self-care, noun: taking an active role in protecting one's well-being and happiness*
Hot yoga. Shiatsu massage. Mani-pedis. Drinking kombucha. Or chardonnay. There's no shortage of #selfcare choices - 25 million+ posts on Instagram - and they run the gamut from complicated to costly.
But guess what? A simple and rewarding form of self-care is your hair care regimen. Everyone who’s had a bad hair day knows the psychological, physical and spirit-lifting potential a salon visit can have. With fresh color or a killer blowout, we seem to stand taller and feel more confident, smarter, funnier, cuter...That post-salon mojo is available to us every day if we combine the right products with some professional tips and soothing rituals. Here's the skinny on hair care self-care.
Self-Soothe While You Shampoo
Step one to having gorgeous, healthy-looking hair is caring for the sensitive skin on your scalp. Celebrity hairdresser Marcus Francis recommends a combo of effective products made with nutrient-rich ingredients and a simple massage technique. “Getting shampooed at the salon feels incredible because the massage stimulates your scalp while it cleanses and exfoliates,” he explains. Why is this important? Because oils, pollution and product build-up - think dry shampoo - can slow hair growth and lead to lackluster locks.
Since our scalps are sensitive, he advises choosing products that are gentle on hair yet still effective. “I prefer clean formulas**, like Better Natured Moisturizing and Color Care Shampoos, that are both gentle and naturally-derived***,” he says. “They’re SLS/SLES free**** and vegan, with a unique Triple Plant Milk Blend of coconut, palm and orchid milks that’s nourishing, hydrating and luxurious.”
For an unforgettable spa-worthy shampoo, follow Marcus’ tips:
- Thoroughly wet scalp and hair with hot (not scalding!) water.
- Deposit a quarter-size amount (or a bit more if your hair is thick) of Better Natured Shampoo into your palm, flip your hair over, and start applying product to the base of your scalp. Massage your scalp with medium to firm pressure in small, circular motions as you push your fingers toward the crown. Repeat this motion, starting again at the base of the head and working toward the top. Rinse, straighten up and rinse again.
- Now, using another quarter-sized amount of shampoo, rub your hands together and then start at your temples, massaging your scalp up toward the crown. Use your thumbs to massage your temples and feel stress melt away. Finish at the crown and rinse thoroughly.
- All those nerve endings should be tingling and your scalp should feel refreshed.
Deep Breaths While You Deep Condition
After soothing the roots of your hair it’s time to spoil your ends. Stressing our tresses with heat styling, chemical treatment, and UV exposure means that at least once per week we need to drench them with an extra dose of moisture. You wouldn’t go to the gym without a water bottle, right? A hydrating treatment is just as important for optimal hair health and fitness.
Regardless of hair type, conditioning treatments help boost shine and softness, minimize frizz and flyaways, eliminate tangles and preserve and brighten color. Better Natured Moisture Replenishing Masque is lightweight but high-powered. In addition to the nourishing Triple Plant Milk Blend, it’s packed with protective lipids that shield the hair shaft from further damage. Marcus points out that hair that’s hydrated and moisturized “is easier to style, shows off a great cut, and radiates healthy-looking shine.”
Follow his steps to get the maximum benefit and salon-like results.
- First, squeeze excess water from your lengths. This allows the masque to absorb and ensures the hair receives all of the product’s nourishing benefits.
- Scoop out a generous amount, rub hand together to distribute the product, and starting from the ends, scrunch the product into the hair moving upward. “Your ends are what really need conditioning,” he points out, “and starting here also prevents depositing too much product at the roots where oil is already produced.”
- Using a wide-toothed comb, distribute the product throughout the hair and if it’s long, twist and clip to the top of your head. Steam from the shower opens the cuticle allowing for the masque to sink in. Hum a tune and take several deep breaths. The light fruity-floral scent is an added sensory benefit.
- After 3-5 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water, and to seal all that goodness into the cuticle, make the last 5 seconds an icy cold rinse.
You will emerge relaxed, revitalized -- with a scalp that’s refreshed and hair that’s soft and a breeze to comb out.
* Oxford English Dictionary online
** Clean means products that have been rigorously tested for efficacy, are compliant with European and North American regulatory standards and are free from our top 12 ingredient taboos: silicones, parabens, SLS/SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate) sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, phthalates, gluten, animal-by-products, chemical sunscreens, microbeads, BPA and formaldehyde-releasing agents.
***Global ISO Standard 16128 defines naturally-derived as a or mineral-derived material or water, which is found in nature and has undergone limited processing. In the Better Natured line, the percent naturally-derived varies from product to product and ranges from 86% to 99%.
****SLS/SLES Sulfates = Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate