The Salon – At Home

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Which is more important: eating well – or keeping up your beauty salon regime? Most of us will find a way of juggling both, but with a little savvy it’s possible to extend the gap between salon appointments, turbo-charging the life of your manicure/pedicure, hair cut and colour. So do try these at home!

Want to postpone your haircolur session? Colour upkeep can be crippling, compared to haircuts, so…

  • … First of all, try persuading your stylist to tell you which shade he or she uses, and find out if it’s available for home use. (Some are.) If you twist their arm, occasionally a colourist you know well can be persuaded to sell you a box. And if you don’t ask… If not, check out semi-permanent shades which are as close as possible to the shade your colourist uses. (Don’t try permanent colour at home if you usually go to a salon – these are the most challenging of haircolourants, and the most likely to end in tears if you’re not used to them.).
  • Wash and condition colour-treated hair with a ‘colour’ shampoo and conditioner, as these really do work to keep the colour fresher for longer.
  • Rather than go for a full dye job to cover a few grey hairs, we’re hugely impressed by Color Wow Root Cover Up, the first product John Frieda and Gail Federici have launched together since John’s own range. It’s a sexy-looking compact with a brush and a mirror, featuring a mineral powder compound which you stroke onto roots using the special brush to cover up grey instantly – and it literally lasts till you wash it out again. Could not be simpler.
  • Use a ‘heat-protective’ spray on your hair if you use straightening irons, to avoid lifting the colour from hair.

To extend the life of your haircut and keep hairstyling costs to a minimum…

  • Often it’s only the fringe that needs cutting, and to avoid the Dulux dog look you can have a go yourself:
    1. Always start with dry hair. (Never cut a fringe while wet as it shrinks when dry and looks to short). If you usually blow-dry your hair, apply styling product, then dry. If you usually wash and wear, let your fringe air-dry. Be sure to use sharp, high-quality haircutting scissors – nothing you’d use on paper or for dressmaking!
    2. Using a comb, precisely section off the hair you don’t want to cut. You can put the rest in a scrunchie or pin back with KirbiGrips.
    3. Divide your fringe in two with a styling comb. (These have baby-fine teeth.) Take on half of the hair and comb the fringe downwards, with the comb’s teeth facing OUTWARDS. Rest the comb on your brow-bone and don’t cut above where the comb hits your face.
    4. Being very careful to avoid the eyes, start ‘point-cutting’ or snipping the hair at a 45-degree angle. Work slowly, doing a bit at a time – and never cut a fringe straight across as it’s impossible to get a perfectly straight line.
    5. Comb through the other half of your fringe and repeat, ‘point-cutting’ the other half.
  • Go for a haircut that’s lower maintenance. Generally, the more precise the line – of a fringe, or the ends – the sooner it’ll start to go out of shape. The lowest-maintenance looks are
  • Ask if your salon has model nights or training nights: students who have completed their training but need hands-on ‘hours’ to qualify often offer discounted services under the watchful gaze of an experienced colleague. Some salons also offer discounts on quieter days like Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Most stylists don’t charge for consultations. This is a terrific way to get free, personalised haircare advice, and a great way to ‘audition’ stylists before committing to an appointment.
  • Use deep-conditioning products like hot oils and hair masks, at least once a week: if your hair’s shiny and healthy, other people will be less likely to notice that it’s slightly out-of-shape!
  • Ask your stylist for a blow-drying lesson and PAY ATTENTION! They can recommend the exact products and tools to recreate the look at home, and a pro-style finish to your cut will extend its life dramatically.

With a little extra after-care and TLC, you can get weeks rather than days extra out of a manicure or pedicure…

  1. Avoid a bath the night of a salon manicure or pedicure, as putting toes or fingers under the bathwater will soften the polish, speeding up ‘wear’.
  2. Take your own polish along to the salon, so you can touch up at home rather than have to head back for a re-varnish.
  3. Every other nigh, apply a shiny top coat to protect against knocks and chips. (This is the single most important thing you can do, to maintain a perfect 10 on fingers and toes.)
  4. Use a foot file on heels after showering and slather on a rich moisturiser overnight to keep skin baby-soft.
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