- Thursday, 2 October 2014 -

Hair Care: Tips and Tricks

Hello my lovelies! You know those rare, blissful moments where you're rummaging away in a coat pocket only to fish out a fiver? You feel like you've actually won the lottery because in that split second, the universe is on your side. This week I was shortlisted for best 'New Blog' in the NE Blogger Awards and have been beaming from ear to ear ever since. Of course I've already cradled a hairbrush whilst melodramatically reciting my acceptance speech, thanking my friends, family and the big man upstairs for bestowing me this opportunity, but all joking aside I want to thank YOU my readers. Actually no, 'readers' is the wrong word... My friends, not only have you helped my blog grow, but you've helped me grow. When I was in secondary school, it seemed that all my peers had found their callings - music, sport, drama, art - I felt talentless and alone. The blogging community warmly welcomed me with opened arms and I've never looked back. We're a family and without you all, I wouldn't be where I am today. 

I've had a longer relationship with you than I have any man, sure we've had our ups and downs but you've given me confidence where I've needed it most. My hair is probably my most fascinating feature and is a constant source of attraction for many, be it that little girl in the street, eyes wide with wonder or a hairdresser, baffled by its sturdy resilience to stay on my head, regardless of its harsh history.

My hair's been every colour of the rainbow, it's been brutally bleached countless times, and during my teenage years, my straighteners were permanently welded to my hand. So, if you've fallen victim to vanity (like us all) and fear that your hair is beyond repair, well fear not! There are a few easy tips you can follow if you're forever dreaming of that long, luscious Rapunzel hair...

Snip snip: I know, I know, this is probably some advice you were hoping I'd skip - the dreaded hairdressers and their somewhat warped perception of what "I only want the ends TRIMMED" really means. I used to be like you, only investing in a biannual haircut and having thin, limp hair the remainder of the year. I avoided getting my hair trimmed like the plague because I didn't want to stunt its growth - but trust me, within a year of regular trims, my hair was thicker than ever and shedding and snapping has become minimal to nonexistent.

2 Words... Coconut Oil: The benefits of coconut oil are endless, it truly is a saviour for weak and damaged hair. Scenario: you're fresh out of the hairdressers and some serious bleaching has gone on. Your hair feels brittle like straw and the distant memory of the hairdresser telling you to "condition condition condition" rings in your ears. That fateful night, heat up your coconut oil in the microwave until it becomes a liquid base again and slather your entire head in it. Apply an old towel to your pillow and sleep with the coconut oil in your hair. After washing all the coconut residue from your hair, it'll have regained a lot of its health which the bleach/dye stripped from it! I've also actually arrived at the hairdressers with coconut oil already smothering my scalp - the oil acts as a balm and absorbs the bleach more gently causing minimal damage and resulting in your bleach lifting a lot lighter!

Ice ice baby: Did you know that cold water acts as a conditioner? Whenever I'm washing my hair, I rarely use hot water as it widens the pores of your hair follicle, making it super absorbent - ever come out of the shower and noticed that your hair is kinda elasticated? This makes the hair all the more fragile as it stretches so it order to combat this, rinse and wash your hair with colder water. If this doesn't appeal to you, you can always give your hair one last blast of cold water before stepping out of the shower, as this will eradicate frizz, boost shine and improve the circulation in your scalp (basically helping the blood flow better in your scalp) and thusly causing better hair growth.

Wet hair + hairbrush = bad: Whenever I proclaim the good word to people about not using their hairbrush until their hair's at least 80% dry, I get a lot of confused looks and argumentative statements like "but my qualified hairdresser brushes my wet hair, are THEY wrong?" Now I know I'm not a certified beautician and mostly I do everything from experience, but change your hairdresser asap because that bitch is pulling out your hair. Remember me telling you about how hair stretches in hot water? Well, imagine a brush pulling on that hair hundreds of times, causing it some serious stress. Be a bit kinder to your hair - on a low heat, use your hands to aid the drying of your hair and only when you think it's nearly dry, then you can use your hairbrush to work out the tats.

Grease lightning: Probably going to get a few unfollowing me after this wee word of wisdom, but I actually haven't washed my hair since Sunday. The photo above was taken today (Thursday) and that's exactly how my hair looks: no slicked fringe sticking to my forehead, no roots reminiscent of being caught in the rain. It looks this way because I so often leave my hair untouched by not washing it, it has actually began to wash itself in it's own nutrients. Now, I understand that this may be difficult for some of you to grasp - I can almost hear the "ew's" from over the internet - because this routine has taken me months to work out, and understandably some of you may not be willing to leave your hair unattended for days on end, I will tell you this: do not wash your hair every single day, wash it every other day if you can help it. This strips your hair of its natural quality and nutrients, putting you in a vicious cycle and giving you no other choice but to wash it again and again.

Less stress for your tresses: It's quite a known fact that any heated hair products can't be too good for your hair for the simple reason that they're quite literally burning the hair from your head after each use. Keep the curlers and straighteners to a minimal, for instance, if I ever have an interview coming up or am just going out for a night on the town then yes, I will justifiably use my straighteners. Coinciding with their usage, I also like to apply K√©rastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Heat-Activated Reconstructor Milk and have been doing so for years as it actually works with the appliances heat and works towards protecting it from any nasty exposure or damage. Additionally, try not to use tight hair ties too often and if you do, try to mix your styles up a bit, because if you're wearing a tight ponytail day in day out, then that area where the hair tie is will inevitably begin to break due to the stress it's under. Likewise for those of you who like to wear a topknot to bed, use a loose scarf or headband instead as this will decrease breakage.

