December 8, 2021


travel, Always a step ahead

Can you really make your hair grow stronger and thicker? I found out

A friend who was self-isolating with family in the countryside confessed she hadn’t washed her hair for two weeks as she couldn’t risk using an inferior shampoo from the only shop in the village. ‘My Virtue shampoo is arriving today!’ she exclaimed as if she was on the last day of a punishing detox and chocolate was coming.

Much like a good chuckle, it is the small luxuries like posh haircare that are making life a fraction more bearable right now.  At this point, we have at least six more weeks until hairdressers reopen, which means an intermediate fix is due, especially if you torture your hair daily by blow-drying, curling or straightening.

The first lockdown was a testing ground for DIY haircuts; one colleague even cut in a fringe from scratch, convincingly. This time around, however, the mood is more cautious – why be hasty and ruin an expensive haircut when the end is finally in sight?

I’ve even given up on disguising my grey roots as the reward of fresh highlights is so much richer after an extended hiatus. But this is the time to apply hair-growth oils and strengthening products – a hot topic on the internet. John Lewis predicts that ‘hair wellness’ will be one of the biggest beauty trends of 2021, led by repairing products like Olaplex, along with scalp scrubs, serums and conditioners that contain science-backed ingredients typically used in skincare. 

Speaking of which, I’ve had exceptionally silky results from Redken’s Extreme Bleach Recovery range, which harnesses cica, a skincare ingredient that soothes and repairs dryness from inside the hair shaft, which goes to explain why it doesn’t leave my hair feeling slimy, like some conditioning products do. Weak hair will benefit from a product like The Inkey List’s PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, which contains a compound clinically proven to strengthen hair bonds and repair damage like split ends and tears.

You may be pleased to hear that one of the best things you can do is nothing, as leaving hair to do its own thing is anti- ageing. If yours needs some coaxing into submission, try running  a styling cream or hair-growth oil through  wet hair (this helps the product to absorb and avoids surface grease) and letting it dry naturally, which produces a subtle sheen while protecting it from snapping when brushing. What works best will depend on your hair type, but whatever you do, use less but better haircare to give your tresses a vacation. These healthy hair fixes are a good place to start.

Tried & verified

PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, £12.99, The Inkey List 

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