Take care of your hair

Posted on: 25 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

There's no need to be harsh on your hair with our expert advice to keep your crowning glory healthy.

A survey conducted by Naturtint has revealed that 79 per cent of those questioned would prefer hairdressers to use a gentler, more skin sensitive permanent hair colourant when dying their hair. With many conventional hair dyes often containing skin-harming abrasive chemicals like PPD, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and resorcinol, this result suggests that it is no longer health and 'eco' conscious shoppers alone who are concerned about the chemical formulations of the products they use.

Treating our locks gently is the best way to look after them as we age. For healthy hair follow these top tips from Janine Carroll MD of Nature's Dream, exclusive Importers & Distributors of Naturtint in UK & Ireland. Naturtint is a hair colourant that takes some of the worry out of colouring hair, being completely free from ammonia, parabens and resorcinol.

Cut back on rich foods by eating healthily, with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and salads. A balanced diet is really important for healthy hair.

Choose a good quality shampoo to suit your colour. Colour maintenance shampoos and conditioners are not an unnecessary expense, they have been specifically designed to work with the pigments of your hair and chemicals in hair dyes to maintain a longer-lasting colour and shine, so are a good investment.

Always condition coloured or dry hair, especially if using heated hair appliances. If styling hair with a heated appliance, it is also worth investing in some heat-protecting spray or serum to apply to the hair beforehand to protect against heat damage.

Take care not to harsh brush or comb the hair. The texture of our hair changes with age, so adapt with your hair and style accordingly. For instance, if your hair is thin and dry, harsh brushing will only make it appear thinner and more damaged. Careful handling and some volumising mousse can help matters.

Never use straighteners or tongs on wet hair as this boilsawy the moisture, damaging the hair shaft and leaves your hair dry, damaged and dull.

Have your hair trimmed regularly - every 6 to 8 weeks - by a hair professional.

UV light fades colour, so wear a hat in the sun or use a hair protection product with sun filters to protect and nourish your hair in the heat.

Avoid going in the sea or swimming pool for at least 48 hours after colouring your hair.

Remember to shampoo and not just rinse your hair when you leave the pool to completely remove hair-damaging chlorine.

Grey hair can sometimes lack lustre. Combat this by giving your hair a 30 second blast of cold water in the shower after conditioning to give it extra shine.

Take small steps - for example two shades at a time - when dyeing your hair so you can get used to your new look gradually.

Follow hair dye instructions carefully. Taking hair colour off too soon can result in patchy hair, whereas leaving it on longer may leave you with much darker or lighter hair than you wanted.

If worried about toxicity, then drink lots of water before, during and after colouring. Alternatively, try highlighting your hair as less colorant touches the scalp, also highlights often produce a more subtle and youthful look.

Choose a hair colour that enhances your skin tone. Work with what you've got!

Don't forget to adapt the colour of your make-up and clothes to suit your new hair colour look, whatever that may be.

Because of its unique approach to hair colouring, Naturtint has been recognised by broadcast 'holistic spokesperson' and bestselling author of Imperfectly Natural Woman and Imperfectly Natural Baby and Toddler, Janey Lee Grace, who says, "(Naturtint is) one of the leading brands of natural hair dyes...these guys really know their stuff."

The permanent hair colourant comes in 29 shades from sultry blacks and champagne blondes to lively coppers, mahoganys and reds, covers 100 per cent of greys and gives a long lasting colour. Naturtint products use high-quality ingredients including active vegetable extracts of soy, oats, corn, wheat and coconut, are GMP (good manufacturing practices) approved, use eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging, are suitable for vegans and against animal testing.

They are available from all good independent health food stores, Selfridges, Harrods and Holland & Barrett nationwide.

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