THE IN-TRAY

All your winter hair questions answered by Hollywood hair legend, Philip B

Catch me in a MECCA Chit Chat scroll and you can guarantee I’ll be there for hours. Our official Facebook group has become an always-on hub of beauty confessions and conversations, and the go-to place for honest recommendations, tried and tested hacks, and big sister-like beauty advice.

In the transition to a cool, dry winter, members of our MECCA Chit Chat Facebook group (us included) have expressed feelings of dryness across the board, and we noticed an increase in questions around how to keep hair smooth, balanced, and hydrated in a time it can typically take a turn for the dry, frizzy worst. So, we reached out to Hollywood hair hero, Philip B, who eagerly jumped on board to answer your winter hair questions. His legendary client list includes the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, and now, you. Read on as he answers your best and most common hair questions.

What is the best way to manage oily roots and dry ends, all year round but especially in winter?

“For oily scalp and dry roots for any of the four seasons, they key is brushing and balance,” says Philip. “It is really about moving the nutrition—that thick waxy sebum we generate from the scalp via the sebaceous glands—and moving it down the hair shaft where it is needed.”

He continued: “the sebaceous glands of the scalp are present where you have hair follicles, and there are 100 to 140 thousand follicles on a human head which release the thick fatty substance though the ducts. This is important for a healthy scalp and is our hair’s natural moisturiser for the shine, bounce and lustre of our hair. If not swept up and moved, it can pool at the roots. The nutrition is needed down the hair shaft and especially at ends, but it does not travel on its own.”

“This is where proper brushing comes in. First and foremost, a natural bristle and nylon combination brush is key to help those natural oils make their journey from the scalp and root down the strands to restore lipid moisture. Don’t be afraid of oil, especially in winter.”

What are some ways to avoid excessive oil production at the roots?

“We can't stop the natural process of oil production, says the Hollywood hairstylist, “but we can ensure we keep it balanced. Using natural botanical ingredients like oleosomes (the DNA of safflower seeds) which provide time-released moisture, the scalp will not go into overdrive with the production of sebum.”

“Daily brushing is key here to lift and move the sebum off the scalp and roots, feeding it into your hair. Brush every day from scalp to ends, even flipping the hair over and doing the same on the underside to encourage the journey of those precious lipids to the dry, parched areas of the hair.

As for product suggestions for the more oil-prone, Philip recommends deep cleansing with his Peppermint Avocado Shampoo to “keep the scalp refreshed, clean and clear.”

How can I get my hair to be more hydrated and less frizzy, without making it greasy and oily?

“Oil, kiddos,” he smirks. “There is a misconception about it. Used on dry hair it will help to calm frizz, even out porosity and enhance the elasticity of hair strands. It needs to be applied on dry hair and the hair will absorb what it needs.”

“Also, my Conditioning Water,” he recommends, a weightless conditioning mist he formulated to restore hair bounce, vitality, smoothness and shine to dull, lifeless hair. “It was literally designed for this purpose, and the magnolia scent is divine!” You can use it throughout the day when things are getting a little dry, as you would a facial mist.

As for his ‘frizz fighters’, Philip reaches for his Forever Shine and Everyday Beautiful collections.

What are some ways to reduce (or even stop) getting split ends?

“For split ends once again… Oil, oil, oil!”

“One way to help protect and prevent split ends is using an oil on the bottom few inches of hair,” says Philip. “My Thermal Protection Spray is excellent to prevent them as well. The delivery of botanicals like oleosomes maintains moisture and eliminates dry, dehydrated, frizzy hair. It keeps ends softer, the structure stronger and more supple, and ultimately more beautiful and resilient to future chemical or heat/thermal damage. For dry spot treating by day, my Conditioning Water works wonders here too.”

Double-shampooing or ‘rinse and repeat’. Is this a myth or something we should all be doing?

Put simply, it all depends on your hair type and your hair cleaning habits. “Your scalp cells keep turning over and your sebaceous glands keep on producing sebum throughout the day and night. If you shampoo every three or four days then you should do two shampoos back to back, but if you shampoo daily, one shampooing should be good,” he says. “If you have fine limp hair and are an everyday shampooer you may not need to double up. But, an excessively oily scalp would.”

As for the process of shampooing itself, he instructs that “shampoo should be focused on the scalp and lathered from the scalp out, and then as the lather builds and you add water, you drag it down through the ends.”

