Hairdressers are frequently perplexed by my hair.
It’s quite fine, but I have a LOT of it, which makes it look much thicker than it actually is. Texture-wise, it’s very wiry. If I comb it as soon as I’m out of the shower, it will dry straight. If I’m away and forget my comb or something, I end up looking like I stuck my finger in a socket.
Oh and I also have a cowslick, and a double crown. SUCH FUN.
As you may have noticed in the last few years of chopping, changing and dying, I like playing around with my hair. Which is fine (unless it’s going green – which is NOT ever fine…) but it does tend to leave my poor old barnet dry, frizzy and hard to handle.
It’s been a (long) while since I last posted about my hair routine, and with Summer already in swing, I decided that now was as good a time as any to give you an update.
So take it away, Ernie!
(I get House points for the Harry Potter quote, right?)
Shampoo and conditioner
A couple of weeks ago, Farfetch offered to send me some goodies. Along with a couple of other items, I decided to splurge and pick up some Oribe hair products. I’d become massively intrigued after reading this article on Buzzfeed about them, and couldn’t resist!
I’ve been using the Magnificent Volume shampoo* and conditioner* for a few weeks now, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. My hair is noticeably more voluminous than with my usual Herbal Essences duo, AND it has no sulfates in it, which is an added bonus.
THIRTY FIVE POUNDS. EACH. £35 for the shampoo. £38 for the conditioner.
I’ma be honest here and say that there is absolutely no way I’ll ever be able to repurchase these. I just cannot justify it to myself… no matter how nice my hair looks! (Sob.)
My Must-Have Hair Products
I’ve been using L’Oreal Elvive’s Extraordinary oil since it was first released years ago, and can’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I apply this after every hair-wash, after towel-drying it, and before combing. It helps ease the knots and just gives my poor old mane an extra boost of moisture and protection.
When it comes to deep conditioning, coconut oil is my best friend. I bought this giant jar of Lucy Bee virgin coconut oil from Wholefoods for a tenner, and so far it’s lasted me about 4 months – a pretty good bargain!
I use this as a deep-conditioning mask about once a month, to help combat my dry, frizzy ends. To apply, simply claw out some of the oil in solid form, melt it between your hands and massage it into the ends and length of your hair. I like to work my way up, until my whole head is covered.
I then twist it all up on top of my head and secure with a hair tie, before going to bed and sleeping with it on overnight.
Unlike normal deep conditioners and masks, I never have any problems by putting this on my scalp AND it makes far less mess, because the oil solidifies again. Yay for all-natural solutions!
To get it out of my hair, the best trick I’ve found is to apply your shampoo BEFORE you get your hair wet. Lather it all up, massaging it gently into your scalp, and THEN rinse it out with warm water.
Make sure you rinse every last bit of it out, otherwise you’ll wonder why you hair looks greasy after you’ve dried it!
NOTE: if you have dyed hair, especially a bright colour, you should know that coconut oil has a bad habit of pulling some of the colour out, so you may find your hair is less vibrant after using it. (This is why I’m down to using it once a month instead of once a fortnight!)
OK so first of all: dry shampoo. *choirs of angels start singing*.
HOW DID I EVER LIVE WITHOUT DRY SHAMPOO. It’s the one thing that stops me from having to wash my hair every day. At the moment I’m obsessed with this Batiste Heavenly Volume dry shampoo. It keeps my hair looking fresh for the day, but it’s also got a surprising amount of oomph in it!
Next: salt spray. My friend Vicky introduced me to this matte texturizing salt spray from Schwartzkopf got2B last year, and I’ve not found another that works as well. It’s especially great if you spray it through freshly washed hair and then let it dry naturally. I also like to use it after curling, just to give that extra bit of texture and grittiness to it.
I also currently have this little travel-size bottle of Mark Hill Cover Up Protection Spray rolling in my handbag. It’s great for really sunny days when I’m outdoors, as it helps protect a) my hair colour and b) my scalp!
