The Panel: Fresh hair
Never mind the toll the weather takes on our appearance, the festive season that rapidly approaches — see, I never mentioned the ‘C’ word — sees self-inflicted punishment heaped upon our skin and hair.
Apart from when we fry it on sun holidays, our hair takes its worst bashing during the party season — there, I avoided saying it again — but there are ways we can protect our locks while we shampoo and style.
The advice is simple: if you are going to use heated stylers, then make sure to apply a protective product on your hair first and bump up your conditioner to something that is richer but gentler. That way, you won’t be smooth by night but scarecrow by morning — as far as your crowning glory goes, anyway.
Most Irish hair has a tendency to be frizzy, regardless of whether it’s fine or thick, so today our top five hair heroes all focus on keeping everything sleek and shiny. Think tools and treatments and everything should run smoothly.
Kiehl’s Strengthening and Hydrating Hair Oil-In-Cream, €20.28, Kiehl’s, 32 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16 Containing olive and avocado oils, this product is free of parabens and silicones — the latter can cause build-up — and is fantastic for hair that’s dry or coarse. It’s surprisingly non-greasy, and those with fine hair might find it a fantastic overnight treatment. “This oil-trappedin- a-cream moisturises the hair, but without any oiliness or resulting sweatiness,” said a panellist. “My hair is very dry and very few things work, but this is like a coat of moisture, which I can then put styling product over.”
BEST STYLING STUFF
Rolland Oway ColourUp Styling Mousse, €18.50, see www.envyorganica.com This Italian-produced, biodynamicinspired range is new to Ireland and is being sold out of Mayo by Envy Organica. Free of sulphates, parabens, synthetic perfume and colourants, the range is full of essential oils and the colour-protecting products are particularly good. “I also love the shampoo and conditioner of this colour-protecting range, especially their light raspberry and coconut scent, but this mousse is a winner,” said one panellist. “It is not at all sticky or heavy and it doesn’t dull my colour, either.”
L’Occitane Volumising Mask, €31, L’Occitane stores nationwide Combining essential oils of sweet orange, mint, pine and rosemary, this creamy gel is rich enough for most hair types and it can be used every day on hair that is very parched or overstyled. For extra effect, leave it on overnight or apply it before a walk — the heat of your body will act as a boost. “I used this for four days on my long hair and it was amazingly smooth and bouncy — not limp at all and not weighed down by it,” one panellist said.
BEST BLOW-DRY BRUSH TLC
Love Your Hair Ceramic Hot Curl Brush, €11.99, salons nationwide, for stockists tel: (01) 671-3239 The big, 53mm version of this ceramicbarrel brush was our favourite, so don’t be daunted by its size. The ceramic coating helps to smooth the hair follicle, while the barrel’s wide vents allow heat to circulate. “The beauty of the bigger brush is that it lifts the roots more, so you get more volume into the hair,” said a panellist. “It’s also easier to get at the back of your head and it’s brilliant at curling in the ends of your hair.”
BEST HEATED HELPER
Remington Keratin Therapy Pro Volumiser, €39.99, available nationwide Keratin conditioners are infused into the ceramic surface of the stylers in this range. The straightener and curler are also good, but we loved this volumiser. This heated brush lends bounce to your hair, and can also be used to smooth frizz, leaving your hair shiny. “A doddle to use, and I achieved several effects with it,” said a panellist. “It looked like I’d been a salon — can you say better?”