Spotlight on hair care

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Spotlight on hair careWalking into a hair salon or supermarket can be intimidating when it comes to selecting the correct products. There are five major products that you will need in your everyday routine and everything else here after can be considered an extra. You might think a commercial advertising the latest shampoos and conditioners are the right way to go, but here’s a heads up on what you really need and why.


This is the most important part of your hair styling routine. Shampoos act as the building block in the routine by removing build-up, cleansing the hair, opening the cuticles to allow the conditioners and treatments to go into the hair shaft and also by providing much needed nutrients to damaged or brittle hair. Most people think 2-in-1 shampoos do the trick, but the truth is it’s a waste of time. You can’t put a body wash and a body lotion on at the same time and expect a great result. The body wash will always be more over powering, but it won’t be 100% as effective. Same goes for shampoo and conditioner. So, select products according to what your hair needs:
Dry, brittle hair does not need a shampoo that deep cleanses. Rather use a mild product with extra conditioning.
Fine hair may need a volumising shampoo, but regular or mild shampoo meant for fine hair is the correct type. Check the bottles or ask a professional.
Thicker, course hair may need a cleansing shampoo once a week especially if it’s long and styled with product. Remember to incorporate a deep cleansing product once a week to remove build-up.


This is very important no matter what type of hair you have. The main reason we use conditioners is to soften the hair, calm down the cuticle and to nourish and detangle hair. It also provides for a great deal of your hair’s nutritional needs, though most women end up skipping this step to try and maintain their hair’s volume. Conditioners are mostly meant for your mid-lengths and ends and should be left on for at least one to three minutes. This cannot be used as a treatment, although a treatment can be used as a conditioner in some cases. By avoiding the use of a conditioner you leave you hair vulnerable and open to damage when being dried or combed after washing.


This is the final ‘must’ in your hair’s cleansing routine. It’s the product that enhances your hair’s health and encourages it to hold on to the nutrients you’ve just supplied it with. It encourages shine, strength and manageability as well as growth if applied correctly and used regularly. This should ideally be used once a week and should be left on for five minutes.

Heat protector

Whether you heat style your hair or leave it to dry naturally, you still need a heat protecting product to guard your hair against all elements including mechanical and environmental damage. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a spray or cream form as long as it contains little to no alcohol, specifies it’s a heat protecting product and is oil and silicone free. Oils heat up and melt onto the hair and silicones leave a residue and build up that can be damaging to the hair if not cleansed off properly. Your heat protectant should never be in the form of a mousse as this usually contains alcohol. Stick to a light simple product and never substitute conditioners for leave in sprays – it is not the same thing. It should be applied after your conditioner is rinsed out and can be left in during styling.

After care

These are also known as styling aids. They can be silicone based, anti-frizz spray, creams, balms etc. The main purpose of this is to tame any fly-a-ways, complete the rest of your style and to maintain a healthy glow on your hair. Never apply this to wet hair because it’s not a heat protectant. If it’s meant for after care, then use it just for that. Silicones are meant to be applied to mid-lengths and ends, hair sprays should be used at least 15-20cm away from the head and balms and gels should be heated in your hands before applying it to your hair. Once you’ve applied this, try not to apply heat after. It just burns your cuticles and creates damage.


Written by

Adele Ross is a senior stylist at Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon based in Green Point, Cape Town. Her love for hair started when she was a little girl, and has been in the hair dressing trade for roughly 10 years, working as a professional stylist and a make-up artist. Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon is a boutique hair and beauty salon specialising in cutting and styling, colour, hair extensions, hair and scalp nourishing treatments, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Call 021 434 7112 for more info.

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  1. TJK

    I need to focus a bit more on after care and treatment.

    6 years ago •

  1. beautylover786

    lots of info. nice to know abt the 2-in-1 shampoos

    7 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    Really dont like 2 in 1 shampoo!! Treatment is needed on all hair types to make sure your hair stays looking good.

    7 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Very useful advice! Wow never knew that about 2 in 1s thought they were more time consuming

    7 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Very usefull info! I agree 100% with the 2-in-1 shampoo… it’s rubbish

    7 years ago •

  1. Zakeera Parker

    AGREED! i never go without conditioner,it makes my hair silky and softer.

    7 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Very vital info on hair care! No more 2 in 1’s for me… My hairs dry so will need lotsa treatment! I sometimes use Lemon juice to lighten and gives a fresh feeling, and life to the hair! Also Indian hair oils help the Dryness, Coconut oil mixed with amla oil. Great read!

    7 years ago •

  1. Davids

    What is a good product to use for getting a more thicker strand?

    7 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Thanks for explaining in detail.

    7 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Very interesting, esp about heat protectors. Found it very useful.

    7 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    It is so important to use a heat protector….otherwise you will end up having dry and brittle hair.

    7 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Thanks for the article. Ive been using dr miracle 2in1… Time to find a separate shampoo and conditioner.

    7 years ago •

  1. mahomed

    I found no joy with 2-in-1 shampoos

    7 years ago •

  1. Cindy Ross

    Interesting article. I always firgured 2 in 1 shampoos are to good to be true.

    7 years ago •

  1. Cat

    Glad to admit that I am very good with all the steps in this article. I never use shampoo without conditioner and always treat my hair to keep it looking in great shape. I also don’t skimp on the price of my hair products because I believe that great looking hair is an asset for every woman and good quality products should be used

    7 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Usefull information. Thank you for the clarity around the 2 in 1 shampoos……..

    7 years ago •

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