Looking after your locks


CROWNING GLORY We change skincare products regularly, yet forget about our poor hair.

Small changes that can have big impacts

Maggie Gibbons

When did you last change your shampoo? The jury is still out on whether it’s good practice or not, but I’ve been wondering recently at the efficacy of doing so. I noticed a bit of itch at the front of my hair, but wasn’t really concerned. However, when Lynda at LS in Westport did a hair and scalp analysis she picked up on it I decided to do something about it. She recommended a deep cleansing, clarifying shampoo, and it’s definitely helped.
It makes sense really: we change skincare products regularly, yet forget about our poor hair. I’ve a few recommendations here that work, without breaking the bank. And remember, you don’t need to be washing your hair every day, twice or three times weekly is enough for healthy locks.

Scalp soothers
Eucerin Calming shampoo (€12.50) eases scalp irritation and other disorders like scalp sensitivity and dandruff. It eliminates that itchy, tight feeling, and overall gives lovely, clean hair. It’s mild enough to use on children’s hair also.
In fact Eucerin have a great range of skincare also, I recommended the calming range to my friend Mark who has very dry skin, and he finds it really works. Where other products made his skin feel tight, this never happens with Eucerin.
Aveeno Clarify and Shine Apple Cider Vinegar shampoo is made with oats and botanical ingredients for the healthiest scalp. Designed to soothe the scalp, it’s great for dry, flaky hair. Prices vary – I bought it online with some other products for €6.99 yet saw it in some chemists for €9.99. This shouldn’t be happening. Whenever you’re shopping, please make sure you cross check prices.

Dull, lifeless probably needs a good detox. Enter OGX Purifying Charcoal and Kaolin Clay  Shampoo and Conditioner (€6.66 each). With ingredients like kaolin clay and charcoal, OGX bursts through build up to give you back a healthy head of hair. It’s amazing how much constant use of products like dry shampoo and hair products can lead to a build up, and it’s only when you use a good detox shampoo you’ll notice the difference. Available in stores nationwide.
If hair is curly and you want to really deep clean, then a sulphate-free shampoo is recommended, as it won’t strip the natural oils.

Grey hair
Anyone who transitioned during lockdown (like myself) may have found it a bit strange, wondering what shampoo/conditioner to use. I use a purple shampoo every three or four washes. I have a few bright bits at the front so it tends to keep them light. If I use it more often though I see a ‘purpley’ cast, which I don’t like. Reminds me too much of the blue rinse brigade!

Porous hair
Is your hair porous? There’s a simple little test you can do to check. Just get a bowl of tepid water and let the ends of your hair fall into it, if it stays on top of the water it’s not porous, but if it drops to the bottom it is. Highly coloured, bleached hair will usually sink.
If you have porous hair you’ll need to seek out moisturising products, because the hair shaft absorbs moisture, but doesn’t hold unto it, which ultimately leads to very dry scalp.

Lifeless locks
Did you ever wash your hair and marvel at the shine, and feel of your hair? Then the very next day it’s lying limp and a bit greasy? This may well be due to the presence of silicone in the shampoo. Silicone shampoos and conditioners can weigh down your hair or make it droop. Silicone is used widely in hair products to lock out humidity and make you hair feel silky smooth. It’s not bad for you, it’s just good to be aware of what it does.

Do you go to bed with a lovely head, only to waken up with your hair sticking out at all angles. Remedy? A silk pillow. Some people swear by them, and I’m always threatening to get one. Problem is, I’ll still dribble on it! Apparently they work though. They fight frizz and tangles, as they don’t create static as you toss and turn in the night. Being less porous than cotton, they also help keep hair hydrated and can help with brittle hair.
I wonder would they work on smoothing out the face?

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at living@mayonews.ie.