Not So Mad March Hair
Glossy. Shiny. Swingy. Those are the hair watchwords on our beauty wishlist, but honestly, at this time of year…? The drying effects of the tail end of winter, with central heating and the tangle factor of windy walks (not to mention the dreaded ‘hat hair’ phenomenon) takes its toll. And frizzy, dry, lacklustre hair – with or without tell-tale roots – can be closer to daily reality.
Masks and intensive conditioning treatments, though, can make a huge difference. The watchwords are: ‘more product, more often, for more time.’ Ideally at this time of year, at least once a week you’ll slather on a mask and leave it on for as long as possible. Try wrapping in Clingfilm, and gently warming with a hairdrier, for deeper penetration. At the very least, wrap hair in a warm towel, carefully turban-ed in place. If you do leave on a product overnight, you can simply rinse in the shower next day. (But be sure to protect your pillow, if you’re sleeping in the mask.)
Which of VH’s do we love? We adore the scent of Temple Spa In Good Condition, with its minty zing and tangle-reducing formula. For a really, really intensive treatment, go for It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask which has a completely heavenly scent. If a touchy scalp’s your problem, try Scalp Relief Conditioner by Derma E.
Ideally you’ll get hair into good nick before getting it cut. (Yes, they can snip off the split ends – but all haircuts look better on glossy hair.) Now, you might be one of the lucky ones who has a stylist who gets your hair right every time (in which case, take out a binding contract for life). But if you’re still searching for your perfect style, here’s some wisdom.
Choosing a salon: turn detective, when you spot a hairstyle you like, ask who did it. Sit in salons and look at people going in and out: look for hair that’s similar to yours and a style that might suit you. You want to see people going in with the legacy of a good cut and coming out looking like you want to look.
Always ask for a consultation – which should last 10 to 15 minutes – before embarking on a relationship with a new stylist so that you can discuss the points below. Be prepared to be flexible about timing – you may not get a consultation on the spot. But if the salon won’t agree to book you in for this initial chat, go elsewhere. When you talk to a stylist, remember – you need your hairdresser on your side. If they don’t show interest and empathy, start walking…
Do your homework: you want a style that fits into your life – not that you have to timetable your life around. So take a brief breakdown of your daily routine, a list of the products you currently use and, vitally, a scrap book (or maybe even a Pinterest board) of pictures of hairstyles you like. When you’re choosing these pictures, try to be realistic and pick hair that’s similar to yours and women that look vaguely like you.
Seven secrets of getting a great cut: points to discuss with your (potential) stylist…
- Your existing style. What don’t you like about it? Why doesn’t it work for you? How long will it take to change to another style? If that involves growing it out, what can you do meantime?
- Your face shape: a good hair style creates an optical illusion of balance – that is the secret of attraction. The optimum is an oval shape, so you want to work your hairstyle around that.
- Your best feature. Play up the best feature: eyes, cheekbones, lovely jawline, beautiful forehead, pretty ears. Everyone has at least one, often two, he says and your hair style should make the most of it, not hide it.
- The nature of your hair. The texture and thickness of your hair powerfully governs what style you can realistically have. With your stylist, you need to talk about whether it is fine, medium or coarse-texture, thick or thin; straight, wavy or curly. You can change those (perming – yikes – or, say, a Brazilian blow-dry), but most good hairdressers prefer to work with nature, if possible. And the nature of your hair impacts on…
- Maintenance. How much time do you realistically have to look after your hair? Will you be able to wash it every day? And spend 15 or 30 minutes blowdrying it? Or do you have five minutes maximum? Also: how often can you get to the hairdresser to have it cut? (And also coloured?) One of the most important communcation points of all, this.
- Your mannerisms. Do you play with your hair – push it behind your ears, grip your fringe back, pull and prod it all the time (which makes hair more greasy incidentally), twirl it geisha style with your pen? Anything like this needs to be taken into account – no good for instance having a floppy fringe if you go crazy if it gets in your eyes…
- Colour. Over the couple of decades, colour has become an integral part of a hair style. If you are contemplating having your hair coloured, the stylist should involve the colourist in your discussions . The lines and details of almost every cut can be enhanced with good colour and problem hair can be transformed. If everything is working against you – say you have dull flat straight hair which never really looks good – a delicious rich colour can make you feel reborn.
And that’s Beauty Bible, wishing you a ‘Good Hair Month’…