Diary Of A Salon-dependant: ep. 2

by Olivia Cox January 11

My name’s Olivia, and I’m salon-dependant. And for 2022, I’m going cold turkey.

Let’s delve deeper.

So, like I explained last week, I have big hair. Bigger than big. Big. HUGE. I battled against its natural affinity toward frizz for years, trying everything from first gen heated tools to overnight rollers. Spoiler alert: they didn’t work. I bullied my hair to within an inch of its existence with chemical treatments that rode on the coat tails of legality, and succeeded only in exacerbating the problem. You see, the primary cause for frizzy, unruly hair is dehydration and damage, which was a huge symptom of my perpetual experimentation.

And then I started writing beauty pages for Maire Claire, and discovered a whole new world of hair care. Enter the blow dry. Zero heated tools except the humble hair dryer, professional stylists who know exactly what and how much product to use to achieve that illusive feeling of healthy hair. I could have bouncy waves that lasted up to a week (hair wash schedule permitting), so you’re not re-scalding your poor follicles on a daily basis.

Now. Blow dries are nothing new, but in the twenty-ish years prior to stepping through those hallowed Marie Claire doors, I had never even contemplated the idea of getting my hair dried by someone else without the preamble of highlights, a cut, or a treatment of some description at the very least. Going all the way to a salon just for a hair wash and dry? How exceedingly frivolous. But then I tried it. And never really stopped. And so began my Salon-dependence years.

Because, let’s face it, salons are marvellous places. You go in gross, and come out coiffed. You get an hour to yourself to read / email / catch up on socials, and your hair comes out great at the end of it. You chat wildly to a potential stranger about the intimate details of your life with zero judgement (while you’re there, at least), and an ally to every dubious decision you’ve ever made. It’s almost like you can drop your hair off at the salon, get on with what you need to do that day, and pick it up again all pretty and nice an hour later. FYI, I have a whole arsenal of these justifications should you be interested. Full disclosure: this isn’t the first time I’ve felt the need to defend my hair helplessness.

But then, in 2020, our salons closed. And I was left to my own devices. And as it turns out, I’d forgotten even the basics. There was the purple hair fiasco (I left silver shampoo on too long and it ended up staining my highlights). The poor attempt at a trim to remove a matted section that’d come about due to lack of brushing. The horrifying time I watched as the ends of my hair literally turned orange and crumbled because I’d inadvertently burnt my own hair with a malfunctioning hairdryer (turns out, you’re supposed to clean the filter every so often). By the time salons re-opened circa July, things were not good. So, I did the only sensible thing I could think of: booked another series of treatments, threw out the offending shampoo, and stuck my (now well coiffed again) head firmly back in the sand.

But for 2022, I’ve decided to take back control and re-learn the basics. My theory is that surely products and tools are more user-friendly and efficient that back in my steam burn days.


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