Your Daily Hair Care Guide| Philip Kingsley
Your hair — just like your skin — needs a daily dose of care and nourishment in order to look and feel its very best. But what exactly does an optimal daily hair care routine involve? Read on for our award-winning Trichologists’ advice on the best ways to show your hair some daily love. Then watch as your strands start to love you back.
Hydrating Your Hair
It is a good idea to use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment (such as our award-winning Elasticizer) at least once a week to restore and maintain your hair’s elasticity and shine.
If your hair is damaged and dry from chemical processing and/or frequent heat styling, we recommend twice weekly treatment.
Need more information? Please see our Elasticizer for detailed instructions.
Shampooing Your Hair
Decades of Trichological experience have proven to our experts — and our Clients! — that a good shampooing technique can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your hair. Try incorporating these steps into your daily routine to promote the optimum vitality and wellbeing of your hair and scalp.
Identify Your Hair Texture
At Philip Kingsley, we pioneered the technique of classifying hair according to one of four textures:
- Natural Curled Curls
Use our Hair Texture Guide to find out what yours is, and to choose a shampoo that will help you get the most out of your strands.
Before wetting your hair, gently run a wide-tooth comb through it. If your hair is tangled when you start washing, it is likely to get more knotted. Start at your ends and gradually work your way up to the roots to avoid snarling and breakage.
We suggest using a ‘saw-cut’ comb in which each tooth is cut into it, making it smoother - they are available in plastic or vulcanite (hard rubber). Avoid cheap plastic combs made from a mould as these can cut into your hair. Metal combs are even worse, since their edges can lacerate your hair.
Pre-soaking your hair under the shower (or in the bathtub) is very important. If you wet your hair thoroughly, you will need less shampoo. Applying too much shampoo can cause your hair to look dull — besides being a waste of product.
Do not pour shampoo directly onto your hair. Instead, pour it onto the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and then smooth the product over your hair. Massage your scalp with your fingertips in a gentle kneading motion for about 30 seconds, running your fingers through your hair every so often to avoid tangling. Do not rub your scalp too vigorously —this can cause hair breakage and scalp irritation.
You only need one shampoo if you wash your hair daily or every other day. If your hair is particularly dirty, try shampooing twice.
Even a thin coating of shampoo left on your hair can render it dull and limp. In fact, product residue is one of the most common causes of lank-looking hair. If you think you’ve rinsed enough, rinse again!
There is no need to finish off your rinse with cold water, unless you enjoy it. A cold rinse does not make your hair shinier — but conditioning does!
How Often Should You Shampoo?
Our expert Trichologists recommend daily shampooing to help deliver bounce and shine to all hair types. Your hair accumulates bits of dirt, dust, oil and grime every day (just like your skin) and these can really weigh it down — not to mention make it smelly and greasy-looking. Daily shampooing also helps keep your scalp clear of skin-cell build-up, and your hair hydrated. (It is in fact water, not oil, that delivers moisture — and therefore suppleness — to your strands.)
We understand that not everyone has time to wash their hair daily — particularly if you have a hard-to-control style. Furthermore, if you like to straighten your hair every time you wash it, you may inflict damage from heat-styling.
If daily shampooing is not possible, we recommend every other day. Try using a scalp toner, or a dry shampoo with scalp benefits, on the days in between.
Conditioning Your Hair
Conditioner is vital to shiny, healthy-looking hair. It smoothes the hair cuticle, aiding light reflection and encouraging gloss. Closing the cuticle also helps protect your hair against excess moisture evaporation, and aids in easing out tangles.
Conditioners often get a bad reputation for making hair look ‘lank’, ‘greasy’ or ‘dull’. However, this will only happen if you apply conditioner incorrectly, or use the wrong one for your hair texture. To choose the right conditioner, first determine your hair texture, and then take into account your hair’s length and level of chemical processing.
How to Apply Conditioner Correctly
Pour a coin-sized quantity of conditioner into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together, and smooth the conditioner over your mid-lengths and ends (paying particular attention to the older, more weathered ends). To avoid weighing your hair down, do not rub conditioner into your scalp or to the hair near your scalp.
Rinse immediately. A well-formulated conditioner should work right away, so there is no need to leave it in in for longer than a few seconds.
If you have particularly knotty hair, gently comb the conditioner through in the shower before rinsing. Using a wide-tooth comb, start at the ends of your hair and gradually work up.
If you find your hair loses body after conditioning, check that you are using the correct conditioner for your hair texture. Also, make sure that you are not applying it too close to your scalp, and that you are rinsing thoroughly enough.
Brushing and Combing Your Hair
Brushes are wonderful styling aids — but for your hair’s sake, be careful when you use them. Incorrect brushing, and using the wrong type of brush, can be taxing on both your strands and your scalp. We recommend using a comb to ease out tangles, followed by a brush for styling.
How to Choose a Comb
The best combs for your hair are ‘saw-cut’ — meaning that each tooth is cut into the comb with no seams, giving a smooth finish. These are usually made from vulcanite (a type of hard rubber), which has anti-static properties and is easy to clean.
Avoid metal combs, whose edges can lacerate individual strands. Cheaper plastic combs made in a mould should also be avoided: the seams down the centre of each tooth can cut your hair shaft and weaken your hair.
