April 12. The sacred date is circled in your diary, when our beloved hairdressers can finally reopen. But even if you were lucky enough to snap up an appointment, six weeks feels like a long time, especially if your hair is in dire need of a cut. Here is how to hack your way over the finish line.
The high-tech home treatment
Longing for shiny, swishable locks? Look to rebuilding treatments that will strengthen strands from within. Olaplex, which uses a patented formula to reconnect broken hair bonds deep in the shaft, is widely used in salons, but its at-home treatments No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair (£26) and No.3 Hair Perfector (£26) are game-changers for dry or damaged hair and can be used on all hair types. British brand The Inkey List, known for its single ingredient skincare formulations, entered the haircare scene last year and its new PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment (£12.99) is being hailed as a rival to Olaplex. “PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid,” Inkey co-founder Mark Curry explains. “This patented technology can penetrate deep into the cuticle and get to the hard-to-reach bonds to protect and strengthen the hair and can be used on all hair types, from fine to curly or texturised hair.”
Meanwhile, over in the States, L’Oreal sells a bottle of its Dream Lengths Wonder Water (£9.99, boots.com) every minute. The conditioner replacement, which has just launched in the UK to much hype, is designed for all hair types and uses lamellar technology to coat strands in a lightweight formula that smooths and strengthens in a mere eight seconds.
Add a hair oil or serum to your haircare arsenal for extra nourishment. Inspired by the ancient Indian ritual of hair oiling, Nikita Mehta, co-founder of Fable & Mane, launched the brand’s HoliRoots Hair Oil (£29) last year. “Massaging oil into the scalp is supposed to promote hair growth through increased circulation and nourished roots,” she says. Apply to dry hair and leave on overnight before washing out. For curly and afro hair types, Deborah Johnson, co-owner of Simply Gorgeous Afro Hair Salon, recommends Bloom Hair Oil from The Afro Hair & Skin Co (£22.50). “Use it at night or when you want to re-do your at-home braids,” she says. “It’s lightweight and absorbs really well so doesn’t leave curls or textured hair looking flat.” Add another layer of hydration by spritzing the hair all over with Afrocenchix Sheen Spray (£11.95) a couple of times a day, “it really helps to revive hair that is naturally prone to dryness,” she says, and recommends investing in a satin or silk pillowcase to avoid knotting or loss of moisture.
Other wonder oils include Oribe’s luxey Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil (£35) and Living Proof’s new lightweight Frizz Vanishing Oil (£31).
Over at Buller & Rice in Walthamstow, founders Anita Rice and Stephen Buller swear by Oway’s Nurturing Drops (£34, bullerandrice.com). “We call this our ‘hero’ product, it’s a lightweight protective serum made with biodynamic marrubium and organic black quinoa that seals split ends. Hot tip: add a few drops to a deep conditioning treatment like Oway’s Rebuilding Mask (£28.50) for extra hydration.”
The colour spruce
A gloss or colour-depositing mask will add some well-needed vibrancy to tired colour. “If your ends are looking a bit dull and faded try using a semi-permanent gloss treatment all the hair or just mid-lengths to ends depending on where the colour is needed,” suggests Bryony Cairns, colourist at Larry King hair salon in Westbourne Grove. Her top pick is the Christophe Robin Color gel (£30, spacenk.com). For clients with balayage, Jack Howard, at Paul Edmonds in Battersea, recommends Schwarzkopf’s Chroma ID semi-permanent bonding colour masks. “It’s about neutralising brassy tones or enhancing once white blondes, they’re also great for brunettes who are feeling flat and brassy.” Meanwhile, Kamila Pruszek, co-owner at Blue Tit Portobello, suggests Oway’s Hblonde Hair Bath (£32) to freshen blonde hair, while the brand’s Hmelt Masks (£29) come in a variety of hues like Authentic Chestnut and Red Energy. Just after some extra shine? The Hair Boss’ Crystal Clear Treatment (£14.99) adds shine for up to six washes. Simply use as a weekly conditioning mask.
Quick fix touch ups
To edge you over the finish line, Cairns recommends L’Oreal Magic Retouch Root Touch Up (£8.99) or Colour Wow Root Cover Up (£28.50), a mineral powder which comes in a variety of shades to disguise emerging roots or greys. For blondes, the team at Buller and Rice recommend a good dry shampoo or texturiser to blend roots and add oomph. Try Davine’s Dry Texturizer (£22). Styling-wise, the stronger the parting the more noticeable the regrowth will be, Howard adds, “so play around with your parting for that Zoom meeting to soften any colour lines.”