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Home working Self Care Hair & Beauty

Home working Self Care Hair & Beauty

Roots grown out? Nails looking brittle? Hair & skin looking dull?

Intermittent lockdowns and working from home doesn’t mean you have to drop all self-care!

Quite the opposite, it can be an opportunity to learn about your customised beauty needs at home with some great organic, home made treatments and who knows, you may even proceed with doing them when salons re-open!

Here’s offering some tips on how to pamper yourself during lockdown and in between visits to salons.

Hair loss! 

Gram flour mask for hair loss

Gram flour mask for hair loss

Mix 100gm of gram flour with ½ cup of water to form a paste.

Apply the same onto your roots and strands and leave it for 30 minutes or till it gets dry.

Once the mask is dry gently rinse it with cold water to prevent hair fall.

Gram flour is a chemical free ingredient that is excellent for nourishing your hair that can prevent hair fall. It is a great hair cleansing agent too!

Shiny Hair!

Aloe Vera hair mask

Aloe Vera hair mask 

Aloe Vera is known to stimulate hair growth and helps in giving your hair that celebrity shine!

How does it work?

Aloe Vera has proteolytic enzymes which boost hair growth.

Boil some olive oil and mix it with some raw aloe vera or aloe vera gel and apply the mixture

Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before washing it off with cold water.

Give it a shot!

Oily Skin getting you down?

Oily Skin getting you down?Check out Jan Marini Bioglycolic Oily Skin Cleansing Gel

What is it?

Designed for very oily and problematic skin. Formulated to go deep into the follicles to remove impurities and excess oil from blocked pores to prevent and heal blemishes.

Glycolic Acid helps remove spot-causing bacteria from the skin pores. Old acne marks begin to fade and the severity of breakouts are reduced with continued use for skin that looks clearer and healthier.

How will it benefit me?

  • Reduction in shine and excessive oil
  • Unblocks pores and helps to control blemish breakouts
  • Use twice a day for the most effective results
  • Not to be used on eyes

 

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Dry skin? What dry skin!

dry skin

Like regular basic good skin care, dry skin care must be performed on a daily basis. Proper cleansing, toning, and moisturizing practices should become as natural and routine to your day as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, working and getting plenty of rest.

Dry skin results from a low level of skin oil, or sebum.

This condition can be inherited but numerous other factors can interfere with the production of sebum. Extreme temperatures, wind, and air-conditioning can exacerbate the condition, causing the skin to feel tight, or to chap or crack. Smoking, cosmetics, chemicals, environmental pollution and high stress compromise dry skin and cause the skin to appear dull and to wrinkle, particularly around the eyes and mouth. All the more reason to practice smart dry skin care.

Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and seborrhea, as well as certain drugs (e.g., antihistamines, antispasmodics, and diuretics),  can also cause dry skin. Treating these disorders and avoiding these drugs will help improve your dry skin condition.

Avoid that which will make you unhealthy on the inside and reduce your chances of developing unhealthy skin.

Can’t imagine getting through a day without a cigarette? Then imagine having dry, wrinkled skin that makes you look 20-30 years older than you are. Is that an incentive to stop smoking and regularly practice dry skin care?

We’re not saying change is easy. But change, in the long run, maybe the best thing that ever happened to you. Good skin care, in general, and dry skin care, in particular, are certainly within the reach of anyone concerned about the health and look of their skin. Think of how you want to look and feel in 6 months, a year, two years. You absolutely can improve how you look and feel within a short period of time. Why not make the decision to help yourself attain better skin.

Oh, I almost forgot, one more thing you have to give up if you want to enjoy healthy skin. This applies not only to people with dry skin but to anyone who wants to have clear, beautiful skin. Your skin’s number one enemy is the sun. Sun worshippers (me included), accept that as a fact. And the number one rule of dry skin care follows: PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN!

As much as many of us love the sun, and love to bake in it, and walk and play in it, and love how it bronzes our skin and makes us feel healthy and limber and sexy and carefree, make no mistake, the sun can kill you, if you let it.