How to Choose a Brush
Choose a brush with long, widely-spaced plastic bristles — and avoid natural bristles. Plastic bristles are smoother, blunter and kinder to your hair, while natural ones are sharp, often barbed, and tufted close together — all of which can break off hairs and damage your cuticle (your hair’s outer cell layer). Above all, avoid brushes with metal prongs! These are likely to scratch your scalp.
Healthy Brushing Tips
- Be gentle and don’t overdo it. Think of what would happen if you brushed a wool sweater fifty times a day: it would fray and wear out. The same goes for your hair.
- Wet hair is swollen by as much as 20-30% — so roughly brushing it when it is wet can snap it like a rubber band. To avoid unnecessary breakage, use a comb to remove tangles after washing your hair. And remember, always work out tangles starting from your ends.
- Brush your hair gently from the ends upwards to ease out tangles. Pulling a brush roughly through your hair from top to bottom can worsen tangles, cause breakage, and scratch your scalp.
- Use a de-tangling spray before brushing in the mornings (or at any time of day on knotted hair) to help remove tangles.
Cleaning Your Brushes and Combs
Brushes and combs collect dirt easily, so be sure to clean them regularly. The best way to clean a brush/comb is to dissolve a tablespoon of washing-up liquid in a basin of water. Add a small amount of antiseptic liquid, then swirl your brush or comb in it. Rinse with clean water.
Drying Your Hair
Press your hair with a towel to remove excess moisture. Do not rub it — this can roughen your cuticles, and also break and tangle your strands. Follow by gently removing tangles with a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working up to your roots.
Correct blow-drying will not harm your hair. However, applying heat to your hair when it is already dry can cause brittleness, breakage, dullness and dryness. The secret to safe blow-drying is good timing and the proper use of tools and products. Follow these simple steps to dry your hair quickly and safely, while getting beautiful results.
- If you use a paddle and/or round brush for styling, choose ones made of soft, pliable plastic and use them gently. Harshly tugging and brushing can cause damage.
- Hold your dryer about 6 inches away from your hair. Dry the back and sides of your head first, and work towards the crown and front.
- Start on a high speed and high temperature and, as your hair begins to dry, gradually reduce the heat. This will help you avoid over-drying and damaging your hair. Ideally, it is best for your hair if you leave it slightly damp, or ‘just dry’.
- If you want the heat to be spread over a wider area, use a diffuser attachment. The wider the attachment, the more the heat will be distributed. However, if you wish to dry your hair quickly, do not use an attachment.
- To add volume and body, try turning your hair upside down as you finish blow-drying. Bend over and let your hair hang down towards the floor. Gently brush or comb it in this direction with the dryer following behind. This will give your hair more lift and bounce, and decreases the likelihood of tangles.
Using Straightners and Curlers
Hair straighteners and curlers can be extremely effective styling tools — but please be careful when you use them! If you are not, they can scorch your hair, depleting it of its natural moisture content, and making it brittle and prone to breakage.
While hair straighteners will never be ‘good’ for your hair, there are ways to minimise the damage. Read on for our expert tips.
Use protective styling aids
The reason why straighteners work so well is also the reason why they cause so much damage: their high heat temporarily resets the shape of your hair. To lessen heat-damage, apply a heat-activated protective styling aid to your mid-length and ends. However, please be aware that no styling aid will completely protect your hair from heat-inflicted damage.
Use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, such as our Elasticizer, at least one a week. This will help re-hydrate your hair, restoring strength and stretchability to reduce breakage.
If you have coarse, curly or frizzy hair, using straighteners daily to tame your style can be very tempting. But be warned, the breakage this can cause actually makes your hair look frizzier, when different lengths of hair snap off and stick out.
Try to limit your use of straighteners to once or twice a week, and do not leave the iron on your hair for too long.
Do not pull too hard when straightening or curling – your hair is already vulnerable to breakage, and tension can make it worse.
Replace your hot iron
Water and product residue can build up on hot irons and cause them to stick to your hair, which be very damaging. To avoid this hazard, replace your hot irons when they become sticky and uneven.
As an alternative to hot irons, there are many products out there to help tame and smooth all hair types. Or simply embrace the natural texture of your hair!
Using Hair Accessories
Hair Pins and Clips
Pins and clips have the potential to damage your hair, so take care when you use them. Here are our tips for preventing damage:
- Use pins and clips with rubber tips or rubber coating. Sharp edges can into your hair shaft and scalp.
- Do not go to sleep with pins or clips in your hair. The metal can cut into and break your hair shaft, and can also harm your scalp.
- If you use pins and/or clips when curling your hair, be careful not to overheat them with a hair-dryer. The heat of the dryer warms the metal, which can then damage your hair and scalp. This metal stays hot even after the dryer is switched off, so do not concentrate the dryer on any one area for too long.
Elastic Bands and Hair Ties
These seemingly harmless accessories can cause quite a bit of damage to your hair and scalp. People often come into our Clinics with hair that has suffered from being tied and pulled too tightly. Follow these simple tips to protect your strands.
- Reach for a hair tie with a fabric covering. Uncovered elastic bands can break your hair shaft. They can also pull hair out when you remove them. For added protection, dab a little conditioner around the tie.
- Try not to pull your hair too tightly back from your forehead. This can lead to traction hair loss all along your front hairline and temples. If you like to pull your hair back tightly, try to give it a break every few days.
- Try not to use too tight a hairband. If any elastic is wound too tightly around your hair, the strands can fray and weaken. In severe cases, a type of breakage called trichorrhexis nodosa can occur. When looked at under a microscope, the hair looks like two shaving brushes pushed together.