Ruth Griffin: Does your hair need a detox?
Is your hair that weird mix of greasy roots and thirsty, frizzy ends?
Is your colour dull-looking even when you've just been to the salon? Does your hair feel 'sticky'? Does your scalp look flaky and feel itchy? If you've answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may be in need of a hair detox. Which leaves just one more question: what exactly is that?
Think of a detox as hitting the reboot button on your hair. Of course, your hair can't literally become toxic so therefore doesn't need to be 'detoxed' in a clinical sense, but what we're effectively talking about is industry jargon for giving your hair and scalp a deep-cleanse.
Heating, styling, back-combing, dyeing and over-use of products can all be factors in making the hair thin and brittle, and the scalp unhealthy.
Over-washing to combat this problem can then further strip the hair fibre, exacerbating the problem. Your hairdo is also pounded daily by sunlight and pollution, making it look flat, dull and lifeless.
By removing the residue of products and pollution - such as petrolatum, sulphates, silicone, grease, pomades, waxes, sticky styling serums, dry shampoo, colouring and tinting chemicals - from your hair follicles, scalp and hair shaft, you allow it to breathe and rejuvenate.
For those with cool-toned hair, build up is likely to give it an undesirable yellow tint. Peter O'Donnell, colour technician with South by Kazumi Salon (kazumihair.ie), recommends using products from the Redken Clean Maniac Range, €25 each, once a week to detox tired hair.
Read on for more products and treatments that will help to give your hair a thorough detox and have it shining just in time for spring.
Nine of the best hair detox products & treatments
This detox range from L'Oreal, made with three purifying clays, is brilliant at cleaning the scalp and removing petrolatum, grease, pomades, waxes and other sticky styling products. It helps reduce incidence of flaking and itchy scalp, and is suitable for colour- and chemically-treated hair. Use before shampooing. L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Pre Shampoo Treatment Mask, €6.50, from pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.
This haircare line is made with detoxifying spirulina, nourishing and protecting charcoal, and kaolin clay to reduce oil - so it's perfect to get rid of greasy roots and dried-out ends. Vichy Dercos Nutrients Detox Shampoo, €12, conditioner, €14, and dry shampoo, €9.15, from pharmacies nationwide.
Hot oil mask
Sheet masks have become a staple in our beauty cabinets for skincare, and now we're seeing the start of the trend being adopted for hair. Starskin Coco-nuts Hot Oil Mask, €9.99, is one such product. This is a 100pc organic blend of coconut, rosehip and baobab seed oils with starflower. Pre-heat the mask and massage onto dry hair and scalp. Then pop on the heat-retaining cap and leave on for 20 minutes, before rinsing with shampoo. From Arnotts, Debenhams and cloud10beauty.com.
If your scalp is fine but your hair is thirsty, frizzy, unruly and over-processed, get a salon-worthy treatment mask that you can do at home yourself. Ouai Treatment Mask Pack, €30, is a best-selling product. Each box contains eight individual treatments, making it very good value. From Arnotts, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols.
Your scalp is a continuation of the skin on your face, and it definitely needs the same amount of TLC. Although it's the foundation of a thick and healthy head of hair, it's nearly always overlooked. If yours is in bad nick, think about using an exfoliating treatment. Kiehl's Micro Exfoliant Scalp Treatment, €23, uses apricot seed and argan shells, and has zero chemical nasties. Apply it to a dry or moist scalp before shampooing, gently massaging into the scalp and throughout hair. Leave on up to five minutes before rinsing. Suitable for all hair types. From Kiehl's stores nationwide, Arnotts, Debenhams, The Loop and kiehls.com.
When you visit any Aveda salon, they automatically include scalp-care in every treatment performed - beginning with a scan that magnifies the skin on your scalp to see how healthy it is. Aveda also does a gorgeous (complimentary) head massage with every treatment! If your scalp needs a boost, opt for the Aveda Pramasana Scalp Deep Detox Treatment Mask for a €10 supplemental charge with any blow dry. From Aveda salons nationwide.
Aveda scalp treatments (see no 6 above) are not limited to salon visits. You can purchase the Aveda Pramasana Exfoliating Scalp Brush, €20, and try the Awakening Scalp Ritual yourself at home. Consider the brush as a massaging device and use small circular and tapping motions across the scalp. The brand also has a full range of scalp products priced from €20. From Brown Thomas, Debenhams, Arnotts, and Aveda salons nationwide. See aveda.com for directions on more rituals.
If your usual shampoo has created a sticky build up, but you still need to wash your hair every day, try the Mane n' Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo, €9. This removes grease and hard-to-shift styling products, and helps reduce flaking and itchy scalps. Also suitable for colour- and chemically-treated hair. From pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.
If you're having continuous bad hair days and can't seem to get your crowning glory shining and polished-looking, perhaps it's worth giving it a boost from the inside by taking a hair supplement, such as the Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement, €34.99. From pharmacies and health stores nationwide.
NOTE: Always consult your GP before taking any supplements.