Hair care ingredients to love (and those to breakup with)
When it comes to skincare, many of us know exactly what we’re looking for (retinol - yes please!), but home hair care can be an entirely different story. If you’re a little overwhelmed our guide below is here to help - we’ve got hardworking actives, hero ingredients and the hottest new nourishers covered:
The Right Prescription
We’ll start with a disclaimer: nothing beats the right hair care prescription. While shea butter may sound dreamy, it’s not going to do favours for fine hair and volumising proteins aren’t the best nourishment for parched locks. Your professional stylist can tailor a product prescription that’s perfect for your individual hair needs. Can’t make it into the salon? Connect with our store on instagram @manesalonshop or email: email@example.com for a free online consultation.
Proteins & Amino Acids
95% of our hair is made up of keratin (protein) but colour, heat and environmental stressors can break down the integral bonds over time. Rebuilding, supporting and boosting protein levels is essential for restoring damaged and fragile hair. If your hair is splitting, lightened or fine-textured look for rebuilding products that contain proteins and amino acids (the monomers that make up proteins).
- Ingredients to love: Green pea protein, wheat protein, quinoa protein, keratin amino acids, rice amino acids
Oils & Butters
Naturally nourishing butters and oils are packed with moisturising properties to rehydrate dry hair and scalps without clogging the cuticles. High-quality oils are the best defence against frizzy and unruly hair, smoothing the hair shaft and creating a protective layer so precious moisture can’t escape.
- Ingredients to love: Shea butter, mango seed butter, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, baobab seed oil
Just like with our skin, antioxidants are protective powerhouses against the free radicals we’re exposed to every day, including UV rays and pollution. They pair themselves to these aggressors, neutralising them and reducing their damaging effects. No matter your hair texture a product with antioxidants is a great investment.
- Ingredients to love: Green tea, aloe vera, desert lime, lotus flower
Exfoliating ingredients help get rid of product build-up and create the optimum foundation for your favourite treatments to perform better (think how a serum melts into the skin after a scrub). Gentle exfoliation is something all scalps can benefit from but look for plant-based / natural exfoliators which lift away impurities and are kinder on the environment when they’re rinsed out.
Ingredients to love: Sugar cane, charcoal, perlite
Ancient ingredients are having a modern moment in hair care, as more of us look to natural ways to nourish our manes. Mediterranean citrus oils are high in antioxidants and bursting with Vitamins C, E and A which help cleanse and rejuvenate, likewise rosemary is being reinvigorated for its scalp stimulating qualities that may help promote circulation and hair growth. The lesser-known immortelle is an ingredient to watch - known as the everlasting flower it helps counteract oxidation & hair ageing.
- Ingredients to love: Immortelle, rosemary, olive leaf extract, orange oil, tangerine peel oil
Closer to home, sustainably harvested Australian ingredients are beneficial both from an environmental standpoint and for their powerful healing properties. Think botanicals that can flourish in the harshest climates and therefore have remarkable moisturising and protecting qualities - like Kakadu plum which has the highest concentration of natural Vitamin C of any known plant.
- Ingredients to love: Kakadu plum, wattle seed, tea tree oil, quandong
And those ingredients to break up with…
Insoluble silicones - Makes hair feel silky at first but blocks moisture and protein from actually penetrating the hair shaft. Read more HERE.
Parabens - Chemicals that are added to cosmetics to extend their shelf-life and can cause skin sensitivities.
Sulfates - Cleansers that may cause your colour to fade quickly.
Products that aren’t cruelty-free - Look for the PETA ‘Beauty without Bunnies’ logo on products that certifies that they haven’t been tested on animals.
(At MANE we’re proud to use KEVIN.MURPHY products which are paraben, sulfate and cruelty-free. Love is in the hair!)