We can only pray that we avoid a second peak and more lockdowns but there’s no harm in being prepared.
That’s why we asked our resident hair columnist, Jen Atkin, to share her ultimate guide to training your hair to behave at home just in case our beloved hairdressers face closure again. From how to stop hair getting to greasy and frizzy to training your colour to shine bright, Jen imparts her expert wisdom.
Every time we turn on the news, we read about the rising number of Coronavirus infections and more local lockdowns being enforced; it’s an anxiety-inducing new reality.
We face more lockdowns so what can we do to prep our hair?
With everyone at home, people are starting to really embrace their natural hair. I think everyone is starting to let go of this need to be polished and perfect all the time, we’re using less heat, less product, not styling as much as we would be if we were going to work or going out. There’s no better time than now to really take care of ourselves from the inside out.
Doing a hair mask as you take a long sudsy bath, giving yourself a luxurious scalp scrub in the shower once a week… it’s time to really pause and take care of ourselves, your hair (and mind) will thank you for it. And I know everyone is jonesing to get a haircut, but unless you’re super confident and skilled and have the proper tools, I’d stay away from too much DIY trimming so you don’t risk doing too much damage.
How can we use dry shampoo in 3 genius ways?
Refresh: Obviously if you’re on Zoom as much as I am these days, people are really only seeing you from the chest up, so hair is pretty crucial in these weird times. My suggestion is to keep dry shampoo by your computer for quick fixes before you need to Facetime with anyone. Most of us are washing our hair a lot less than we would be if we were going into offices and going out into the world.
So because we’re going longer in between washing, dry shampoo is becoming everybody’s fast friend and secret weapon to maintain some level of normalcy. We just launched our Byredo x OUAI Super Dry Shampoo collab, which I’m using religiously.
Of course, it gives me a proper refresh, but it also makes me smell like the dream that is Mojave Ghost. To use it, I always say position the can about a cans-length away from your scalp once you’ve identified and parted the area that needs the most love. Never get too close, it’ll evenly distribute if you are a bit further from the root.
Post-workouts: This is a no-brainer. If you’re working out and get even the slightest bit sweaty, dry shampoo is the ultimate go-to if you don’t plan to wash your hair right after. When I was going to classes like Tracy Anderson or LEKFIT here in LA pre-Covid, I would keep dry shampoo in my bag at all times, because it can revive you in five seconds flat.
Volume + Styling: One thing I love about doing hair over the years is watching how stylists get so creative with certain products that you’d never think of. For example, I always keep a toothbrush in my kit to help tame flyaways. But one of my favourite things about dry shampoo is that it often feels very multi-purpose. I’ll often use the OUAI Super Dry Shampoo to create more volume and texture and also to make the hair look a little less done and perfect. Dry shampoo was developed to absorb excess oil from the scalp in between washes, but it’s super common to take advantage of the formula in dry shampoo to give hair more edge, and to make newly washed hair feel full and thick.
How can we train our curls to behave?
Curls love hydration, so look for conditioners with ingredients like protein or keratin, which help lock in moisture and strengthen strands. If your curls start to lose shape between washes, wet hair with a spray bottle and spritz leave-in conditioner throughout. This will help restore your curls to their former shape. Your curls will also look and feel their best when exposed to minimal heat.
If you feel like your curls aren’t behaving, chances are that your hair is dry and damaged. Take a break from heat styling and stick to wash and go looks so that your hair has time to repair. Finally, curly hair strands tend to break easily which can leave hair looking frizzy, so regular trims are a must!
How can we train our hair to not be frizzy?
Some hair types are naturally more prone to breakage and frizz, but trimming hair on a regular basis is the best way to tackle this. Trims help get rid of dead ends and broken strands which tend to make hair look frizzy. In between trims, apply a hydrating hair mask (like the OUAI Treatment Masque) once a week to give your hair a regular boost of moisture, which will smooth strands and keep hair looking sleeker. When washing, stick to lukewarm water.
Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils, leave your scalp dehydrated and make hair look frizzy and staticky. A quick rinse of cold water on the other hand will help lock in moisture, and your hair will also look shinier as a result. Finally, try sleeping with a silk pillow case. The fabric has more slip to it, compared to a cotton pillowcase, and can help prevent hair from snagging while you sleep. This means that you’re more likely to wake up with less frizz and static.
How can we train our hair to be less greasy?
It’s a bit of a greasy transition but you can do it. It really just requires washing less at first to train your scalp that it doesn’t need to produce as much oil. If you’re washing it every day, you could be stripping your scalp of all the oils that it thinks it needs, so your body will naturally think it needs to generate more. If you can handle it, go longer in between washes and get cozy with dry shampoo fast. An alternative is to really learn to embrace a slick low bun or pony, which is honestly one of my fave looks even pre-pandemic. This is the perfect time to train your hair while most of us are working from home and caring 50% less about how they look day in and day out!
How can we train our hair to have more vibrant colour?
Heat can definitely dull colour. The heat from the sun, blow-drying, hot tools, and even washing hair with hot water can all affect colour and shine. I would try to aim to use hair care products with UV filters; wear a hat if you’re going to be in the sun for long periods of time; a heat protection spray is great when using a blow dryer or other tools but limiting the amount of heat styling is always going to be beneficial.
And then while cleansing and conditioning in the shower, try keeping water lukewarm and do a final cold rinse before you’ve finished. Using certain products on the hair like shampoo, conditioner, sprays, gels, etc can leave residue on the scalp so detoxing once a week will really help break down residue, leaving hair strands and the scalp in its natural state.
The OUAI Detox Shampoo is a game-changer for this because it cleanses without stripping, and contains apple cider vinegar without the smell. Using a detox shampoo can help restore natural volume, bounce, manageability, etc.. And finally, color enhancing glosses are a great way to boost color and shine. This is a service that either can be done in the salon or at home just choose wisely and seek a professional opinion if you need it. Ultimately, I always say our hair health often starts from the inside out so making sure you’re drinking tons of water, getting lots of sleep, taking proper nutrients – all of that will help to keep things cute and feeling good.