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Sorry To Break It To You.... Leaving Conditioner On For Longer Will NOT Repair Your Hair!

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If I had a pound for every time I hear this I would be on a yacht in the bahamas!

Now I don't for one minute think that there is anyone out there who doesn't want to make their hair look nice. Even the client who comes in every 2 years for a chin length bob and treats the salon more like tree surgeons.

As a stylist who genuinely cares about their clients hair, I talk to each and every person who comes through the salon doors about how to make the best of their hair for the amount of effort they are prepared to put in. I always try to keep it relevant and easy, as i'm a low maintenance kinda girl myself. Despite being a stylist for the past 14 years and working in a salon for 18, I am not and will never be the person who uses 6 brushes and 10 products on mine or anyone else's hair for that matter,, ok, unless its a wedding! 

If my regime cannot be done whilst multitasking it's just not going to happen. I live in awe of my bff our therapist Michelle, her skin is so soft from body brushing every day that Jamie Dornan would slide off! (she will kill me for that)!๐Ÿ˜˜ 

Back to hair now and less daydreaming about the aforementioned Mr Grey! 

There is a misbelief amongst clients that leaving regular conditioner on for longer will repair or 'extra condition' your hair. The sad fact is that this is doing nothing except wasting your precious time. The science behind it is that regular condition from the supermarket or salon is designed to close the cuticle layer of your hair after cleansing. The conditioner is acidic which makes the cuticle layer lay flat and as tight as possible. This seals the hair and gives a reflective surface for light to bounce off making the hair appear shiny. When the cuticle layers lay flat it also reduced the risk of damage from brushing and styling because your hair is smoother, this also makes it feel soft. Some people say using conditioner makes their hair feel heavy and lifeless, I believe that only when the incorrect conditioner for your hair type is being used. Conditioner should not weigh the hair down nor leave it greasy.

If you want to repair, nourish or strengthen your hair, a hair treatment or mask is what you need. Unlike conditioners, their molecules are small enough to penetrate the cuticle layer and depending on the quality, travel deep into the hair. Protein rich masks will build and restore the elasticity in the hair, this is great for people who have lightened their hair or have naturally fine hair. Fine hair is naturally weaker and needs more protein than thicker hair.

Moisture masks hydrate and soften the hair, making hair more supple and manageable. Thick coarse hair can become stiff or feel hard to touch, this is when extra mosire is needed deep within the hair and to soften the external cuticle and promote shine. Moisture rich masks will improve the texture of your hair and make it easier to style.

Every hair type would benefit from a weekly mask, hair gains no nourishment or moisture from the body once it had grown from the follicle. Whilst diet and health affects it while it's growing, once grown there is no way to repair or alter your hairs state unless you invest in the correct homecare to fix it. 

How To

Cleanse your hair using a professional shampoo, on mask day I prefer to use a clarifying shampoo to detox my hair and open my cuticles as wide as possible, this way i know my mask is going to penetrate as deep as possible and product build up or oil can't create a barrier. Once cleansed, towel dry your hair by gently squeezing the water out or if our hair is very thick you can wrap your hair in a towel for a few mins before you apply your mask. We recommend you dry your hair a little fist so the mask isn't diluted too much by the water in your hair. Once towel dried you are ready to put your mask on, scoop a 50p sized dollop of the mask into your hand and work into your hair starting from the ends, you will notice your hair starts to soften immediately. Add a bit more if you feel your hair isn't covered, some stylists will recommend you keep the mask away from the roots, I personally put mine all over so it's personal preference, I can make your hair feel too soft at the roots and be harder to get volume in your hair immediately after treating, but the shine is awesome so it's your call!

Leave the mask on for the time it states on the tub, I like to put a shower cap on and either carry on showering knowing my hair is safely out the way or you can get out and do other things and jump back in the shower when it's ready to come off.

If your doing two masks, rinse, towel dry and apply the second (protein 1st, moisture 2nd)

Process and rince, seal your treatment in using your salon professional conditioner.

