The 25 best hair tips ever

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When it comes to hair tips, I’m a sponge. Which has been very useful, over the years, spending time in the (salon) chair with some of the greatest names in hairdressing, from John Frieda to Nicky Clarke, Frederic Fekkai to Philip B., Charles Worthington to Adam Reed (of Percy &…) My aim, always, in whatever I do, is to walk away from any encounter with at least one invaluable nugget of info that I can use in life, moving forward – so here, I’d like to share some ofthe tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that I hope will help ensure every day is a Good Hair Day, from now on.

  • Give hair a blast of cold air to set the style and seal the cuticles to add shine. If you need extra staying power, spray lightly with a light hold hair spray that will give hold without weighing the style down.’
  • You only need to wash hair twice a week – if you feel that’s not enough, you’re not using the right products, not rinsing them out properly or using too much. If you want to freshen up hair, just shower and condition it – you don’t necessarily need to shampoo.
  • When hair is around 80% dry – in other words, it is just starting to feel dry – start using a brush to style. If you use it before then, you’re wasting your time.
  • When drying your hair, always start with the fringe. This is the focal point of the cut, so it needs to be right. Once your fringe is dry, the rest of the style will fall into place.
  • When most people get a new dryer, the first thing they throw away is the nozzle – but in fact, it’s the most important part of your hairdryer, because it concentrates the heat and directs it where you want it.
  • If your hair is naturally very curly, apply a serum to wet hair and, using your fingers, twist random-sized sections into a ‘rope’ and leave until completely dry. This will give a rippled wave effect.
  • What you eat can affect the overall condition of your hair and you can’t expect to have shiny hair without a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If you want to boost your diet with supplements to help your hair health then take vitamin B complex, zinc and Omega 3 to provide essential fatty acids. I swear by Ideal Omega IdealOmega3, as well as BetterYou B12 Boost Pure Energy Oral Spray.
  • The major cause of dull hair is too much shampoo and not enough rinsing. That dollop of shampoo takes about four minutes to rinse out properly. So use less and rinse much, much more.
  • If you’re colouring your hair at home, toothpaste is great for safely removing any hair colour stains from skin.
  • Hair and scalp should be treated with the same TLC as your face and body. Give hair deep treatments in addition to regular shampoo-and-conditioning – up to twice a week for really damaged or dry hair. For maintenance (all hair types), deep treatments should be anywhere from once a week to once a fortnight. In addition, treat hair a day or two before having colour, a perm or relaxant, to minimise potential damage and help deposit the chemicals evenly. (Incidentally, only if you’ve been living under a stone will you not know about Phylia de M and what it does for hair and scalp – but for more info, click here.)
  • Whatever method of drying you choose, when you’ve finished, turn your head upside-down and, using your fingers, gently shake hair from the root. This can also be done to refresh an existing look.
  • Styling is all in the wrist action. But try switching the hand you hold the dryer in – you’ll find it easier to make both sides look symmetrical, if that’s what you’re after. It feels tricky at first but practice soon makes perfect.
  • It’s an old trick, but using beer as setting lotion gives tremendous volume – and no smell. Light ale is best.
  • Always get your colour and cut done at the same salon, and be sure the stylist and colourist are working together. Ideally, have the cut first, so the colourist can see what the stylist is trying to achieve. Besides, otherwise you may spend time and money having hair coloured, only to see it snipped away immediately.
  • It’s great to finish rinsing hair with a really cold rinse – it’s not an old wives’ tale: cold water really does help seal the cuticle, so hair is smoother.
  • Go with your hair. If it’s curly, keep it curly. If it’s straight, don’t go for a perm or spend ages roller-ing it; you’ll save yourself a hell of a lot of maintenance. The effects will never look natural if you try to fight your natural hairtype.
  • When you have dried and styled your hair entice people towards it by spraying a cloud of perfume into the air and then walking through it. Hair holds scent really well, so this seductive little trick should create wafts of gorgeousness every time you flick and turn your head.
  • The best person to talk you through which products are best for you is your hairdresser; ask him or her to recommend the type of styling product which will maintain maximum shine on your individual hair – a mousse, gel, serum, or a spray – and then demonstrate exactly how to use it: how much to use, how to work it through the hair, and at what precise stage of the blow-dry to apply it.
  • You may not be aware of this, but you probably carry a lot of tension in your scalp. Regular massage makes the scalp move much more flexibly – and increases blood flow to the hair follicles, boosting hair health. Use the fingers, pads and palms of your hands to make circular movements over the scalp, for at least three or four minutes, two or three times a week.
  • Use an intensive conditioning mask every week and leave the treatment on as long as possible. Put it on, then paint your toenails, do your eyebrows and any other beauty treats before rinsing the treatment off. This gives time for the treatment to penetrate deep into the hair, and is the biggest single thing you can do to maintain gloss, shine and overall hair health.
  • Use a wide-toothed saw-cut comb to detangle – never a brush. Brushes are for styling purposes only.
  • Avocado is great for healthy, shiny tresses. Mash an avocado with a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of baking powder. Mix well and then work the mixture through the hair; wait 15 minutes and rinse off. This is an excellent deep moisturising treatment for your hair.
  • Always pat your hair dry – don’t rub it. This causes less friction and encourages shine, because it keeps the cuticle (which reflects light) smooth.
  • Take a break from heat styling every now and then and let your hair dry naturally – especially if you’re just staying at home, to help its overall condition.
  • For instant volume when hair’s gone flat, simply rub the hair between your fingers, almost like rubbing butter into flour to make pastry. It fluffs out each individual cuticle. It’s something I’ve often used in the studio for fashion shoots.

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