Does your hair feel like it needs a January detox? During winter, our tresses can easily become dry and dull thanks to the combined effect of freezing temperatures outside and central heating indoors.
The good news is it doesn't take a lot of effort to get your hair looking healthy and glossy again. By going back to basics and getting the foundations of haircare right you can nourish and revitalise your locks.
Whatever your hair type, it's important to understand the four stages of the hair cycle.
First up is the anagen phase, when a hair strand is growing, which lasts around three to five years. Second is the catagen or transition phase, when hair growth slows, lasting around 10 days.
Next is the telogen or resting phase, when the strand stops growing altogether, for around three months, and finally the exogen or shedding phase (also around three months) is when hairs fall out, usually prompted by brushing or washing.
Each strand of hair goes through the four stages independently, which is why it's normal to lose around 80 to 100 hairs each day.
To get shiny, healthy hair you want to minimise disruption to the hair cycle, which helps to elongate the growing phase.
This is achieved through a healthy diet, reducing stress and using effective products that strengthen your tresses and care for your scalp - particularly if you're looking to grow your hair long.
Here, we talk through nine essential tips for boosting your hair health in the New Year…
1. Best Way to Rehydrate Your Hair
Windy weather and blasting central heating are a disastrous combination for hair, leaving your locks looking frizzy and badly in need of hydration.
Give your tresses a triple hit of moisture with an oil-infused trio of shampoo, conditioner and treatment mask.
Wash and condition as usual, then slather on a generous layer of the mask and leave for at least 10 minutes (or overnight with a shower cap and towel wrapped round) to allow the oil to penetrate deep into the hair shaft.
2. Best Way to Rejuvenate Your Scalp
It's easy to neglect your scalp when it comes to hair health, especially if you're concerned about hair loss.
A relatively recent breakthrough in beauty science, Procapil is the wonder ingredient you need if you've noticed hair thinning due to factors like hormones, ageing, stress or illness (such as Covid).
Derived from citrus and olive trees, the natural compound works by blocking DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which causes hair loss; promoting the production of collagen, which anchors strands on the scalp; and increasing blood circulation, essential for delivering nutrients to follicles.
For best results, apply a Procapil serum to your scalp daily for three months, massaging gently with your fingertips for an extra circulation boost.
3. Best Way to Clarify and Remove Product Residue
Product residue can quickly build up on your scalp - especially if you've been using lots of styling products during party season like dry shampoo or hair spray - weighing your tresses down and making them more prone to breakage.
Switch to a clarifying shampoo formulated with amino acids during January to whisk away the build-up and give you that squeaky-clean feeling.
You could also lather up with a silicone scalp massager to exfoliate dead skin cells at the same time.
4. Best Way to Scrub and Cleanse Your Hair
City life can take its toll on hair, with pollution clogging up your scalp, clinging to strands and causing dullness.
Unlike salty seawater, which dries out hair, a salt scrub helps to cleanse your follicles and dissolve pollution particles.
Apply to wet hair, massaging from root to tip. Rinse thoroughly then follow with a moisturising mask formulated for your hair type.
5. Best Way to Cocktail Your Treatments
Even if you're doing Dry January, you can still treat your locks to a delicious cocktail of treatment products tailored to your hair needs.
Similar to multi-masking skincare, with this approach you apply one mask to the roots of your hair and another to the lengths and ends.
For example, mix a charcoal-infused scalp treatment with an oil-based treatment on long hair for an exfoliating and hydrating hybrid.
6. Best Way to Restore Your Hair's Shine
Coloured hair looking a bit lacklustre? Bring back salon-worthy shine with a gloss-giving treatment enriched with lactic acid.
This enzyme helps to wash away product build-up and its moisturising properties smooth the hair shaft, making locks look shinier - but it should only be used on the lengths of your tresses.
After shampooing, massage into your strands for no more than eight seconds, rinse thoroughly and finish with your usual conditioner.
7. Best Way to Stimulate Hair Growth With Brushing
It's important to be aware of a few key do's and don'ts when it comes to hair brushing.
Daily brushing is advised if you want to stimulate hair growth, and a scalp massager is even better for getting blood and vital nutrients flowing to the follicles.
However, you should never brush your hair when it is wet, as that's when the strands are most vulnerable and prone to breakage.
Instead, use a wide-toothed comb or detangling brush. These tools are specially designed to be gentle on your tresses.
8. Best Way to Promote Hair Growth With Supplements
A varied diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg and healthy fats (to deliver essential nutrients like vitamins C and D, iron, zinc and folic acid) plus protein (because that's what hair is made of) will help to lengthen the all-important anagen (growing phase) of the hair cycle.
If you're concerned that you're not getting enough nutrients from your diet, a hair supplement can make a big difference.
Formulated with a blend of hair-boosting vitamins and minerals, daily supplements in tablet or sachet form help to promote hair growth. Make it your New Year resolution to add one to your daily routine.
9. Best Way to Strengthen Fragile Hair
A bit like lifting weights at the gym to build muscle, energising products help to strengthen fragile hair.
Start your workout with a caffeine-infused shampoo to stimulate your scalp and follow with an energising tonic, which soaks into the hair shaft and instantly increases the diameter of each strand.
Time to get started with your new routine
So now you know how to tailor your January routine to your hair needs, from hydrating frizzy strands to thickening fine tresses.
A bit of TLC now will stand you in good stead and help maintain healthy hair throughout the year.
Need a winter hair pick-me-up? Book an appointment at Paul Edmonds London to kick-off your January detox with a clarifying, moisturising or colour-enhancing treatment.