The first thing I did after graduating from secondary school was to bleach my hair. That experience kick-started seven years of non-stop bleaching for me.
If you haven’t bleached your hair before, bleach is a strong chemical that can leave a tingling or burning sensation when it touches your scalp. If left on for too long, it might even cause agonising scalp burns.
You can only imagine the harm seven years of chemical damage did to my scalp and hair. Which is why, as an adult now, I put in extra effort to take care of my hair and scalp to protect them from further damage.
Here are five of my favourite hair and scalp hacks that are so simple, even lazy people can implement them.
1) Brush your hair carefully
You may not give much thought to this everyday routine, but the way you brush your hair makes a difference to the texture of your hair.
Start by investing in a good hairbrush that helps to evenly and gently distribute natural oils through the entire length of your hair strands.
I recommend one with round-tipped bristles for extra gentleness.
So how should you brush your hair?
Begin from your hair ends and work your way up to the roots before finishing with long, even strokes. This helps you to detangle your hair while preventing dry ends and a greasy scalp, which is quite common in a humid country like Singapore.
Refrain from brushing your hair too frequently, because over-brushing will create friction and break your hair cuticle, leading to split ends.
Comb your hair only when you absolutely need to.
Be extremely careful if you’re combing your hair when it’s wet — wet hair is fragile and more prone to damage.
2) Keep flyaways at bay
Sick of your frizzy hair sticking out in every photo?
Instead of overloading your hair with hair spray (which can damage your hair and result in unhealthy residue on the scalp), rub some leave-in treatment between your hands before patting down your unruly hair.
Leave-in treatment like PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s ADV Hydration Cream promises to get rid of your annoying stray hair for a picture-perfect day.
All things considered, some occasions do call for hair spray.
If you really need to, mist hair spray on your hairbrush instead of spraying it directly onto your scalp to minimise irritation.
3) Apply oil for soft, shiny hair
Surprise, surprise. Hair masks are NOT supposed to be left on overnight — that’s a myth and a surefire way to get product gunking up your scalp.
To transform your tired, frazzled hair into luxurious locks, give it an intensive boost with a nourishing oil like argan oil.
After shampooing, apply the oil from the mid-lengths to ends of your hair, then wrap the lower section of hair with a towel and leave on for 15 minutes.
After which, you can proceed with styling as usual or — if you wash your hair at night like me — go to bed.
I prefer doing it on towel-dried hair, as the oil glides on more smoothly and evenly. And to boot, absorbency is enhanced when the hair is still damp.
Be careful to avoid your scalp when applying oil — I made that mistake once and had to live with greasy-looking hair for the rest of my birthday. It was not the best experience, to say the least.
4) Switch up your shampoos
Unlike marriage vows, you shouldn’t stick to one shampoo for the rest of your life.
During my crazy hair years, I had at least three shampoos on rotation at any point in time to target different scalp and hair problems.
For instance, I’d use a shampoo targeted at hair treatment the weeks leading up to bleaching my hair to prepare my hair for the arduous process. Prevention is always better than cure.
For the two weeks right after dyeing my hair, I’d use a colour-care shampoo to ensure the longevity of my hair colour. A good colour-care shampoo will also pay specialised attention to your delicate chemically-treated hair.
5) Take care of your scalp
When evaluating our hair health, we often neglect our scalp.
The fastest way to bring your hair back to life is through the scalp, since it's the foundation of beautiful hair.
Achieve a healthy scalp by using the right shampoo. For example, if you have a greasy scalp, aim for an oil-control shampoo. If you colour your hair often, a specialised colour care shampoo can help restore scalp health while minimising colour leaching.
When possible, avoid harmful additives like parabens, mineral oils or benzophenone in your hair products.
To reduce build up of hairstyling products on your scalp, incorporate a regular exfoliating routine to your scalp.
Yes, I can imagine the confusion on your face. That was me too, when I first heard about this treatment.
But come to think of it, if we exfoliate our face once a week to achieve a radiant complexion, why do we not think of doing it to our scalp?
If we apply primer on our faces before applying makeup, why aren’t we doing the same for our scalp?
PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s ADV Elixir is a scalp primer that prepares our scalp for subsequent hair care products to be more effectively absorbed — just like makeup primers.
Formulated based on the latest stem cell research, ADV Elixir contains:
- Rice Stem Cells for deep-cleansing power
- Patent 5 Complex to restore scalp health
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract to support the growth and development of hair cells
- Green Tea Extract for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
If you’ve been plagued by visible scalp problems, you’ll be glad to learn that this powerful serum prevents hair follicles from getting clogged up. This prevents common scalp disorders like dandruff, itchiness, acne and inflammation.
Through exfoliating our scalp, ADV Elixir gets rid of harmful bacteria that accumulates on our scalp daily, improving our scalp health. Which will then lead to healthier hair, and an increase in hair volume.
You can purchase PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s ADV Elixir here, or head down to PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s physical stores at Wheelock Place, Ngee Ann City, Plaza Singapura, Bedok Mall and Takashimaya.
Top image via PHS HAIRSCIENCE.
This article sponsored by PHS HAIRSCIENCE reminded this writer to pay attention to scalp care.