Along with springing of roadside flowers and office day-dreaming of tanning on the beach, Spring is the season that symbolizes change, rebirth, something new and usually quite lovely. It's around September that I tend to book a new tattoo appointment. This year, however I've been putting it off, wondering if I can satisfy my yearn for that aesthetical revamp another way.
For many, a quick and easy change can be fulfilled with a shiny head of freshly coloured hair. It's not as permanent as a tattoo, for starters, so my mother would definitely approve. But if you've been torn between the excitement of going from Emilia Clarke to Khaleesi and the bittersweet truth that your hair will literally be stripped of all it's naturalness and soft texture, then let me introduce you to hot oil treatments.
They're the perfect at-home remedy for nourishing and protecting your hair before and after you’ve coloured it. Sadly, there's nothing out there that'll make bleached blonde hair feel like new baby hairs again, but if you do these enough, breakages will lessen, frizz will ease and styling will be more manageable.
And if you're experiencing any of those buzz words sans colouring, hot oil treatments can be your saving grace too. Curly hair, dry or dull hair or hair that just doesn't look or feel the same after winter. All you need is an oil or two of your choice (I chose Olive and Avocado oil, but Jojoba, Argan or Grape Seed oil will work just as well) and a morning set aside to pamper your thirsty locks.
Depending on your hair length, measure out equal amounts of oil. Overall the oil will add some weight to your hair once you’ve washed it out and dried it, which will make it more manageable and less frizzy. If you’re colouring your hair it’ll help to protect your strands and lock in moisture while you undergo your treatment. It'll help to keep your hair strong and manageable afterwards.
There is also the option of adding in some essential oils too.10 drops of Rosemary essential oil adds shine and treats dry or irritated scalp conditions. 10 drops Chamomile essential oil will help to thicken strands and soothe the scalp. But if you don't have these on hand your hot oil treatment will still do wonders.
In a water bath (which is a fancy way of saying you have to put the smaller bowl containing your oil mixture into a larger bowl filled with hot water to warm it up) combine the oils and heat them up. When the mixture feels warm to the touch (not scorching hot), remove it from the heat. If you're adding essential oils do it off the heat.
Then bend over your bathtub and start to finger comb the mixture through dry hair about 20 minutes before you plan to shampoo it out. Make sure the mixture is saturated throughout by massaging it from your scalp to your ends. Wrap your head in clingfilm or use a shower cap to seal in the heat. This allows the oil to penetrate deeply into your hair and scalp because the heat helps to open up hair follicles.
After 20 minutes, jump in the shower and shampoo as usual. Try a sulfate-free shampoo because its more gentle or a clarifying one that will help to remove any build up of old product, dead skin and dirt. Don’t worry about conditioning your hair. Towel dry it and finger comb a leave-in conditioner instead.
That's it! Do this 3 days before you colour your hair and about a week afterwards again. Or whenever you feel like your hair needs a little extra help.