What if I need moisture and protein and have 2 masks to use?

If you need protein adding to your hair we always recommend that you have moisture too, in fact, we will not sell a protein mask to anyone without a having moisture first. Why,  hear you say? well sorry but I just don't trust you! I have a duty to protect my clients from themselves, if you use a protein mask incorrectly un can cause your hair to SNAP!

As many clients will often say they will by the moisture mask on the next visit, I will only let a protein mask be purchased if I know they have the moisture one at home or are buying them together. Also, protein masks very rarely make your hair feel nice, as the protein hardens and strengthens the hairs internal structure, it often doesn't make your hair feel very nice or any different after so in my early days as a stylist i'd often have a client discard her protein mask and stop using it as she couldn't feel an instant improvement. Of course it was working but because protein hardens and rebuilds you can't feel it, moisture on the other hand, you can instantly feel the difference but it isn't always strong enough to tackle very damaged hair.

Always start with protein and finish with moisture, you can leave moisture masks on longer if your on holiday by the pool or no so glamorous, cleaning around the house. However, NEVER leave protein masks, or keratin masks on longer than the tub says. Protein and Keratin can weaken your hair and damage it if left on too long!

Remember you are working with professional strength CHEMICALS, that do what they say, so follow the instructions!

To find out which mask is best for your hair, pop in or when you booking in for an appointment we include a full consultation to determine the best homecare for your hair.


If you'd like to try a mask on your hair for FREE

we are currently offering a complementary treatment with all cut and finishes until 16.2.18 with selected stylists.

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Am I Washing My Hair Wrong?

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It's amazing how many people wash their hair wrong... ok so it's not totally wrong, they use shampoo and it gets wet! That said, often your hair isn't actually clean....

One of the reasons professionals dislike shop shampoo is because they lather even if your hair is still dirty... yuk!

We all see the ads on TV showing the beautiful woman making rather dodgy noises in the shower with this huge lather on her head, this image, in most case is the only form of shampoo education they have ever had in their life. Apart from being half drowned in the bath as a child and getting shampoo in your eyes and up your nose!

So what are we doing wrong??

Let's leave the choosing of the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair out of the picture for a minute and concentrate on the science and technique, oh yes there's a technique!

OK, so let's think about this logically, hair will only lather if its clean. In the salon when talking about shampoo, this is the first thing we talk about. Remember running a bubble bath? Well it just doesn't work with dirty bath water does it? No way can you get that bath to bubble halfway through or at the end of the bath, it will only lather with clean fresh water. Hair is the same, if you apply a good quality shampoo to your hair that doesn't have loads of nasty chemicals in it to give you a super lather straight away, your hair usually won't lather. This is because the soap, sticks to the dirt to remove it when you rinse it. That's why we recommend a double cleanse. No matter how much more shampoo you put on your head, it won't lather any more, it's a total waste of product, rinse and lather again. Your hair will and should only lather when its clean. The typical long haired client who isn't an everyday washer, the one who goes 3-4 days without washing her hair and wears it up with dry shampoo and hairspray for the latter part of the week will lather her hair up to 6 times to make sure her hair is totally clean!!!! Now imagine she used shop shampoo and got the big lather instantly, imagine how dirty her hair still is!!!?? How does she know when her hair is clean?

Not cleansing your hair correctly can cause build up and dulling of your hair, so many clients begin their journey with us describing how greasy and lank their hair is. 9 times out of 10 their hair isn't greasy at all, it's the shampoo and conditioner they have been using, not cleaning properly and coating the hair in silicone... we will leave silicone for another day or this blog will become an essay!

The build up caused from this can take over 20 shampoos in a row to remove and mostly a deep cleansing shampoo will be needed for a whole week until its completely gone! If we know in advance we can book you in for a hair detox, which takes 30 mins but if we don't it's a shampooathon until we get most of it out and then over to you to do your bit at home!

Now we've sorted the shampooing out, let's talk about conditioner and hair masks... 

