Before I start writing about hair care, I need to caveat that I have bad hair. I've said it before, but I feel that it needs to be reiterated. My hair is very fine, very fragile and over processed. It is wavy, but not in a stylish way, more of a drowned rat sort of way. It's only saving grace is that it stays up when I want it to. But that's it. Oh, and it goes very blonde in the sun (or when bleach is generously applied, my poison of choice). So, I have spent the last 15 years on a quest for products that actually work, and although I'm by no means an expert, I have tried everything on the market that promises good hair.
So, I wanted to share some of my top tips, and mega mistakes!
1. Dye Trying
Never, ever lighten your hair at home. By all means use a semi permanant, I have many times to differing levels of success, but as they don't really damage your hair, the only mistake you can make is picking the wrong colour. However, if you lighten/bleach your hair at home, be prepared for disaster. I have done it many times. It has never ended well. Once I had to have 6 inches cut off, another time I had to have it dyed a dark brown, which looked horrendous. Even if you get the colour right, the ends will be dry, if not breaking off, and the roots will grow through very badly (if you have a dead straight line of white hair, the roots will look like a thick black line, even if you are naturally quite fair. I've been there). Hairdressers are there for a reason. You wouldn't reroof your house on a whim, so tread carefully in the world of home hair dyes. Trust me!
2. Hair Extensions
Everyone has them (a little birdy, who I do trust, let slip that a certain Duchess uses them from time to time). I've tried a couple of brands, and think that the best ones out there are Great Lengths. But, they cost a lot (up to £1000 for long locks), and take an awful lots of maintenance. But, they do give you amazing, long, thick hair. Daniel Hersheson makes amazing clip in ones, and their blow dry bars will fit them for you, which can be great for a night out.
|My long hair days.....|
3. Yellow Fever
If you are a light blonde, you probably suffer from the dreaded yellow tinge. I love cool, blonde tones, and hate my hair getting too warm, which can happen as a result of hard water (damn you London, and your unfriendly water). The best solution is a blue toned shampoo or conditioner. My two favourites are L'oreal Professional Serie Expert Silver Shampoo and Aveda Blue Malva shampoo and conditioner. The former gets rid of every trace of yellow in a few minutes, but is pretty fierce. The Aveda stuff is a bit more gentle, smells of Refresher sweets (yum) and can be used everyday. They also make other colours, which are wonderful for adding shine and depth to all shades of hair, give them a go!
4. The Deep Stuff
Unless you have greasy hair, condition like you life depends on it. Just the ends if your hair is normal, but I precondition (Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer or Hot Oil), condition (Kerastase is fab), and then use hair oil (Argan oil or Elixir Ultime by Kerastase) on the ends. I use a hair mask as frequently as possible too, there are loads out there, I like Aveda Damage Remedy and Bumble and Bumble Deeep amongst others .
If you can't be bothered to wash your hair (or you have two demanding children!), dry shampoo is possibly the best invention in the world. I use Batiste, and swear you can't tell that my hair is filthy (the flies buzzing around my head are a giveaway though). Just spray it on your roots, and make sure you give it a really good brush!
Loreal Serie Expert Silver Shampoo, £7.60
Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo and Conditioner, £20
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, £22.30
VO5 Hot Oil, £4.29 for 4
Kerastase Elixir Ultime, £27.60
Aveda Damage Remedy, £18.80
Bumble and Bumble Deeep, £17.20
Batiste Dry Shampoo, from £1.95