don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been suffering from a severe case of lank locks. No matter how many times I wash my hair, switch up my shampoo or attempt a volumising blow dry, an hour or so later my tresses hang stubbornly limp against my head with zero body or movement.
“You need a haircial!” my hairdresser squeals. A haircial? Yes, a facial for your hair and scalp, she explains patiently. Apparently everything from pollution to central heating is having a detrimental effect on my hair and scalp, and this year hair health is the new focus for salons across the capital. “I think it’s great that the scalp is finally getting the attention it deserves,” says Stephanie Sey, expert trichologist for Nizoral. “The skin on your scalp is still your skin, but it is often neglected. Good hair starts at scalp level, so everyone could benefit from a scalp facial once in a while.”
Over at celebrity hair guru Jo Hansford’s shiny new space at Harvey Nichols, alongside haircials, a full hair MOT is now also being offered by resident trichologist Dr Hugh Rushton. The treatment involves a scalp check and colour compatibility consultation (I’m told that apparently as you age, your hair colour needs adjusting so its harmonious next to your skin to avoid a harsh contrast, known terrifyingly as the “Dracula dye look”). Senior stylist Jessie Goodchild says the salon’s signature haircial (£180 for 90 minutes, including a cut and blow dry) has been popular so far this year as clients seek a more preventative approach to haircare. She tells me it’s a great way of treating issues like a greasy scalp, dandruff or lifeless dead ends. First, a Kerastase Fusio Scalp Scrub (£43) is applied to the hair in sections and massaged to cleanse away pollution particles, product build-up and dandruff, while exfoliating dead skin cells and unblocking clogged hair follicles. Next, the Jo Hansford Intensive Masque (£28.50) is applied to the lengths and ends and a warm towel is left wrapped around it for 10 minutes to moisturise and strengthen ends.
The seasonal change is a particularly good time to book in for a haircial, Goodchild adds. “We recommend every couple of months or when you have been in many different environments. In winter you may want them more regularly as the scalp is affected by changing temperatures, central heating and wearing hats, which can prevent air getting to the scalp and it being able to breathe.” If you prefer to DIY, both products used in the treatment can be bought to use at home, but she warns, “You mustn’t exfoliate your scalp too often as you don’t want to deplete the oils from the scalp which may cause it to increase the production of oil to protect itself.” Sey, meanwhile, recommends exfoliating the scalp around every fortnight if it’s generally in good condition. “If you’re experiencing dandruff it may be good to treat the symptoms first using a shampoo like Nizoral (£9.30) and once under control you can focus on regular exfoliation,” she adds.
Boutique salon Taylor Taylor London has also introduced a hair facial (£45) which can be tacked on to a cut or blow dry. It starts with a detoxifying mud mask to remove product residue and waxy sebums. “The outer layer of the epidermis can build up layers of flattened dead skin cells causing a dry or rough feeling on the scalp,” explains Chie Sato, the salon’s head of education and creative director. “Add to this exposure to pollutants and often poor diets, and it can easily result in a build up of toxins.” The next step is a “stress-relieving and growth-stimulating head massage” that boosts circulation at the roots by stimulating blood vessels beneath the skin so they dilate, followed by a cleansing scalp scrub and nourishing “hair bath”. Choose from the hair filler plumping, keratin or hair resurfacing treatment.
Taking a more technical approach, the HydraFacial Keravive detoxes the scalp and is designed to enhance volume and thickness. It’s big in the States and is now available at London clinics Halcyon Aesthetics and Dr MediSpa. It involves a cleanse and exfoliation using its patented vortex technology, a vacuum-like contraption that sucks up dirt and oil and dislodges impurities from the scalp . The Keravive Peptide Complex serum, containing growth factors and skin proteins, is then applied to nourish the scalp and clients leave with a spray to use daily for 30 days after to keep the scalp hydrated and extend the effects of the treatment. At £450, it’s expensive but if you’re committed to achieving a healthier mane this year, and have the cash to splash, beauty editors say it’s worth it. Are you ready for a hair detox?
Evening Standard readers can receive 15 per cent off colour and styling services at Jo Hansford in February johansford.com