If you haven’t got to a salon yet and despair of your lockdown locks, don’t panic. Look to your scalp to support your hair health from the roots to the ends. Here are fIVE hair-improving ideas we’re trying …
Since the pandemic, says trichologist Clare Devereux, “I’m seeing more and more patients suffering with hair loss due to stress. We don’t realise how stress can affect the wellbeing of our hair and scalp. Stress can cause Telogen effluvium and this is what I am seeing patients experience at the moment. This is a term given to excessive hair shedding. Seeing excessive hair loss adds to the stress levels and so the cycle continues. This type of hair loss is usually temporary but it is important to try and do things to help you to relax, like taking a walk or mediating for a few minutes a day. A healthy diet also helps greatly.”
Hair thinning reportedly affects nearly 80 per cent of all women. It can hit you at different stages of life, and due to a number of causes, from post-pregnancy through stress, seasonal and hormonal changes, fatigue, over-exertion and poor diet. And once you’ve experienced any hair loss, stress about it can make things worse. Normal daily loss is between 50 and 100 strands but beyond that, you may need to take action.
1 Start with your scalp
The scalp is one of the most forgotten areas – we should give it attention just as we do the rest of our skin. It’s where good haircare starts. Aveeno Skin relief Soothing Shampoo, from the range designed for very dry and irritable skin, is a gentle way to soothe any itchiness or dryness on the scalp, especially if it feels sensitive. The Triple Oat Complex means that it cleanses in a kind and gentle way; oats have a soothing action on sensitive skin, and as well as helping to restore moisture. Plus the generous 300ml bottle will last a good while … €10.00. www.Aveeno.ie
2 Eat for hair health
Nutritional Therapist Gabriela Peacock has good advice if you’re concerned about thinning hair, or just want to keep your hair at its healthiest: “Zinc is a vital mineral that plays a key role in immunity and healthy hair, skin and nails; in fact, hair loss is one of the most common side effects of zinc deficiency. You can get an optimal amount of zinc by including just one cup of lentils into your daily diet. Lentils are rich in protein, so also supply a fair amount of the essential amino acids and nearly a day’s worth of folate, which together support both the development and maintenance of strong locks. Whole eggs contain a range of nutrients that support good health and strong, fast-growing hair: while the whites of eggs contain all the essential amino acids necessary for building healthy hair follicles, the yolks are a valuable source of biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin A and selenium, all of which encourage hair growth and prevent unwanted hair loss. Vitamin C specifically stimulates the production of collagen, an important structural component of protein that is responsible for building and maintaining strong, healthy hair follicles; vitamin C deficiency can cause your hair to become weak and extremely prone to breakage, ultimately leading to hair loss.” (www.gpnutrition.co.uk)
3 Book a head massage
Clare Devereux says: “I recommend head massage to all of my patients and clients as it’s a great stress-buster and also promotes hair growth.” We don’t need to be told twice. A head massage is one of the most stress-relieving treatments you can book in for, and the fact it is stimulating your scalp and thus helping your hair condition is just an added bonus. The one at your hairdressers is always lovely but just not long enough. There’s nothing worse than a feeble head massage, so for a proper, truly transcendent head massage, we recommend Andras at Andreas Body Restoration, Dun Laoghaire (www.andreas.ie); and an Indian head massage at Edvard & Pink at Dundrum (€55, 30 minutes).
4 Try a supplement
Klorane have launched a food supplement, Quinine Keratin caps (€24) with zinc and selenium to support fuller thicker hair (and nails). At selected pharmacies; www.klorane.com.
Annutri Grow It, designed by salon owners, is a vegan-friendly supplement (€29) that’s formulated to promote healthy hair growth. It contains vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, vitamin C and B5, spirulina and wheatgrass. And it’s made in Ireland. Available at salons nationwide and www.annutri.com.
5 Use caring Italian haircare
Head for a Davines salon, such as Romina Daniel in Sandyford (www.rominadaniel.ie). Everything the Parma-based company does has a long-term view: from a strict list of ingredients used – all from sustainable sources – to minimising packaging. The pioneering B.Corp company has had sustainable beauty as their ethos since back in 2005, and it’s great to find a conscious brand that also works wonders on your hair. I love their €11 hair masks, such as the Quick Fix Circle, at www.cultbeauty.com.