Saturday 1 October 2016

Ask the expert: How can I avoid damaging my hair at the gym?

Published 16/08/2015 | 14:24

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Ever find that your hair is dull, lifeless and brittle after putting in a few hard sessions at the gym? Here's how you can keep your barnett in good shape.

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We caught up with Conor Doyle, a 22-year-old colour technician at Peter Mark who has been cited as one of the hairdressing firm's most promising talents.

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Doyle (above) recently won the L'Oreal Young Colourist of the Year thanks to his innovative style.

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Going to the gym is often a battle in itself, so anything that makes it more un-appealing isn't going to work in its favour.

There's only so much we can rely on dousing our gruaig in dry shampoo and hiding hair sins by putting it in a top-knot. We asked Conor what we should be doing to keep our locks in tip top condition while working out.

"Avoid slipping into the routine of scraping hair back into an utra-tight topknot or pony tail," Conor advised.

"All that strain on your cuticles can lead to tension breakage and even a condition known as traction alopecia," he warned.

"If you have an excess of baby hairs around the hairline that never seem to grow, overly tight pony tails could be the culprit. Consider loose plaits or cotton hair-bands as an alternative."

And what about our over-reliance on dry shampoo? Conor says that "in an ideal world" we should be washing our hair after a workout to cleanse away sweat and oils excreted during a tough class or long run around the park.

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"Sweat will absorb back into the scalp which can cause blocked pores and follices," Conor reveals. "However for those frequent gym goers with hard to mangage hair every day washing isnt always an option. Redken do a really neat 'extender' product similar to a dry shampoo which absorbs oil in hair and gives a little volume for a fresh look."

"When you do get around to washing your hair, use a deep cleansing shampoo like 'Nioxin' to ensure you maintain a healthy and clean environment on your scalp for hair growth."

If you find that your hair is showing wear and tear, it is in your best interest to get it cut.

"People hate to hear this, but if you regularly colour or style your hair split ends will happen and they need to go," Conor insists.

"Breakage in the hair moves upwards. Imagine it like cracked glass, if not treated the crack will spread until eventually it shatters. In some instances with clients, especially those with extremely lightened hair, it's not surprising to find their hair actually gets shorter if not cut."

"This is through breakage traveling up the shaft. Investing in a solid anti-breakage haircare range will help to prevent further damage and strengthen hair; but unfortunately once the hair starts to break, it needs to go!"

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Out with the old, and in with the new we say. So what should you be doing in the meantime to keep your mane looking glossy and shiny?

"Invest in a professional haircare range and you will see all the difference," Conor promises.

"If you have spent all that money to get your ideal shade, is it not worth investing to maintain it? Store brand shampoos are pumped full of additives to expand ingredients and create lather so they can produce more and sell at lower prices."

"Over a few weeks this will wreak havoc on coloured hair, stripping out tone and depth. Look to Kerastase or Redken for products that will not only preserve colour but dramatically accentuate tone and shine.

Follow Peter Mark on Instagram @PeterMarkHair
Conor Doyle works at Peter Mark salon in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin.

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