Break ups are never easy. You’re always left questioning whether you’ve done the right thing and can’t help but feel like something’s missing. But sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and know when it’s time to say goodbye to your locks.
My ends had unfortunately tapered into what appeared to look like rat’s tails, which meant they gotta go. So, after putting it off for well over a year, I finally got my hair cut. As much as my friends and family love my new length, saying it looks more ‘sophisticated’ and ‘mature’, I just couldn’t love it as much without those mourned six inches. Deep down, my childhood longing for long blonde hair, so that I could become just one ~ and I really mean just one ~ step closer to looking like the Hollister models everyone was sporting on their year 8 PE carrier bag, seems to have never truly faded. You know what I mean, right? The kind of girls next to all those ‘sea, sand and salty hair’ quotes on tumblr. As much as I envied this look, I couldn’t fully say goodbye to my brunette roots, so a balayage was always the best idea. Whilst all my blonde dreams have finally come true, growing back my length would be the icing on this perfectly toned and highlighted cake.
After scouring the internet for the gospels of Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, I’ve compiled a short list of tips and tricks that I’m going to implement into my own hair care routine, in pursuit of the miracle that is length and shine.
Sulphates are chemicals hidden in most drug store shampoos and are responsible for the foamy suds we all know and love. Unfortunately, sulphates also strip hair from natural proteins and moisture, making it brittle and prone to breakages. To combat this, I recruited TRESemmé’s Colour Shineplex sulphate-free range, which has been formulated to deliver ‘vibrant colour and shine for up to 12 weeks without the use of parabens, dyes or sulphates’. I’ve been using the Shineplex shampoo and hair mask for a good year now and have noticed a huge difference in shine and overall hair health. I flirted with the idea of completing the trio, but instead remain loyal to the Garnier Ultimate Blends conditioner. I try to limit shampoos to 3 times a week max. but this can creep up to 6 when I’ve had a particularly sweaty week in the gym. It takes a hot minute to get used to the lack of lather accompanying any sulphate-free blend, but it does encourage you to properly work the product into your scalp. I try to rotate every 4-5 washes with a hearty helping of purple shampoo to neutralise any brassiness in my blonde, especially when I’m freshly balayaged and pushing the limits in my tone. I’ll follow through washes with a hair mask maybe twice a week and have been known to sport a leave-in situation when I’m home all Sunday and the only witness comes from my brief encounter with the local corner shop man.
I first heard of micro-fibre towels after watching a Zendaya hair care routine video a couple of years ago, but it turns out they’re a pretty mainstream tool in caring for your barnet. Regular cotton towels are made up of tiny hooks that get tangled with hair strands and cause friction, meaning they’re creating both frizz and those all too dreaded breakages. Hearing my precious (only because they’re fine and few) locks snap is akin to smashing your favourite mug – there’s no going back, what’s done is done and you’ve bloody bROkeN it! You can get micro-fibre towels really cheaply on Amazon – I think mine was about £4 from a dodgy-looking wholesaler. Just make sure you check the size! Micro-fibre towels are also used as cleaning aids and a 30x30cm rag isn’t going to do much for you, unless you’re looking to Mrs Hinch your bathtub.
Okay. Humour me on this one. Apparently, regularly massaging your scalp can increase blood flow to your roots and stimulate hair follicles to grow. I have tried doing this a few times but, more often than not, it takes a grand total of 2 minutes before I’ve succumbed to boredom and given up. If you’ve got the patience for this, then all power to you, sis. If for nothing else, at least it’s mildly relaxing.
GO HEAT FREE
Wet hair is not a good look on anyone, unless you’re a Bond girl or one of the 1% of people who can pull off the ~ sexy ~ slicked back wet-look. So what better time to go heat-free than during an indefinite global quarantine, where the damp patches on the back of your t-shirt are a symbol of au naturel self-care, rather than a lack of time in the morning? I blow dried my hair almost every single day throughout the entirety of my teens, which probably didn’t do me the world of good. Although, if I’m honest, eliminating my daily blowdries hasn’t made much difference – at least noticeably. However, reducing my use of direct heat from straighteners and curlers has made a huge difference in terms of moisture, shine and delaying the development of split ends. When I do use heat, I try to wait until my hair is at least 50% dry and then go in with TRESemmé’s heat defence spray and a medium-low heat. If you’re in the market for a new hair dryer, I can recommend an ionic model like the Remington ionic dry 2200, which has been designed to transfer negatively charged ions to the hair; sealing cuticles to tame frizz and boost shine.
TRESemmé’s Colour Shineplex shampoo
TRESemmé’s Colour Shineplex hair mask
Garnier Ultimate Blends conditioner
Charles Worthington ColourPlex Toning Ultra Violet Shampoo
Remington ionic dry 2200