My Winter Hair Heroes

I've never majorly suffered with the dry/frizzy winter hair conundrum before, but it's my first winter with coloured hair and I've suffered the consequences of caving to balayage, big time. In previous years, the occasional overnight coconut oil mask solved any issues with flyaways and fluffy ends - mostly triggered by over-zealous heat tool use - I'm a slave to the convenience of my hairdryer and nothing will change that (sorry, not sorry). Fortunately, I have a bank of hair masks, deep conditioners, oils, and treatments which has sat largely redundant for some time. You wouldn’t think that a product category designed with exactly one profile in mind (colour-treated, heat-damaged, frizz-prone hair) would have such discrepancies in performance between products - just overload the mask/oil/treatment/conditioner with hydrating ingredients, right? Apparently not. In a single use I’ve been able to weed out the good from the bad - the products either really perform, or they really don’t, and there have been some surprises…

First, the one product I had absolutely zero hopes for (but purchased anyway because it was £1 in a sample sale at work), yet stands as the undisputed hero of this article, the Kardashian Beauty Black Seed Oil Liquid Hydration Masque. It makes the biggest difference to my hair’s texture after I use it, knocking out frizz and quelling fluffiness, and giving me the kind of sleek, shiny, swishy hair that TV advert dreams are made of. It’s recommended to leave on for 10-15 minutes but I opt for an hour because my hair really is that dry. I’ve tried a fair few masks and leave-in treatments over the last few months, none of which have matched up to this one so, winner established, let’s move on to hair oils... 

The best? Another unlikely winner for me because the brand is small and hard to source and relatively unknown. Evolve Organic’s Nourishing Hair Elixir smells like Terry’s Chocolate Orange and is weighted like water, despite being a blend of no less than three heavy duty oils - argan, baobab, and monoi. My trick with hair oils (which I accidentally discovered thanks to a one-time overzealous application) is to apply a lot to the ends of my freshly washed (and dried) hair - seriously, a lot as in enough to give the ends a high-fashion “wet-look” effect. I then twist my hair into a loose knot at the nape of my neck for a few hours. It’s somehow the perfect way to keep hair super smooth and prevent the lengths and ends of my hair from frizzing up. I then reapply oil every night, using a smaller amount and brushing it through my hair with a paddle brush right before bed. Two industry-wide favourites fall together into second place - MoroccanOil and OUAI’s Hair Oil - although I find that both are a little more siliconey in texture than Evolve's offering.

It’s not the job of a shampoo to fix hair’s texture, but using the right one is something akin to setting the foundation stone and kickstarting the process… which means that putting some thought into your selection does make a difference. There were two winners for me this season, the likely being Sachajuan’s Intensive Repair Shampoo (for obvious reasons… the brand relies upon a patented Ocean Silk Technology for ultra-deep hydration that always performs), and the unlikely, Umberto Giannini Indulge Wash Nourishing Shampoo. If you’re after an affordable brand that provides luxury/salon quality levels of efficacy, this (alongside Aussie) is a firm favourite of mine.

Speaking of Aussie, one of the first products I ever used from the brand remains one of my firm favourites and I well and truly reignited my love for it this winter. Their Miracle Hair Insurance Conditioning Spray (essentially a leave-in conditioner) is that rare gem of the beauty world - a product which performs instantly and noticeably. What the secret ingredient is, I don’t know, but the result is sleek, silky hair that smells good too.

HairGrace Day