Let’s be honest: has a hair treatment ever been a priority on your beauty to-do list? Or would you rather schedule your monthly facial appointments? We are often more conscientious when it comes to taking care of our complexion and pay lesser attention to our hair. Having a robust skincare regime, however, isn’t enough when it comes to looking our best, it’s time to take extra effort to care for our tresses (because seriously, would you want to have hair loss at 25? We think not). To get you started, we talk to the founder of aesthetic clinic SW1 Clinic Dr. Low Chai Ling and Schwarzkopf’s global trend ambassador Armin Morbach for their tips, advice and more.
The haircare products every woman needs in her beauty arsenal
Dr. Low Chai Ling (LCL): “Women should not just focus on their hair but consider the scalp too – try Viviscal hair growth vitamins which can help promote healthy hair growth. For women experiencing some hair loss, consider using a scalp serum that contains minoxidil and biotin to promote healthy hair growth and reduce hair loss.”
Armin Morbach (AM): “The most important products are leave-in products. They are worth splurging on because you don’t wash them out and they’ll have a lasting effect. A moisturising hair mask – either a light version for fine hair, a smooth one for unruly hair and an intensely moisturizing one for dry hair that you use once to twice a week. Secondly, dry shampoo as it’s multifunctional, adds texture, prevents greasy strands and adds volume instantly to any hair type. Lastly, a serum. This has multiple usages too. It adds shine to dull hair, prevents splitting and tames frizz. Of course, a shampoo and conditioner for daily use are essential.
Common haircare mistakes
LCL: “When you’re young, you don’t really put sunscreen on your scalp because your hair is like a hat. But once you start losing hair, it becomes sparser thus, being exposed to UV light, which damages the scalp. We have two products – Guardian Angel and Body Guard. The latter is actually a hair and body wash. After using it, the sunscreen ingredient will bind ionically to your scalp and give you an SPF 30 that is waterproof. It is lightweight, invincible in colour and protects the skin. So that’s one thing I realise – a lot of people want to treat their hair but tend to forget how to actually prevent it.”
AM: “I think there’s not one mistake that’s exclusive to Asian women – no matter if you are Asian European, African or American. The most common mistakes are the same internationally. One is not knowing your hair type and putting too much product into your hair. This will weight the hair down so it’ll look more fine and flat, it’s both the amount of one product and the total number of products used. Instead of loading on serum, leave-in-creams and masks, it’s better to focus on what the hair really needs.
Three tips to maintain healthy hair
LCL: “The first thing is to actually protect your scalp. You will also want to do treatments once in a while. A lot of people wait until they are balding before they even do anything. I think doing a treatment even before you actually have hair loss (means if you feel your hair is a bit thinner) on a regular basis is helpful. And of course, your diet does make a big difference. If you’re not getting a balanced diet, then you will find that it may be necessary to find some supplements.”
AM: “Care for your scalp because hair will grow better and more healthy if the scalp’s fine, too. I recommend massaging every other day, either with the hands or a brush, to boost blood circulation, which will nourish the roots. Additionally, be careful with the heat. Either from styling tools, sun or hair dryers. Keep the hair’s exposure to heat to a minimum as high temperatures will damage the outer follicle of the hair. Lastly, you are what you eat – and it shows in your hair. Focus on fatty acids like omega three that are found in almonds for example.
Tips on saving damaged or bleached tresses
LCL: “In addition to encouraging new, healthy hair growth, the SW1 Hair Recovery Strengthening and Rejuvenating Serum is a hair tonic that helps strengthen damaged hair and build body so hair is healthy, shiny and thicker. You need to understand that once you bleach your hair, it will always look drier and less healthy than virgin hair so try to avoid bleaching too often, and trim away unhealthy hair ends regularly. The use of certain hair masks may temporarily restore some softness and moisture to the hair but will not return your hair to the same condition as it was before.”
AM: “The focus should be on repairing products here – from shampoo, conditioner, masks. They fill in the broken follicle temporarily, so that light will reflect better (shine!) and the hair will look healthier in general. Add a product with a UV filter to prevent further damage and fading.”
The best haircare advice
LCL: “Find a hairstyle that requires the least maintenance because your hair will thank you in the long run. Frequent blow drying and flat ironing of your hair will lead to damage locks.”
AM: “Well, I’m myself am not gifted with a full mane, but the best advice, in my opinion, is to celebrate what you have. Really focus on your natural beauty instead of changing it. Straight hair often has great shine – why not enhance this instead of curling it to death and vice versa.”