This is no knock on the sun, believe me. The sun gives life and provides us essential vitamin D, but the sun can also inflict irreversible damage to our skin, causing it to age prematurely, to dry and wrinkle and sag, and more alarmingly, to develop precancerous moles and sun spots and carcinomas, and cancerous melanomas.

So as much as we love the sun, we have to interact with it in a smart way. Click on Good Skin Care: 14 Ways to Improve Your Skin for more information about protecting yourself from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure.

Here are a few solid dry skin care tips to heed:

  • In winter, when the air’s humidity is lower, your skin dries out faster. Keep that in mind when you choose a moisturizer. Use a stronger moisturizer in the winter and a lighter moisturizer in the summer, when the humidity is higher.
  • As we age our skin becomes thinner and drier. As a result, our skin is more prone to damage in the form of cuts and cracking. Be especially careful when handling tools and utensils, and when coming into contact with harsh or abrasive surfaces or objects.
  • Exercise regularly to increase blood circulation, which helps to nourish your skin and cleanse it from within.
  • Dry skin care no-brainer: drink plenty of clean water to improve skin hydration. At least 2 quarts every day.
  • Clean your skin carefully. Because dry skin is more easily damaged than oily or normal skin, practice good, safe cleansing to prevent dead skin cells mixing with dirt and grime and leading to infection.
  • Avoid excessive washing, especially with hot water, which evaporates more rapidly than tepid or lukewarm water. Too much contact with water will remove natural oils and moisture from the skin and encourage further drying. People with dry skin, especially the elderly, should avoid bathing or shower with hot water.
  • Keep your baths or showers to less than 15 minutes to avoid the loss of natural oils that help retain your skin’s moisture.
  • Avoid commercial soaps that dry out the skin. Choose a naturally moisturizing soap that has a neutral ph value.
  • Great dry skin care technique: after showering lightly apply virgin coconut oil to your face and massage gently to get your blood circulating and to refresh your face.
  • Avoid cold cleansing creams, which are made from hydrogenated oils. These oils actually dry out the skin and lead to wrinkles. Try instead patting virgin coconut oil or pure olive oil on your skin to cleanse it. Wash off with tepid or warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
  • Always moisturize your skin – face, neck, body – after your bath or shower. Moisturize your hands after washing them.
  • Take evening primrose oil supplements to strengthen your skin and increase your skin’s moisture content. * Get plenty of sleep to allow the skin to repair itself at the cellular level.
  • For some great ways to improve the look and feel of your dry skin using simple, inexpensive products you can purchase at your local food market or grocery store.

There is no mystery to proper dry skin care. First, make the decision to practice regular and consistent good skin care. That may mean giving up something (something that is probably bad for you anyway), or taking whatever measures are necessary to promote your overall physical and mental health and the health and appearance of your skin. Once you’ve committed to making your skin look and feel great, use common sense. Keep in mind the guidance and tips provided above for practising proper dry skin care, and enjoy healthy better skin for the rest of your life!

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What is Your Skin Type?

skin type

To pamper ourselves with our skin treatment it is essential to know about the look and feel of our skin. We must first know under which category we fall so that we don’t delay the starting of the treatment. There are five major categories of skin. There are normal, oily, dry, combination and sensitive ones. After identifying the type of your skin, we should choose the right kind of cream and lotion. Today, there is no insufficiency of the numerous products available in the market for the various kinds of skin. How do you check your skin type? One easy way to check is by wiping your face with the dry tissue in waking up in the morning. If there is oil on the skin, then the tissue will be greasy and is called oily skin. Apart from external skin care, you should be careful about your diet. Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry skin. If there is grease only in the centre panel of the face and dry elsewhere then it is a combination skin, which is T-shaped on the face. If there is no grease at all then it is normal skin. It is a perfectly balanced skin and less problematic. If the skin is too light, shiny and parched then it is dry skin. It requires more care because it is quite sensitive. This is exactly what happens in the case of dandruff when our skin is deprived of moisture. Sensitive skin is very delicate and vulnerable and prone to allergies. This is not very easy to test.

