Looking Back: What I Wish I’d Known About Hair Care In My 20’s

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?




  1. Natalie Welsh
    July 23, 2014 / 1:26 pm

    This is such an accurate post of my hair in my teen days! Poker straight hair and 230 degree heat. I've now learnt how important it is to keep hair hydrated and messy hair looks just as good!Great post! 🙂 xxwww.natalie-knows.blogspot.co.uk

  2. alice
    July 23, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    Such good tips! I've also experimented a lot with my hair when it comes to colour and regularly use heat on it, but until the last few years I never gave a thought to what it was actually doing to my hair. In my early teens I used to desperately beg my mum to let me dye my hair, but now I'm jealous of the girls whose parents never let them as their hair is in beautiful condition, and I'm having to work really hard to achieve it!Theres so much skincare talk in the blogging world and definitely not enough about hair! xwww.littleldnlife.blogspot.co.uk

  3. Becky Smith
    July 27, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    Although this may not be quite what your asking I wish I'd known that home hair dyes will probably come out a couple of shades darker then they claim! I was aiming for a chocolate brown (I was naturally blonde) which us what the box said it would give me but now I'm left with almost black hair. I'm now facing either having to grow it out or strip it, neither of which I really want to do, although I do like it, I just want it a few shades lighter x

  4. Bunmi Afuye
    July 29, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    totally agreed with getting the right hair cut for your face shape. it does wonders to how gorgeous a person would look and always cut your split ends. love your post it made me chuckle a few times with your humour http://www.bumascloset.comBunmi x

  5. Lyndsay FizzyPeaches
    July 30, 2014 / 5:09 pm

    Some really great tips Hayley. I chuckled to myself as I think in my 20's I was guilty of all of them! Especially the stripy highlights, cringe! Oh and I used to wear scrunchies… a lot! Oh dear.At least we know now, eh? 🙂 Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

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