By Kim Taylor, Owner and Stylist at Essence
You’re swimming, you’re hiking, you’re camping; you’re enjoying every minute of your summer. Awesome! Unfortunately your hair is paying the price. Whether the culprit was chlorine, exposure to the elements, sitting by a nice fire roasting marshmallows, or a host of other summer activities chances are it’s time for a tune up. Follow this three step process to give your summer hair a good dose of TLC.
- Chelate– every now and then it is really good for your hair to be deep cleansed. Treating the hair with a mild but effective chelating shampoo removes minerals that build up on the hair from swimming pools, well water, or old pipes, as well as buildup from styling products. We use and recommend two really great chelating shampoos: Maxi Wash by Kevin Murphy and Purify by Surface. Both are effective as a deep treatment yet gentle enough to use weekly for maintenance.
- Condition- If you use a blow drier or any other heated styling tool it is a good idea to deep condition your hair regularly (every other week)- but it is super important to deep condition at the end of a season full of outdoor exposure to the elements. There are many types of conditioning treatments available; some concentrate on adding moisture back into the hair while others beef up and repair protein that may be damaged or lacking in the hair. Both are beneficial and your stylist can assess your hair and tell you what you need. At Essence we use and recommend Protein and hydrating treatments by Surface, Moroccan Oil, and Kevin Murphy. Any of our stylists are happy to help you choose the one that will work best for you.
- Maintain- Once you’ve addressed the issues brought on by summer, maintaining your shiny, healthy locks will be much easier. Think thermal protectant, argan or bassu oil, and protein spray. There’s no shortage of products on the market that claim to protect and feed the hair. We are a bit picky and recommend a few tried and true products from Surface, Moroccan oil, and Kevin Murphy. Again, our stylists are happy to help you choose the right product for your hair.
These three steps can be accomplished at home or in the salon. I don’t know many people who would object to having their hair washed by someone else, so why not make an appointment for a deep cleansing and conditioning at Essence? The cost is $50 (a bit higher for excessively long hair) for a Max Repair Treatment by Surface. The treatment includes a deep cleanse, followed by a cocktail of protein, oil, and a deep penetrating mask that infuses nutrients and moisture back into the hair. This treatment is finalized with a blow dry style. Add a haircut for just $20 more!
In addition to deep conditioners and protein treatments, your hair could use some simple, common sense daily care. The most basic thing you can do is brush gently– and use the right brush for the job. A great brush to use right out of the shower on wet hair is the “Wet Brush” or the “Feel Good Brush” by Spornette. These brushes are paddle style brushes with a padded base and soft to medium bristles. This type of brush feels great and helps to prevent breakage while detangling. While these brushes are fine for use on dry hair also, a great brush to use nightly on dry hair is a boar bristle brush. Boar Bristles help to distribute the natural oils from your scalp to the mid shaft and ends of your hair. As much as we all hate it when our scalp looks “greasy”, natural oils are great for our hair when it has a chance to absorb them. Brush with boar bristle brush at night to increase shine and elasticity and then sleep on it overnight before washing. We like the “Shine Brush” by Spornette.
When you are styling, start your “rough” blow dry with your fingers or a vent brush (a brush designed to let air to flow through the brush). This allows you to control the direction of the hair while getting maximum airflow. Once the bulk of moisture is out of the hair, you can switch to a round brush. When picking a round brush, look for a quality brush that has a nice solid construction; hair can easily get caught up in cracks and crevices causing breakage. The heat should be held in the ring (body) of the brush while the bristles should be heat resistant. Ceramic brush heads heat evenly, protecting your hair from hot spots that can cause singeing and fraying.
If you are like me and find it difficult to use a round brush on your own hair, you can dry your hair completely and go straight to using heated styling tools. Use a thermal protecting spray and remember that ceramic and titanium plates and barrels are the safest way to deliver heat to the hair. We use and recommend Moroccan Oil Thermal Protectant and Kevin Murphy Damage Control. Spoiler Alert! Keep an eye out because this fall we will be bringing in some really great styling irons, and blow driers!
As a final note, I encourage you to ask your stylist to take a good hard look at your hair and your lifestyle and help you develop a styling program that works for you specifically. The right products and tools can make all the difference in the quality of your hair year round.