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Seven Canberra hairdressers give us their tips for lush hair in winter

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Winter brings many wonderful things to Canberra. Crisp, clear mornings. Epic sunsets. Gins by the fire.

But winter hair? If you’re anything like me, then your hair during winter is dry, brittle, dull and just a bit, well, meh.

So what to do? We asked six of Canberra’s top hairdressers for their tips.

Sarah Wright, Founder of Braddon’s Saloon says that we need to take as much care of our hair as we do our skin in the winter months.

“Our advice would be to keep your hair as hydrated as possible,” she says. “Using products with sulphate in it can also dry your hair out so try use sulphate-free products like Kevin Murphy.”

“Doing a weekly mask at home or in salon intense treatment regularly will also help keep your hair feeling lush by the time summer comes.”

Kate Thackray from Kate Lily Dressing Hair also adds that using a treatment once a week and then using a leave-in product after you wash your hair can help combat dullness and dryness.

“A lot of people also get dry or flaky scalps over winter, if this is you don’t stress, it’s so common,” says Kate.

Kath Ilijoski from Queanbeyan’s 121 Hair says that a lack of vibrancy in winter can come from the loss of the hydro-lipid layer of your hair, which she explains “provides two primary functions—hydration and protection”.

“So it’s important to use moisturising products to prevent and repair your hydro-lipid layer’s integrity.”

Lexi Bannister, owner of the eponymous Lexi Bannister Hair in Manuka, says her best tip is to really set time aside to care for your hair.

“I love promoting the whole ‘Sunday Care Day’—you do your exfoliation, you shave, you tan and you do your hair mask,” she says. “If your hair is chemically treated, mask once a week, and if not, fortnightly.”

Meanwhile, Pony & Pins‘ Peter Magro says that something as simple as lowering the temperature of your shower can make a noticeable difference when it comes to your hair.

“People often put the temperature up in winter but the hotter water can zap moisture from your hair, making it brittle,” he explains. “Wash your hair less and brush it more to stimulate blood flow and redistribute natural oils through your hair.”

Lexi agrees, adding that “most people don’t realise how much heat affects hair”, even when it comes to central heating in our homes.

“When you’re in a super dry environment, the scalp can get irritated and dry it can stop the growth coming through well. So always do two shampoos, then put your conditioner in for 1-3 minutes—avoiding the roots—to get more from each wash. And finish with cool water if you can. It shuts down the cuticle and gives you more shine.”

Leslie Henshaw, Owner of Polychroma Hair Colour Specialists in Yarralumla, recommends using a highly moisturising treatment on your hair routine in the winter months and working a smoothing cream or balm into the hair when wet to avoid frizz.

He also adds that everyone “should be avoiding over-blowdrying or straightening their hair and always using a heat protectant”.

Julie Okely, Founder of Dilkara Essence of Australia, is also a huge fan of bringing more good oils into your routine.

“The winter winds and the lack of summer sun can rob your hair of the much-needed oils and nourishment to keep those dry brittle ends at bay,” she explains.

“Take the time to pamper your hair by saturating those dry ends and dehydrated locks with a treatment rich in both moisture and protein and remember to also pamper yourself with that regular trim to keep the split ends away.”

Products to try

“Finding the right mask for you is important as there are so many different ones for different hair types,” says Sarah of Saloon. “For example, if you’re hair is fine we don’t want to use something too heavy as It will just weigh it down and sometimes make it feel oily.”

“Our favourites are the Kevin Murphy Angel mask (for finer hair) and the Kevin Murphy Hydrate mask (for thicker hair).”

Peter from Pony & Pins agrees that weekly hair masks “can make a huge difference.”

“Not only will it add shine and hydration but it can make your colour last longer and stay brighter,” he says. “At Pony and Pins, we use Davines which is a premium product that’s not only amazing for your hair but is obtained with 100 per cent clean energy and recyclable packaging.”

And all seven hairdressers agree that leave-in treatments can also be a great addition to your hair care routine.

While Saloon’s Sarah Wright recommends Kevin Murphy’s Young Again oil and Staying Alive thickening hydrating spray, Kath from 121 Hair recommends using WELLA’s System Professional Hydrate line to help keep hair full of life.

Kate from Kate Lily Dressing Hair also adds that changing your shampoo and conditioner during winter can make a world of difference.

“I’d recommend changing your shampoo and condition,” she says. “I love SACHAJUAN, Scalp Shampoo is great to soothe and rebalance your scalp and hair.”

She also had a handful of hero products to recommend.

“My go-to’s are Eleven Australia’s 3 MINUTE REPAIR TREATMENT—it’s easy to use in the shower and smells sooo good. I also love Olaplex #6 Bond smoother. It’s a leave-in styling cream that hydrates and helps to eliminate frizz.”

“This is the newest product I’ve added to my hair routine—Olaplex #7 bonding oil. Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. #7 is a light styling oil. I like to mix a few drops in with my #6 Bond Smoother. It does all the good things—repairs, conditions, reduces frizz, it’s colour safe and also has heat protection.”

Leslie Henshaw’s hero products include the Unite 7 Seconds masque and the Unite Lazer Straight smoothing cream as well as Pravana Intense Therapy Spray—which acts as a heat protectant for those aforementioned blow drys—while Julie can’t go past Dilkara’s Aruma Reconstructor Treatment.

“The moisture will settle the frizzies and re nourish the dehydrated strands, whilst the protein will rebuild and strengthen fragile areas and boost the shine,” says Julie.

“Go that step further by wrapping it up in a warm towel, and let it steam for a stress-free 20 mins and you will have a healthy new winter glow to your once-dry hair. As an extra treat, follow with a beautiful serum, such as Dilkara’s Desert Lime Oil to help protect against further damage or dehydration.”

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