Stop reading this if you don’t want smooth shiny hair because this is not for you! Is it an urban legend, does it exist and is it even possible, or is it just that perfect moment captured in a fleeting moment for Instagram for some people but not a real thing?

We sat with Rod Anker India’s leading hairstylist who’s clients include some of the countries most recognisable names to get the facts about getting shiny healthy looking hair the right way and here is what he said.

There isn’t really one secret for healthy hair and is rarely that hard to achieve it, it’s often about restraint and stopping people doing things rather than doing them. A lot of mixed messages when it comes to hair and how to look after it, it’s very often too confusing to navigate what you actually should be doing he said. We see people coloring hair too often, over styling it, following unhealthy habits and trying to rectify it all with a weekly hairspa or a product to remedy damage or spilt ends. This simply won’t work.

You can not approach it by doing whatever you want then trying to find a miracle product to fix the damage says Rod.

Let’s look at a few things you could change in order to get you closer to having that smooth shiny hair you dream of, if that’s the goal.

Firstly color, now coloring your hair is perfectly safe if done correctly and not overdone so get that out of your mind right now, it’s only when you over do it then follow it up with neglect that the hair strength & condition deteriorates beyond repair that you have a problem. You can color it, style it etc but it will have limits and knowing what those limits are key to reaching your hair goals.

Coloring the roots, every 5-6 weeks is perfectly fine it’s fresh growth and has not been exposed to anything so it’s safe. It’s when you start coloring over color without a purpose that you will have issues. Over processed hair leads to dehydration, compromised cuticle and split ends. All of this leads to color fading and the need to continue to damage the hair because the color keeps fading. Hair has limits as to what it can deal with, hair is dead keratin protein and once the damage is done it’s done you can not “restore it” back to its original state. You can only assist in giving your hair the best chance of hydrating and protection until it’s cut off.

Best way to color your hair is by being conscious of where you are headed and where it has been. If you want blonde hair by summer, start taking it lighter in winter so you have time to slowly shift it towards your goal rather than trying to make an overnight transformation. Another very useful treatment is a color gloss, which name will change from product to product but is basically a clear coating over the hair strand which lasts 4-6 weeks and will simply wash off. It adds protection but main purpose is shine and gloss on your hair.

You hear hairdressers say all the time get yourself a good shampoo and conditioner and no one really explains what the word “good” is. Sulfate free Shampoo, because sulfate tends to be a more aggressive detergent or surfactant in the shampoo and could strip color and cause your scalp to be dehydrated which can cause you to think you have dandruff which you most likely wont. Paraben free which is a preservative to keep the shelf life longer for the bottle of shampoo, this can create scalp irriation and in severe cases skin rashes and acne breakouts. These both can can irritation, dry scalp, color fading an interfere with the hair strength and elasticity on a cellular level. Using products that are free of certain chemicals help maintain moisture levels which in turn reduces the damage of change of split ends says Rod Anker. So what is the best shampoo or best hair treatment for you? Consult with your hairstylist as well as do some research yourself on what hair products will suit you best. Off Days have started with an everyday shampoo and conditioner which is safe and adaptable for all hair types removing the need for multiple bottles sitting on the bathroom shelf, says Rod

So is it just coloring your hair that we need to change?

No it’s not, over-styling puts your hair through incredible stress if overdone. We have seen people who get a weekly blow out with perfectly healthy hair and others who do it once a month with hair that is completely damaged beyond repair. It’s not the one thing or another it’s all interconnected. The Disulphide bonds in your hair determine the level of elasticity and strength of the hair. Over processed hair or chemically damaged hair can be limp and lifeless this is because the disulphide bonds are damaged beyond repair leaving the hair without strength or any flexability in the structure. Yes you can use a product to stitch them back together however it’s only temporary. Constantly putting your hair through temperatures of over 200-300 degrees with the surface temperature being even hotter at some point the cuticle later will simply break off and it typically wont be the moment the damage happened, it will be the moment you hair has had enough and can not take it anymore.

So we need to be conscious of coloring and styling. Is there anything else we can do?

Yes there is always the small changes which are typically habits we don’t even know we do that can create damage on the hair or be causing it to be frizzy or dry. Some of these are.

Shaking your hair upside down to dry it, causes it to go frizzy

Touching your hair too much adds moisture from your hands, the urge to constantly flip it, please avoid it!

Sticking it up in a towel moments after getting out of the shower, creates too much friction on the hair. Keep it wrapped if you need too in an old T-shirt ( Google plopping ) it’s a more gentle way to wrap your hair and can be all you need for styling and certainly will help with the frizz especially if your hair is curly!

Only comb it when the conditioner is in, it acts as a lubricant and will reduce the friction on your hair.

Always finish styling each section with cold air in a downwards direction.

Always condition always! Closes the cuticle and locks moisture inside the strand and helps repel moisture attraction from the environment ( Frizz )

Use a serum, silicon based that has heat and UV protection

Trim regularly, the most under talked about but most important is trimming every 6-8 weeks. Removes damaged ends, creates a smooth cut and will reduce split ends. Cutting your hair every 3-4 months is typically the wrong approach to ensuring the hair is in its best condition. You have to trim every 6-8 weeks rather than cut large portions off every 3-4 months.

All this in mind, less is more and have a plan for where your hair is going. Use the right hair products, regular trims and don’t over do it!

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