Focus on conditioner!
One of the questions we are asked frequently, is which conditioner clients should use.
Many different factors contribute to the state of our locks!
The environment plays a big part – damp weather, extreme heat and cold, even vehicle emissions can make a difference.
• Health – If our health is compromised, vitamins and nutrients that would normally support a good healthy blood supply to our hair follicles, are diverted to the parts of the body that need it most, hence our immune system is compromised and our hair will ultimately suffer.
• Taking medication over a long period of time can make a huge difference to the condition of our hair. Occasionally, certain drugs can make our hair healthier but mostly, they can have a detrimental effect, ranging in mild to severe changes.
• Chemical changes – Colouring, lightening, perming…all change the structure of hair by breaking sulphur bonds. With the right conditioner or deep conditioning treatments, the bonds can be mended and with regular use, can be maintained.
• Different hair types – straight, curly, wavy or frizzy hair will all need a different type of conditioner.
• Hair is essentially made up of 3 layers of amino acids, the cuticle, cortex and medulla held together by chemical bonds.
During the colouring process, hydrogen peroxide causes a chemical reaction in the hair cortex that leads to the new hair colour, by reacting with heat and air, oxidation occurs. While oxidative dyes are more permanent than other dyes, this also means they cause oxidative stress for your hair. This stress ages your hair and in extreme cases can cause hair loss. Breakage from damage to the hair cuticle can also lead to hair loss.
What does a hair conditioner do?
A conditioner is used to seal the cuticle and start to connect broken bonds back together.
There are many conditioners available for different hair types also conditioning treatments that penetrate the layers of hair for a deeper long-lasting result. A surface conditioner is simply used for de-tangling and has a smoothing effect, flattening down the cuticle.
There may be added moisturisers, oils, perfumes and other active ingredients such as protein or keratin, which is what hair is made of.
Leave in conditioner will act for longer which is best for damaged or frizzy hair or hair affected by chlorine (regular swimmers will understand this problem).
It can be confusing when there is so much choice available! Once the hair type or problem has been identified, it will narrow down your choices and help decide the best course of action.
If in doubt, your stylist will be able to point you in the right direction.