The Mane Man
World renowned styling guru Errol Douglas explains how the right foods can better your hair as much as your body.
Five days a week London hair guru Errol Douglas finds physical nirvana before 7am. Phase one: a half hour of meditation. Phase two: an intense 90-minute Bikram yoga class. It is only then that he heads to his Knightsbridge salon, where he tends to a celebrity clientele and enjoys a near-celebrity status of his own.
Douglas has been working in London hair salons since he was 13, and at 47 it seems he is hitting his stride. Recently appointed the first UK ambassador for Moroccan Oil, 2012 also included a collaboration with Thompson Hotels and the opening of a blow dry bar. Next he has his sights set on a salon in New York City. So where does he find the determination? “Bikram. It’s the mental focus, it helps you concentrate and most of all, it invigorates you. It’s a very powerful thing.”
And while he would never eschew life’s pleasures, Douglas is acutely aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle — for the body, as well as the hair. Be it through food, water or exercise, he preaches a beauty-from-the-inside-out philosophy in his salon, and abides by it in his day-to-day life. Here, his tips to eat your way to lustrous, healthy hair — no product or styling tools required:
Drink plenty of water
You cannot function properly unless you are fully hydrated. The majority of people, and we all do it, don’t drink enough water and this can make you constantly feel tired. You look drawn out. You tend to be irritable. If you are properly hydrated you’ll sleep better and your hair and skin will be all the better for it.
Eat oil-rich, pure foods
Vegans and vegetarians always have great hair because they religiously eat olives, nuts and avocados; basically lots of healthy, oil-rich pure foods that are great for your hair. It's a gloss secret from within.
Get your vegetables
Eat plenty of and don't overcook your vegetables. By steaming them – or better yet, eating them raw – you are locking in the vitamins which contribute to hair condition.
Go for sushi
Fish oil often gets kudos for its heart-healthy qualities, but oily fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon really do show in the finish post-styling.
Snack on nuts
Feed the hair's cuticles with high protein snacks like nuts. A good overall quota in your diet will combat dry winter hair. And plumped up cuticles are the scaffolding for a good blow dry.
Hit the gym
If you lead an active life and are getting the appropriate nutrients then you can speed up your body’s processes. An injection of freshly oxygenated blood will make your hair healthier and will also help it grow faster.
Photography by Rankin