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Yes, we’ve been doing it for years, but now it’s back to basics for that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon swoosh
ashing your hair… it’s as easy as taking a shower, right? So why do we never look salon-worthy when we do it at home? ‘Great-looking hair is all down to how you wash it,’ says top stylist and Charles Worthington ambassador Ken O’Rourke. ‘But we’re all in such a hurry that we think a quick rinse will do. If we spent just an extra few minutes, the result would be very different.’
Essentially, less is more when it comes to washing your hair. Doing it too often actually strips it of all the nutrients and natural oils it needs to stay healthy, so aim for 2-3 times a week, and don’t rush it!
If your hair tends to get greasy, consider a pre-shampoo treatment: New L’Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque, £5.99/599 points (150ml), absorbs oil at the roots. Then invest in a good shampoo – look for essential oils, fruit extracts and botanicals. ‘Quality ingredients can tackle product build-up and help nourish, to prevent hair looking dull and limp,’ says Ken. Choose a product that suits your hair type and is formulated for the look you’re after. ‘If you have curly hair but you want to blow-dry it straight, opt for a smoothing shampoo and conditioner,’ says Bumble and bumble’s Collette McGee. We love New Botanics Smoothing Shine Shampoo £3.99/399 points (400ml) Boots Exclusive, with frizz-fighting baobab seed oil. ‘If you have dry hair and want body, use a hydrating and volume-boosting shampoo, rather than a nourishing formula, which can weigh it down,’ Collette adds. To pump it up, try Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo, £18.50/1,850 points (250ml).
Less is more when it comes to washing your hair – aim for 2-3 times a week
Think hair-washing is a simple case of shampooing and rinsing? Think again! Make sure you wet your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. ‘Then lather up a 10p-sized amount of shampoo between your palms and apply all over, so it’s evenly distributed,’ says hair guru Trevor Sorbie. Focus on your scalp and roots, as this is where the majority of dirt builds up.
‘Don’t be too rough when you’re massaging in the shampoo, as this will irritate the scalp and can stimulate grease production,’ he adds. ‘Avoid a circular or scrunching motion, as this can damage the cuticle, cause tangles and leave locks looking dull. Instead, massage gently downwards, with your fingers flat against your head, to help smooth the cuticle.’
Next, rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear of all suds, then repeat the process. What about the mid-lengths and ends? ‘Concentrate on the scalp because, as you rinse, the lather will cleanse the rest of your hair,’ says Ken.
A beginner’s guide to…
Creating more volume
Spritz New Charles Worthington BAFTA Edition Volume & Bounce Express Blow Dry Primer Boots Exclusive £6.99/699 points (150ml), over hair from root to tip. Next, blow-dry with nourishing Mark Hill Big Blow Out Large Round Brush Infused with Moroccan Argan Oil, £10.99/1,099 points, blasting each section with cold air to ‘set’. ‘Then gently glide your straighteners through the top sections only. This reduces damaging heat exposure, keeps volume at the roots, and smooths the overall look,’ says Mark Hill.
‘Fight frizz by gently pressing and twisting sections of damp hair with a towel, to encourage cuticles to lie flat, rather than rubbing it back and forth,’ says celebrity stylist Lee Stafford. Then work a curl-boosting mousse, such as Trevor Sorbie Curls & Waves Control Mousse Boots Exclusive £5.59/559 points (200ml), through towel-dried hair – this will add weight and stop curls springing back up and making it look shorter. Now dry hair using a diffuser on a low speed, and add shine with a spritz of Lee Stafford Arganoil From Morocco Anti-Frizz Serum Spray Boots Exclusive £9.99/999 points (200ml).
Hair in seriously poor condition? ‘Put it on the 5:2 diet – five days of styling and two “rest” days,’ suggests Ojon treatment technician Jennie Roberts. This will help prevent further damage and leave it looking and feeling healthier. On no-heat days, try the low-slung pony, as this creates less tension than a high up ’do. Make a central parting and tie at the nape with Boots Snag Free Black Ponybands, £1.99/199 points (50-pack). Finish with Umberto Giannini Mend My Hair Therapy Intensive Damage Repair 5-In-1 Hair Oil Boots Exclusive £7.99/799 points (100ml).
After shampooing, your hair will feel a little brittle – this means the cuticle has opened up, making it the ideal time to apply a nourishing hair mask. To turbocharge your treatment, ‘become your own mask mixologist by adding some coconut oil to it’, suggests John Frieda stylist Andreas Wild. Leave it on your hair for at least 30 minutes. We love Vita Coco Coconut Oil, £9.99/999 points (500ml), blended with John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner, £6.29/629 points (150ml). Using a mask once a week can make a huge difference to the condition of hair.
While a mask hydrates, conditioner closes the cuticle and locks in all that lovely moisture
While a mask hydrates hair, a conditioner closes the cuticle and locks in all that lovely moisture, so it’s an essential step in your hair-washing regime. Avoid applying it to the roots, however, as this can leave hair looking lank; concentrate instead on the mid-lengths to the ends.
’Work one or two 10p-sized amounts of conditioner into your palms and distribute evenly through your hair,’ says Trevor. Leave it on for 2-10 minutes – the longer it has to sink in, the better the results.
While the conditioner is working its magic, run a wet brush through your hair. We like the Wet Brush Detangling Brush Boots Exclusive £11.99/1,199 points, because it removes snags without tugging. When the conditioning time is up, rinse thoroughly in warm water, then flash-rinse your hair in cold water to close the cuticles and help add shine. Job done.
Did you know that if you order any of these buys at boots.com by 8pm today, you can collect them at a store near you for free after 12pm tomorrow? Monday-Saturday; geographical exclusions apply.
Words: Amerley Ollennu
Photography: Full Stop Photography, Trunk Archive