Hair-related emergencies come in many and varied forms, and whilst few products will save you from an unexpected rainstorm, a bad dye job, or an ill-advised pixie crop, there are masks, shampoos, mists, sprays, and balms aplenty for dealing with more prosaic [in comparison] SOS situations [as for the above, I can only advise an umbrella, a good dye job, and a year of patience]. Between the weather, our environment, and self-inflicted abuse [namely overuse of styling tools, styling products, and bleach] our hair is levied with more than its fair share of woes - evident in the SOS signals we all too often ignore - frizz, flyaways, split ends, excessive oil production, breakage, the list goes on...
I sat down to compile this list with just a couple of ideas in mind, and ended up with an essay twice as long as what you will find below - so expect part two within the week...
For heat/colour damaged hair : BUMBLE & BUMBLE Mending Masque*
Comb this rich, deeply hydrating mask through freshly washed hair and leave for up to ten minutes before rinsing off to reveal silky smooth and touchably soft locks. Coloured and heat-damaged hair will benefit especially from the complex blend of reparative ingredients, including pantethine, phytantriol, and panthenol, all of which will smooth flyaways, restore moisture balance and strengthen hair from deep within its follicles. This mask is particularly notable for its high lipid count [naturally occurring molecules that coat the hair shafts in order to protect and repair in the long-term] - leading to restored softness, smoothness, and shine. Whilst some heavy duty hair masks require shampooing out, this one is delightfully light [despite its hefty ingredients list] and rinses away without a leaving a hint of reside behind. You'll observe improvement after a single use.
For lasting hydration : OJON Rare Blend Moisture Therapy Conditioner*
Although oils in their purest form are great for softening and hydrating dry locks, in general they're a little too messy, diminishing the finesse required by the 21st-century need for products to be effective and efficient. OJON's Rare Blend Moisture Therapy sits somewhere in between mask and conditioner, adding all the benefits of its natural oil and butter-heavy ingredient lineup, without weighing down hair with residue or inciting greasiness. It can be washed off within minutes of applying, but my hair benefits from prolonged exposure; I leave this on whilst shaving my legs/applying self-tan/enjoying the sensation of a deliciously hot shower etc, before combing out beneath the water. The indulgent formulation transforms even the driest hair into its most soft and touchable condition.
For a really deep cleanse : BUMBLE & BUMBLE Sunday Shampoo*
If your hair is prone to build-up and/or you're apt to be heavy handed and overzealous with the styling products, then a good clarifying shampoo ought to be invested in. Used on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, all hair types will benefit from a consistent thorough cleanse every once in a while - plus you can expect roots to feel and appear infinitely more buoyant after use. I favour BUMBLE & BUMBLE's option for its proficiency and for the fact that [unlike most clarifying shampoos] it won't dry out your hair or irritate a sensitive scalp. Hair will require less frequent washes with regular use, so this is a great product to invest in if you're keen to get out of the nastily addictive and far from virtuous habit of too-frequent shampooing.
For post-sun damage : SACHAJUAN Hair After The Sun*
Increasing awareness of the sun's harmful effects upon the body led Swedish haircare pioneers Sachajuan to formulate and release a product designed to be to the hair what aftersun lotion is to the skin. Whether you apply this on a daily basis during sun exposure, or use to restore and replenish your hair after summer has dealt its worst, this light lotion will calm frizz and restore moisture whilst coating hair in a protective UV barrier in order to prevent future damage from occurring. After three weeks of sun-soaking this was the perfect antidote to the unruly flyaways and uncharacteristically dry roots I observed upon arriving home. I've spent the past few weeks applying a dollop of this on a daily basis [work into dry hair until fully absorbed], and my locks have successfully been restored to their former soft sleekness.
For split ends : AĒSOP Violet Leaf Hair Balm*
Made with nourishing plant oils [a refreshing alternative to silicone-based styling products], this multi-use balm boasts a weightless texture and fresh, floral aroma - softening and shaping hair whilst delivering a hefty dose of hydrating goodness in the form of shea and cocoa butters. Whilst [contrary to popular belief] split ends cannot be "healed" [the only way to effectively ensure their disappearance is by having a good few inches chopped off], this balm will soothe and soften the fluffy appearance they result in - thanks to a high count of camellia oil, which creates a soft-sleek look with restored shine and natural UV protection. Devised for daily use, this can be applied to wet or dry hair [I favour the latter]; massage into ends until fully absorbed - a little goes a long way.
What haircare products do you reach for in times of need?