So what's the difference for a start? One closes the cuticle layer down, the other penetrates the hair shaft and repairs and strengthens your hair from the inside.

If I had a pound every time a client told me they condition their hair by leaving the conditioner on longer with a great big proud smile on their face, I wouldn't be sat here writing this blog!

Sorry guys but leaving conditioner on the surface of your hair will do very little to repair your hair. If you imagine the cuticle layer of the hair is like the scales on a fish or the tiles on a roof, shampoo opens the cuticle so you can clean around and under it, into the nooks and crannies. Now conditioner, closes the cuticle layer, so it sits flat again. Closing the cuticle is so important even if you have fine hair, if you don't lay your cuticles flat, you will damage and break them when you're styling and brushing your hair and it won't shine, because the surface of your hair is rough not smooth. If you don't 'get on with conditioner' it's often because your using one too heavy for your hair type, so ask your stylist to recommend a lightweight one.

Does everyone need a mask? Sorry to break it to you guys but your hair is DEAD! It died a very long time ago, when it just grew out of your head. So how exactly does your hair get goodness? Your hair receives no noureshment unless YOU feed it. My former boss Nicky Lazou used to say "hair is like flowers, feed it and it will grow" this has always stuck with me, because it's such a simple way of putting it. Masks feed your hair, it can be tricky choosing a mask but ask a professional which you need, as getting it wrong can be a total waste of money and time! Hair needs protein, moisture, keratin or a combination of all three, depending on the condition of your hair and how much you abuse it. Hair also changes with the seasons so it may be that you need a slightly different combination in summer months or following a big holiday to get your hair back on track. The good news is... Masks are very cost effective and a tub lasts around year, sometimes longer. 

Warning! Professional only guys! Why? Because most, if not all none professional (not from a salon) masks have such small quantities of the ingredients needed to make a significant difference to your hair, we are yet to find one that works. ALL the supermarket brands, including the celebrity endorsed products we have tried, have coated the hair to mask the damage. They do this by coating the hair with plastic like substances to give the illusion of a tight smooth cuticle layer that the light reflects off, making you think your hair looks healthier, when there is very little if any improvement. Also, if it worked, salon professionals would use it!

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Top Tips For Getting Clean Hair

1) Use a shampoo & conditioner specifically for your hair type, prescribed by a trained professional.

2) Wet your hair thoroughly, I mean soaking!

3) Using a 10p -50p sized amount, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. Place shampoo around your head, don't just plonk a dollop on the top of your head, how do you expect behind your ears to get clean? Rub the shampoo in your hands and stroke some around your head, if you have thick hair, part your hair to get the shampoo to your scalp, the temples, crown and nape of the neck are spread out nicely and should give you a nice even lather and a clean head!

4) Use your fingertips to rub your head, the key here is to rub your scalp not your hair, your scalp is where all the sweat and dead skin is, so get rubbing! This exfoliates the scalp and stimulates blood circulation to the scalp and encourages growth. Rub your hair gently, remember it is at its weakest when wet, so don't over rub or it can take and break.

5) If it doesn't lather at all, it doesn't mean its not working, it means your hair is still dirty! Rinse and apply the shampoo again.

6) You'll know it's clean because you finally get the massive lather in the adverts and you will feel that your scalp is clean, when clean your hair will lather with just a 5p sized amount of professional shampoo because it's so concentrated.

7) If its hair mask day, squeeze excess water from your hair or towel blot so you use less mask and it absorbed easier. Apply your hair mask from root to tip and leave on the recommended time. When at home, wash your hair first so you can clean the rest of your body while the mask is working to save time. Once 'cooked' rinse thoroughly and apply your conditioner.

8) The condition, you should use way less conditioner than shampoo if your doing it right, rub a 10p size amount into your hands and smooth through your hair starting at your ends, leave on a few seconds and rinse out. You must really get your hands in your hair and move it to insure all the conditioner is out. There should be no slimy residue and it should feel free of product.

Now off to dry that super sexy clean hair!

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