Advice from a world expert: Ten top tips for keeping hair healthy in our desert climate

Natalie Hanson   |   20-04-2017

Mark Birch, trichologist D.A.S.T, is internationally recognised as one of the world’s experts in scalp and hair care.

He is renowned for his research into and treatment of severe cases of hair loss and is regularly consulted by royalty, media and international showbiz celebrities. Although he is now based in Mayfair, London, he has worked in the Dubai region over many years so is very familiar with the needs of people in the region.


Mark is quick to point out the challenges that we face in this desert climate, saying ‘it’s a very unnatural environment. We experience excessive heat, counterbalanced by excessive air-conditioning, so we are constantly moving from hot to cold. Our bodies try to adjust and regulate our temperature, producing more sweat, sebum and oils, which unfortunately creates an ideal environment in which bacteria can thrive and cause issues.’ But all hope is not lost, he says ‘people living in this region just need to take extra care with their hair and scalp routines to avoid the adverse effects of hair loss and scalps problems.’

So, we sat down with Mark to get his top ten tips on how people in the region can help to keep their hair and scalps healthy to make sure we can all keep a luscious head of hair.

  1. Watch the water!

The water in the region is desalinated which mean it is highly alkaline; this can be bad for our scalp health. If possible you should invest in a water filter that attaches to your shower head to help combat this.

  1. Prevention is the greatest cure

The more information you know about the condition of your scalp and hair the better. It is the same as for skincare, you need to use the right products for your hair type; the different shampoo types do make a real difference! If you are unsure of what hair or scalp type you are, ask your hairdresser.

  1. Get things checked out

If you do notice you are developing a hair loss problem or scalp issue, get it checked out quickly because in most instances it will just get worse. The quicker the issue can be stabilised, and any imbalances corrected to bring the scalp back into its normal PH range, the better. The experts at a clinic such as Advance Hair Studio are experienced with hair loss and scalp disorders and have seen all types of problems so they will be able to give you a prognosis quickly and suggest the best course of action; there are many programmes available to get the hair back into its normal growth cycle.

  1. Hair plugs aren’t the only solution

Many people just associate corrective hair treatments with the more drastic measures such as hair plugs, but there are so many other options available, such as lasers and specialist lotions. Every scalp is different and everyone has a different problem or combination of issues that need to be addressed, so it is best to seek advice from the experts to find out what is wrong. They can assess you on an individual basis to ascertain whether there are any genetic factors or body disturbances that are causing an imbalance in the hair growth cycle and they can work from there to help fix the issue.

  1. Don’t believe the hype

If you believe you have a problem with your hair or scalp, don’t run around the pharmacists trying all the different potions and lotions on sale! Try not to believe stories and old myths you hear about what effects your hair and what remedies it; unfortunately, most of the time these misconceptions lead to more problems and do more damage that could have otherwise been prevented!

  1. Diet makes a difference

Diet and hydration makes a huge difference to your scalp and hair health. Hair need a lot of minerals, circulation, oxygenation to remain healthy. However, when you take in food, most of the minerals, vitamins and nutrients go to the major organs (eg. the heart, lungs, and liver) and very little makes it to the scalp. Therefore, it is very important to eat a good mixed balanced diet of all types of foods to get the maximum nutritional value. Any fad diet that cuts your food down to just a few types of food groups, although it may be good for your waistline, will ultimately not be good for your hair and scalp health.

  1. Invest in the extras

Hair is a dead cell and we must try to preserve it. Regular colour treatments and blow-drying really take a lot of moisture from the hair and you need to put something back to keep it healthy. Invest in weekly deep conditioning masks for your hair that complement your hair type to give an extra boost of moisture. Also, using henna on the hair is very popular in this region. Although henna is a natural root plant, it is actually very drying, so you need to invest in moisturising treatments to help to recondition the hair and prevent damage.

  1. Take a break!

If you can, you need to give your hair a break every once in a while. Try not to blow-dry your hair every time you wash it, and have a rest from dyeing your hair when you can. Your hair needs some time out to produce more fatty tissue, more protein and build up elasticity and moisture content, so it’s very important to give it a break every now and then!

  1. Give your scalp a daily dose of love

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t wash your hair more than twice a week as it drives up the oil production of your scalp, but that just simply isn’t true! To keep your scalp in its best condition, you should shampoo your scalp every day, just make sure you are using a shampoo that is suitable for your type of scalp and a conditioner that is suitable for your type of hair.

  1. Don’t stress!

Hair loss and scalp issues are not just a physical problem – they come with a whole host of psychological problems as well. When we have a problem with our hair it can radically effect our confidence, self-esteem and stress levels, which unfortunately only makes things worse. So, do not suffer in silence; Advanced Hair Studio has an advantage that it has many different types of experts and treatments available, so someone at the clinic will be able to help and get your hair back to looking it’s best.

Mark was in town to provide his expertise at the launch of a new and exciting concept at Advanced Hair Studio, the world’s largest hair restoration and retention company that has now set up shop in Dubai. The concept is called ‘Supernatural’ – to read more about this, click here.