Hair care is booming. Specifically, high-tech hair care. As one of the only beauty categories to see growth in 2020 (with sales up 3%, according to consultancy Kline), the health of our hair has become just as important as that of our skin. While salons closed their doors for months on end during lockdown, many of us turned to treatments and masks to dial up our hair care at home. Now, our haircare routine is akin to our skincare regimen.
With demand comes supply, and the last year has seen a bounty of brand-new high-grade products to hit the mainstream. We’re talking serums to soothe your scalp, masks to brighten colour and shampoos that star skin-savvy ingredients. Dubbed the “skinification” of hair by experts, the latest formulas are more sophisticated and high-tech than ever before.
From Augustinus Bader’s luxury scalp treatment to Dr Barbara Sturm’s molecular hair collection, we take a look at the new-gen products making waves in the industry. Plus, find out why, – according to trichologist Annabel Kingsley – the skin on our scalp deserves the same treatment as that on our face.
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The latest high-tech hair care products
Two of beauty’s biggest names in the skincare sphere, Dr Augustinus Bader and Dr Barbara Sturm, have recently branched out into the hair care category. “In my work as a medical doctor and research scientist, I have observed many similarities between the complexion and the specialized cells that make up the scalp and hair follicles,” says Dr Augustinus Bader. “Just like the skin, hair is governed by natural forces that slow over time, causing undesirable yet reversible outcomes.”
Think dulling, thinning and breakage. To help get hair back on track, Dr Bader has applied his award-winning technology for skin repair to the scalp and hair follicles with a luxury line-up of five mane-changing products.
As we’d expect (judging by his skincare range), the hair care heroes are expensive – ranging from £38 to £65. But to prove they’re worth it, they are backed by impressive clinical trials. For example, in just four weeks The Shampoo increased strength by 56% and in 8 weeks, The Leave-In Hair Treatment, increased strength by 152.94%. The key ingredient? A patented complex called TFC8 technology – which is basically a cocktail of amino acids, vitamins and synthesised molecules – that together boost the body’s repair and renewal processes.
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Dr Barbara Sturm has also taken a “skinification” approach to her hair care line. “I’ve always thought that the scalp is an extension of our face,” she says, “it needs a lot of attention as it gets bombarded with the same stressors such as pollution, sun, hair dye, styling and product build up.” To tackle the impact of said stressors, she’s created a collection of 8 high-performance products that treat various concerns from dehydration and dullness to irritation and flakiness. Across the range, you’ll find skincare-grade ingredients like hyaluronic acid, plant extracts and pro-vitamin B5.
Do we really need to use high-tech hair care?
According to trichologist, Annabel Kingsley, the skin on our scalp deserves the same treatment as that on our face. “The scalp is simply skin; it sweats, secretes sebum and sheds dead skin cells,” she says. “You also take your hair and scalp to the same places as you take your face and thus, they are exposed to the same pollutants.” Just like we wouldn’t go a day without washing our face, the same should apply to our scalp.
“Daily shampooing is an absolute must if you have a scalp condition or if you have fine hair,” says Kingsley. However, if you have very coarse, long or thick hair – daily shampooing may not be realistic. “In all instances, don’t leave it more than three days between shampoos.”
As well as shampoo, Kingsley recommends the below:
- Toner: “Tone your scalp daily with a product suitable for your scalp type. This will help to stimulate the scalp and ward off flaking and oiliness throughout the day.”
- Mask: “Use a weekly intensive targeted scalp mask and intensive conditioning hair mask.”
- Exfoliate: “Regular exfoliation of the scalp helps to keep the skin hydrated and supple. It also gently removes dead skin cells and flakes. A flaky scalp is known to cause and/or worsen hair shedding in certain individuals, making exfoliation an important part of your hair care routine.”
While you don’t have to part with £60 to take care of your tresses, there are certain benefits of splurging a little more on your scalp care. Firstly, premium products often leave out known irritators like sulfates, silicones, PEGs, microplastics and fragrance. Second, they often contain high quality ingredients that have been tested and reviewed with clinical and user trials. What’s more – they’re guaranteed (in Augustinus Bader and Dr Barbara Sturm’s case, at least) to elevate your bathroom #shelfie by 10987%. Sold?
If your hair isn’t playing ball right now, it could be time to create a skincare routine for your scalp
Want to treat your tresses? Turn your head to the latest high-tech heroes promising many a good hair day ahead…