There's no accessory quite like healthy, shiny hair; a glossy do can make you look healthier, put together and insanely stylish! If you're anything like me, then you suck at styling your hair; other than a few curls or a shoddy blow-out, I'm a total novice when it comes to making my barnet look presentable. So instead of honing my stylist skills, I've decided to dedicate my time and effort to making my (Admittedly very bleach damaged) tresses look as glossy and healthy as possible. There's no time like the present to start taking tender care of your hair so if you want supermodel locks in time for Spring follow this guide!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Just like skincare, one of the most important steps in setting a healthy foundation is hydration. Hair needs moisture and vitamins to stay healthy. If you're dehydrated, your body will direct much-needed moisture to more critical areas of the body, leaving your hair to fend for itself. As a result, the growth may slow or stop, and the hair shafts may become brittle and develop split ends. Especially while we're still enjoying the winter season, staying on top of your daily hydration is pretty important for your health and beauty wellbeing!

Drinking water isn't the only way to hydrate your hair, one of my favourite hair tools in my steamer! Because I've bleached my poor hair so many times, it's become quite porous; because of that, it can look dull and sad if I don't baby it with treatments and conditioner on a regular basis; using steam can take a home hair treatment to the next level, the wet heat is actively opening up your hair and helping whichever moisturizer you applied to absorb. I've found that mixing Olaplex No. 3 (€30) with any deep conditioner gives me a really gorgeous result that isn't too heavy on my hair; however, if you've been blessed with much thicker and coarser hair, then something like the Design Essentials Rosemary & Mint Stimulating Super Moisturizing Conditioner (€31) will yield a much better result as textured hair has a stronger hair cuticle and naturally requires more moisture to hydrate the hair. I personally use a face steamer, so I have full control of what area of my hair is feeling the heat at one time; a really great option is the Sarah Chapman Pro Hydro-mist steamer (€167.00), it's compact and portable, letting you can take it on trips, so the at-home spa nights don't have to end!

Use The Right Products

Once you've set a good base with regular hydration, then it's time to turn your attention to the products you're putting on your head; depending on your hair type, a well-researched product routine can take you from 20 minutes every morning of taming your mane to being able to roll out of bed, run a brush through it and then enjoy your morning coffee in peace! In general, it's best to avoid sulfates; these are chemicals used as cleansing agents. They're found in household cleaners, detergents, and even shampoo. Compared to other cleansing ingredients in shampoo, sulfates are said to have the deepest cleansing effects. They belong to a class of cleansers called anionic surfactants, which clean away substances. This is great if you're getting paint, oil, old hair dye or a lot of dirt out of your hair, but in general, it's far too aggressive for regular use. It won't ruin your hair, but it strips away a lot of necessary oils and can leave your hair feeling dry and dull. If you have curly hair, then regular use of sulfate heavy shampoo can flatten your curl pattern and take a lot of the volume and bounce from your curls!

A general rule of thumb with hair is that if you want healthy-looking hair, pick something hydrating that also give you UV protection (Hair can get just as damaged in the sun as your skin!), I personally love the Pureology Hydrate set (€48.50) because my hair is so bleach damaged I need something very hydrating and gentle that won't strip my colour. The after shower care will also make a huge difference in the overall lustre and feel of your hair; try to avoid overloading with products as this can make your hair heavy and can kill its volume. A light brush of oil like the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil (27.50) while your hair is still damp will reduce tangles and help trap in all the moisture you've lovingly applied in your shower and will give your air-dried do a heavenly shine!

Be Careful With Heat

It can be really easy to fix a bad hair day with a quick blowdry or running your straighteners through your hair. You can cut down your frizz in a matter of minutes with little effort, and then you're ready to go to work, go shopping or get drinks; but you have to consider the cause of the frizz! Heat can be super damaging to your hair if you're not careful or if you skimp on a heat protectant. One of the best ways to mitigate this is by reducing the amount of heat you use! Only blow drying your hair once a week and air drying it after a shower or bath can make a huge difference, and chucking a few foam rollers into your hair while it naturally dries can give you that bouncy blow-out look without the extra split ends. If, however, you're a hairdryer addict, I would strongly suggest investing your money into a high-quality dryer like the Dyson Air Wrap (€499) that not only uses less heat to dry your hair but also styles it in the process, so you're cutting down on time with a straighter or curling iron!

Get Your Beauty Sleep

If you've ever gone to bed with gorgeous silky locks and woken up with what can only be described as a birds nest, then take a page out of the girly girl book and invest in a good silk bonnet! A high-quality silk bonnet is the best tool for reducing frizz, dullness, and split ends; wrapping your hair up in one helps extend the life of hairstyles, give your hair a barrier to friction, and retain moisture while you get your Zzzz in. It makes sense really when you toss and turn at night you're rubbing your hair back and forth across your pillowcases; this creates friction that not only breaks your hair but also absorbs all of the oils from your hair that gives it shine! For those extra important hair days, like your wedding, you can apply hair oils/night treatment like the Liz Earle Botanical Shine Hair Oil (€22.23) and sleep well knowing the bonnet will keep everything where it needs to be, and your locks will benefit from a full 8 hours of love. At SOCIAL & PERSONAL WEDDINGS, we love supporting Irish luxury, so if the thought of a silk bonnet has caught your interest, shop Irish and support a small business like MIO Prints!

It's All In The Upkeep

If you want your hair to look consistently amazing, then consistent care is the key; it's all well and good to do a deep treatment at 2 pm on a random Sunday because you're bored, but just like with fitness, sticking at it is vital. Getting regular trims will help build hair strength as you are removing hair that may otherwise split; a nightly leave-in conditioner treatment will utilize the 8 hours a night you're doing nothing else to keep your hair as moisturized as possible and sticking to a regular routine of good quality products will let your locks find their routine. Once you build the habit, you'll find it becomes second nature and then lo and behold; you'll have envy-worthy glossy locks in no time!

- Gráinne