* Normal Skin – The normal skin type is one of the best type which retains freshness, attraction and flush for long. It is a very rare type of skin. This type of skin is neither greasy nor dry. It feels smooth, supple, elastic and velvety. Colour glows under its translucent surface. Beautiful as it is, it need care for it to last. It has a well-balanced oil and moisture levels, so acne is generally never a problem. But care must be taken against premature ageing as there will not be extract oil to prevent it. Daily cleansing, toning and nourishing are adequate for the skin. Use a mild or balanced soap and soft water to wash your face daily. If the usual tap water is hard, you can soften it by adding a little borax powder to it. Always rinse with clear water and don’t rub hard around the eyes because the skin here is very delicate. It is essential to remove your make-up before going to bed. Use a good cleansing cream. Skin should be smooth, baby-soft and elastic. It should not be puffy or shining. The pores are fine and hardly visible. A simple cleansing and dabbing with rose water is the answer. At least once a week, avoid using make-up. Extra care during onset of puberty is necessary for some people due to the hormonal imbalance.

* Dry Skin – Dry skin is highly susceptible to extremities to weather conditions. Strong perfumed skin care products should not be used for this skin. Exposure to sun, room heaters and air conditioners also take their toll. Few lines and wrinkles appear faster giving a premature old look. Protect your skin against wind, sun and water. Do not use soap and cold water, or astringent lotions. Use a good freshener after washing the face with lukewarm water. Ensure that the freshener is non-alcoholic, since alcohol dries the skin. It is advisable to use a good moisturizer and gently massage the skin. Toning, massaging and moisturizing with a generous quantity of oil and moisturizer should be an integral part of routine towards prevention of the skin. The moisturizer increases the water content of the outer layer of the skin, giving it a soft feel. Opt for a thick cream rather than a runny lotion, as it will have more oil than water. A good nourishing cream at night should be a must. Avoid washing frequently with soap as it not only removes germs but also the natural oil along with it which protects the skin and its elasticity. Cucumber juice is a good toner for dry skin and helps in moisturizing the pores. A diet which in vitamins A, B, C and D are beneficial for dry skin.

* Combination Skin – Combination skin type has a greasy nose down the bridge and on the forehead like a T. It is a mix of oily and dry which is most misunderstood and mistreated. It needs a different treatment for each area. However, both dry and greasy skins need moisturizing. It is necessary to maintain the acidity of the skin. Choose a strong astringent for oily areas and a mild one for drier areas. Wash your face with mild soap and use cleansing milk at night or use a rose-based cream. Mix curds and lime juice and apply it to face and neck. It will work wonders for the skin. Blot off the excess lotion from the oily areas.

* Oily or Greasy Skin – Most people with oily skin are susceptible to pimples and dark shadows. Hence, care should be taken to wash the face frequently, at least thrice a day. Use good cleansing milk or unboiled milk to wash your face at night before retiring to bed. To keep the skin clear of pimples and grease, drink at least six glasses of water every day. Avoid using make-up, unless you need to attend a party at night. Steaming the face once a week is an effective method to keep the oily face dry.

* Sensitive Skin – This type of skin has usually quite a fine texture with a tendency to be rosier than usual. It is very soft and prone to allergies. Dermatitis and allergies are caused by cosmetics like sun, strong perfume etc., which triggers it easily. Even natural fruits and vegetables can hurt the sensitive skin, as in the case of oily skin. If no cream or lotion agrees with the skin then turn to mother nature. Use milk to cleanse and moisturize with a solution of rose water and glycerine. These should soothe it. It is best to avoid perfumes and strong scented creams and lotions. For particularly dry and sensitive skin use primrose oil and moisturiser as it hydrates and protects. Even people suffering from eczema find against irritants that can lead to sensitivity. Careful skin care will take the sting out of the sensitive skin. While your actual skin is determined by young gene factors. Still, there is plenty you can do on a day-to-day basis to ensure it always looks glowing and is in peak condition. There is no timeframe to follow a good skin care regime as it will last a long time.

