WINTER HAIR DEFENCE GUIDE
With every season there comes a point when one’s hair starts to revolt. Whether in protest against styling routines or climate extremes, as in summer, winter inflicts its own woes upon our hair and further compounds existing problems. The result? A cold weather conundrum of brittle locks, frizz, flyaways, dry ends, and the inability to get any style to last. At the mercy of ice cold winds and scorching central heating, we must adhere to that most imperative of beauty protocols; with damage, must come repair.
CLEANSE & CONDITION
Perfect for giving your hair a reboot if your pre-Christmas attempt at a committed winter haircare routine has been somewhat neglected, the KMS CALIFORNIA MoistRepair Shampoo and Conditioner* give my hair TV advert levels of swishiness. Like a comfort blanket for hair, the formula cocoons each individual strand in potent ingredients [including avocado oil, vanilla extract, and aloe vera] designed to replenish moisture levels and prevent further dehydration. Essentially, this returns moisture, shine, and silkiness - conditioning even fine hair well and without being too heavy. I find this pair work particularly well when I blow-dry my hair. The heat seems to give its effects a welcome boost, resulting in smooth, shiny hair that my brush positively glides through.
I’ve also been reaching for the DAVINES Oi Shampoo & Conditioner*; a prettily packaged roucou oil based pair that leave my hair feeling incredibly hydrated after just one use. The shampoo has an unusually milky texture, and despite being SLS-free, foams incredibly well. In contrast, its companion conditioner is dense and creamy, a texture more akin to a deep treatment mask than your typical conditioner. Both leave my hair soft, weightless, and full of movement; they’re the sort of products that negate the need for smoothing serums and volumising sprays, and give you that ‘blow-dry’ effect when you’re too lazy to reach for your heat tools. Despite their oil-rich formulas, build-up is completely non-existent, and my hair seems to stay cleaner for a lot longer when I’m using these. Fortuitously [for the price tag is a little steep] only a small amount is needed of each, so I can easily imagine them lasting a good few months.
TREAT & TAME
If you’re after a quick solution with long-term benefits, I can’t speak highly enough of SACHAJUAN's Overnight Hair Repair*, which contains ingredients that ensure immediate results as well as setting long-term benefits in motion. In the dead of winter [or when I’m truly on top of my haircare game] I use this once a week, massaging it throughout my hair in lieu of conditioner and leaving it in overnight. The gel texture and water-based formula mean that [unlike most hair masks] it doesn’t coat my entire scalp/face/pillow in greasy residue [so no sleeping in a towel turban is required!]; and it can be left in until the next wash [no greasiness or build-up in sight]. Although I would heartily recommend this to all hair types, it will be a particularly welcome treatment for those with oily hair/scalps, who typically find leave-in treatments and hair masks too heavy and clogging. Like the best leave-in conditioners, it leaves my hair incredibly soft and smooth to touch, tangle-free, and, like all Sachajuan products, smelling glorious.
Winter conjures frizz and flyaways that can easily be quelled thanks to BUMBLE & BUMBLE’s Defrizz*. A product that I adored from first use, the weightless gel is the perfect antidote for wind-ravaged hair. It flattens flyaways and tames frizz without inciting build-up, greasiness, or an unwelcome crunchy texture. Like a souped up version of the brand’s Invisible Oil, expect it to instantly soften hair, giving it a weightless, silky texture and post-salon levels of sleek swishiness. Not cheap, granted, but so concentrated that the small bottle probably contains a year’s worth of product. Although Bumble commend this to curly hair types, my own is poker straight and I adore this, for, in a pinch, it replaces styling tools and has its own super-straightening effect.
One of my all-time favourite haircare ranges is BUMBLE & BUMBLE’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil collection; designed to do battle with winter’s worst and soften, smooth, defrizz, tame, protect and detangle. Most products with such far-reaching claims fail to tick every box, but Bumble is a brand that I’ve come to rely upon in times of [haircare] need, and am constantly recommending to friends and family. The Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer* is nothing short of miraculous; an oil-rich leave-in conditioner that turns its hand to both wet and dry styling, performs as well on fine hair as it does thick, and in addition, provides protection against heat styling and UV damage. I find the formula to be noticeably more hydrating than other leave-in conditioners, my hair always feels softer and stronger when I'm using it.
The haircare market is oversaturated with hair oils, which [as a glance at their ingredients lineup will attest to] are packed full of cheap filler ingredients that do nothing to hair but coat it in greasy silicones. In contrast, a good oil blend will work wonders on winter-inflicted hair, mine adores SHU UEMURA Essence Absolue; a truly classic hair oil that delivers above and beyond the far-reaching claims of its competitors. Despite this, it does take some getting used to, and is the kind of product that could end up sat in your bathroom for months if you’re not tempted to experiment. Instruction rather seems to have been lost in translation [Shu Uemura is a cult Japanese brand] so it’s not terribly transparent how or indeed when is best to apply it. It took some time before I eventually figured out how this would best serve my needs, and having tried it at varying stages of my haircare routine, I find it performs best when applied to damp towel-dried hair. Typically, post-shower I like to spritz my hair with leave-in conditioner and cocoon it in a towel turban. After an hour or so I massage [then comb] a single squirt of this through my lengths before blow-drying them to silky soft [and super shiny] perfection.
A sort of diluted version of BUMBLE & BUMBLE’s Brilliantine [which I adore] the brand’s Grooming Creme* has the same effect of adding a subtle definition to layers for a luxe take on a ‘lived-in’ texture. Scrunched roughly through lengths, the whipped-up, featherlight lotion gives a piecey separation that prevents hair from looking dull and fluffy. The formula also caters towards winter ravaged hair - avocado, almond, castor, and jojoba oils pack in the moisture and result in a sleek satin sheen. Unlike similar [cheaper] products, this is one of the few styling creams I can use without my hair falling into a limp, greasy mess within a matter of hours; it’s perfect for anyone who hates the feel [and after effects] of product-laden hair.
Combining chic packaging with a high-performing product, AESOP’s Violet Leaf Hair Balm* is perfect for disguising the distress call my hair emits when I’ve been a little too reliant upon my hairdryer - fluffy split ends. Like a face cream for the hair, it can be used day or night for instant hydration. Formulated with a range of botanical extracts, including shea butter and soybean oil, just a little helps to soothe, soften, and add a subtle shine to my ends, giving them a healthy, glossy appearance. The best thing about this balm is that you can use anything from a pea-sized to a grape-sized amount and it still absorbs into the hair, leaving it soft and silky, but never greasy.
OJON’s Revitalising Mist* is great for preventing hair from becoming limp and lifeless by the end of the day. A deeply hydrating tonic formulated with pure ojon oil, honey, and blue agave extract, it’s the perfect antidote for dull, lacklustre hair that’s in need of a midwinter pick-me-up. The formula lends itself to both wet and dry styling, and while I occasionally employ it as a leave-in conditioner, I find it performs exceptionally well on damp/nearly dry hair. In particular, it’s perfect for taming frizz and reviving style when I’ve been caught out in the rain. On a longterm basis, the formula works to smooth, detangle, and quench dryness; a sure fire way to keep hair looking happy and healthy right through to summer.
What are your winter haircare saviours?
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