Hair care

Your hair is your crowning glory, so what do some of Britain’s best industry professionals advise you do to keep it at its best?

‘People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there!’  Dolly Parton

Unless you’re like the incomparable Queen of Country, then you’ll know that once the make-up washes off the one constant you have in the mirror is your hair. It really is the crowning glory, so for most people looking after their hair is hugely important. Making sure it’s in the best possible health is also big business: it’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry.

Hair is essentially a protein filament that grows out of a follicle that lies just under the scalp. The exterior of the hair is called the cuticle and is a little bit like fish scales, and the trick is to keep them flat. The natural structure of your hair will also impact on how easy it is to keep the hair smooth. For example, if you have very curly or afro hair then you will be more susceptible to breakage and damage. It goes without saying that stress, poor diet, medication and lack of sleep can all have a detrimental effect on hair, so it’s imperative to target those areas first. I caught up with some of my industry pals to get their opinions on how to achieve healthy looking hair.

Healthy hair hinges on having a healthy scalp, and according to celebrity stylist Andrew Barton there are more concerns about scalp health than ever before. ‘There are many reasons for this,’ he says, ‘including hectic lifestyles, stress, fatigue, menopause, and environmental factors like central heating in winter and air conditioning in summer. Even the hard or soft water we wash and bathe in can have an impact.’

Cotswolds-based Tabitha James-Kraan, the founder of her own award-winning organic hair range, agrees and adds: ‘I have witnessed time and time again hair settling down once the scalp is happy and balanced. We shampoo far too often with products that are basically de-greasants which strip the scalp and hair causing frizziness and an oily scalp. My approach is gentle and respectful of both humans and the planet.’

Are we also using too much product? Knowing the amount to use could save you money as well as maximising the effect of it on your hair. Thomas Hope, the artistic director of the luxury on-demand hair and make-up app, suggests ‘a simple 20p-size blob of shampoo will work a treat, while a £2 coin-size dose of conditioner will distribute through the mid-length and ends like a dream!’

THREE TO TRY (from left to right)

Keune Derma Peeling Treatment, from £30
‘I recommend this as an in-salon treatment,’ says Andrew Barton, director at the House of Keune by Bloom, in Holborn, London. ‘It’s a detox hero for my clients, as it prepares the scalp, and therefore the hair, for better health with deep yet gentle exfoliation.’ The treatment is infused with arginine, which is known for its skin conditioning and moisturising benefits while helping to promote hair growth.

Tabitha James Kraan Scented Organic Hair Oil, £43/30ml
‘The ultimate sustainable healthy glossy hair can be achieved my using my pre-wash scented organic hair oil,’ says haircare guru Tabitha James-Kraan. ‘Apply one pump to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair and leave it in overnight, or allow it to absorb for an hour before washing. Less is more with this product, and it is scented with my signature Amber Rose aromatherapy scent.’

Natucain Shampoo and Conditioner, £30 each for 300ml
Dr Stefanie Seyda, the founder of Natucain, has formulated this new shampoo and conditioner to have a hormone-free, three-step growth stimulating effect. They are a good option for people with fine or thinning hair. The patented stem-cell technology complex helps promote thicker, longer hair; caffeine and ginger extract help with scalp micro-circulation, while quinoa extract nourishes and turmeric protects.