by ZOE FOSTER
While I am a huge fan of stylers and tongs and dry shampoo and mousse and hair spray and hair powder and texturising products like sea salt spray, (often all used in ONE dangin’ styling session) a dame does pay for such things.
Not with actual dollars but with physical appearance dollars, which in this case refers to shitty dry ends and dry scalp and generally damaged hair.
But since using hair oils, the damage has lessened. Hugely so. To the point where my hairdresser, gagging to lecture me about the state of my hair (which is, don’t forget, bleach blonde under the brunette and therefore even more weak and pitiful), expresses surprise when he touches it, because for all the heat and product and wear and tear I hurl at my hair, it should feel like a cat’s tongue. But it doesn’t. And I ‘blame’ the oils.
Yes, like those little V05 tubes we used to buy when we were 14 – hair oil! (I still rate and use those, by the way.) Hair oil has had a resurgence in the past few years and is now used for styling, frizz-fighting, leave-in conditioning and deep-cleaning, as well as treating. And don’t be scared if you have oily hair, it will not make it worse. Hair, like skin, needs both oil and moisture to be authentically healthy and (the right type and amount of) oil is easily absorbed, nourishing and reviving.
Use it as a pre-cleanse for a thoroughly nourishing treatment:
Oil is terrific used on (filthy or very dry/damaged) hair before washing, to deeply condition the hair, protect the hair from the sometimes stripping nature of shampoo and also ‘attract’ and remove dirt and impurities from the hair. You can use a small amount of straight-up Jojoba or coconut oil from the health food shop, a strong, rich traditional oil treatment like Weleda’s Rosemary hair oil (USE A DROP OR TWO AMOUNT ONLY) or a specific pre-cleanse hair oil like Phytonectar Pre-Shampoo Ultra Nourishing Oil Treatment, loved by models the world over for its loving, soothing qualities on their trashed locks.
Apply all over to dry, dirty hair and massage in. Use a small amount the first time until you know how well your hair can cope – if you use too much you’ll need to shampoo again and again to remove all residue. Heat makes oil penetrate, so warm up your oil in the microwave before applying, then leave on for 40-60 minutes, wrapped in cling wrap or a towel that’s been heated up in the microwave. Finally, wash with two rounds of shampoo and some conditioner if needed.
Use it as a styling product that also acts as a leave-in treatment: