Hair treatments: What you need to know

On a daily basis our hair is subject to an array of aggressions caused by diet, stress, heat damage, colour, over washing and over processing. These can have a nefast effect on the appearance of our hair and can also play havoc on our psyche.

A recent study revealed that a whopping 77% of women don’t feel like themselves when having a bad hair day. And with our brain ticking away with endless to do lists the last thing we need, is to feel insecure because of our hair. The root of the problem, stressed hair!

Just like you, your hair needs love.

Depending on how stressed your hair is it can take time to repair and bring it back to good health, which is why consistent treatments and trims are key. Equally, if your hair is not damaged but you fancy improving the appearance of your hair, treatments should be an essential part of your haircare regimen.

Life is busy, I get it! Finding the time to come in for a cut is challenging enough without having to find additional time to spare on a treatment, but that’s where the beauty of technology kicks in. Nowadays, there are a wide variety of instant and bespoke treatments that can be done at the backwash and tailored to your hair’s exact needs, meaning you can now reap the benefits of healthy shiny hair without spending any additional time in the chair.

Whether strengthening, nourishing, smoothing, resurfacing or for added shine, reputable salons will always offer you a hair treatment with any styling or colour service as it’s the base of good hair.

Combining regular hair treatments with a good home care routine will guarantee you a head of hair that will make heads turn.

HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE HAIR TREATMENTS:

Fusio Dose The instant treatment that combines a concentré with a booster to meet your unique hair needs. With 20 possible combinations, your main and secondary hair concern will be tackled with no extra time at the backwash.
5 minutes ~ £25
Smartbond A protective and strengthening treatment, specifically designed to protect and strengthen the hair. The system consists of 3 components, the first 2 being used in salon and the 3rd one at home. I particularly recommend this treatment to people who colour their hair to prevent any damage.
1 hour ~ £150
Philip Kingsley Elasticiser Dry, brittle hair can snap under tension, and it’s fair to say that no one wants breakage. The best way to prevent breakage is to strengthen and moisturise the hair. Philip Kingsley’s elasticiser can do just that. Designed by Mr Kingsley for Audrey Hepburn, the elasticiser is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that delivers shine and elasticity to the hair. Results are visible from first application and continue to improve with use.
30 minutes ~ £45
Redken Gold Mask This mega recovery gold tissue mask for hair was inspired by facial sheet masks. Designed to restore softness and manageability, the gold mask contains a blend of cactus, aloe vera and to nourish the hair. It provides intense moisture while smoothing the hair cuticle. Recommended weekly.
20 minutes ~ £45

To book a treatment click here and go to Hair Treatments.

Why Paying for Salon Colour is Worth It!

Undeniably there’s a big difference in cost between getting your hair coloured in a salon and buying a box of dye in the supermarket to use at home. Here’s why I think salon colour is worth it every time.

THE CRAFT OF COLOUR The expense of salon colour comes first and foremost down to the fact that you are paying for a trained expert who has spent years learning every aspect of the craft. Changing the colour of your hair permanently isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, because it changes the physical structure of your hair. Not only are these experts thoroughly trained in handling the strong chemicals involved in the process, and not only do they have a vast array of colours and equipment at their fingertips, they have also learned how skin tone and hair colour interact as well. Using their trained eye and artistry skills, they can tailor your colour to complement your complexion, face, hair type and lifestyle for a truly bespoke finish. From juniors to the most senior colourist, each member of salon staff is in situ to deliver the finest experience and result.
SAFETY Used incorrectly, the chemicals involved in colouring hair can have damaging effects. Hair colour, for example, contains allergens that can cause a wide variety of allergic reactions, from cases of rashes and hives, to hospitalisation and even fatalities. The most common allergen is paraphenylenediamine or PPD and is found in over 99% of permanent hair dyes. You may or may not be aware that it has been a legal requirement for all hairdressers to carry out patch tests prior to colour services. Reputable salons will never guarantee your appointment until that test has been done. With such factors in mind, safety should always be at the forefront when colouring hair both at home and in a salon. This is undeniably easier in the salon, where extensive safety procedures are in place. Should - god forbid - an accident happen then the correct equipment and fully trained and insured staff are immediately on hand to respond. This is not the case at home.
SALON DESIGN Salon owners invest heavily to ensure the salon environment is ideal for cutting and colouring hair. Seats are designed to support our backs, backwashes to guarantee the best shampoo and treatment services and lighting arrangements such that our hair colour and skin tone are rendered in a faithful way. Light must be even, natural and free from shadows.
HAIR HEALTH Colouring our hair compromises its health in varying degrees. In a salon environment however, the styling and colour experts have a wealth of expertise and first fate products that enable them to best prescribe a routine to maintain and enhance hair health both professionally and at home.

