Ladies, I think we can all agree that we take hair care very seriously. We are all participants in the perpetual quest to uncover the secret to the healthy, lustrous, goddess-status hair we all covet. We all have a celebrity hair idol, we pool hair tips from fashion and beauty mags and keep a trusty eye on the lookout for the next miracle product promising to cure you of your hair woes. But did you know that your biggest impediment to healthy, beautiful hair could be your shower? We turned to Niki Flynn, colourist at Radford Studio, for her pearls of wisdom on how your shower could be sabotaging your strands, and asked her to share her tips on how to keep it looking its best.
While you may have a pretty good handle on the dos and don’ts when it comes to taming your mane, the quality of the water in your shower likely isn’t top of mind, but has a significant effect on hair colour. Flynn points out there are many factors that contribute to just how much water quality can affect different hair on the head and hair types in general. “Hard water deposit (often copper/iron) is most obvious on lighter and whiter colours of blonde by turning the hair green or actually hardening each individual strand, making it prone to breakage,” she explains. “On darker hair types, hard water deposit is less obvious but can be felt with the harder texture of the hair, and can sometimes have a bad chemical reaction with hair colour.” Flynn assesses a potential chemical reaction when someone’s in her chair by looking for puffing foils or complaints of a hot, itchy scalp.
Every city and building filters their water differently and uses different materials in their pipes, all of which can play a role in the maintenance and longevity of a fresh colour. Flynn has seen these effects first hand and has some tips up her sleeve, advising us that, “a small insurance policy to help safeguard our hair is to purchase a water filter for every shower head in your home.”
Now that you know how to assess the effect of water quality on your hair, it’s time to think about the temperature in which you are washing your hair. “Different water temperature for cleansing and conditioning is key,” says Flynn. “When cleansing the hair (especially when trying to remove deposit) using warm water will help to lift the cuticle of the hair and allow deposits to be released and washed away.” On the flip side, when conditioning the hair, Flynn advises that it is important to use lukewarm or cool water. “This will lock in the moisture of the conditioner and seal the cuticle, leaving it less likely for moisture to escape throughout the day.”
Having armed you with the 411 on water, we asked Flynn to share some of her go-to products along with some helpful tips to get you on your way to the hair of your dreams.
Flynn recommends using a moisture and protein-rich shampoo and conditioner that hydrates and rebuilds the cuticle on the hair. She’s so devoted to the Living Proof Restore Shampoo and Conditioner ($37 each) duo that she promises after one bottle your hair will be different if you’re being kind to it.