As I sat having a blow-out this week I got thinking about hair. Sitting there in a salon the size of a shoe-box; cheek-by-jowl with 10 other women: customers, stylists and hair-washers, from about as many different countries, I wondered: Isn't it the case that women always want what they haven't got? Well, many a man would agree with that view of the woman's prerogative. But when it comes to hair, the answer by all women would be universal and predictable, even to most men. We would all opt for more rather than less when it comes to the scale of your mane.
In recent years my hair went through more of a lank rather than lustrous phase. Stressful times meant my hair suffered. I remember Matt telling me that there was enough hair on our bedroom floor at one point to weave a rug. Focus and some special attention has however meant that my hair, some time ago, returned to a state of voluminous immac-ness. Thicker and shinier than in years gone by, I can report my hair is looking better than ever. The only thing I will say is that the year round sunshine here in the Emirates means that my colour has naturally lightened a shade or two from what it was from my days back in the UK.
So I thought I would share with you a few pointers for what has worked for me and my mop. These are not specific plugs but I do mention some brands because they have done the trick with truly excellent results for me.
The first is the use, ever other day, of Organix Moroccan Argan oil shampoo and conditioner. You can pick this product up at good supermarkets and department stores. They say it is loaded with Vitamin E and full of antioxidants which equals silky healthy hair. There are more expensive and exclusive brands out there, I am sure. But this particular brand is lovely on your hair, smells divine and with daily - or every second daily, as the case may be - use, it does the trick nicely. Another brand I tried is called Hask, which is equally accessible and was also very good. In addition to these Argan based products, I'm also a fan of Aussie 3 Minute Miracle. When I first arrived in the UAE back in 2010 you couldn't get it anywhere. My mum started bringing it over for me. She still does. I currently have 8 bottles, 6 of which are conditioner. This begs the question as to why they don't just make the conditioner bottles half the size? Anyway, whatever the brand you like or can get your hands on, Argan oil shampoo in my experience will yield healthy hair growth, and repair the effects of damage whether that be sun, stress or both in my case.
My second pointer is head-massages and blow-outs. Now this is not something that you can do ever day, or every week even. But as often as you can you should make the time and effort to get along to your favourite or regular salon and treat yourself to a head-massage at the hands of your hairdresser, followed by a blow-out. Head-massages, so I read, have been linked to the stimulation of hair follicles resulting in hair growth. A blow-out after your wash and massage will top it off, leaving your hair full of volume and looking luxurious. A blow-out, unlike a hair cut or God-forbid a colour, is a stress free event. There's no downside - it can't really be screwed up. My favourite place in the world to do this is Dessange Paris. Their store in Paris St Germain is perfect and I love their company slogan, which really sums up what I am on about: "Stepping into Dessange Salon is forgetting everything else and thinking only of yourself." They've also got a store here in the Emirates, so get in and try it. When I was at Dessange Paris the lovely manager even gave me a complimentary cuff as a little memento of my visit. Exquisite.
And that leads me onto my last point. Don't be a stress-head. Stress has a nasty effect on the human body. There's no elegant way to say this, so I'm just going to say it as it is. Stress can and will make your hair fall out. It will make your hair thinner and flatter. And there's no silver bullet treatment for stress other than to relax and de-stress. So refer to my tip above. A head-massage and a blow out are a real treat. Turning something as mundane as washing your hair into some relaxing you time. And while this may not eradicate the stress entirely out of your life, it will add some you time, relax you if only for that hour you are there and do wonders for your hair. Before (less hair, June 2015), and below, after (more hair, June 2016).
This little three-pronged approach has worked wonders for me and my barnet. Let me know yours.
Keep an eye out for my latest hair related competition on Facebook at immaclife.