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How do I protect my hair?

If you live in a hard water area, it may be a good idea to get a shower filter.  This takes out the fluoride and other additives as well as softening the water.  Try not to wash your hair every day.  This tends to dry it and strip it of natural oils.  Your hair will soon adjust to a different routine. Try to go to every 2 or 3 days.

Use gentle, sulphate free shampoos and natural styling products and do not overheat your hair with styling tongs etc.  Apply conditioner to the ends of the hair – it can make your hair oily if you massage into the scalp.

Coconut oil is a good natural oil to moisturise your hair, help protect it from the sun and from heat damage.

When drying your hair, do not rub it too vigorously with a towel – this can split the ends.  Pat it with a soft towel and when possible let it dry naturally without use of the hair-dryer.

What does having ‘natural’ hair mean?

Natural hair is hair that hasn’t been coloured hasn’t been relaxed or permed – basically it is just the way nature intended. Very few people have totally natural hair without any help from colouring or highlights.  Mostly these days it is used to describe hair that is curly and has not been relaxed.

What is the difference between relaxed hair and natural hair?

Relaxed hair usually describes very curly hair that has had a lotion applied to it too make it easier to straighten.  Sometimes it is chemically straightened using a strong alkali which does damage the hair.  Hence there is an increasing trend towards enjoying and embracing naturally curly hair and not having it straightened or ‘relaxed’.

Is colouring bad for the hair?

No, it doesn’t have to be.  If it is done professionally by a hair-dresser, then your hairdresser will ensure that they use the right product for your hair type and condition.  Colouring yourself at home could sometimes cause damage as these products are not so professional and not purpose made for different hair types.

Are heated styling implements bad for the hair?

They can be, if over-used as they can dry the hair, strip it of its natural oils and cause split ends.  Used in moderation, with a protective moisturiser to minimise the damage, they should be OK, but blow drying with a gentle hair dryer is by far the better option.

Hot appliances, like flat irons, hair dryers, hair steamers, curling irons and pressing combs, are popular, but often lead to serious hair damage because their high temperatures can result in brittle, dry hair that breaks easily – especially when they’re overused. If you decide to use heat, then you should use measures to minimize the likelihood of irreparable heat damage. However, it’s important to understand that it’s impossible to completely protect the hair from heat damage. If an appliance is hot enough to burn your skin, then there is a legitimate chance that the appliance will cause significant damage your hair.

Infrared Technology is Worth Exploring: “Far Infrared (FIR) rays are electro-magnetic waves of energy, totally invisible to the naked eye, capable of penetrating deep into the human body, including the hair shaft,” explains Garcia. “It dries the hair from the inside out—meaning more moisture remains in the hair shaft resulting in less damage to individual strands. Ceramic counterparts also have benefits like distributing heat across the entire surface evenly, retaining heat more efficiently, and eliminating damaged hot spots.”

Are sulphates bad for the hair?

Yes! People with dry, damaged or coloured hair, dry skin and conditions such as eczema, should find a marked improvement by going sulphate free.

Those who stop chemically straightening their hair to return to their naturally very curly hair can find hair rebelling against traditional shampoos. Regardless of how much conditioner, oil, or product used, it is no help; hair remains dry, frizzy and almost unmanageable.

Stylists like Lorraine Massey and Anthony Dickey feel that sulphate shampoos are the culprit. They have challenged consumers for years to opt for “low poo” (low sulphate) or sulphate-free shampoos. These sulphates are usually listed as sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laurel sulphate and abbreviated as ‘SLS’.

“I have used sulphate-free shampoo, body soap, and baby wash exclusively and I have definitely noticed less flare-ups of eczema and dry scalp/dry skin, my hair is less frizzy, and my body feels softer — my hair even seems to respond better to my hair products after each shampoo!” Tamara Floyd.

My hair is dry and brittle – how can I repair it?

If your hair is dry and brittle, has probably been damaged, either by excessive colouring or bleaching or by chemical relaxers or by styling products, heated or otherwise.  Firstly, think about going a bit more natural.  Have a really good cut.  Seek advice from your hairdresser as to the best style to suit the shape of your face as well as your hair type.  If you don’t want a full cut, at least have the split ends cut off.  Then start using natural and sulphate free shampoos that are much gentler on the hair and don’t strip the hair of its natural oils.  Apply your conditioner as a ‘hair mask’.  After shampooing, apply a generous amount of conditioner all over the hair.  Wrap your hair up in a shower cap or a wrap and leave on for 15 to twenty minutes before rinsing.

Try to stop using harsh heating products and chemical based styling products; or at least reduce the amount you use these.  Shiny natural hair is far more attractive than over processed hair.

My hair goes lank and greasy quickly; what can I do?

First of all, do not over condition your hair, or leave out the conditioner entirely if you hair does not tangle after shampooing.  Secondly, do not use harsh shampoos that strip the hair of its natural oils.  This just makes the hair produce more oil to compensate.  Use a natural, sulphate free shampoo.  These do not lather quite as much as normal shampoos, and it may take a couple of weeks for your hair to adjust, but you will soon see the difference!

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