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Joico K-Pak Hair Care Product

joico k

Rebuild and strengthen your hair with Joico K-PAK. Containing deep penetrating formulas that will leave your hair frizz free and silky soft. For the ultimate in healthy hair, K-PAK products reconstruct and protect damaged hair.

With the highest concentration of Quadramine Complex in its formulas, K-PAK delivers the ultimate in healthy hair. K-PAK products work synergistically to rebuild, reconstruct, strengthen and protect damaged hair.

K-Pak Rescue Your Hair Pack
Repair Your Hair with the Joico K-PAK hair repair regimen kit.
Step 1: K-Pak Shampoo * Gently cleanses as it reconstructs to restore hair’s elasticity, strength and shine.
Step 2: K-Pak Conditioner * Delivers the precise amount of daily conditioning needed to reconstruct the hair internally and at the cuticle level.
Step 3: K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor * Offers the maximum in hair reconstruction and protection, restoring weak and damaged hair to its original strength and condition.
Step 4: K-Pak Intense Hydrator * Restores moisture to overly dry, damaged hair, leaving it soft, shiny, hydrated and manageable.

K-Pak Sun Therapy ON THE GO Kit
Designed for: Sun-damaged, dry, dehydrated hair.

Contains:
50ml – K-Pak Sun Therapy Shampoo
50ml – K-Pak Sun Therapy Protective Sun Milk
50ml – K-Pak Sun Therapy Treatment Masque

Benefits:
* This gentle, colour-safe shampoo featuring Joico’s Quadramine Complex together with Hydroxy Sun Complex cleanses and repairs sun-damaged hair.
* This intensely moisturizing colour-safe Treatment Masque features the highest concentration of Joico’s exclusive Hydroxy Sun Complex for the most effective strengthening and moisture replenishment by filling holes burned into the cuticle by the sun.
* This lightweight, colour-safe leave-in Protective Spray combines the reconstructive power of Joico’s exclusive Hydroxy Sun Complex with the highest intensity of Covabsorb a powerful blend of three full spectrum UV protectants to repair and shield the hair from future sun damage. For use on wet or dry hair during long periods of sun exposure, this product leaves hair hydrated, conditioned and protected against future damage.
* Hair is also replenished with nutrients, moisture and strength that sun has stripped away.

K-Pak Chelating Shampoo
Designed for Swimmers, regularly heavily-styled hair and people who live in hard water areas. This professional quality chelator removes chlorine, which can turn blonde hair green, and leaves hair feeling moisturized and conditioned. Also excellent for removing styling product build-up and mineral deposits caused by hard water.

K-Pak Conditioner
This moisture-rich daily conditioner reconstructs and strengthens damaged hair. Detangles and eliminates static while leaving the hair smooth, silky and shiny. Promotes vitality and bounce. Banana melon fragrance.

Use: After shampooing, apply to damp hair and leave in for one minute. Rinse. Follow with K-Pak Reconstructor or Leave-In Protectant, if needed.

K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor
The original deep-penetrating reconstructive treatment. This ultimate intensive reconstructor goes beyond strengthening. K-Pak rebuilds and improves the quality and structure of the hair making it healthy again. K-Pak provides the ultimate in hair reconstruction. Promotes vitality and bounce. Tropical and fresh fruit fragrance.

Use: Apply to clean, damp hair. Leave in for five minutes. Rinse. Use one to three times each week depending on the degree of damage.

K-Pak Intense Hydrator
Designed for: Overly dry, damaged, chemically treated or frizzy hair.

* Restores moisture to overly dry, damaged hair.
* Conditioners, lanolin and shea butter fill in lost lipids in the cuticle.
* Silicone locks in moisture, seals the shine.
* Improves manageability and elasticity.
* Increases hair’s health with Joico’s Triamine Complex, an exclusive blend of protein-building amino acids.

