Hair grooming for most families tends to be a communal thing. Parents buy a large economical bottle of family shampoo and there are towels, brushes and combs in the bathroom for everyone to use.
There is nothing wrong in that, as long as everything is kept scrupulously clean. Brushes and combs should be washed at least twice a week so that they are purely grooming tools, not passers-on of someone else’s oil and dirt. Hairdressings and hairsprays get picked up by brushes and combs which are then vigorously applied to another, newly-shampooed head!
If, however, any member of the family suffers from dandruff then he must have his own towel, brush and comb and should see a trichologist as soon as possible. Dandruff is as infectious as it is unsightly and, by using the hair accessories of a dandruff sufferer, you immediately lay yourself open to risk. Scurf looks like dandruff but isn’t nearly so persistent and is often only caused by inefficient rinsing out of shampoo or by a temporary dryness of the scalp. If you have dandruff, a good anti-dandruff shampoo will certainly help, but professional advice should be sought. If you suffer from scurf, try using a shampoo for normal or dry hair, and rinse it out well.
Looking after one’s hair means taking a pride in one’s appearance — it’s all part of developing self-esteem. Many younger children have an aversion to anything that smacks of cleanliness, so it’s important that shampooing should be made as enjoyable as possible. Parents can set the example by demonstrating that they think that nice-looking hair is important, and this can be reinforced by regular visits to a hairdresser.
Shampooing, regular brushing and regular trimming are just as important for young hair as for adult hair so choose your children’s shampoo and hair equipment with care.
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Just as important as the correct shampooing routine is the use of the right hair equipment to maintain your hair properly. Brushes and combs are so commonplace that no-one really gives them much thought nowadays — any type will do, won’t it?
The answer to that is an emphatic no!
Badly or incorrectly made brushes and combs can actually tear hair, breaking the ends and weakening the structure. Always choose a brush that is either pure natural bristle or a natural bristle and nylon mix. Nylon fila ments alone are too rigid; they won’t give easily so the hair must — if hair is pulled too hard, it will break. Combs should have rounded teeth that are set sufficiently far apart so that the comb can slide through the hair easily. Fine-tooth combs should be reserved for children and for very fine hair, and metal combs should never be used.
Today most homes have their fair share of electrical hair appliances. The most popular, for women, are undoubtedly heated rollers, while almost everyone uses a hand-held dryer of some sort. In addition, there are curling tongs or wands, hooded dryers, hand-dryers with various brush attachments and so on. The list grows longer each day but it all adds up to ease of styling and quickness of grooming —two very important assets.
But regard these as tools only. And depending on how well, or badly, you use them, so will your hair be affected. Whatever you use, there are some basic rules (illustrated below) to ensure that hair is always groomed beautifully, but never damaged.