Anyone would say Gemma Watts' glossy mane is "crazy good" hair. According to Gemma, it is actually "lazy good". Our beauty expert reveals her shortcut to low maintenance locks.
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I’ve described my approach to beauty as “high maintenance lazy girl.”
The high maintenance lazy girl (me) dedicates an “above average” amount of time to her at-home skincare routine, to false tanning, to clinical skin treatments, nail appointments and brow tinting, all so that she can more or less roll out of bed and go about her day already looking “done.”
My haircare routine falls into a slightly different category… lazy and low maintenance.
I am writing this from a place of extreme privilege in that I’ve always had fast-growing, thick, easy-to-tame tresses.
But, before you exit the browser, hear me out - my reluctance (again, lazy) to do anything to my hair beyond shampooing and conditioning it has taught me what is and is not necessary when it comes to haircare. My scepticism makes me discerning, so I’ll only ever recommend haircare products that I sincerely feel make a marked difference.
I’m not a hairdresser, and if you’re really struggling with your hair then I’d recommend taking your queries to a professional. A great place to start is this article.
However, if you’re overwhelmed by choice when it comes to putting together a haircare routine, I’ve tried enough products (and spoken to enough people with different hair types to mine) to determine what I believe to be the essentials vs. the luxuries.
Please note that the products I’ve detailed here fall under the hair care category, as opposed to hair styling.
For most of us, this is where it starts. We cleanse our skin, we shampoo our hair. Regardless of your hair type, shampooing your hair allows you to remove any built up oil, bacteria and pollution for fresh, clean hair.
The beauty of shampoos is that you can really use this step in particular to tailor your routine to your own hair type. As my hair type is “normal” erring towards dry, much the same as my skin, I favour shampoos that give the hair a thorough cleanse without stripping it of its natural essential oils. I wash my hair roughly every second or third day (depending on physical activity and how “together” I need to look), but this is very dependent on both lifestyle and hair type.
If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll reach for the Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo. I love the Chloe Zara Wash for day-to-day, and I also love the Kevin Murphy Hydrate.Me Wash if my hair is feeling dry.
If shampoo is your cleanser, conditioner is your moisturiser. I only ever use conditioner through the lengths of my hair, never the scalp, which is advice that I received from a hairstylist many years ago and have stuck to.
While I personally deem conditioner to be essential for my own hair, I know of a few people with shorter, more textured haircuts who often skip conditioner as they don’t love the appearance of really silky hair. I am not quite cool enough for this look.
Unlike in my makeup or skincare, I always use a matching shampoo and conditioner. That in mind, I love the Oribe Gold Lust Conditioner, Chloe Zara Conditioner and Kevin Murphy Hydrate.Me Rinse.
I love scalp scrubs. When I get to the end of a tub I often forget to replace it, and I survive, so I wouldn’t call a scalp scrub an essential- but I love them when I use them.
A scalp scrub is an exfoliant for your scalp, as its name suggests. Healthy hair really does start with a healthy scalp, so a scalp scrub allows you to give the roots of your hair a thorough deep cleanse.
I have also read that scalp scrubs can help to stimulate hair growth by unclogging blocked hair follicles, however I can’t confirm whether or not this is scientifically the case.
My personal experience using scalp scrubs has led to hair with significantly more bounce and volume at the roots, and hair that requires less frequent shampooing.
This is one of my all-time favourites.
Hair masks are one of those things that I often just… forget to do. Much like scalp scrubs, I love masks when I do use them, however I wouldn’t deem them essential for my hair type.
I am more inclined to use a hair mask in the winter when my hair is exposed to the elements, or if I have a special occasion coming up for which I want my hair to look extra shiny.
My mother, on the other hand, has very fine, colour-treated hair (she won’t mind me sharing this) and she deems a weekly or often twice-weekly mask to be absolutely essential for her hair type. To each their own!
My current favourite hair mask is technically not a mask. I mix two drops of Chloe Zara’s Hair Oil in with the brand’s Silk Hair Balm, work it through the lengths of the hair, leave it for around 15 minutes, then rinse. Writing this has reminded me that I should use this tonight. Thanks, me.
This is where I fear I may upset people - of the hundreds of leave-in treatments I have trialled in my life, I have enjoyed using no more than five.
This is another great example of how different everyone’s hair types and beauty preferences are, as I have many friends who cannot wash and condition their hair without following it up with a hair oil or leave-in treatment. I find most leave-ins weigh my hair down and make it difficult to style, so I’ll pop these in the “non essential” category.
There are two leave in treatments, however, that I will love forever - the Chloe Zara Hair Creme and Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment. Neither weight my hair down, both tame flyaways, neither feel greasy, both give the hair a lovely little health boost.
I take many, many beauty supplements, as outlined in my Morning Rituals article.
The trick to choosing the right supplement for you comes down to research, research, research. Where I’ve seen major changes in my skin health when taking skin supplements, I know countless people who have experienced incredible changes in their hair when taking hair supplements.
The hair supplements I’ve heard the most overwhelmingly positive feedback about are by local brand Aede, who use pharmaceutical grade ingredients to create seriously potent formulas. Bonus points for heaven packaging! I recently introduced the Hair Activist into my daily ingestibles.