Unruly. Interesting word. In the hair world, we use it quite a lot. ‘Unruly’. Not following the rules. Misbehaving. An anarchist in our midst; well, on our heads. And what’s worse, it’s physically attached to us.

If you’re one of those lucky people who has obedient hair you can head for the Smug Zone now (gloating is never a good look though!) No, this article is for people – that’ll be most of us – who have hair with a life of its own.

What makes hair so disobedient, so…naughty? Essentially, it’s down to hair type and hair condition. When hair loses moisture, it loses flexibility. It becomes brittle and breaks easily. Like dry spaghetti.

We’re not suggesting you put your hair in a pan of boiling water to soften it, we’re simply saying that to prevent it becoming unruly you need to keep it conditioned and look after it, nourishing it with oils and conditioning treatments.

What makes hair dry in the first place?

All sorts of things. The environment we live in is a major factor. If you spend time in the sun your hair may dry out more quickly; it’s hardly rocket science. But heat doesn’t have to travel 92 million miles to cause problems. It can come from the mains socket in your bedroom. Those styling tools you’re addicted to – yep, not great for the long-term condition of your hair.

Hair products can dry your hair out too. Use too many styling products (or the wrong ones) and, over a period of time, your hair will lose its softness. Like skin, hair is sensitive to harsh chemicals. Hair colour, likewise, can transform your look, but it can also take its toll.

Even if you treat your hair with kid gloves there may be times when it becomes dry for no apparent reason. It could simply be that your body is being subjected to an imbalance of hormones, perhaps caused by ageing – the menopause, for example, or pregnancy. Stress is also believed to change your hair’s condition and a poor diet will do your hair no favours. Smoking? Don’t. Or at least don’t complain if your hair is less than Barbie doll perfect. Note to self: Barbie doesn’t smoke.

If you’re starting to pull your hair out, don’t. There are ways to solve dryness and get your hair back on track. To make the unruly much ‘rulier’.


1. Wash your hair less frequently. Two or three times a week should be enough.

2. Avoid the hairdryer, if you can, and heated tools. After washing, wrap your hair in a towel and let it dry naturally, or at least use the cool air setting. Some women swear by ionic hairdryers, which are meant to negate static.

3. If you can’t give up heated tools use a hair protection spray.

4. Go easy on styling products. You need much less than you think.

5. Use a high-quality hairbrush – a fine comb could cause damage – and avoid over-brushing.

6. On days when you’re not too fussed how you look, tie your hair in a ponytail if it’s long enough. Loose hair dries out faster and is more vulnerable to environmental stresses like sun, wind and pollution. Or, wear a silk scarf. Film stars like Marilyn swore by silk scarves for reducing friction and static, and even invested in silk pillowcases.

7. Eat well, drink plenty of water and minimise alcohol consumption. What goes in generally comes out. If you don’t look after your body it’ll start showing in your hair and skin. Vitamins are your friends.

8. Exercise regularly, but think about how you exercise. If you’re in a sweaty gym for hours on end it might not be the ideal environment for hair that needs more TLC than usual. Similarly, swimming pools are often full of chlorine, which is healthy hair’s public enemy number one. If you love swimming, wear a cap, or wet your hair before you go in the pool.

9. Get a regular trim. Removing split ends will prevent them dictating your hairstyle. A shorter style might help, too.

10. And here’s the big one: MOISTURISE YOUR HAIR.

How do I moisturise my hair?

There are many ways of making sure your hair has enough moisture to retain maximum suppleness and shine. Hair oils, for example, are genius. Garnier Ultimate Blends do a full range. The Marvellous Glow Oil with argan and camellia oils will give dry, dull hair an instant shine with a gorgeous aroma to boot.

In fact, argan oil, a natural golden-hued oil harvested in Morocco, is a godsend for anyone with dry, unruly hair. It’s incredibly nourishing and has been combined by the experts at Ultimate Blends with a number of plant-based oils in shampoos, conditioners and intensive leave-in masks to help you take back control of your hair.

The latest range, combining Moroccan argan oil with almond cream, is ideal for dry, unruly hair. Use the shampoo, conditioner and mask (when you need it) as part of your regular hair care regime and follow our tips above to avoid dryness and you might just make naughty, disobedient locks a thing of the past. The Smug Zone awaits!