Should we be changing shampoos and conditioners on a regular basis, or is it okay to use the same products ongoing?

“Ultimately, great quality hair products are like nutrition for your body or skin,” Philip explains. “Cleansing, moisturising and advanced treatment, like you do for your face, are the same steps you should follow for your scalp and hair.” If you’re giving your hair what it needs, he says, “why change?” “When the hair is responding and the result is a healthy scalp and luscious, bouncy, shiny, hair, stay the course.”

It’s all about listening to what your hair and body is telling you. “If you are experiencing scalp issues, root or hair quality changes, you should address it,” adding or eliminating products. “When you need to add in a clarifying shampoo for a deeper cleanse to eliminate build up, dead skin cells, excess sebum and increase circulation, use it. If you are experiencing excessive dryness, or irritation, or some seborrheic dermatitis, change to an anti-flake or gentle shampoo. When hair loses its lustre or feels brittle, you can boost it with our White Truffle Conditioner.”

“My hair is so lush just after a wash, but my problem is when I brush it between washes. There’s so much frizz and dryness.” How can we combat dryness between washes?

“Dryness between washes or conditioning can be combatted with my Thermal Protection Spray or Conditioning Water, which was literally designed for the period between washes and styling,” says the hair legend, who initially created the water for himself as “the perfect reset” to refresh hair between washing, restoring moisture back to dry, parched strands.

“When hair is dry or damaged it is positively charged,” he speaks of the science behind environmental damage. “It then attracts all kinds of pollutants which can be drying, ageing, and instantly dulling and frizzing to the hair shaft. A touch of my Rejuvenating Oil with the fingers will eliminate the frizz before brushing and after.”

There is a lot of confusion around whether we should be using conditioner on our scalp/roots. Should we or shouldn’t we?

“Think of this as you would your moisturiser for the face; there may be areas that are oilier like the T-zone, and some drier that need more hydration.” You’ve got to adopt a skincare mentality for your hair and scalp.

“An oily scalp may not need any conditioner,” he continues. “For a normal scalp or dry scalp, however, conditioner root to tip is not a bad idea. For an oily scalp or fine hair, more residue might make the hair heavy with too much conditioner, so a lighter touch to the bottom half of the head is probably all that’s required.”

Do you have any tips for stretching out the time between washes?

According to Philip, encouraging your hair to last a day or two longer is simple, and comes down to three different products. The first is a universal favourite, dry shampoo. The hairstylist recommends his Russian Amber Dry Shampoo, which “goes on clear, absorbs quickly and lifts without feeling sticky or chalky.” A dry shampoo will absorb oils and restore softness and shine—“used on dry hair it will make a few-days-old style look salon fresh.” It also creates lift at the roots, he adds. Next is the Weightless Conditioning Water, which is “any day past washing the hair's best friend.” “Combine that with daily brushing, root to tip,” he says, suggesting a combination natural boar and nylon brush, “and you can have salon fresh hair day one through to your next wash.”

Experiencing extreme dryness this winter? Achieve hydrated, healthy, glossy lengths with Philip B's signature four-step hot oil hair treatment, created to restore moisture and lipid hydration to the hair and even out or balance the hair and scalp—no matter how oily or dry.

1. Brush hair from root to ends to lift dead skin cells and soften the scalp sebum, moving it down each strand.

2. Add a few minutes of heat with a blow dryer to soften.

3. Then, apply Rejuvenating Oil, paying specific attention from the middle of the hair shaft, down to the ends. “Our hair is porous (absorbent) and when dry and thirsty, it feels parched—with a good dose of oil treatment, you will immediately feel the hair plump.”

4. Add a little more heat and move, massage and work the oil treatment down the hair shaft with your fingers, leaving on for about 10 to 20 minutes, or overnight. “Your hair will absorb what it needs and release the excess while shampooing.”

5. Before water, apply generous dollop of clarifying Peppermint Avocado Shampoo to your oiled hair and massage it in for two to three minutes.

6. Start to add water slowly to build up a lather. Work lather from the scalp out, and rinse well.

7. Next, apply conditioner to soaking wet hair, gently squeezing while working it in. “Your hair should feel extremely silky, and if you can comb it through, great!” Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it out.

8. Finish with five to eight spritzes of Detangling Toning Mist before you towel dry. “It will give your hair the best finish ever; you will immediately feel and see and live the incredible difference.”

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