Hair care: 6 tips for healthy, happy hair

Whatever your hair type, there’s a way to bring it to life. Fit & Well’s expert-led tips tell you how

Hair care tips
(Image credit: Teymi Townsend | Unsplash)

“If there is one thing I can predict with absolute certainty it’s that women will always want full, bouncy, beautiful hair,” says trichologist and hair guru Anabel Kingsley, daughter of legendary trichologist Philip.

Add to that the specific 2019 trend for flowing boho beachy waves (think Emily Blunt, Jennifer Lopez, Lena Headey) we know this highly flattering feminine style is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Here, Anabel shares with Fit & Well readers everything she knows about caring for hair at home, when to go to the salon and how to make the most of what is God-given, plus daily tips on how to keep your mane in tip-top shape.

Hair care tip 1: Protect hair at home

Use pre-shampoo treatments to reduce hair breakage,” she suggests, “and select a shampoo that will give you a volumising effect, this should be for fine hair and contain lightweight proteins that coat each strand making it appear fuller.” And don’t be heavy-handed with conditioner. “Only apply it to the mid-lengths and ends of the hair to prevent ‘flatness’ and use pre-volumising mousses and root-lifting sprays to add ‘oomph’.

I always advise using heat protecting products when styling hair too.” Hair is affected by diet and what you brush it with. “Eat protein and carbs with every meal and have a diet that is iron rich.” And those 100 strokes a day? “That’s a myth,” says Anabel. “Hair is dead tissue that doesn’t regenerate so don’t over brush it. Instead, use a plastic brush with rounded ends and treat brushing with care, using soft strokes that start at the ends then work your way up.”

Hair care tip 2: Volume

“First it's important to realise that all those glossy images on Insta and pap shots at premieres of perfectly coiffed big hair are unrealistic,” says Anabel. “Often hairpieces have been strategically placed and extensions used, plus there’s an army of hairdressers on standby to create the illusion of hair excellence.”

Still, British women’s primary complaint is that they want more volume. “It’s what I’m asked about most,” she explains, “And, while there’s no actual magic wand, today’s products can give you fuller hair for longer.”

Hair care tip 3: Colour

“Colouring hair weakens the individual strands, so it should only be washed with colour-safe shampoo and conditioner.” Annabel suggests looking for options that contain keratin as one of the key ingredients. “It makes chemically treated hair stronger and more vibrant.”

Hair care tip 4: Dry hair

“For hair that is on the drier side, opt for a moisturising and fortifying conditioner to encourage strand strength. The same way that you use a mask for your face, you should use a mask for your hair on a regular basis. Set aside time once a week to throw on a quick hair mask, and your strands will reap the benefits,” she explains.

Hair care tip 5: Ditch the extensions

Anabel stresses you should be wary of hair extensions. “They can break fragile hair,” so she suggests using clip-ons for special events which you remove at the end of the night.

“Shiny hair is dependent on the outer hair cuticle, not the cortex,” she explains. “It’s like a set of tiny scales or tiles on a roof, so when the tiles lie flat they reflect light. Smooth down the outer hair cuticle with blow-dry serums or moisturising silicones.”

Hair care tip 6: Thinning hair

“There are two types of hair loss, one which you have a genetic predisposition to and can come from either parent or grandparent. This is where the hair follicles get smaller, finer and shorter and this miniaturisation happens over a long period of time. Growth cycle shortens and you lose volume at the root.

The other is where hair falls out due to sickness, stress, poor diet or thyroid conditions. The initial loss happens quickly – within months – but the hair usually grows back. So, while it’s incredibly distressing in the moment, you can recover.”

Whichever your issue you should have a consultation with a trichologist who can help with topical scalp drops, supplements, and diet. “It’s super common for women to experience some hair loss, but with a holistic approach we can help hair repair.”