Since making the decision to remove my hair extensions for the third time (it’s an addition I just can’t stay away from for long!) I’ve once again become a little obsessed with my barnet. Anything I can do to help nourish it, protect it, boost it or treat it is time well spent, but what about those small daily things we can do to ensure we’re always looking our Pantene-Advert-Best? I’ve pulled together my ten favourite hair hacks that help keep our tresses in top condition, looking fabulous and feeling bouncy. I hope they help you get away with ten extra minutes in bed.
What’s a great hair routine if it doesn’t start at the root? There’s a reason they always give you a little head massage while you’re getting shampooed at the hairdressers – it does good while making you feel orgasmic. Stimulate the blood flow in the scalp with a slow morning head massage after you’ve applied your conditioner, helping to speed up the rate at which your hair grows and ensure a healthy strand. A healthy head of hair is all about strong blood flow, carrying oxygen and nutrients to this area of the body to help keep it working effectively.
The multi-masking trend is huge in skincare at the moment, but there’s no reason why we can’t translate the idea into hair too. Mix up your hair treatments an all over treat without it taking twice as long; target dry ends with an intense moisturising treatment, while an oil-absorbing root masque can keep hair fresher for longer. Add in a splash of shine treatment all over and you’ve got double the benefit in half the time.
LEAVE IN TREATMENTS
I’m obsessed with leave-in conditioners at the moment, especially a Mango-enriched one from Klorane that launches in October. (More on that soon.) They offer the same moisturising, nourishing and smoothing benefits as your in-shower conditioner, but can be applied to dry hair to re-invigorate and leave your tresses looking freshly styled. Have one in your bag for on-the-go, touching up mid-way through the day and in the evening when hair starts to look a little lank. These are also great for day two or three hair when the dry shampoo has left it a little parched.
Hair is most delicate when wet
because the cuticle is open, making it stretchy and prone to snapping
and tangling; by towel-drying more efficiently you can minimise the use
of heat appliances and exposure to heat, resulting in fewer split ends
and heat damage. If you can make the towel drying process more efficient
and less damaging too, you’re on to a winner. Aquis
microfibre towels can absorb up to 50% more moisture from hair than a regular towel, leaving my hair practically touch-dry in a matter of
TURN THE HEAT DOWN
We’re programmed into thinking the hotter the better, but actually we don’t need a scary amount of heat just to create the perfect curl. Turn down your hairdryer to the medium setting and switch your GHDs from mega-hot to reasonably heated – you’ll still achieve the same result, but you’ll reduce the potential damage the tools can be causing. If you like to curl your hair but prefer an undone look, then turning down the heat can actually provide a more relaxed wave that’s more boho-chic than pretty girl ringlets.
PLAIT WHEN WET
Can you remember your mum plaiting your damp hair before bed and waking up to a head full of 80’s waves that the Saved By The Bell girls would be jealous of? (Just me?) Plaiting may cause you to think of retro waves rather than on-trend tresses, but plaiting damp hair and sleeping on it can actually help create really beautiful loose waves – if done right. The key is to roughly dry hair (rather than starting when wet) and plaiting in big sections (rather than going for bunchies) to create a stunning voluminous look the following morning.
I’d struggled drying my hair for years before I learned this foolproof technique from one of Aveda’s top hairdressers; hair wrapping will change your life. All you do is brush your hair from one side of your head to the other using a paddle brush, over the scalp, as you use your hairdryer; repeat the other side and all around your head (particularly from back to front) until your hair is dry. Not only does this help lift the root a little and provide natural volume, but it helps create straight and sleek tresses that need minimal topping up with a straightener. Sounds a bit mental, but it totally works.
This doesn’t need any introduction, but did you know you may have been using dry shampoo wrong for years? Always apply your dry shampoo a hand-span width from the scalp, so you don’t overload the surface with product; leave the dry shampoo to absorb oil for at least one minute and disperse the spray by brushing hair in all directions, leaving behind a
refreshed texture and hair that’s full of bounce. Using a hairdryer to
blast on a cold setting will also help remove residue; never use it on a
hot setting as this will bring out more sebum to the surface,
counteracting the good work of the dry shampoo. Ta-da!
One of the best tips I’ve ever been given is a professional technique used to control flyaway and baby hairs around the face. Take a little hairspray and apply it onto your fingers, rubbing together before smoothing down those annoying strands with the tips. Applying product directly to the area can overload it and cause stickiness, hardness or greasiness, but using a little spray on the fingers will help style and smooth while keeping it in place.
THE 5 CURL RULE
If in doubt, when you’re running late use my ‘5 Curl Rule’ to ensure your hair looks fab in less than three minutes. Split your hair into five sections (two each side and one at the back,) and curl using a hair straighter by moving the tool away from your face. The bigger the section the better, as this will create a messy and undone curl that looks like you’ve spent hours on your hair. Spritz the roots with a touch of dry shampoo for lift, add a shine spray for luminosity and use your fingers to tousle until you’re happy with the result.
Do you have any other handy hair hacks that help keep your barnet in tip top nick?
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