Diary Of A Salon-Dependant: ep. 4

by Olivia Cox February 22

So. We covered keeping blonde, blonde in the last episode.

This week: styling. AKA my cryptonite. My hair is thick, coarse, unruly….. poorly behaved in even the best of conditions. With the best will in the world, by arms would be throbbing with lactic acid build-up by the end of an attempted blow-dry, so I invariably over-used heated tools to get the smoothness I craved. Teen years of this reliance on poor-quality tools (plus zero heat protector products, bcos student) frazzled my already delicate hair, and the self-fulfilling cycle of chasing down sleek looks whilst causing more damage in the process was entirely endless.

Then, whilst doing the rounds of internships with beauty mags, I started re-aquainting myself with salons (note: I’d hitherto avoided them like the plague in my misguided belief that a) salons were only really useful for cuts, and b) cutting my hair would stop it from getting longer. On which note, if you still adhere to this belief too, beware: it’s actually wrong – a regular trim keeps hair healthy by getting rid of split ends and actually encourages growth). Once I’d landed my regular job on the beauty desk at Marie Claire, I switched to weekly blow-outs, and it was glorious. It did, however, have downsides. Cost, of course, is a huge factor. But possibly even more relevant is that a hair stylist’s priority tends to be more along the instant gratification lines,  ie. your hair will look banging when you walk out, but it’s unlikely they’ve used gentle brushes, lower heat, or specific heat protection products.

So now I’m self-styling. And luckily for me, there is an absolute smorgasbord of new tools out there. Wands, tongs, irons – all in various shapes and sizes, often with temperature settings. There are heated brushes *that actually work*, and next-gen hair-dryers that are super-lightweight and literally half the drying time. This week, I tried out ghd’s new Thin Wand. The super sleek styler has no clips or levers so is easy to use and heats up mega fast. The corkscrew waves it creates are fun, playful, and last for days.

I used my wand yesterday to create a post-gym look, working with the natural texture of my own hair to increase the volume of my corkscrew waves. The 14mm barrel uses PTC heater technology which means lower temperatures can be used, and for shorter amounts of times. Which is great news for healthy hair goals. Because let’s be honest – the choice between healthy hair and cute styling can be tricky. With ghd Thin Wand you get both. Winner.

I started with Living Proof Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo which is INCREDIBLE. The only dry shampoo I’ve found that actually leaves your hair feeling as clean as if you’ve just stepped out of the shower. Spray, leave to do it’s thing for around 30 secs, then smoosh / brush / fling. Next up: heat defence. I love Schwarzopf Keratin Heat Spray – it protects up to 230 degrees, plus has a super clever heat-activated formula which helps defend against frizz. Also worth a mention is label.m Blow Out Spray, which also protects against UV rays. After the heat part, I use either a serum or an oil to smooth everything into place. At the moment, I’m loving Maria Nila True Soft Argan Oil. And I always keep Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil close to hand – super lightweight and silky. If I want the curls to stay exactly where they are, I finish with a blast of L’Oréal Pro Tech Art Air Fix. Mega hold with zero crunch or stickiness.


Olivia x

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