Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Things I do now I'm older Part 2 | Hair

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked on the blog is about my hair. It seems we all struggle with what's on our heads, products, cut, colour etc. So in my second 'Things I do' post, I'm covering off the 5 things that I swear by for my hair.

When your hair is sitting well, you feel amazing. It's the one game changer for looking groomed and fabulous and it's SO easy to control - way more than skin or weight in my experience and because of the impact it has on how I feel, I invest in it.

These 5 things are not going to be for everyone - it'll depend on your hair type, lifestyle and budget but hopefully some or all of them will at least give you ideas for how to have more good hair days than bad hair days.

1. A Great Hairdresser
This is a bit bloody obvious I know but if I had a pound for every time friends/work colleagues go to mediocre hairdressers and complain about them afterwards, I'd be a happy girl. An amazing hairdresser will invest time and effort into making your hair work for you. Going to this hairdresser regularly will mean you'll have a longer term plan based on what you want to achieve - length, colour change etc. Chopping and changing between different people can be such a false economy and will mean your hair is all over the place - literally!

Having said that, sticking with the wrong hairdresser isn't good either! So the first step here is to find that amazing hairdresser and THEN stay with them!

But how do you find a great hairdresser? Start by asking people who have great hair - get recommendations...and don't be afraid to approach a stranger to ask. Imagine how you'd feel if someone thought your hair was so fab they had to come up to you in the street and ask you about it!
If you're local I can only recommend one hairdresser - Rogue by Jody - because I'm that person who has gone to the same hairdresser for ages and wouldn't change now. I turn down all blog hairdressing opportunities and therefore can't recommend anyone else. I've been having my hair cut by Jody and coloured by Nicki for years now and I'm always delighted with the results. Jody is particularly good for anyone with a sharp bob or a short cut. I'm forever going shorter and growing out so he's great for telling me when it's time to go for the chop. Nicki is currently taking me from brunette to blonde in an attempt to disguise my 60% grey roots...and she's amazing at it.

2. Regular Blow Dries
The real secret to my good hair days is having a once weekly blow dry (** however see below re the Brazilian Blow Out) - an indulgence I hear you say but with blow dry bars in every town, you can always find somewhere that will do a discounted blow dry. A blow dry not something you have to be hairdresser loyal about - just cuts and colours!

For years, I went to a local budget hairdresser where it was very basic and you could get a blow dry for £12. It took 30 minutes so I was in and out the door in the time it'd take to have a coffee. Best investment ever as it saved me hours every week looking after my hair.

When Jody heard I was doing this, he told me off for not asking him to do a discount on a blow dry in his salon. Because I go to him regularly, he agreed to match the price if I guaranteed to come in every week. I come in at a quiet time and it's not a senior stylist - it can be a trainee or just whomever is free. But I have to be there every week - that's what's in it for him...the guaranteed extra ££ in the till at a quiet time.

I have another friend who has a similar arrangement in a little 'old woman's' salon in an estate outside Belfast. A small, friendly salon that again relies on regular appointments and can do a blow dry for £10!

Lots of reasons why this isn't for everyone - budget being one and I get that. It's not a cheap thing when you multiply it over the course of a month but for me, it's something I'm willing to work harder and save to do.

The other reason it's not for everyone is that not everyone can get a week out of a blow dry. I have thick coarse hair which can go a full 6 days between washes. It's my super power!! I use tons of dry shampoo (see point 5 below) and on the 6th day, I tie it up. Then I wash it myself that evening, let it dry naturally and go for my blow dry the next morning.

But I urge you if you are feeling rubbish and need a boost. If you're growing your hair out and are struggling with it in-between times. If you've got an event or an interview. Go get a cheap blow dry. It will give you such a lift - for the price of a lunch and a coffee. I'd rather go hungry! What was it Kate Moss said? 'Nothing tastes as good as....good hair looks'!!

3. Brazilian Blow Out
Further to number 2 and partly because I've been working more the past few months and haven't been able to commit to my usual weekly time, I decided to try the Brazilian Blow Out treatment which claims to give 12 weeks of easier to manage hair by removing the frizz and relaxing the hair.
I've blogged about it on this link and I'm now 10 weeks into the treatment and loving it. My hair is so much easier to manage yet it's not poker straight and lacking in volume. AND I can curl it if I want - the treatment isn't a chemical straightener. It's also very gentle and comes with a home shampoo and conditioner that you use alongside the treatment to help prolong the results. All combined, it really helps to take the frizz out and I'm now really unsure if I want to go back to my weekly blow dries or have a 2nd BBO treatment....watch this space and if you're local and want to try the treatment, there's a discount code on the blog post.

4. Banish the greys....or not
Probably the source of most of my hair questions and comments - grey hair. Mine's been going grey since I was about 19 or 20 and I'm now about 60% grey on the top of my head - though I've  very few greys on the back!
I've considered going grey - embracing it in all its on-trend beauty - but I'm not ready yet. I would have to crop it all off (couldn't cope with the growing out!!) and I'm loving it longer at the moment. So instead, I'm on a journey with my hairdresser to gradually go lighter to see if I like this and if it helps in the grey disguise.

