Article from July 1, 2010

Hair specialist Britta Richter gives us tips for beautiful hair and a healthy scalp. Britta is the Managing Director of the Harklinikken therapy centers in Germany, which specialize in hair and scalp problems. We asked her what beautiful hair needs and how it should be maintained.

SHAPE ONLINE: How and with what should I wash my hair?
Britta Richter: It is best to use a shampoo that does not add gloss and slip agents, perfumes or fragrances and other questionable ingredients for the scalp. It should leave no residue. Rinse hair with cold water after washing. 

Which is better for hair: Staying with a single care product or changing it frequently?
This doesn’t directly impact hair. There are many products that promise a “repair” function– these actually fill the damaged structures and weigh down the hair. Here again, if possible, avoid products that contain silicones and other questionable substances.

What are the most common causes for dry and dull hair?
In dry and dull hair, nutritional deficiencies and deterioration of hair quality with age are the most common causes. It can also occur by chemical reactions, but in most cases it is a combination of both.

Can I over-maintain my hair?
Yes. Unfortunately, many people with dry or brittle hair overuse care and styling products. Less is more. Many of our clients are completely surprised at how beautiful their hair can be when they simply use a neutral shampoo. Often this is enough to wash away all harmful traces and no extra-care products are needed. 

Does stress damage the hair?
The hair is damaged by external factors such as weather, water, chlorine, hot blow drying, straightening, or wearing a ponytail too tight. Stress, however, is not necessarily a problem for the hair. When the body receives the right nutrients to manage stress, the hair is not strained.

Can I affect the hair growth and hair structure with a healthy and balanced diet?
Yes! From our experience, up to 50% of possible regrowth is because of nutrition.

How do I care for colored and treated hair properly?
We recommend a balm [Hair Hydrating Crème] for dry hair depending on the hair’s status and what is being used to dye it.

Do curls need special care?
Not really. Curls only dry out and get brittle faster because they provide more surface for environmental influences, such as the mineral content in the water. With a neutral shampoo, anything on the hair won’t cause long-term damage.

What should I consider when maintaining the scalp?
Just like the face, the scalp needs to be cleaned and neutralized to keep a good balance. 

How can I counteract hair loss?
Only after the cause for hair loss has been determined can you counteract the loss. In some cases a medication helps, such as iron tablets or thyroid prescriptions. In others, we can provide an external application to treat thinning hair and significantly improve the quality and density.