The life-changing magic of getting your hair washed again in a salon
Anya Hindmarch started her first business as a teenager. At 53, she is an award-winning fashion designer with five children, a successful business and a CBE. One of those guys. That’s why it’s encouraging that the secret to her success isn’t doing rocket yoga at 5 a.m. or quitting parties after 10 minutes or intermittent fasting at a standing desk, or any of those outbursts. alpha standard. Her most valuable life advice – and the title of her new book – is If in Doubt, Wash Your Hair.
A good scrub with shampoo, she says, “makes me calmer and more confident and therefore more able to cope. That moment when I stand in the shower with my eyes closed, not looking at my phone, is when I have some of my best ideas. It’s a little meditative for me – a new beginning, a new day.
The life changing magic of washing your hair is having a moment. With the salons being closed due to the lockdown, many of us have selected our in-home hair care in an effort to appear presentable late for a cut and color. Sales of Olaplex, an intensive conditioner that has branched out from a salon treatment to an at-home rinse, doubled in Britain in 2020, while purple shampoos specialized to bring shine to silver hair rose. are multiplied, as women adopted their newly exposed grays and learned how to care for them.
I’m not sure I’m ready for the hugs, even though I miss them. Getting my hair washed was sultry but also convenient so I didn’t have to feel weird about it
Jamila Lee-Smikle, a 27-year-old fashion publicist from London, launched an Instagram account, @girlfreethefro, to share what she was learning about caring for her afro hair at home, to debate the merits of rosewater and hair butters, and to warn against removing rings so they don’t fall apart. do not catch on your hair while you wash. “Before the lockdown, I usually went to the salon, but I learned to really enjoy the process,” she says. “Now I wash my hair every Sunday morning. I make tea, put on some music and really take my time. Then I style my hair and feel ready for the week ahead. It’s like therapy.
George Northwood, stylist for Alexa Chung and Meghan Markle, this year launched a line of home hair care products, Undone. “The ‘skinification’ of hair care has really changed the way people think about shampoo and conditioner,” he says. “We named one of our products Moisturizer because the language of skin care is starting to filter down to hair care.” In his London lounge, now reopened, customers savor the shampoo instead of doing it themselves, and how it brings the neat feeling of a childhood experience.
A friend of mine here in Britain left her first date after the lockdown almost overwhelmed with the bliss of a professional wash and scalp massage. Hug-starved after spending confinement alone, 10 minutes at the sink “was the perfect re-entry level for human intimacy,” she said. “I’m not sure I’m ready for the hugs, even though I miss them.” Getting my hair washed was sultry but also convenient, so I didn’t have to feel weird about it.
Hindmarch is not the first author to speak lyrically of shampoo as therapy. I first discovered this philosophy of life in the work of fictional national treasure on deckchairs, Jilly Cooper. When a Cooper heroine is having a bad day – maybe her lover is a double-crossed bastard or the porch roof falls off – she doesn’t go back to bed. She washes her hair, pushes away a stiff drink and cracks. The smell of freshly washed hair is always a harbinger of good news in Cooper’s world.
And she was onto something, because how you shampoo your hair may matter more than how you style it. “The mistake most people make is to use products that are too rich and let them pile up,” says Northwood. “Healthy hair starts with cleansing well.” A professional will always wash your hair twice, as the first shampoo loosens the dirt, while the rinse and repeat really cleans it.
Taking the time to wash your hair before a big day rather than scooping up other people’s crispy cereal bowls is one way to put on your own oxygen mask first.
Long before I heard the expression “personal care” I knew washing my hair was the best way to change the day. Bubble baths make me hot and annoy me. Dry body brushing, jade roller facials, foot exfoliation: it all seems like a chore to me. But washing my hair is a reset button for the day. It’s cathartic, like having a good cry. (When the needs call for it, you can do both at the same time and not end up with a puffy face.) There’s the scent rush of lemon or grapefruit or rose, the purifying lock of water that rinses a bad day in the plughole, chemistry-lab alchemy satisfaction of bubbles and foam.
If you still need the convincing that a hair wash can be tingling, the scene in Out of Africa where Robert Redford gives Meryl Streep an outdoor shampoo is guaranteed to convert you.
One of the chapters in Hindmarch’s book is titled Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First. “A lot of women my age work as hard as our fathers, yet feel like we should be doing everything our mothers did. We end up doing so much for everyone that we don’t have the time or the energy to take care of ourselves, and that’s where things start to fall apart.
Taking the time to wash your hair before a big day rather than scooping up other people’s crispy cereal bowls is one way to put on your own oxygen mask first. It’s about recognizing that taking care of the person who takes responsibility for everyone is essential, not an indulgence. “It has felt particularly needed recently,” says Hindmarch, “when I felt that the women had endured much of the past year, often taking home classes, even though both parents were working.
With a forbidden party, Hindmarch celebrates the launch of his book with an automatic wash and dry bar. “I saw a picture of a woman sitting under one of those old-fashioned living room dryers, with the sun on her face, drinking a cup of coffee. And I thought, after the year we’ve had, this is where I want to be. Before too long, touch wood, the parties might start again. But, still, I could stay and wash my hair. – Guardian
When in doubt, Wash Your Hair by Anya Hindmarch is published by Bloomsbury