Even in 2013 the key to beautiful, healthy hair has not changed.
Well-conditioned hair is a sign of good health, vitality and beauty. With a vast range of new products hitting our shops, it’s no wonder that our interest in beautifying conditioners holds strong.
Along with the increasing popularity of low cost disposable fashion, the flexibility to change our hairstyle according to mood or occasion has also increased.
Although styles change as frequently as seasons, the signature of most celebrities continues to be shiny, thick and healthy hair. Just look at Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra.
So how do celebrities maintain the condition of their hair whilst enjoying versatility in their style? We’ve listed the top conditioners favoured by the stars, plus tips to finding the best hair conditioner for you.
Women in South Asia often rely on natural products to maintain the beauty of their hair. Even today, in some rural villages of India, men, women and children still carry out the ‘oiling of the hair’ ritual on a daily basis.
Ingredients such as fruit of the Amla tree, an Indian gooseberry, is still used in oil preparations, to condition and strengthen the hair follicles. One popular Amla preparation, Dabur Amla oil (£2.49), has the consistency of green petrol and a very distinctive smell. But it continues to be used as a preventative measure against damage and greying.
Closer to home, this year has seen a growing appreciation of the beneficial conditioning properties of hair oil. Products such as Moroccan oil have hit the UK and US by storm. Kim Kardashian swears by Moroccan oil for her sultry, long and luscious locks.
Nowadays you only have to venture as far as your local pharmacy for a whole range of oils and conditioners. Before they were only available in your local ethnic or South East Asian supermarket or on request from a relative, making a trip to the motherland.
Whilst there is great media and publicity around Argan oil, other traditionally used oils, can now regularly be found in conditioners. Sweet Almond oil, known for its cuticle smoothing properties for example, is a key ingredient in Redken Smooth Lock conditioner (£12.00)
For a deeper conditioning treatment, the Body Shop Polynesia Monoi Miracle Oil (£10.00) is a product we just can’t do without. This miracle worker, one of the first multi-purpose oils, contains coconut oil, which has been used in Asia and the Pacific for hair beautification for thousands of years.
Due to its fresh scent, this delicious Body Shop oil can be left in, without the pong, as well as used as a finishing polish for incredible shine.
For most women, maintaining the health of hair has become just as important as a good skincare routine. Like skin, hair needs nutrients to look its best and in an age of convenience, this is not always easily available through our diet.
Hair expert, Jacqueline Bush says:
“We live in an environment where our cleansers are very strong. They strip everything down so you’re getting rid of every single type of bacteria that you can possibly get rid of. You do that so things dry out tremendously…That’s why you use conditioning because you’re restoring the pH balance to the hair.”
“There are a lot of conditioners out there that are very light on the hair. That can still give you enough moisture and not weigh down your hair. The key is finding the right product for you,” Jacqueline adds.
Key nutrients for maintaining healthy hair are protein, vitamins A and C, biotin (B7) and zinc. Over the last year there has also been an explosion of supplements specifically targeting hair needs.
DESIblitz tested Tricologic (£18.95 for 30) a one-a-day tablet, available for both men and women. It contains nutrients scientifically proven to improve hair health. We found that whilst there was little improvement in the condition, hair grew more quickly.
As part of an external hair care regime, you can find beautifying products such as the Pantene Moisturising Mousse, where emphasis is not just on styling, but the benefits it can provide to improve hair condition.
It’s not surprising then, as the increase of straighteners and other heated appliances as well as fashion colouring means protecting hair from more damaging factors than ever before.
Recognising this, hair brands have responded well. Conditioners such as the Aussie Take the Heat Conditioner (£4.49) prepares your hair for heat styling. The science behind such products is that heat can actually respond to ingredients in the conditioner and cross-link some of the protein chains in the hair, making it stronger.
Our current styling choices also drive a need for new types of conditioners. Sulfate, an ingredient found in many conditioners to enhance the lathering properties of the product, has been found to cause colour fade and affect some straightening and Keratin treatments negatively.
Of course, we want products that maintain the performance of such treatments. So the number of Sulfate-free conditioners available, such as the Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Hair Conditioner (£5.99), have increased rapidly.
Even in 2013, the key to beautiful, healthy hair has not changed; nourishing from the inside, promoting strength and protection from damaging factors on the outside, with hair loving oils.
Excitingly, what has changed is our access to necessary nutrients through supplements without having to make drastic changes to our diet. We also have the ease of adding better smelling oil conditioners to our everyday hair care routine, without the greasy downtime.
With the marriage of science and centuries of knowledge of the benefits of natural oils, we are now able to specifically choose conditioners based on our lifestyle and not just our hair type. To prepare and strengthen our hair, and to be able to have the choice and versatility of its style, with minimal damage.