The styling tools
I am obsessed with my Tangle Teezer. I always thought they were a useless gimmick until I finally caved in and bought one and now it’s my most precious beauty possession.
It works on dry hair, wet hair, damp hair – EVERYTHING. My hair gets easily knotted and I’ve been known to cry after combing it out after a shower, but the Tangle Teezer makes it soooo much less painful and oh man I just love it. I do. I love it.
Next in my repertoire of handy hair tools are my clips. I have three sectioning clips that are perfect for clipping up layers when I’m curling hair, and a LOT of hair grips for pinning bits and pieces. Essential when you have as much hair as I do!
I’m also a HUGE fan of these snazzy spiral elastic bands. Mine are from Superdrug and I have two: a black one and a grey one. They’re fantastic because they don’t damage your hair AND (long-haired girls, you’re gonna love this) they leave no kinks.
No funny little kink in the hair to sneakily inform the world you had a ponytail in all day. Honestly, they’re ace. Go buy some.
And last but definitely not least: my atlantic jade ghd styler*, from the limited edition Azores collection! ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL?
I’ve always loved ghd stylers (I’ve owned a pink set since 2008!) but these in particular are just something else. They’re all mermaid-y and pretty – and so perfect for Summer!
They’re the only heat tools I use (other than my blowdryer) and I really don’t use them much for straightening – my hair is straight enough tah very much! For me, it’s all about the curls. Messy, wavy-curls that look easy-breezy and super natural.
Basically: turn me into a mermaid please and thank you.
My Go-To Hair Styles
So despite being quite experimental with my hair itself, when it comes to styling, I’m pretty boring.
I have two styles I keep going back to at the moment (other than brush and go!). Both are super easy, super quick and perfect for the Summer heat!
1. The Messy Bun
My best buddy taught me how to do this properly a few weeks ago and it’s been a game changer.
Simply brush all your hair back into a high ponytail. Hold it loosely, and pull out some random strands of hair to frame your face. Then, very gently, loosen your hold on the ponytail, twist it all into a knot, and secure with an elastic band.
Pin the bun into place, tuck away any stray point-in-any-direction strands, and just keep primping and pulling until it looks about right.
I then, personally, just spray some hairspray on my hands and lightly stroke down the face-framing strands, so they’re tamed and not swirling everywhere a la Crazy Cat Lady Hair.
2. The Mermaid Waves
My second style takes a little bit longer (mainly cos I have so much bloomin’ hair…), but it’s still super easy.
I tend to do this the day after I’ve washed my hair as the extra texture helps the curls hold a bit better. I start by spritzing through some dry shampoo on the roots, and heat protector on the lengths and ends.
Shake it all up, brush the hair so it’s smooth and tangle free (you’ll thank me for this later), and split it into sections. I part it straight down the middle on the back, and then clip it into three layers.
Turn your ghd styler on – and start curling! (This video tutorial is the best one I’ve found for learning how to use ghds as curlers – she even has the same colour hair as me!)
The best tricks I’ve discovered for creating perfect mermaid waves are:
a) Use small sections, no bigger than an inch.
b) Make sure the styler is always pointing barrel-side down (ie: with the cable pointing towards the ceiling).
c) Curl some strands towards your face, and some away from your face. This will give it a less uniform look, which makes it seem much more natural.
d) Don’t curl the very tips of the hair, leave them straight. Again, this just makes it look more natural and I find it gives my hair a better shape, so it doesn’t look too triangular!
Once it’s all curled, I’ll let my hair cool and then shake my head upside down to loosen it all up. Then spritz it all over with some salt spray for extra texture, and voila!
Perfect mermaid curls.
One day, my hair will be long enough for me to also (finally) do a tutorial on my favourite milkmaid braids.
But for now… that’s all folks! This is literally a guide to Katy’s hair. I just KNOW that it’s everything you’ve been waiting for since the dawn of time.
Let me know if you have any questions about anything! :)