Use: Use alone or following Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor. Apply to damp hair. Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse.

K-Pak Leave-in Protectant
This unique foaming leave-in protectant finalizes the reconstruction process by sealing the cuticle and protecting the hair against thermal styling and environmental influences. Detangles, protects and adds shine. Promotes vitality and bounce. Tropical Fragrance.

Use: Apply two to three pumps to hands and work through hair. Comb for even distribution. Complete by applying styling product of choice and style as desired.

K-Pak Liquid Reconstructor
Designed for: fine, damaged hair.

Benefits:
* This intense leave-in reconstructive liquid protein spray offers fine hair strength, shine and support without added weight.
* Fine, lifeless hair has restored vitality, strength and elasticity.
* Clinical results show benefits equal to Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor.

K-Pak Protect and Shine Serum
An advanced liquid reconstructive shine therapy, that has a unique and exclusive two-phase process, sealing, reconstructing and protecting the hair, while adding incredible shine.

Designed for: damage repair

Benefits:
* This shine serum, featuring K-PAK’s Keratin Silicone Complex, protects, polishes and seals the cuticle while helping to prevent split ends and frizziness.

* Hair is left glossy, healthy and weightless.
* Nourishes and moisturizes hair as well as protects against further damage.

Coconut papaya fragrance.

Use: Apply one to three drops in palm and emulsify. Distribute through damp hair to aid in blow drying or styling. For intense shine, distribute through dry hair. Reduces frizz and increases smoothness.

K-Pak Protective Hairspray
Styling, Shaping, Finishing Hairspray. Designed for: Dry, damaged, chemically treated hair.

Benefits:
* Provides medium hold that won’t build up or flake, even with repeated layering during styling and finishing.
* Leaves hair feeling soft and natural.
* Doubles as a working spray, styling spray and/or a finishing spray.
* Strengthens the hair, ensuring total hair reconstruction.
* Provides thermal protection from styling damage.
* Recommended for all hair types.
* Smoothes and defines hair into place, because of its workable finishing properties.

K-Pak Shampoo
Developed to begin the reconstruction process. The rich formulation cleanses the hair gently and thoroughly. Leaves hair feeling soft and manageable without weighing it down. Banana coconut fragrance.

Use: Shampoo and rinse. Follow with K-Pak Daily Conditioner.

Joico K-Pak Smoothing Balm
The healthy way to temporarily straighten hair. Heat-activated conditioners penetrate deep for the ultimate in strength, health and shine. The humidity-resistant formula allows for a long-lasting hold so curl won’t revert. Caribbean mango fragrance blended with green florals.

Use: Apply to damp hair. Continuously brush or comb while blow drying, until hair is completely dry and curl is straightened. For maximum shine, smooth a small amount of K-Pak Protect & Shine Serum on hair’s surface.

K-Pak Split End Mender
Designed for: Damaged, chemically treated hair, to both mend existing split ends and prevent new ones from forming.

Benefits:
* Features an exclusive dual-polymer technology that deeply penetrates porous hair ends to create an ultra durable bond.
* Also contains a combination of K-PAK technologies Quadramine Complex®, Keratin Silicone Complex and Hair Protection System ensures maximum protection and reconstruction from the cortex, locks in moisture, seals the cuticle, and delivers smoothness to the hair.

K-Pak Sun Therapy Nourishing Shampoo
Designed for: Sun-damaged, dry, dehydrated hair.

Benefits:
* Step 1 in the new Sun Therapy hair repair regimen.
* This gentle, colour-safe shampoo featuring Joico’s Quadramine Complex together with Hydroxy Sun Complex cleanses and repairs sun-damaged hair.
* Hair is also replenished with nutrients, moisture and strength that sun has stripped away.
* Contains aloe vera, for natural healing and soothing, Covabsorb EW, a powerful UV protectant, and the Quadramine Complex and KPAK Hair Protection System for advanced levels of reconstruction, manageability and shine.

