Put the Spring Back in Your Hair
If you find your locks slightly ravaged after the winter months, you are not alone! My hair definitely needs some revamping after being subjected to numerous assaults by wind, snow, central heating, processed comfort foods and hurried morning high-heat drying. And let’s not forget the rather too many and too large glasses of warming wine- a common scalp offender. Here are my top tips for restoring bounce to your hair this spring.
After this winter, chances are your hair is in need of a good trim. Split-ends, brittle fringes and lacklustre roots are never in vogue – and perhaps you’ve taken less trips to your hairdresser than usual in the colder weather? Again, I am guilty of this too. Trimming your hair will make it look thicker throughout the lengths and also prevent any damage from spreading further up your hair shaft. You don’t have to chop loads off – just an inch or so to even it out and freshen it up. If you’re looking to grow your hair longer throughout the spring and into summer, help keep your ends healthy with a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. I sleep with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in my hair at least once a week. Originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn, it really helps to restore hydration, shine and strength.
Vitamin D Delight
It’s extremely common for your body’s Vitamin D levels to drop during the winter and this can really take a toll on hair health – not to mention your skin and general energy level. 80-90% of your Vitamin D intake needs to be synthesised from sunlight. You may want to visit your doctor to run blood tests to check your levels – and while he/she is at it, suggest running a full blood profile to look at your iron, ferritin (stored iron) and Vitamins B6 and B12, too. The best Vitamin D rich foods are oily fish, egg yolks, avocado and liver, but sitting in the sun is really your best option! Which brings me to my next point…
White Hats On
The sun can be both beneficial and detrimental to our wellbeing. While it provides us with much needed Vitamin D, it can also lead to very destructive free radical damage. Luckily, you still obtain Vitamin D benefits from the sun while wearing sun protection. The same logic applies to your hair, which, just like your skin, can burn and become damaged. I always carry a tube of Philip Kingsley Swimcap, which was originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team, with me in warm weather. It not only guards hair against the sun, but also chlorinated and salt water and gives your hair a super-moisturizing treatment at the same time. Alternately, bring your wide-brimmed white summer hats out of hibernation.
If you, like me, have found yourself reaching for convenient foods during the winter, spring is a great time to make a change. Fast and processed foods have very little nutritional benefit, as additives and preservatives degrade the vitamins and minerals within them. Plan a weekly trip to your local farmers market to take advantage of the new fresh foods coming into season. Artichokes, for instance, are high in antioxidants, potassium, folate, Vitamins C and K, and fibre. Fresh spinach is another hair booster, containing good amounts of iron as well as Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron.
It’s all too easy to reach for an extra glass of red wine, or a warming spirit during the winter. Now that spring is in full bloom, make a concerted effort to cut your alcohol consumption and revitalise your body. A tipple here and there is fine, but drinking too much alcohol tends to dehydrate your scalp and flare-up itching and flaking. It can also deplete your body of electrolytes and vitamins. Either find a signature non-alcoholic cocktail (my favourite is lemon juice, elderflower, fresh mint, sugar syrup and soda water), or make your order a spritzer and keep it to one or two!