When it comes to styling our hair, sometimes the only thing standing between us having a ‘meh’ hair day and a great hair day is the right technique. With 50% of us seeing our locks as an ‘extremely important’ part of our overall look and the average woman owning 3 different styling appliances, we decided to hone in on the best practices to follow when it comes to all things hair styling.
Here are some tips on how to style your hair like the pros…
1. Prime time
We’re all now familiar with the benefits of using primer under your makeup, but did you know that primer on the hair can be just as life-changing? Especially if you’re trying to shave a few minutes off of your morning routine. Before blow drying or heat styling your hair, apply a heat-protecting hair primer onto wet hair as your ‘base layer’. Blast your locks dry for a few minutes, then apply your choice of styling products. The primer will protect and nourish, speed up the drying process and actually make the other products more even and effective. Redken’s Pillow Proof Primer, £13.60, will cut down your blow dry time.
2. Stop your curls from ‘dropping out’
The other vital point in the styling process is the moment where hair transitions from warm to cool. This really comes into play when you are creating curls or waves. So many people spend hours with their curling tong or wand and then find the curls drop out (nothing more frustrating). To maintain them, curl a section of your hair around the wand, but then instead of letting it go, curl the section around your fingers into a roll and pin the roll against your head. Bigger rolls mean looser waves, while smaller rolls mean tight curls. Once you’ve pinned all of your sections to your head, wait for them to cool down fully (simply feel them with your hand) and then release. Voila! Curls that stay all night. You’re welcome.
3. Find your perfect match
It’s a regular wail we hear in the Boots hair aisle – ‘which is the best styling product?’ Well, like skincare, it’s going to take a bit of trial and error to find your hair hero, as one size does certainly not fit all. Do seek advice from your stylist – they work with hair and products all day long. The essentials that everyone should have in their cupboard, though, is a heat protector and an oil.
4. It’s all about the shape
When styling, remember that the shape you are creating (whether smooth, voluminous, curly or flicky) is determined by where the hair is being held as it transitions from wet to dry. So, if you want volume at your root, you need to hold your brush under the root area, with the hair pushed upwards, while directing your hair dryer at it. Similarly, if you’re aiming to tame and smooth your unruly barnet, hold the hair downwards as straight and taut as you can with the hairbrush while directing the airflow down the hair.
5. Avoid steam
Humidity is your absolute worst enemy if you’ve just spent time coiffuring. Volume will fail, curls will drop and lengths will frizz. If your bathroom is steamy from the shower, STEP AWAY AND DO NOT RE-ENTER! If you’ve done your hair beforehand and need to shower, use a shower cap, make it speedy, and (if possible) leave the door open! Unfortunately, we can’t do much about the weather – but if it’s drizzly outside, give your hairstyle a fighting chance with a hood, headscarf and umbrella.
6. The optimum styling temperature
There are lots of heat styling tools on the market, some of them with variable temperatures. The absolute optimum temperature to heat style your hair is 185 degrees centigrade. Any hotter, and you’re doing unnecessary damage – any cooler, and your style won’t stay in properly. Oh, and don’t forget the other golden rule – always use protection! Frazzling your locks without applying a heat protecting spray or cream first will do irreparable damage. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
7. Blow drying
Are you a ‘blast it dry and tie it up’ kind of girl? If you avoid blow drying your hair because you’re not sure where to start, ask! On your next trip to the hairdresser, ask them to show you how to hold the dryer and the brush, and have a go yourself while they watch. They’ll be pleased to assist, glad of the chance to help you look your best outside of the salon door. After all, you’re a walking advert for their business, right?
8. Day old hair is easier to style
Trying to straighten or curl your freshly washed hair is always going to be a bit trickier, as clean hair is not easy to handle and doesn’t like to stay where you put it. If you have an event to go to, or are planning to put your hair up, wash your hair the day before. Or, if you need to cheat your way to day-old texture, grab a can of dry shampoo and spray throughout to give an extra bit of grip and staying power.
READ MORE: ARE YOU WASHING YOUR HAIR CORRECTLY?