The relationship between hair and happiness is a complex one. It seems more than a little ridiculous to say that it's traumatic when what were once bouncy, shiny locks turn into lifeless strands that look dull and dry, seemingly without reason; and somewhat frivolous to find that a perfect coiffure can instil joy almost instantly. Yet our hair is a vital part of who we are, and it's a good indicator of our general well-being.
Hair, just like skin, mirrors how you're feeling; so if you're tired, over-worked and filling up on sugary snacks, then your hair probably looks a little worse for wear too. And although a plethora of products definitely isn't a quick-fix for a diet of healthy food, plenty of sleep and regular exercise, they'll certainly help your hair on its way to becoming the shiny, soft and bouncy locks you're looking for.
As the last few weeks of summer ebb away, and those holiday hours spent basking in the sun and cooling off in the pool take their toll, it's the perfect time to repair and revitalise your hair, and to tackle those 'bad hair days'.
Refreshing your colour
With an almost sparkling finish to it, newly dyed hair always looks incredibly radiant, so it's disappointing when the colour and shine fade over the weeks. To help keep the colour and shine between trips to the hairdresser, try AVEDA's Colour Conserve range. Made with plant extracts, the shampoo and conditioner help to keep your colour looking vibrant for longer, whilst also protecting it from environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV rays.
If your hair colour, either natural or dyed, is looking a little lacklustre and flat, try AVEDA's Colour Enhance range. With a specific shampoo and conditioner for your hair shade, it really brings out the natural tones and gives hair a brilliant boost so it looks shiny and bright again.
Intensive weekly treatments
If you have fine hair and find that intensive treatments can make it feel a little greasy and heavy, try Percy & Reed's Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask. It only needs to be left on for a few minutes, so it's perfect for days when you're in a rush and want shiny, sleek hair in a flash.
When you have more time for pampering, try Melvita's Argan Oil. This multi-tasking oil is a wonder at nourishing skin and nails, and it works like magic on your hair too. For an intensive treat, leave this on overnight (pop a towel over your pillow to stop it from marking your sheets) and wash off in the morning with shampoo - it will leave your hair feeling incredibly soft. I also rub a tiny amount between my palms and smooth over dry hair, it creates a weightless, luminous sheen. A word of warning though - only use a tiny amount on dry hair or it will look greasy.
Despite dandruff and an itchy scalp being really common problems, it's still embarrassing to find little white flecks deposited on your top or scattered throughout your hair. Caused by changes to the condition of your scalp - as a result of hormonal changes, diet and stress, to name a few - and the subsequent overproduction of skin cells and sebum, dandruff can be treated.
If you've not used anything by Philip Kingsley before, I'd really recommend that you try his range. A trichological consultant (someone who studies the hair and scalp, including diagnosing and treating problems) with over 50 years' experience and clinics in London and New York that specialise in hair and scalp health, Kingsley's Flaky Itchy products work to clear dandruff and help maintain a healthy scalp. As an introduction to the range, try their Jet Set Take Comfort set, which contains a shampoo, conditioner and scalp toner designed to tackle dandruff, and Elasticizer. Something of a cult product, this pre-shampoo treatment really nourishes your hair so it's bouncy, glossy and manageable.
Masking split, frazzled ends
The only way to get rid of split ends is to chop them off but if you're loathe to lose a good few inches, try Phyto's PhytoKératine Repairing Serum. A weightless, leave-in cream that's formulated with a potent blend of hyaluronic acid (more commonly seen in your moisturiser) and Brazilian palm tree oils, it's a little like applying a plaster around split ends. Really effective on dry, brittle ends, the serum wraps the damaged strands together so they look smooth and glossy, and feel silky soft.
And if you're searching for a shampoo and conditioner to give your hair a helping hand on a daily basis, try Intelligent Nutrients' Harmonic range. Packed with natural ingredients and a deliciously uplifting mint aroma, this is one of my favourite ranges - it gives you velvety soft hair that looks really radiant and healthy.