K-Pak Sun Therapy Protective Sun Milk
Designed for: Sun-damaged, dry, dehydrated hair.

Benefits:
* Step 3 in the new Sun Therapy hair repair regimen.
* This lightweight, colour-safe leave-in protective spray combines the reconstructive power of Joico’s exclusive Hydroxy Sun Complex with the highest intensity of Covabsorb EW a powerful blend of three full spectrum UV protectants to repair and shield the hair from future sun damage.
* For use on wet or dry hair during long periods of sun exposure, this product leaves hair hydrated, conditioned and protected against future damage.
* Contains aloe vera, for natural healing and soothing and the Quadramine Complex and KPAK Hair Protection System for advanced levels of reconstruction, manageability and shine.

K-Pak Sun Therapy Treatment Masque
Designed for: Sun-damaged, dry, dehydrated hair.

Benefits:
* Step 2 in the new Sun Therapy hair repair regimen.
* This intensely moisturizing colour-safe treatment masque features the highest concentration of Joico’s exclusive Hydroxy Sun Complex for the most effective strengthening and moisture replenishment by filling holes burned into the cuticle by the sun.
* Hair is repaired and nutrients and moisture restored, leaving hair looking and feeling significantly healthier, shinier and more manageable.
* Contains aloe vera, for natural healing and soothing, Covabsorb EW, a powerful UV protectant, and the Quadramine Complex and KPAK Hair Protection System for advanced levels of reconstruction, manageability and shine.

K-Pak Thermal Designing Foam
Designed for: Dry, damaged, chemically treated hair.

Benefits:
* Weightless, alcohol-free foam protects hair from dryness and dullness caused by thermal styling as well as leaving hair strong and healthy.
* Delivers exceptional body, volume and support for any hairstyle.
* Gives hair exceptional flexible hold without a hard or tacky feel.

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The secret to having healthy, shiny hair

hair

Beauty store shelves are full of products promising you healthy, shiny hair. However, the fact is that you don’t have to change your diet or your shampoo to get the best out of your hair. Your hair follicles are doing the hard bit already, growing hair. The rest is down to you, simply looking after your hair as it lengthens, keeping it conditioned and protecting it from damage. In this article learn how your hair gets damaged and what you can do to prevent it so your hair can stay it’s natural, healthy best.

How does hair get damaged?

Our hair, generally speaking, consists of two parts: the cortex (and in some women, also the medulla) at the centre, and the cuticle. The cortex is a very fragile structure made of long stringy proteins, porous like a sponge, that contains the elements that give your hair most of the qualities that are unique to you: strength, colour, elasticity and texture. This delicate material needs protecting, and that is the job of the cuticle. Split ends are actually where the cuticle has completely broken away, uncovering the unravelling end of your cortex. No product in the world is going to glue your split ends permanently back together. This is why the only cure for split ends is a hair cut, followed by a good hair care routine that maintains and protects the cuticle.

The cuticle is a series of layers (usually about seven) of scales made of the protein keratin, which overlap like roof tiles. This arrangement allows the hair to swell and shrink with moisture content. These scales are there to take a beating, and when we talk about damaging your hair, we are talking about damage to these cuticle scales. These scales are not living. They cannot grow back or repair themselves. Once you have blown through all the layers of the cuticle, there is nothing left to protect the cortex, the damage is irreversible and the hair breaks. As far as you and I are concerned, care of the cuticle is the very foundation of maintaining healthy hair.

The Four Most Common Causes of Damage

Chemicals

Colouring and perming chemicals do the most damage, because the way they work is by swelling the hair to such an extent that the cortex can be altered, either by changing the pigment when you colour it, or by chemically destroying the sulphur bonds that give your hair its naturally curly or straight texture. This process roughs up the edges of all the scales right through the entire cuticle, not just the outside.

