Here’s how to put a healthy shine back into dry, brittle hair.

  1. Preparation
    Brush your hair before you begin shampooing, using a bristle brush to distribute the natural oils from the scalp to the ends. This will help to loosen up any product build-up of styling products and also stops hair from becoming matted when shampooing.
  2. Cleansing
    Choose a shampoo that is specifically formulated for your hair needs. Pour it onto the palms of your hands and gently distribute, first around the hairline then all over. Never rub hair, as this will spilt the outer layer. Instead, always use a gentle patting motion.
  3. Conditioning
    Towel dry hair by blotting gently, section-by-section. Liberally apply a conditioning treatment and distribute using a wide-tooth comb. Wrap hair in glad wrap and leave treatment in hair for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
  4. Tools of the trade
    Fragile hair requires special tools and hair accessories to guard against further breakage or damage. Always use a wide-tooth comb to disentangle hair or comb through treatments and style hair with brushes that are made with pure bristle or have single bristles. This will help you avoid hair tangles and split ends. Choose hair straighteners and curling wands that have a ceramic coating, as they allow for even heat distribution, making them less damaging to your hair.
  5. Get a little help
    Hair that’s been extremely damaged needs a deluxe treatment. And many of these treatments require expert application by experts, using steamers and heat –processing appliances, so you’ll need to go to a salon.  One of my favorite in-salon treatments is the AlfaParf Essential Shine Oil, which instantly adds softness and luminosity to dull, dry hair. The nourishing linseed oil complex repairs fibers and seals cuticles.
  6. DIY Repair
    There are many shampoos, conditioners and treatments to strengthen hair and restore structure made for home use. There are leave-in treatments that are lightweight and designed to stay in hair to condition and add shine. These are ideal for fine, flyaway hair. Hair rebuilders are fortifying hair-care products that penetrate the hair shaft to restore strength, vitality and texture. Intensive treatments are deep conditioning and are thicker in texture than conditioners, but work to hydrate, reconstruct and deliver intense shine.
  7. Treat your scalp
    Give your scalp a weekly massage – using conditioner – to stimulate the circulation and cleanse away dead skin cells and styling residue that collects at the roots of the hair.
  8. Wear a hat
    It goes without saying that wearing a hat protects hair from damaging UV rays but it also helps stop colour fade. Another tip is to slather on a leave-in conditioner or hair sunscreen to reduce chlorine absorption and counteract the drying effects of salt water.
  9. Get a Trim
    Having ends trimmed every 6-8 weeks will help prevent split ends and keep hair in shape making it easier to style. Remember that if you have fine hair it’s best to stick to a blunt cut and for those with thick unruly hair ask for a layered or point cutting technique to make hair manageable and less bulky.
  10. Shine on
    Shine products make hair look healthy without the heaviness of other styling products. These products should be applied sparingly otherwise hair can look and feel oily.
Photography: Fiona Corrigan

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