My hair is quite long and tends to get easily ruined, despite regular trims every 10-12 weeks, so I’m always on the lookout for new products and nourishing masks to help repair and prevent further damage. After having tried dozens of conditioning products, I’ve rounded up my personal favourites for winter time.
1. Kérastase Bain Force Architect Shampoo (£17.90) and Masque Thérapiste (£29.00)
This professional line is a bit more on the pricey side, but worth every penny. The l’Orèal website offers a quick online test to point out the best product for your hair based on type and expectations (http://www.kerastase.com/en/hair-diagnosis).
Like all Kérastase cosmetics, the two miracle products come with beautiful packaging and a dreamy scent. The Masque requires at least 5-10 minutes to penetrate the hair and repair the fiber. When you first put it on, it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much to soften or detangle your hair, but its deeply conditioning effects reveal themselves once you dry your hair.
The Result: Hair feels deeply hydrated from the inside, feels “heavier” in a healthy way without being weighed down, and a lot glossier. I’ve used this product several times now and I see my hair stronger and more beautiful.
2. Frederik Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo (£16.60) and Intense Fortifying Masque (£20.80)
This line came strongly recommended by a Brazilian girl with the longest, shiniest and most luscious hair I have ever seen, so it was bound to be good. Both the Shampoo and the Fortifying Masque have a very pleasant smell, and a little product goes a long way so it lasts you for quite a while. I usually leave the hair Masque on for 10 minutes and then proceed to rinse and blow-dry as always.
The Result: Hair feels incredibly light and shiny in a genuinely healthy way. Whenever I use these two products I receive lots of compliments on my shiny and gorgeous locks, which stay so for several days.
3. Redken Color Extend Total Recharge Shampoo (£14) and Conditioner (£14.90)
This best-selling line by Redken is specially formulated to protect and repair coloured hair, which tends to be more frail and damage-prone. I find that these two products work just as well on non-coloured hair as they provide intense hydration and conditioning. Deeply replenishing, the shampoo feels light and delicate, while the conditioner makes it easy to comb tangles out and maximises the hair’s natural shine and vibrancy.
The Result: Hair looks bouncy and healthy, and is protected against UV damage due to its special formula. It smells great too!
4. L’Oréal Elvive Total Repair 5 Shampoo (£3.50) and Replenishing Mask (£4.99)
This shampoo and conditioner are my basic routine hair products for when I don’t have time for pampering my hair with a leave-in conditioner or mask. This line promises to “repair 5 common hair problems: split ends, lifeless, fragile, dull and dry hair”, and it does just that, for a lower budget than the more expensive l’Oreal Kérastase and Professionnel lines.
The Result: Reliable and wallet-friendly, this line leaves hair feeling clean, nourished and light.
5. Coconut Oil (from £2)
For those who enjoy using natural products, coconut oil works wonders when used before washing your hair. Rub it between your palms and massage it into your strands, especially onto the ends and lengths of your hair. The more you allow your hair to soak up the vitamins and nutrients in it, the better. The oil is easily shampooed off, leaving your hair feeling stronger, thicker and glossier.
Other all natural oils that deeply hydrate your hair are Almond Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Argan Oil.
- - Keep the curling irons and straighteners down to a minimum and always, always use a heat protectant product.
- - Try washing your hair less, and using shampoo mostly on your roots to avoid drying out the rest of your locks.
- - Avoid towel drying your hair and the use of hairbands with metal parts that can snap or pull your hair.
- - Eat plenty of protein, “good fats” and vegetables, including salmon, eggs, olive oil avocado and beans; healthy hair starts from the inside!
- - Make sure you get regular trims at least every 8-12 weeks - I used to shy away from this classic piece of advice as I was scared my hair would never be as long as I liked it, but I’ve actually found that healthy hair grows twice as fast!
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