June 17, 2024

Jen Atkin reveals all the ways you’re damaging your hair in isolation

When we know we don’t have to go anywhere, we tend to not do anything to our hair. We skip brushing. We don’t wash often. We pull our hair back. We go to bed with a wet head.

Overall we tend to neglect our hair because we’re not going anywhere or seeing anyone, so we think, what’s the point, right?

A few easy reminders to keep us on track during this time at home:

  • Brush hair
  • Add a treatment to the routine
  • Experiment with different looks
  • Lay off the hot tools
  • Watch tutorials on YouTube
  • Research hair supplements for your diet needs
  • Cruise Mane Addicts for new looks – create a Pinterest page and share with your stylist
What can we do to combat this?

Take this time to incorporate realistic healthy hair routines. Be patient with yourself during the trial and error process. Find what works best for you and stick to that routine.

Brush your hair: Think of it as brushing your teeth. Do in the morning and night. Brushing hair is the easiest way to keep hair healthy. Brushing hair can help to stimulate the scalp by increasing blood circulation to the scalp, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the hair stem. Think of it as a lymphatic massage for the scalp. Giving your hair a once over with the brush before cleansing can act as pre-shampoo. The act of brushing can help to remove product build-up, dry skin and other impurities found on the scalp and hair. Knots or tangles in the hair often cause breakage so brushing hair on a consistent basis can help to prevent knots and detangle. Last but not least brushing can help to smooth out a style combating frizz and flyaways.

When pulling hair back use soft scrunchies or hair ties: Securing hair back too tight with harsh hair ties can cause breakage and stress to the hair. Spray a leave-in conditioner on your hair tie to help prevent breakage by creating slip and less friction.

While we sleep we can damage our hair: Tossing and turning on a cotton surface causes friction therefore creating unnecessary knots, frizz and damage. Laying on smooth surfaces allows hair to flow and glide. Consider a satin or silk pillowcase but if you prefer a cotton pillowcase, try sleeping in a silk or satin bonnet. It’s very Old Maid, but roll with it…
Start a hair journal: Write down quick things that worked and didn’t.

What is the ultimate detox hair routine?
  1. Refraining from heat styling is the ultimate detox. Damage occurs when excessive use of heat is used on the hair on a consistent basis.
  2. Incorporate a treatment masque into your routine. Boosting hydration can help hair appear healthier and become more manageable.
  3. Use a shampoo with apple cider vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar acts like a toner for the hair and scalp – removing dirt, oils, product residue and hair water deposits, not to mention it makes your hair SO smooth and shiny.
How can we make our own hair masks from stuff in the cupboard?

I swear, hair stylists and makeup artists are like chemists. . So, here goes:


Malts and hoops are rich in proteins that can help to repair hair damage.
Sucrose and maltose in beer can help to create shine. Grab a beer. Decarbonate the beer by letting it sit in an open container. Once flat pour into a spray bottle. Wash hair with your favourite shampoo. Rinse and spray beer from roots to ends, add your favourite conditioner, let sit for one minute and rinse with cool water.

Avocado and Olive Oil

The combination of avocado and olive oil can help with hydration and shine. Avocados and olives are rich in fatty acids that can help to nourish and strengthen hair while providing moisture and shine.

One ripe-ish avocado (regular size), ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice – mix together in a blender (oh hey, Nutribullet). The lemon brings acidity, allowing for a more cohesive formulation.

Shampoo your hair, rinse and apply the mixture from roots to ends. Beware the application process will be messy. Bring a wide tooth comb in the shower to help distribute the mixture evenly. If you tend to be on the oilier side apply less of the mixture on roots. Clip hair back and let sit for 20 minutes. Get back in the shower and rinse with cool water.

Is there a heat-free way to style hair for Zoom calls?

Yes! Hair in video can appear different than in IRL. Use your camera before a Zoom call to make any adjustments to your hair. Volume can look great in person but then flat on camera. A little trick I’ve learned the last few weeks – if you pull all your hair to one side, it often looks thicker and bouncier on a computer cam (not true for all other pro cams! ). Here’s how to use some of my products to get the look…

Wave Spray for beachy waves without the heat

Spray all over your hair the night before. Place hair in braids. The tighter the braid the more defined wave, a looser braid will create a more flat iron wave look. Spray all over dry hair – twist into buns. Release for an effortless bend

Air Dry Foam for great for naturally wavy, frizzy hair

On freshly cleansed hair, use a wide tooth comb to part hair and remove tangles. Scrunch, squeeze, smooth or comb AIR DRY FOAM into hair. Apply from roots to ends. Apply all over. Do not touch hair – this is key to not disrupting the hair follicle during the air dry process. Once dry add Texturizing Hair Spray or Wave Spray for additional texture, grip and volume.

Rose Hair and Body Oil for the wet look

Love doing this on “dirty”. Part hair – love a side part for this look, but middle part works too. Section hair and apply Rose Hair Body Oil from roots to ends. The more you apply the better. Comb in. Seal with a hairspray. Apply final layer of Rose Hair Body Oil.

How can we keep on top of split ends at home without trims?

A split end is when the hair strand splits into two or more pieces. This most likely occurs at the tip or ends of hair.

The ultimate cure for a split end is a trim so I suggest bribing your stylist to get that first appointment back if you can! But in the meantime, there are lots of ingredients that can help seal a split end, preventing further breakage.

Keep hair hydrated: using a wide tooth comb in the shower can help endure the conditioner reaching the entire hair shaft. The new OUAI Fine, Medium, and Thick Conditioner, Treatment Masque, and OUAI Comb are all faves for this.

Use heat protection when heat styling: Heat is the worst thing for fragile hair. Try the OUAI Hair Oil or any heat protection spray. Hair oils can help temporary seal a split end – the OUAI Hair Oil contains three different types of oil (ama, borage, baobab seed oil) that help to seal and hydrate split ends.

What is your favourite at-home hairstyle and how can we do it?

I’m really keeping the ol’ routine super low maintenance right now and suggest we all do the same since we’re all staying home anyway! Nothing beats an undone look, and I’m all about keeping things quick and easy. Try experimenting with what “undone” looks like for you – it’s different for everyone, so this could take a few tries.

For my girls with fine hair, that might mean using a scalp scrub in the shower, air drying, and then putting it up in a loose top bun or braid once it’s halfway dry, to give it that extra oomph. For my girls with curls and volume, try a treatment masque in the shower, some hair oil to hydrate, and then let it run wild in the comfort of your own home. Now is the time to do all the things at home that we never have time to do. Experiment with accessories, headbands, barrettes, braids, and just give yourself a break from all the heat, the product, the fuss – it’ll be waiting for us on the other side!

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