Now, no hair care post would be quite the same without the obligatory (and embarrassing) montage of past hair experiences, enjoy!

  1. These are some great tips, thank you! I have a really peculiar, 100% irrational paranoia about hairdressers, so I haven't cut my hair in something like nearly three years -- I have one girl I like to do it, and she doesn't work at the salon anymore, so I just stay away unless it's an emergency. Some of these things I do, such as not brushing my hair when it's wet and not washing it everyday, but that's mostly because I'm lazy! I'm going to try the cold water tip tomorrow and start seeing how it goes -- my natural hair is Hermione Granger!

    Sarah xo
    Diary of a Beauty Padawan

  2. Ahhh Claire, you absolute little beaut! I'm currently on a crappy little tablet and its so hard to type so please excuse any mistakes. But! I simply had to check your blog as I do every single day (If this is lame, Im sorry) because it's like my little second home. I know I've told you before but I absolutely love your blog, your writing, your thoughts and snippets of your life. You are a wonderful girl and Im so happy for you to be shortlisted, as it's about time you got all the recognition you deserve! Your blog was a firm and instant favourite of mine back when I started blogging in March, and you were one of the very first people on twitter to make me feel like I had a real little blogging friend, and someone who was so so friendly!
    Im gushing now, and probably look like a top notch freak, but I love letting people know how awesome they are :) And this post is wonderful with some great reminders and points for top haircare which I need at the mo! Im currently trying to avoid bleach, hair straighteners and purple/blue/pink hair dyes even though I want them so bad haha! I want to grow it and get it healthy first, so I'll take your advice and hopefully it'll be sorted in no time! :)

    Lots of love,
    Jemma xx

  3. Fab tips Claire!! I always rinse with cold water, but hadn't thought about actually WASHING my hair in it. Definitely gonna give that one a shot!

    I wish wish WISH I could only wash my hair every few days. But my hair is super wiry and when I wake up in the morning it sticks out at all sides and nothing I do will tame it. So I end up washing it just to give it it's shape again!

    But once it's a bit longer and I can tie it up overnight [with a headscarf of course ;)], then I'll be cutting down on the wash :) xx

    Little Miss Katy | Fun, Food & Fashion!

  4. Great tips, I'll definitely be trying out the coconut oil trick!
    I'm going to try and was with cold water too... if I can manage it when the cold winter mornings come around!


  5. Fantastic tips! After a decade of bleach/dye/rinse/repeat I like to think I've got my hair care sorted and then I go and learn something new! I've also embraced the world of not washing hair that often (once a week at most!) as my hair just doesn't need it! A fantastic post, as always! Lisa xx

  6. Really great tips, and congratulations on being shortlisted! I had really thin hair not that long ago- now part of that was that I just wasn't really eating the right nutrients, but a lot of these tips helped make a huge difference to the health of my locks. I get my hair trimmed far more regularly now- I actually see my hairdresser often enough that we can remember enough about each other to have a non-awkward conversation these days! I try to wash my hair every other day, mainly because it's very curly so it can look a bit limp and have random sticky out bits if I leave it too long between washes. And a shot of cold water before I get out the shower doesn't feel especially pleasant at the time, but it does leave my hair looking and feeling clean, smooth and shiny!
    Jennifer x

  7. Great news on your nomination, petal!!! Hurrrrrayyyy!!!!! : D

    And some fabulous tips! Definitely adopting these as my hair is freshly chopped and feeling ace, and I'd like to keep it this way as long as possible!!

    Faded Windmills

  8. Congratulations!

    Oh and by the way, as a fellow serial hair bleacher/ ex pink hair lover I can also say that I only wash my hair once a week! And it now disn't need it at al, the les you wash it the less you need to. We can be scruffs together ;p


  9. Hey your blog is so cute! I just found it, but congrats on the nomination. Great hair tips. I didn't realize brushing your hair when it's wet was so bad for it! I've just used coconut oil for the first time earlier this week so I'm hoping it will be a real game changer!


  10. Oooh is that lavender hair?? Love it!! Anyways, these are amazing tips. I really need to remember to use some coconut oil, someone else also told me it's great for your hair!


  11. Such good tips, I need to print these out and stick them too my mirror! Coconut oil is a actual God send!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  12. I am Shelly i lives in Texas and i was in a serious relationship with my Ex Guy for 3 good years.. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after than i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us.. Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to THE HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON and i contacted him on highpriestozigididon@gmail.com, at first i thought it was not going to be possible and i contacted him i was ask to come up with a little requirement information of me and my Ex Guy,so i did what i was ask to do, after 24Hours after the spell was cast i was in my office when my Ex Guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a dream to me,so ever since we have been happily married with one kid my lovely baby(Anita)...i wish you the best of luck... friends you can contact HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON on his email, highpriestozigididon@gmail.com. I know you will Thank me later.

  13. Yay another person who doesn't wash their hair all the time. My friends think I'm gross for going nearly a week without washing it but its so much easier and healthier. I also need to get some coconut oil in my life.
    Beth x
    Mermaid in Disguise

  14. It's so much better to bleach your hair with the coconut oil in it. Less damage that way :D

  15. This was really helpful! I had absolutely no idea about the cold water thing, I don't have particularly hot showers anyway because I'm a wimp but I'll definitely be cooling the water down to wash my hair with!

    Vickie | dearvictoria.co.uk