Q. I’d love any advice on how to make my dry, brittle hair soft again. It’s thick and highlighted and I dry it using a blowdryer, using straighteners only on parts that need it. I wash it every three days but still I get fly away bits. I use Kérastase shampoo and conditioners and Redken leave-in conditioner, and also Moroccanoil. The oil is a new find and has helped somewhat, but I still suffer from the frizzies. I also use serum after I’ve dried it. I use treatments once a week, notably Redken All Soft. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
A. Well, you’re certainly on the right track, although we would say that in our experience, a leave-in conditioner isn’t probably rich enough for dry, brittle hair. Here is our prescription for upping the TLC levels even further – and a bit of extra advice we want to share about heated appliances.
1) Only shampoo ONCE, each time. In general, this is all most people need. The shampoo industry would love us to shampoo twice (they’d probably ask for three times, if they could get away with it), but if you need some more foam, just add a bit of water while shampooing.
2) Instead of using the treatments weekly, use them every three days when you shampoo your hair. There’s really nothing to lose by doing this, at least while you’re on an S.O.S. hair-rescue programme. If the treatments weigh your hair down, avoid the area nearer the roots and concentrate on the ends.
3) Leave treatments on for as long as possible – overnight if you can, and then rinse out in the morning. (You may need to shampoo out, in the case of the Moroccanoil.)
4) Try the Pureology range, which is from the same parent company (L’Oréal) as the other brands you like, but is a relatively new and very targeted range for dry, thirsty, highlighted and coloured hair. We would suggest trying the Pureology Hydrate ‘sub-range’, which has delivered great results to straw-tressed women we know (Jo also rates it very highly); next time you finish up your treatment products, give the Pureology Hydrate Hydracure Masque a go.
5) Try to cut down on the heat treatments, because this is really where your problem has its roots (er, and ends…!) Towel or tousle dry hair until it’s 75 – 80% dry, rather than drying from the start. Then, and only then, start to use a brush and drier.
6) Can you ditch the straighteners…? At least till your hair’s better? Just a suggestion. Also: serum can work well on the frizzies, BUT it contains alcohol, and that can in itself be drying. We would suggest, instead, rubbing a dot of conditioner in the palm of your hands, and skimming that over hair, to tame flyaways. Moisturiser – yes, good old face moisturiser – also works for this.
7) Get a trim to get rid of the driest ends.
8) We recommend an Essential Fatty Acid supplement for skin and hair – IdealOmega 3: wonderfully nourishing, and literally fights ‘dryness’ from inside (OK, it can’t actually affect hair that’s already grown out, but it may help in the future.)
9) Keep up the good work and you will conquer your dryness – promise!