|Photo Credit: Etc.|
When most people think of "changing their hair" they think of a drastic cut or a bold new color. But really, we should be "changing" our hair all the time! As different seasons arrive, so do different hair care needs - what works while on the beach in July is drastically different than what works while dreaming of the beach in January. I spoke with Alex Safar, owner of Salon Acote, to learn more about how to keep our manes magnificent this winter.
Your locks may be long but beautiful hair starts long before length. "Not enough people pay attention to their scalp," says Safar. "In order to have healthy hair, you need to have a healthy scalp." He recommends a scalp treatment as the fundamental part of any hair care regimen. Massage the treatment into your scalp (not your hair) and leave in for five minutes - you're going to get that amazing tingling feeling, but, in addition, you'll be promoting hair growth and preventing a dry, itchy scalp (and the flakiness that comes with it).
|Clockwise: Rene Furterer Scalp Treatment, OJON hair mask, Bumble & Bumble dry shampoo, Moroccanoil, Rene Furterer hair mask|
If your hair is extremely fine (like mine) the last thing you'd think about doing is applying oil to it! But that's just what Safar recommends. "Moroccanoil makes an oil that you apply to the hair itself, " he says. "It doesn't build up at all. This is a great product to apply before using a heated styling tool, which you're using a lot in the winter. I mean, you're not walking out of your apartment with wet hair when it's 30 degrees!" The oil protects, and while it works best on coarse or thick locks, it can also be used on fine, dry hair, particularly if it is applied to the ends (stay away from the roots).
While we're talking about heating tools, let's straighten something out - a flat iron is not intended to straighten your hair. I know! I was surprised, too. "The flat iron is meant to smooth the hair, to take out the bulk and the weight from the hair," says Safar. "If you are a woman with a head of curly hair, and you want to go straight, you want to give yourself a beautiful blow dry with a boar's hair brush. Then you pick up your flat iron to seal in that blow dry and give it longevity." And while some may like it hot, remember that hotter isn't necessarily better. "Blow dryers have much less heat - about 180 degrees, while flat irons now are reaching up to 450 degrees!" exclaims Safar.
|Photo credit: Pretty Please|
Now that you have that beautiful blow out, you don't want to lose it too quickly. "We're always telling clients to stop washing their hair!" Safar laughs. "Okay, we want them to wash it, but maybe every other day, or even every two days." Don't be alarmed if the first month of every other day washing seems...off. Your scalp has grown accustomed to being washed every day, but it will quickly self-regulate. For the sweaty gym rats among us, Safar recommends using baby powder, cornstarch or dry shampoo in your hair. (I particularly love the Rene Futerer or Bumble & Bumble dry shampoo).
|Photo Credit: 27.media.tumblr|
Finally, Safar advises making the move from conditioner (in a tube) to a mask (in a tub). Masks are meant to be left on for a significant amount of time - ten, fifteen minutes. Safar even knows someone who will apply a mask, pop on a plastic cap, and then go to bed! The longer the mask sits on your head, the better. Masks also work wonderfully on gray hair, helping make it softer and more manageable.
Now if you (or your pocketbook) is product-averse, Safar let me in on a little secret - an extremely easy at-home hair treatment, made with three items that (I promise) you already have in your kitchen. I've posted it on the TBF Tumblr page. So come on! Change your winter hair care routine, and see a major change in your hair - without committing to a cut.