The health of your hair can be judged by three key factors. Does it look glossy? Are there lots of split ends or broken strands? And does it feel as thick as usual?
Whether long or short, curly or straight - or anywhere in between - healthy hair should be strong, shiny and manageable. If it starts to look dull, flat or lifeless, it's time to rethink your hair care routine.
But be careful not to overload your locks, warns Siobhan Baynes, senior director at Paul Edmonds London: "Overdoing it with products is sometimes an issue. If you go overboard with a serum, overnight serum and mask, actually that's too much, it makes the hair flat."
Instead, it's best to keep it simple and choose treatments tailored to your tresses while preventing damage caused by washing, brush and heat styling.
Here, the team talk through seven expert tips for getting gorgeously glossy and healthy hair…
1. Have regular trims
"You should get a trim every six to eight weeks," says Paul Edmonds. "Or if you've got very long hair, I'd say the maximum to leave it is 12 weeks."
Trims are important to snip away split ends, he explains: "If you've got wispy ends, when you're blow drying or brushing your hair those finer ends get more tugging. They're the ones that end up splitting, and the strand gradually starts to split up the hair."
It may be tempting to avoid getting a cut if you're growing out your hair, but leave it too long and you may end up with more breakage later down the line.
2. Reduce heat damage
Heated styling tools are amazing for taming tresses and creating glamorous looks, but very high temperatures can be extremely damaging.
"What happens is it degrades the inner cortex of the hair so the hair starts to fall apart," Paul says, which is why he advises using lower temperature settings on straighteners or curling wands.
"You can normally get good styling with 180 degrees, but above that you're starting to degrade the hair."
Whether you're drying or styling, always add a generous spritz of heat protection spray or serum.
"It surrounds the hair and diffuses the heat to reduce the damage that you get," Paul explains, but make sure to choose your product carefully: "A lot of serums don't have heat protection in them - an oil could fry your hair quite nicely!"
Alternatively, a steam styling tool like the L'Oreal Professionnel Steampod offers a more gentle approach: "It's a much softer heat, you don't have to use such a high temperature and because you're using steam you don't have to pull the hair quite so much."
3. Help keep your ends strong
If you've got a lot of split ends and breakage, rehabilitate your hair with a strengthening treatment masque for six to eight weeks, such as the Shu Uemura Izumi Tonic range.
"It's made with rice protein which adheres to the hair shaft and, each time you use it, strengthens the hair," Paul says.
"But there is a caveat, which is that you can over-build a protein. What happens is it'll start making the strands too strong, they become less pliable and more prone to split."
Siobhan noticed this happening for many people who discovered bond-building hair treatments during the pandemic lockdowns. She warns: "Once you've rebuilt the bonds in your hair, if you keep over-building them, the hair is going to go brittle and break."
That's why you save these potent products for when you really need them, Paul says: "Use them if your hair is going through a weak patch, and then go on to using a moisturising shampoo."
4. Keep hair hydrated overnight
Just like finishing your evening skincare routine with a nourishing night cream, a moisturising serum will get to work while you sleep, leaving you with more manageable hair in the morning.
"Put it on after you've shampooed and you can blow dry it in or leave it to dry naturally," says Paul, who recommends the Shu Uemura Nourishing Taming Overnight Serum.
"You can always add more to it if you need to when your hair's dry. It controls the hair without being too heavy, especially with people who've got slightly frizzy or fluffy hair."
He also suggests the Oway Styling Finish Nurturing Drops if you're concerned about your locks feeling oily: "It's not like an ordinary serum that makes the hair greasy, it gets absorbed really quickly and it continues to keep the hair moisturised."
5. Repair with a mask
Extreme temperatures in winter or summer can make your hair dry and frizzy. A rich moisturising mask used every few days will make all the difference.
Paul recommends Davines The Renaissance Circle: "It's a really brilliant mask, especially if you're going away, because each sachet contains about three treatments."
Depending on the length of your hair, you could get up to five applications of the high-quality but affordable mask, Siobhan says: "Because you don't put it on the roots, only the ends of the hair. I don't think people realise that you don't need a huge amount of product."
6. Reduce breakage
While regular brushing is good for detangling tresses and increasing circulation to your scalp, you should never brush your hair when it's wet.
"Especially if you've got bleach or highlights, or your hair is quite fine, if you're really tugging at it when it's wet it over-stretches and then snaps instantly," Siobhan says.
A wide-toothed comb or detangling brush used with conditioner is a much gentler option if you need to get rid of knots, she says: "Even when I do treatments here at the salon, I won't brush that hair through if it's not got conditioner on it. After the treatment I'll apply conditioner and then comb it."
If you want to grow your hair out, Paul recommends the fortifying Extentioniste range from Kerastase: "The idea is that it balances out moisture and protein, makes the hair strong and easier to keep long."
7. Add weightless volume
It can be difficult to volumise fine hair without weighing it down, but products like the Kevin Murphy Angel Wash shampoo with oat protein and tea leaf extract do the trick.
"Davines Replumping range is also really good," Paul says. "It will give lots of body and works on fine or floppy hair for giving you a bit more volume."
Siobhan also recommends it for mature hair: "If it's not coloured, so hasn't got a lot of texture to it, but you want it blow dried into a structured style."
Start your journey to healthier hair
As our experts explain, the key to strong and glossy hair is looking after it on a daily basis and adding effective treatments when needed.
Being gentle with your locks, getting regular trims and using products suited to your strands will keep them in the best possible condition and make you feel amazing.
Need some extra nourishment for your hair in winter? Check out our wide range of shampoo, conditioner, serums and styling products for all hair types.