For this reason, in my opinion, all hair colouring, relaxing and perming should be done by a trained stylist and not at home. You only want to subject your hair to this process once, and thereafter only touch up from the roots. You should only do either a perm or a colour process if you have fine hair, but never both.

A good professional hairstylist will never agree to do both procedures to fine hair. Ideally, for really healthy hair, you should not subject your hair to any chemical treatment at all.

But it’s fun and a lot of women don’t like their hair going grey, so there are good reasons to colour or perm your hair. And if you decide you’ve had enough with the chemicals, you can just grow your hair out and start again.

So don’t believe any company that tells you they have a gentle colouring or perming product. There is no such thing. And conditioning afterwards will not reverse the damage.

Friction

Even if you are quite saintly and never colour or perm your hair, most of the damage to your cuticle is caused by the hairs rubbing against each other. This is where your good conditioning habits will pay dividends.

Friction includes wearing your hair down loose, especially on a windy day, brushing, backcombing or teasing and just ‘messing’ with your hair too frequently during the day. If you find your hair knots or tangles frequently, this is a typical sign of damage to the cuticle. The scales are literally ruffled up and catching on each other, causing your hair to snarl.

To minimise damage while getting the tangles out of your hair, never brush your hair when it is wet, even with conditioner in it. Use your fingers and wiggle them as you very gently comb them through your hair. Your hands are the best grooming tool you possess, as the skin on your hands cannot damage your cuticle.

To further protect your hair during the day, the best thing you can do is use very good quality hair accessories to wear your hair up. The kindest type of accessories to use are the ones that do not bind your hair at all, such as combs, forks and hair sticks. Another great way to protect your hair when you are outside is to tuck it up into a hat.

The next best alternative, if your hair is too slippery, are either very fat hair elastics or hair claws which have smoothed and polished edges. Lastly, barrettes and hair slides can cut into the hair’s cuticle. To prevent this, choose barrettes using only the best clasps which are still only made in France from steel with hand smoothed edges.

The good news is that very good quality French hair accessories, while expensive, should last for several years, so are actually good value as well as kind on your hair.

Heat

Styling using straighteners, curling tongs and blow dryers cause quite a lot of damage. Hair dryers can actually strengthen hair, but only when used on medium or low heat and held at least six inches away from your hair. Most people use dryers as a way to straighten their hair, though, and this causes a lot of damage.

What happens when using these tools on wet or damp hair is that the water in the cortex of the hair can start to boil and the steam will actually blow holes in the cuticle. There are products that claim to “heat protect” your hair. They can do a little, but as most women use driers and irons on a high setting combined with pulling their hair straight with brushes, this is more than these “heat protecting” products can stand up to.

My recommendation is to learn to work with your natural hair texture. This can be a steep learning curve. All hair textures have their own unique advantages, the most valuable of which is that when you respect your hair’s natural tendencies and ensure that it is kept healthy and undamaged, you spend almost no time styling it in the morning.

Sun

UV rays affect your hair in two ways. UVA rays gradually break down the pigment molecules in your hair leaving a yellowish tinge inside the hair, which is why sun faded hair can look brassy. UVB rays, after a lot of exposure, break down the sulphur bonds in your hair, which eventually affects the strength and texture of your hair.

However, this is really only relevant if you spend a lot of time outdoors when the sun is most intense, use sunbeds very frequently or live in a very sunny country. Hair styling products containing sunblock are not effective. They either wash out or fall out of your hair very easily.

You only really need to be concerned about sun damage if you colour your hair, have naturally white or grey hair, or if you have longer than shoulder-length hair. To protect your hair colour, the only effective solution is a hat or scarf. For long hair, it is helpful to wear your hair up in a chignon, pleat or twist style so that the ends of your hair are covered and secure.

Protecting your hair from damage is the single best way to have healthy looking hair. Fortunately, this is completely free. The more disciplined you are about looking after your hair, your hair will reward you by not only behaving more often on a day to day basis but by also responding well to more extreme styling when you need it for those formal occasions.