Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley in Mayfair’s Green Street, on how to look after your hair at home during lockdown
In many ways, lockdown has the potential to be quite good for your hair! The extra time that many of us have during lock-down can be put towards investing in a healthy hair care routine.
One of the best ways to improve your hair’s condition is to use an intensive hydrating hair mask once to twice a week. Now is a great time to give your locks extra TLC. Once a week, treat your hair to an intensive hydrating treatment. I love our Elasticizer, originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn. How to do it:
- Dampen your hair in the sink, shower or with a spray bottle.
- Work Elasticizer into your hair in sections, paying particular attention to your mid-lengths and ends (where hair is older and dryer).
- Gently comb it through, starting at your ends and working up to ensure every strand is coated.
- Pop on a shower cap and leave for at least an hour.
Shampoo twice and condition as usual.
Since you’re not going out as much, now is also a great time to give your hair a break from heated styling tools.
A healthy scalp is key to healthy hair. Looking after your scalp is even more important at the moment as stress can negatively impact your scalp and hair growth – especially if you already suffer from dandruff or other scalp conditions.
Create a daily routine – just like you apply a toner to your face every day, give your scalp similar consideration. My favourite is our Stimulating Scalp Mask. However, if you suffer from dandruff, use our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner.
I suggest that, once a week, you apply a targeted scalp mask. Use:
- PK Exfoliating Scalp Mask if you shampoo less than every other day for clarifying. Formulated with the gentle exfoliant, Betaine Salicylate, and Zinc to soothe and control sebum (oil production).
- PK Flaky/Itchy Scalp Mask if you have dandruff or flaking. Formulated with anti-fungal Piroctone Olamine, exfoliants Salicylic and Lactic Acid, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and antioxidant-rich green tea extract.
- PK Soothing Scalp Mask to calm irritation. Formulated with hydrating and calming Aloe Vera, cooling Menthol and moisturising Olive Oil. On top of your scalp mask, you can apply Elasticizer to your hair if you want to give yourself the ultimate hair AND scalp treat.
Hair health is closely linked to diet. Being non-essential tissue, your hair is the first part of you to suffer when your nutrition is lacking. Dust off your favourite recipe books, or turn to food blogs for healthy recipe inspiration so you can create nutritious, balanced meals at-home.
The most important meals of the day for your hair are breakfast and lunch. Ideally, these should always have approximately a palm sized portion/120g in weight of protein (what your hair is made of), a portion of complex carbohydrates (provide your hair with energy to grow), healthy fats i.e. Omega 3s (these are good for your scalp) as well as vitamins and minerals. A great breakfast, for example, would be wholewheat bread with poached eggs, turkey bacon, smashed avocado and tomatoes.
As outdoor-time is being limited, it’s also vital to ensure your Vitamin D levels remain healthy. I suggest taking a supplement containing Vitamin D3, like our Root Complex – which also contains Vitamin C, Iron and Vitamin B12.
It may be a little while until we can get haircuts, so it’s important to look after your ends.
Ensure you’re using a hair friendly hair brush. The best are those with rounded, plastic prongs as these are gentle on the hair cuticle. Avoid boar bristle brushes, which can tear away sections of the cuticle – a bit like string cheese.
Also, apply a strengthening split end protective product to your hair a few times a week, like our newly launched Bond Builder Split End Remedy. This contains next generation bond building technology. It not only instantly seals up to 98 per cent of split ends to stop them from breaking further up the hair shaft, but strengthens the hair’s protein structure and internal bonds. This minimises breakage and helps to prevent split ends from forming in the future.
HAIR LOSS CONCERNS
If you’re worried about hair loss, I suggest booking a telephone/video Consultation. Perhaps you’ve never had time before to give your hair or scalp the attention they deserved, and you’ve put off seeking help for hair density concerns. Or maybe being at home has made you take note of your hair more than before and you’ve noticed a problem. We are offering a special rate on our telephone and video Consultations (starting at £150, whereas they usually start at £200). It involves a 30-45 minute call with one of our trichologists and you also gain access to prescription-only clinical products.
High stress levels definitely create a challenging environment for your follicles and one of the most important things we can all be doing for our hair is keeping our stress levels in check. Daily mindfulness and meditation can be very helpful, and there are loads of apps available, such as Headspace and Calm, that cater to this.
If your scalp is particularly bothersome due to stress, treat yourself to a targeted weekly scalp mask, alongside an anti-dandruff Shampoo and Toner. (PK Flaky/Itchy Shampoo, Toner and Scalp Mask). You should also avoid foods that commonly aggravate the scalp, like white wine, champagne and full fat dairy products. Red wine and spirits are fine!