Magda Jagri talks Healthy Hair
Healthy Summer Hair
Keeping our hair healthy this summer can be a bit of a battle.
With holidays upon us and the sun, sweat, saltwater, sand, chlorine, humidity and air travel to deal with, our hair might be forgiven for being a bit frazzled!
So we’ve asked Magda Jagri, private stylist & hairdresser in London, that is passionate about using natural products to guide us and share her tips.
What's the first thing that we should do to protect our hair when summer rolls around?
UV protection is the most important.
Unlike skin, hair will not become red and painful when it becomes overexposed to the sun so it's more difficult to measure UV protection in hair. But UV exposure can sap the hair of strength and elasticity and cause photo-oxidation, which triggers discoloration and fading in both natural and color-treated hair.
In extreme cases, like bleached blonde hair, which already have a bit of chemical damage, it can even snap. According to studies, after just three days of sun exposure, the scale-like cells that cover each individual hair shaft begin to peel off, making the hair dry, dull and brittle.
Other than wearing SPF woven hats or scarfs, mixing natural oils with SPF to conditioners or leave-in conditioners is one of my favourite ways to get around this.
The red raspberry seed oil (SPF 28-50) and for mild sun raw virgin coconut oil (SPF 10) is just one of the few to consider.
If you have curly hair, MOTION.LOTION from the Kevin Murphy’s planet friendly hair care products contains sunscreen to protect your hair while you’re having fun in the sun and will also take you from the beach to the dance floor in seconds.
Does our healthy hair regime change depending on the type of hair (whether coloured, curly, straight, thick or thin) that we have?
Absolutely. The denser the hair, the least sensitive it is, and the finer hair more prone it is to damage.
Curly hair is naturally more dry and frizzy, therefore lack of protection of the natural oils, which will result in quicker sun damage.
A finer hair will require light creamy and waterbed products, while a thicker and courser hair will love bathing in heavier nourishing oils.
The lucky in between would benefit greatly of the mixture of these two.
Does saltwater wreak havoc on our hair or is spending some time in the sea actually beneficial for the hair?
If your hair is coloured or dry, seawater can dry it out even more. The solution is to coat it in oil. We recommend coconut oil, which shields the hair whilst allowing the scalp to benefit from the minerals in the water.
If you have dandruff, flakiness or very oily hair, on the other hand, you'll probably find that the seawater actually HELPS in keeping the oiliness at bay.
Make sure to wash your hair after your saltwater dip. Don't leave the salt on your hair and scalp once your natural 'therapy' is over.
Studies suggest that seawater can be used to treat eczema and psoriasis, both of which can impact the scalp and cause hair loss.
How about chlorine? What should we do after spending lots of time in the pool?
Chlorine is used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in the water, but it also strips out the natural oils that protect your hair from damage and daily wear.
To coat the hair strands with hair products, as in leaving in conditioners or natural hair oils before jumping into the pool is a very good way of preventing this.
Chlorine chemically bonds to hair and skin, so you may need more than plain soap and water to wash it out.
It’s cost-effective to use apple cider vinegar, which acts as a natural clarifier. Just add one part of vinegar to four parts water and pour it over freshly washed hair.
I really recommend the MAXI.WASH from Kevin Murphy, which contains anti-pollutant ingredients that remove build-up of unwanted products and chemicals.
How does air travel affect our hair and is the combination of sea, sun and flying quite damaging for the hair? If so, what are your tips for keeping our hair healthy?
One of the main problems is the dehydration of the hair and skin while traveling.
A good conditioner, leave-in conditioner and natural SPF oils are a must.
Regular use of hair mask can bring back to life any brittle looking, dry hair. You can mix avocado, honey and coconut oil and smother a juicy amount on your hair.
Any leftovers can be used on the face as well, as it works for hair and skin equally good.
Should we take it easy with the blow-drying?
I absolutely love the beach hair on summer holidays and massively recommend ditching the blow-dries if one can dare.
I understand that this may be an insanely scary thought for many, but there is always a relaxed version to everyone’s style.
That’s what holidays are about after all: “Let your hair down” and “relax.” Literally.
Finding the right product, which can tame the fizz is the important, but no matter how self-conscious we are about our hair, the water and sea salt somehow always manages to bring out the best result.
Let it go and let it be.
What do you recommend we do before going on holiday? (Ex: organic hair mask, treatments, taking natural supplements, etc.)
Keeping our hair in good condition against the environment is an ongoing ritual.
There are different threats during the cold holidays and other problems during hot summer vacations.
Getting use to keeping up with these particular rituals help us to learn about our hair’s behaviour when the seasons change and therefore it’s easier to look after it accordingly.
It’s the conscious hair care ritual. You don’t need a million products, just the right ones for your hair type.
Have a good chat about your hair with your hairdresser and you will learn so much.
What are the best natural ways to condition our hair?
There are a number of conditions that can indicate the pH of your hair. It is important to establish a general pH before you can balance it to the healthy level. Many of the hair products that people use disrupt the natural pH of the hair.
A substance that is too alkaline will cause the hair cuticle to open, while a substance that is too acidic will cause the cuticle to contract.
If your hair is naturally oily, you can pour Aloe Vera juice in a bottle and mist it over your hair. This will also close the cuticle and remove frizz.
You can also use apple cider vinegar. It has a pH level of about 3. It should be diluted with water until it has a pH level of 4.
Many people prefer Aloe Vera gel because the vinegar smell is too strong. If you rinse your hair after using the natural acid, the water will deactivate the acid.
If your hair is naturally dry or damaged, use a homemade leave-in conditioner composed of the following recipe:
Pour 2 tbsp. (30 ml.) of a silicone-free conditioner, 2 tbsp. (30 ml.) of whole-leaf Aloe Vera juice and 2 tsp. (10 ml.) of jojoba oil into a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and use a pH test strip to ensure the pH is not below 4.5. Apply the mixture to damp, washed hair. Allow it to dry and style as usual.
What natural products do you recommend?
We live in such amazing times that natural hair care is becoming more and more popular and easier to find.
Keep that in mind that “natural” will naturally break down too quickly to bottle it up, so expect some small traces of non-harmful substances added for making them last just a little longer.
I am a huge fan of the Kevin Murphy brand as they share the same ethos as I do and with amazing results.
Being conscious about your hair and the environment is beneficial to everyone, not only for us but it doesn’t have to be about compromising.
Kevin and his team bring out something amazing and inspiring year after year - thinking ahead of the times. A must to try for everyone.
Should we include more protein in our diet in the summer to ensure we keep our hair healthy?
The special protein in hair – keratin - is responsible for giving hair its strength and flexibility.
A strand of hair is composed of mostly protein, which means your hair needs protein to grow.
As the main component of your hair, if you don't have enough in your diet, it'll have an effect.
Should we include more minerals in our diet in the summer?
Hair needs the same well-rounded diet that provides all the recommended vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health in the rest of your body.
Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss as the blood vessels are responsible to feed the hair follicles. When iron levels fall below a certain point, this disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding.
Omega-3 is found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Our body cannot make itself, and therefore must be obtained through our diet.
Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance created by our hair’s sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair.
Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.
Vitamin E. The sun can damage our hair just like it can damage our skin so ensure you eat foods rich in vitamin E to provide protection for your hair.
Zinc and Selenium. Scalp protection involves other important minerals, notably zinc and selenium. A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp.
Biotin. Though there’s minimal research to support the effects of biotin on hair growth, there’s strong evidence to support a deficiency will cause hair loss.
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Interview by Chantal Ouimet