Once upon a time, there were just two steps when it came to hair: wash and dry.
Now, that's just the start.
As hair products and treatments evolve, so do their methods of application. It's no longer "lather, rinse, repeat", instead, we're offered high-tech serums, masks, infusions and smoothies for that promise to cleanse, exfoliate and more generally, make our hair look great.
But just like our faces, we're also taking our haircare more seriously.
When it comes to beauty, a haircare wardrobe should be taken just as seriously as your skincare routine.
However, unlike our skin, the condition of your hair can change day-to-day. Sure there are some months when you're skin is extra dry, or weeks when our lips are particularly chapped but therein lies the difference.
On the whole, your skin remains the same for long periods of time whereas your hair, well that has a mind of its own that changes more times than an adolescent teen getting ready for their first day at school.
This is where your haircare wardrobe comes in - a collection of personalised, essential products to keep your hair in tip-top condition and promote fuller body and growth.
When it comes to hair care, we often fall to victim to buying whatever shampoo and conditioner are on offer during our weekly shop - a tendency that we do not apply to our skincare regime.
While we know the A-Zs of what we should and shouldn't be applying to our faces, the same can't be said for our hair. Just like some ingredients are better for certain skin types than others, the same principle applies to your hair.
One ingredient often listed in most budget-friendly shampoos is sulphates. If that component sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen listed on the back of every household cleaner you've ever bought.
Sure, sulphates are great for lifting dirt, grease and grime but sulphates actually strip the natural oils from your scalp leaving your hair and scalp open to damage, dryness, flakiness and itchiness. If you've ever washed your hair and it immediately after it feels greasy, sulphates are to blame here too.
Cue Shea Moisture's sulphate free Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo.
Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, €14.95, Shea Moisture
Think of shampoo as a cleanser for your hair. That then makes conditioner a moisturiser for your hair. You'd never skip moisturising your face in the morning - no matter how late you are - so why skip conditioner?
Just like you spend a lot of time and money in finding the perfect hydrating moisturiser for your skin, the same should be applied when it comes to choosing a conditioner. But let us do the hard work for you, Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner harnesses the powers of natural and certified organic ingredients. Combining Argan Oil, Sea Kelp and Shea Butter to help revitalise dry, damaged hair, whilst replenishing the scalp for long-lasting comfort. Suitable for use as a leave-in treatment, you can expect radiant, healthy-looking and moisturised locks every time.
Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner, €14.95, Shea Moisture
My holy grail. I don't wash my hair without it. When applied to damp hair it provides smooth, silky, shiny, protected hair without weighing it down.
Honestly a game-changer for anyone who dreads brushing after a vigorous shower/dip in the sea. Best ever.
In the same way you probably have a sheet mask or clay face mask on your beauty shelf, a nourishing weekly hair mask is just as essential.
If you have ever coloured, straightened, curled or dried your hair on high heat, chances are your hair isn't the best condition could be. Which is where SheaMoisture's Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque hair mask comes in.
Enriched with a regenerating blend of Shea Butter, Argan Oil and mineral-rich Sea Kelp, the masque works to improve elasticity and restore radiance, whilst smoothening the hair's cuticles and conditioning the scalp. Expect soft, sleek locks that are bursting with moisture and shine.
Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, €17.95, Shea Moisture
Ask any curly-haired girl you know with a beauty arsenal brimming with as many hair products as your local Boots, and she'll tell you: Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie provides enough slip to detangle the hair for effortless styling, has the hold of a gel to keep your curls in tight in place, and adds moisture and bounce to limp, dry strands.
Oh, and you'll find it in the haircare wardrobe of Michelle Obama.
Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, €17.95, Shea Moisture
The Beauty Secret
Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans, which have been around for centuries. It's also a super-popular option for treating irritated scalps, excess oil, and dandruff, thanks to the fact that it's not only anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, but it also helps maintain moisture in the skin.
Thanks to its emollient properties, castor oil – especially Jamaican black castor oil – is an ideal ingredient for ultra-hydrating conditioners and masks.
The best part? It's available in most pharmacies/Middle-Eastern supermarkets for between €4 and €15.
The Hair Oil
My only splurge when it comes to hair care. As my hair is both fine and prone to lifelessness, I'm extremely hesitant to use any sort of oil-based product for fear of overloading.
However, this product lies somewhere in between a light oil and a water-based serum, which glides through the hair providing a blow-dry sheen in one fell swoop. I apply it when 60% wet after a shower or a little – one droplet is all that's needed – to the ends of dry hair prior to leaving the house.
It looks beautiful and lasts forever, this would be one of the few things I'd grab if my house when up in flames.
For those looking for a multi-tasker product, you can't go wrong with Modern Botany's award-winning oil. Due to its nifty size, I bring this wonder-product with me every time I travel. I use liberally on face and sparingly on hair ends.
It's gorgeously silky and is natural enough for both breastfeeding women and cancer patients to use. Lightly coat your hair in this overnight and you'll feel a real difference the next morning.
Main image by @stormibree