Since September 2018, I've gone from a 6.1 brunette shade to an 8 blonde on my base colour. I get my colour done every 6 weeks and every other time, I've been having some highlights done to bring up the lengths as well as the base. The greys definitely seem less troublesome - they're still there but the contrast isn't as stark as it was with the brunette. I've moved to using this dark blonde spray on the roots and it works so much better than the brunette equivalent as it doesn't make the scalp look so dirty and therefore it's not as obvious that you're using a spray.
Next colour visit later this month will take me into the 9's, which is starting to get very blonde!! I'll also get some highlights and potentially some darker pieces...I completely trust Nicki with it and know she'll do an amazing job. Watch this space!!

Just one thing about being blonde - Purple Shampoo/Conditioner. So everyone told me about this and how toward the end of my colour cycle, I'd be so delighted to use this to take the brassiness off my highlights.

DO NOT use these if you've got 60% grey roots because right at the end of your colour cycle when you're lengths are starting to look brassy, your roots are about an inch of grey and purple products will make that grey SPARKLE like silver!!!! I could have cried when I saw myself in the mirror the first time I used them - my roots were so bright and silver looking. Not a good look. I might just try the conditioner on the ends next time - nowhere near the roots.

5. Products
To finish, there are a few products that I wanted to mention here, again probably more geared towards thicker coarse hair but the first one is really for everyone and that's to buy the best quality shampoo and conditioner you can and look for sulphate free options for your shampoo as your hair will always be happier with these and will tend to sit better. I find TK Maxx great for this - there are always some great brands on sale there, sometimes salon quality at a fraction of the price.
Another great bargain option is this Tresemme treatment which I discovered last summer during a frizzy couple of weeks on the coast. I got mine in Savers but it's on half price in Superdrug at the moment. It's a bit time consuming if you've very long hair and may weigh down less coarse hair (as evidenced by my sister in law) but if you're a coarse haired frizz queen like me, it's definitely worth a try.


Since having the highlights, I've realised a light oil is your friend and this one is my current favourite:
It smells amazing and doesn't seem to weigh the hair down. Always use a tiny amount though and work from behind your head moving forward so that it doesn't end up all at the front making the hair look greasy. I also pop some of this on a while before I'm going to wash my hair as a treatment. It's available in a travel size also which is a great way to try it out. All from a local hair/beauty wholesalers called Franklins, who sell to the public too.
Invest in a great hairdryer and always buy it from a trade supplier like Sally's or indeed Franklins. I've had a Parlux 3200 for 12 years and it's still going strong. It was about £50 when I bought it and I remember thinking I must be mad to spend that much but it was totally worth it. I admittedly don't use it as much as I used to but my twins both use it a couple of times a week so it never gets much of a break.

The difference with using a professional hairdryer is that it's more powerful and quicker, hence your hair isn't exposed to the heat damage for as long. The numbers indicate the power so this one is 3200W...the equivalent priced hairdryer in Boots at the moment is only 2300W!

Finishing with my desert island product - Dry Shampoo...it's a lifesaver! I believe that all hair benefits from being washed less and dry shampoo will help you to extend the time between washes. I know many of you will tell me you couldn't cope with not washing your hair every day but the more you wash, the more natural oils you strip out and the more heat you expose your hair to. I always urge people to pick a week you've nothing special planned and tolerate a couple of extra days of not washing your hair and see what happens. You might be surprised after the first day...and your hair will love you for it.
Best widely available and budget dry shampoo is Batiste and I only buy the original green one. The others can be a bit too fragranced for my liking. If your hair is darker, you will get a bit of residue but it does fade rapidly. I will say that the formulation has improved in recent years and the residue isn't as much as it used to be. So if you tried it a few years ago and hated it, get a wee travel one and try it again. If you're still put off by the residue, spray it into your hair before you go to bed and it will have settled by morning.
However, my Batiste has been neglected a bit recently because I discovered this Osis dry shampoo (on offer in Franklins for only £3 at the moment!) which is pigmented so is well worth trying if you want to avoid the white residue of Batiste. I've been using the blonde one and I can highly recommend it to anyone with highlights as it's really lifts them!

And there you go - hopefully something there for everyone. Please comment below if you've any gems of products to recommend or indeed if you've a hairdresser to recommend near you.

Ax

Disclosure - not a sponsored post, no affiliate links used
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1 comment

  1. With you on the good hairdryer... I have a GHD Air and it's fab, though my first one only lasted about 5-6 years, so maybe Parlux is even better! I love Osis so will try that dry shampoo... I normally use Colab which is fab and very cheap in Superdrug... it doesn't leave the same residue as Batiste and is a finer formula. Your hair is looking great at the minute! x

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