Looking back at the last ten years, I’ve made some incredible mistakes when it comes to my hair. The 90’s weren’t a great decade for style (scrunchies will never be stylish, no matter what Topshop says,) but they did introduce hair straightening irons and half decent hair dye. I experimented more than most, spending many an evening trying to style my hair into something that resembled Rachel from Friends, but with experimentation brought a lot of damage. Now I’m older (and hopefully wiser,) I know that I have to look after my hair because it’s the only barnet I’ve got. Looking back, here’s what I wish I’d known about hair care in my 20’s.
Stripey Highlights Are Not Cool
When I was a teenager, blonde highlights were the epitome of sophistication. Everyone wanted sunkissed tones and to look as if they’d stepped effortlessly out of the salon. However, the reality was that we were all using at-home kits that left us with stripey hair that was about as subtle as a man in drag. I spent hours with plastic caps on my head, pulling through tiny strands of hair that were then covered in bleach; the result was a harsh look that didn’t suit my skin tone at all, as well as incredibly damaged hair. Bleaching never did anyone any good – I just wish someone told me sooner.
Put Down The Straighteners
When GHDs hit the market we
all went a little crazy for poker-straight hair. Volume and natural
waves were not our friends, instead replaced with super straight locks
or fake looking ‘GHD curls’ – a favourite with Girls Aloud! I dread to
think how many great hair strands were burnt and damaged during the
first year of GHD availability alone, but straightening irons got us all
in the habit of using extreme heat on our hair and not worrying about
the consequences. I wish I knew the damage they’d do and how hair with a
little wave and volume looks so much better.
It’s All About Protection
You can primp and preen all you like, styling your hair to make it look healthy and happy, but if you don’t protect it from heat and damage then you’re fighting a losing battle. Hairdryers, straighteners, curling irons and even the sun can play havoc with our hair, stripping it of moisture and leaving it incredibly coarse. Using a protection spray on wet hair before you style can mean the difference between healthy, shiny hair and dull, dry locks. It’s a step you shouldn’t ever skip if you want to keep your barnet looking fab.
Get A Cut For Your Face Shape
Hair styles come and go, but we’re always trying to stay on-trend by getting cuts we see on celebrities and in magazines. Back in the day I always wanted a ‘do that looked fab on someone else, rather than focusing on what worked for me. I tried long styles, short styles, overly styled styles and even graduated bobs – but if I actually focused on what worked with my face shape and lifestyle, I could’ve avoided a lot of heartache and hair mistakes. (Fringes have never and will never look hot on me, no matter what the magazines say.)
Replenish & Hydrate
Looking after our hair is of paramount importance and should be just as vital as cleansing and moisturising our skin. I didn’t get into a regular routine until my late 20’s, when I started to take the time to replenish and hydrate my hair on a weekly basis, but I wish I would’ve started sooner. Using a fab hair mask can help leave your barnet silky smooth, shiny and healthy looking… Plus fifteen minutes of relaxing is never a bad thing!
What do you wish you knew about hair in your 20’s?