With every ounce of my body I can profoundly declare that I am completely shit at doing my hair. Makeup I know…hair is a completely different story. I have three hairstyles in my life – straight, curly and homeless. 9 times out of 10 I opt for the latter. I won’t pretend to be a hair guru. Hell I won’t pretend to care. I wash my hair about once a week. I do aim for twice a week, but even once is enough to put me into trauma.
It’s not that I don’t like doing my hair. Actually…scratch that…I really don’t like doing my hair. I have so much of it you see that the prospect of washing, drying and styling my hair seems as enjoyable as a hot bikini wax with a metal spatula. This is why I enlist the help of genius hair hacks to ensure that my hair doesn’t look like a complete disaster (all the time).
Use a microfibre towel to dry your hair
We’ve all heard the cardinal rule that vigorously rubbing your hair between a bog standard bathroom towel will do more damage than good. I’m a person that needs to slightly towel dry my hair before going in with a hairdryer to avoid standing there for 10 hours. My hair is so thick and dense that a hairdryer simply won’t suffice, but using a towel to take out excess moisture actually leaves my hair frizzy (more so than normal). I’ve tried the old trick of using a t-shirt rather than a towel, but it made zero difference in my opinion.
Microfibre towels, like the Aquas Hair Towel Lisse Luxe, may seem like an indulgent purchase, but if you suffer with hair anxiety as I do, it could be your best friend. However, there are cheaper alternatives on the market, which can be found all over Amazon. Microfibre towels are proven to reduce drying time, reduce blow-drying time which can help retain colour and tackle frizz. I use a microfibre towel that I picked up from Primark and I kid you not, by the time I finish popping on my lotions and potions after I get out of the shower, my hair is 80% dry after being wrapped up in one of these.
Wash before bed and style in the morning
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a hack, just a simple word of advice. If you have long hair or you find doing your hair before work a chore, putting in that effort to wash your hair at night can save highly valuable sleep time. I never get time in the mornings to wash and style my hair so getting it washed the night before so that it’s all dry and ready to be styled is a life saver. One thing, however, that I definitely don’t do is go to bed with wet hair. I do put in the effort to towel dry, with my microfibre towel, and then a quick blow dry to ensure that my hair shafts are smoothed down before bed. Tossing around on your pillow at night can rough-up the hair cuticles and therefore cause frizz. After I dry my hair I like to wrap it up in a very high top knot so that I avoid any possibility of damage during my sleep.
Hot rollers for a bit of bounce
When I’m looking to get some extra body in my hair or if I’m in need of some glamorous curls, I turn to hot rollers. I know what you’re thinking. You can take the girl out of Essex, but…I haven’t got the time (or the patience) to be standing there giving myself a bouncy blow dry or perfectly formed barrel curls. I find hot rollers a life saver. Any rollers in fact. If I have a lot of time, I pop my hair into velcro rollers, like the Sleep In Rollers, and get on with my day until it’s time to take them out. My hot rollers of choice are the Babyliss Pro Ceramic Rollers; which are hands down the best roller system I’ve used and I’ve tried them all! Rollers are a great way to style your hair, without having to actually do your hair. I pop them on before I start my makeup and by the time I’ve applied my last layer of lippie it’s time to take them out. A quick spritz of hairspray and voila!
Spray hairspray on a brush/comb
I suffer with flyaway hair, thanks to all of the baby hair that I’ve got going on. A trick that I’ve learnt is to spritz some hairspray onto a brush, or comb, and run through my hair to style the style. I particularly focus on my parting where most of my baby hairs tend to run wild. It’s a nifty little trick for a frizz-haired girl like me, but don’t forget to wash your brush or comb regularly to rid it of the leftover residue.
Sparkling water as a hair rinse
The pH levels of carbonated water are lower than the water from your shower so using a bottle of sparkling (or carbonated) water on your mane as your last hair-washing step will do wonders for taming frizzy hair. Shampoo and condition as normal then pour a bottle of sparkling water over your hair as a hair rinse. It will leave you with shiny, soft and manageable hair without any stickiness or smell.
Sugar to exfoliate your scalp
Did you know that your scalp requires as much cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising as your face does? I know what you’re thinking, how are you supposed to do that? Well our traditional shampoo and conditioner routine provides two out of three of those steps, but exfoliating the scalp seems to be missing. Product build up as well as dead skin cells and clog up your scalp leaving you with dry, itchy, flaky skin i.e. dandruff. It can also slow down cell renewal of the hair follicle and therefore prevent hair growth. Exfoliating (or clarifying) your scalp every now and then is so important, but rather than add ANOTHER product to your bathroom, why not try simple sugar? Adding a tablespoon to your shampoo once a month will provide you with a gentle exfoliation of the scalp, not to mention a lovely smell. The sugar will dissolve fairly easily under the shower so there’s no fuss about rinsing it out.
Practice three ‘in a rush’ hairstyles
We all have those days when we’re in a rush. Mine is pretty much every day of my life. When I don’t have time to wash, straighten or curl my hair, I enlist the help of three hairstyles which I can always rely on. Practising three hairstyles, such as a fishtail braid, a messy bun or a half-up top knot will give you that confidence on your ‘off days’ to go out into the world with perfectly presentable hair. Put some practice in during your down time to master three hairstyles and you’ll never have to worry about what to do with your hair when you’re in a rush.
Give your pony some life
In reference to my previous hack, a ponytail is one of my fail-safe ‘in a rush’ hairstyles. Not particularly adventurous I must admit, but I do love a good pony. However, a simple ponytail can look a bit…well…meh. There are two ways of giving your ponytail some life. One way is to split your ponytail into two sections, one top and one bottom and place a crocodile clip in between them. Get as close as you can to the top of the ponytail and let the top piece gently fall over it. This will give the illusion of a ‘fuller’ ponytail without having to backcomb.
Another method is to create two ponytails to give the illusion of longer hair. Split your hair as you would with a half-up half-down hairstyle. Secure a ponytail in the bottom section and secure a second ponytail in the top. The top ponytail will mask the second, but it will look like you have much longer hair.
Styling powder between curls
If, like me, you crave big voluminous curls for a special night out (think Victoria Secret models), but you struggle to keep that volume going for longer than an hour try styling powders. I must admit they don’t leave your hair feeling great the next morning, but they easily wash out. Volume powders like Big Sexy Hair Powder Play add texture and volume to lacklustre hair that needs a little oomph. Traditionally, volume powders are sprinkled into the roots and massaged in for instant volume, but try sprinkling some powder in between your waves/curls for seriously big hair. Grab random sections of your freshly curled hair and sprinkle a light dusting of the powder all over. Focus particularly on the ‘underneath’ parts of your hair and in between layers. Don’t worry about the powder showing up, volume powders very quickly dissolve into nothing, but they leave you with MASSIVE hair that will last all night.
Use eyeshadow to fill in your hairline
This hack has been tried and tested all over the online beauty community and it really works! If your hairline or parting lacks some density, grab an eyeshadow and a brush (fluffy face brush will do the trick) and use it to fill in the gaps. Be sure to use an eyeshadow that closely resembles the colour of your hair unless you want to look really silly. Filling in the gaps in your hairline and parting gives the illusion of much thicker hair.