Scalp support

Itchy scalp? Skip the sulphates – these ingredients might be the go-to cleansing agent in most conventional shampoos, but they can also make your scalp dry and prone to flakiness, and even unsightly dandruff. Parabens and artificial fragrances can also wreak havoc on the skin’s pH, making it red and sensitive. Paw paw is rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are both soothing to itchy, irritated skin, and help to heal eczema and dermatitis. Another good tip is to use cooler water to wash your hair – it’s less likely to create inflammation. Try it: McArthur Scalp Care Shampoo ($27.95,

Smooth and shine

Thick, nutrient-dense oils like avocado and olive will penetrate the individual hair shafta making the hair appear glossy and also increasing its tensile strength. Another key ingredient for shiny hair is birch oil, which is derived from the sap of the birch trees that are native to northern countries like Latvia and Finland: the sap is formed via photosynthesis and then stored in the tree’s roots over winter, providing the tree with a rich source of food – minerals, amino acids, enzymes and natural organic acids – all of which also, coincidentally, are excellent for supporting hair health. Always leave your conditioner on for a few minutes, and massage it right through to the ends before rinsing out. Try it: Madara Gloss and Vibrancy Conditioner ($24.00,

Colour care

If you colour your hair, then a replenishing mask is a must-have to restore condition and stimulate new growth. Rosehip oil and the rare cloudberry oil from Siberia both contain very high quantities of vitamins A and E, plus omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to nourish hair. After applying the mask to dry hair, wrap your head in a warmed towel for 15 minutes, which will allow the ingredients to deeply penetrate the hair shaft. Try it: Natura Siberica BDIH Certified Cloudberry Hair Mask ($23.99,

Pump up the volume

Thinning or limp hair? Mother Nature offers some terrific natural solutions, such as sea salt for root lift and volume, as well as making hair easier to manage and style. If hair is also damaged, it means that the hair shaft is lacking in protein, so soy protein is another great choice because it increases the hair’s ability to hold moisture, but it doesn’t weigh it down or make it floppy and flat. Try it: Pure Hair Food Plump Your Hair Lightweight Volume Spray ($28.90,

Add a little TLC

A leave-in serum is essential for protecting the hair from heat, whether from styling or UV damage, especially if the hair is also coloured regularly. Natural beauty ingredients like sweet orange and rosemary oils will strengthen and thicken hair that is prone to breakage, while grapeseed extract offers some UV protection due to its powerful free radical-scavenging properties. Try it: Bhave Super Nova Leave-In Elixir Multi-Function Spray ($41.95,

Frizz control

Most conventional anti-frizz products rely on silicone, which is not a natural ingredient and does not biodegrade; it also leaves a heavy coating on hair. A natural ingredient that is much better for your hair and for the environment is argan oil; this seals the hair shaft, leaving it smooth and even, so hair is easier to manage. Another great ingredient is sacha inchi oil (Plukenetia volubilis), a rich source of linoleic acid. Always apply the product from the ends in, using less towards the roots. Try it: Mukti Luxe Hair Serum ($39.95,

Pre-wash plan

For most of us, conditioning our hair post-shampoo is second nature – but what about paying more attention to our pre-game? Pre-treating the hair and scalp with gentle, nourishing ingredients before shampooing prevents excessive stripping and ensures that the nutrients are not washed off too quickly. Shea butter is super-hydrating and soothes itching, while peppermint oil also has a mildly invigorating effect, stimulating micro-circulation to the scalp which in turn encourages hair growth. Try leaving the treatment in overnight before washing it out the next morning, for best results. Try it: Hair and Me Intense Repair Hair Mask ($18.00,

Lisa Tristram is a natural skincare expert, aromatherapist, organic educator, and mind-body wellness teacher.