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Secrets of Healthy, Beautiful, Easy-to-manage Hair
Written by Tomo Kikuchi   

secrets of healthy hairNew guests consistently tell me that their ultimate goal is to have beautiful, healthy and manageable hair – or in other words, no more bad-hair days. There are several causes of damaged, hard-to-manage hair. Often hair problems are caused by poor technical work (colour, highlights, perms or straightening), or from damage caused by prolonged exposure to sun, sea or chlorinated water. Damage from thermal styling (blow-dryers, flat irons and curling irons) is another major factor for hair damage.

Sometimes correcting the problem can be as simple as giving clients a good haircut or guiding them to shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are designed for their hair type or scalp condition. There are very real differences between professional hair-care products and mass-market products. Professional products are pH balanced for your hair and use a surfactant (cleansing agent) that is mild, while almost all mass market products have a pH level that is too high, so the cuticle of the hair is left open, and most use sodium lauryl sulfate – a very harsh, inexpensive cleansing agent. The result is dry, unmanageable hair. If you are experiencing premature colour fading, check your shampoo. Chances are your shampoo’s pH level is too high and the cleansing agent too harsh.

Even if clients have been using professional products, they may be products that are not ideal matches for their hair type or scalp condition. Today’s products are hair type and scalp condition specific, so always ask your hairdresser which products you should be using. Now we also have a wide variety of in-salon treatments that can work wonders on dry, damaged hair. Admittedly, there are some levels of severe damage that can’t be completely fixed in one appointment. If you fall into that category, work with your hairdresser to develop a plan to get your hair healthy.

Seasonal changes can cause some short-term scalp problems including dandruff. These are common and most salons have products that can help you with this. Hair loss is another issue that can affect hair quality and appearance. Some hair loss is normal; the average person loses 80 to 100 hairs per day. If you are experiencing more severe hair loss, it may be caused by Androgenic Alopecia, heredity, hormone problems, age, stress, medical conditions or medication. If you believe that you fall into this latter group you should seek a physician’s help.

For the majority of people, there are plenty of things you can do to protect, nourish and enjoy your hair. Below are the top ten secrets of beautiful hair:

  1. Trim your hair at least every 6-8 weeks (more often if your hair is short). Damage to your hair is usually from the ends and the only long-term solution to split ends is to remove them. Also, hairs grow at different rates, so haircuts will keep your hair healthy and your style balanced.
  2. Work with your hairdresser to determine the shampoo and conditioner best suited to your hair and scalp and avoid washing your hair every day. Shampooing every third day is ideal for most people as the natural oil that your scalp produces is nature’s way to condition your hair.
  3. When shampooing your hair at home, massage your scalp gently to boost your circulation and improve overall hair health. Use cooler water, which will keep your hair’s cuticle closed.
  4. Let your hair dry naturally when possible and rather than rubbing your hair dry; blot your hair to remove most of the water.
  5. If you have longer hair use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb out any tangles and never use a brush on wet hair.
  6. Avoid using hair-dryers, flat irons or curling irons when possible and always use a thermal protectant when you do use these tools.
  7. If you use a round brush to style your hair, a natural boar bristle brush is best and it will help straighten your hair and add shine.
  8. Use styling products designed for your hair type to address your needs. Your hairdresser can help you with this.
  9. Avoid heat and prolonged exposure to sunlight, sea water or swimming pools, as each is harmful to your hair. If you are regularly in the sun or the pool, use protective products prior to each.
  10. You don’t need to avoid hair colour or highlights, but have your hair coloured by specialists to give you the look you desire without unduly damaging your hair. Many of today’s colour products include conditioning elements and we now even have an ammonia-free colour line in INOA from L’Oreal Professional.

Above all, find a stylist you trust and check in regularly to have your hair trimmed and to discuss your changing needs. And enjoy your beautiful hair!

Tomo Kikuchi -

Tomo Kikuchi graduated from Suki’s Hair Academy and was quickly moved into a permanent position at the Sukis’ South Granville location. With a natural ability to work with hair along with a unique sense of style, Tomo is quickly becoming one of the most requested stylists at Suki’s. Contact Suki’s South Granville Salon at 604.738.7713.

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