Salon hair colour is expensive, I don’t deny that, but now I hope you understand a bit better why it’s well worth the investment. Brilliant hair colour is truly transforming!

All students can benefit from 30% off all hair services upon presentation of a valid NUS card. Bookings can be made via our reception on 0207 235 3654.

Inside Out

I have said it before and I will say it again - This year I want to go back to basics and try to live in a more wholesome and celebratory way. I feel tired of reading about faddy diets and listening to everyone claiming they have this allergy or that intolerance. Being in this business I know that good hydration and a varied, balanced diet is essential to grow healthy, luscious hair as well.

Most of us have about 120,000 hairs on our scalp and these are made up of very fast growing cells – in fact, hair cells are the second fastest growing cells in out bodies, (slower only than intestinal cells). This vigorous growth must be sustained and supported.

The only problem is that since our hair is not a vital tissue or organ it is not - and will never be - prioritised in terms of the nutrition and hydration sent its way. As a result, nutritional shortcomings and dehydration often lead to hair loss or depletion in hair health.

I personally believe that the vast proliferation of fruit and vegetable heavy diets in recent years has led many people to believe that their bodies won’t be compromised by a diet that doesn't contain sufficient proteins, carbohydrates and calories. This isn't right. Yes, vegetables and fruit are hugely important, but nutritionists remind us constantly that happy, healthy bodies (and hair cells), need protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, vitamins, minerals and good hydration to work well.

Trichologists (hair and scalp specialists), advise that to enhance hair health we should try to eat protein for breakfast and lunch, as well as a portion of complex carbohydrates such as potato, sourdough bread, oats, brown rice, pasta or whatever.

Water is equally essential to the health and vitality of all our bodily cells, delivering essential nutrients and removing waste. Put simply, a dehydrated body can’t function properly. Those who don't drink enough water on a long-term basis will compromise the health of their hair follicles and cells, which won’t be able to grow sufficient hair to replace that which is shed naturally.

Hair loss caused by dehydration is easily fixed by making a conscious effort to drink more water. Note that the best water for hair health is natural spring or mineral, and that in a cooler climate like ours, doctors advise consuming at least 1.2 litres of water a day. Prepare to drink up!

The Truth About Patch Tests

I think it’s safe to say that we probably all feel the same about patch tests - They’re a bore!

Because with work, family, friends and endless to do lists, it’s difficult enough to find the time to get our hair done at all, let alone to make additional salon trips for patch tests in the days before - Especially when the majority of us have probably never had an allergic reaction in our lives.

I get it. I really do. We all want to look fabulous and to make that happen as quickly and efficiently as possible. Life is busy!

The most common allergen, paraphenylenediamine or PPD, is found in over 99% of permanent hair dyes. And from cases of rashes and hives, to hospitalisation and even fatalities (a poor 19 year old Parisian woman had a near-fatal reaction in only November last year), 5% of people suffer negative reactions of some kind to hair colour.

These reactions often occur when the sufferer least expects them – Did you know for example, that we can all develop new allergies at any stage of our lives? Moreover, hair colour formulations are tweaked constantly to modernise them and make them kinder to our hair, the downside being that a product that doesn't irritate you now, may - frustratingly - do so in the future. It’s inconvenient but true! Safety therefore, should be at the forefront of all our minds when colouring hair both at home and in salon.

You may or may not be aware that it has been a legal requirement for all hairdressers to carry out patch tests prior to colour services. Reputable salons will never guarantee your appointment until that test has been done.

So let’s face it, while patch tests are far from convenient, they are essential and continue to save lives worldwide on a daily basis. Perhaps, just perhaps, next time you are asked to book in for one, swap your irritation for reassurance that you are using a reputable salon that is fulfilling its legal requirements and puts your safety first.

Patch tests should be booked at least 48 hours before the colour appointment. A pea-sized quantity of the colour formula will be applied to the back of your ear or nape of your neck. If you subsequently experience a reaction of any kind, notify the salon immediately so that you can be advised on the correct procedure.