate running a hot flat iron along one of your fingers without screaming the house down, blistering and possibly losing half your skin, then you probably have suitable hair for straightening, because you must be made of metal. Hair is dead, so once it’s damaged, there’s not really much you can do for it. Having weaned myself off irons, I can say that, although you’ll have a few weeks where you want to throw yourself under the nearest bus, your hair will be grateful and will reward you with increased shine very soon. Trust me on this one. In the meantime, treat it well: a good shampoo and conditioner, heat defence products, frizz control, whatever you need to get through this difficult time.

3. Thou must blow dry only as often as thy hair needs washing – i.e don’t wash your hair every day if you don’t have to, and if you do, have a few days when you dry it naturally. My thick hair can happily manage 3 days sans wash, and although a shower cap isn’t my favourite look, decreasing my weekly blow dries from 6-7 to 2 has paid dividends.

4. Thou shalt deep condition weekly – I am raving about Rituals Shakakai Secret, but any conditioner that works for you will do. Don’t underestimate the power of olive oil, either. Use enough to coat your hair (don’t soak your hair in oil or you will end up needing a bottle of shampoo to get it all out), comb it through and then leave it as long as possible. If you’re not going out, pile your hair up, wrap it in cling film, top with a warm towel turban and watch a boxset. If you can afford to use a lot of product frequently, slap on your deep conditioner for an hour before every wash (avoid this will the oil as it’s too messy).

5. Thou shalt accept and deal with thy damage – There’s a saying in business: you’ve got to speculate to accumulate. Roughly translated, this means that you’ve sometimes got to take a risk or do something out of character to get ahead. You’ve guessed it: I’m talking about your split ends. ‘But Rachel!’ you cry! ‘If length is what I want, why should I cut it off?’ Because, split ends are a party crasher. They’ll stay all night, eat your food, drink your cocktails and probably try to get off with your boyfriend. They are the enemy and they need to GO! So march that ass to the salon and tell them you’re trying to grow your hair, but that you’d like them to ‘cut out the damage’. They’ll take pity and although this may result in a drastic do, it’s a good platform from which to start your new routine. You know I’m right!

6. Thou shalt eat right, and no, Krispy Kreme is not a food group – 2 litres of water a day, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, blah blah. I know you hear it all the time but feeding your hair from the inside out can’t hurt.

7. Thou shalt consider an investment product or procedure where possible – This ranges from buying a product like John Freida’s Night Repair (£15.99 and brilliant), a bottle of olive oil (a few pounds), Kerastase Resistance Forceintense treatment (£21 for 3 at-home treatments), or if you have the right hair type (read: PROBLEM HAIR!), a permanent blow dry (£150+, depending on length). You absolutely don’t need to spend a fortune to get great hair, but the permanent blow dry has worked miracles for me, and is a big part of the reason I have so easily weaned myself off heat and yet my hair is still straight. A word of caution, though: absolutely DO NOT have any chemical straightening procedures: it will ruin all your hard work and cause more damage than you started with. I know from hideous experience!!

8. Don’t give up!

Have you got any hot hair care tips for those of us striving for length and shine? Any advice on supplements would be very welcome, too!

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