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The Experts: The best luxury bathing products


Luxury bathing, something of a lost art in these harried times, comes into its own at this time of year. Wallowing in warm water while steam clears the gunk out of your pores, lungs and head is one of the few pleasures left in this puritan month.

Growing up, there was no greater sign that my mother wanted a bit of respite, than a vial of VO5 hot oil warming by the bath. The beauty world has thankfully moved on from the Eighties; these days we have masks, mousses and even whips – the latter so delicious-sounding they come with 'Do not eat' warnings.

Percy & Reed's Totally TLC Hydrating Mask (£20, percyandreed.com) comes with a snazzy, bird-adorned plastic bonnet in order to trap in heat and open hair cuticles, ensuring that coconut oil and marshmallow extract can get to work nourishing frazzled winter tresses.

On a recent trip to an ESPA salon, the therapist had to thrice anoint my scalp with Pink Hair and Scalp Mud (from £18, espaonline.com), so dry was it. Washing the delightfully-scented blend of apricot kernel oil, red clay and watercress off the next morning revealed glossy but not greasy hair that days later remained plump and softened.