The tools and products to help you lock down a new hairstyle
Until hairdressers reopen we’re on our own, but there is fun to be had in styling at home
For an undone wave, a heat-protecting spray, curling tong, mask and dry shampoo are some tools you will need
Joan Crawford said “I think the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent, of course – is her hairdresser.” She was evidently wrong. The most important thing a woman can have is obviously robust health and a bank account in her own name. A decent hair stylist isn’t that far down the list, though, as we’ve all discovered these last weeks. I regret ever having complained about the cost, the length of the appointments, or the distance between my house and the salon. When next I see a hair professional, I will melt into their arms and beg forgiveness.
Until then, we are on our own and there is fun to be had with that. Learning new styling skills is enjoyable (there’s an uplifting sense of achievement to creating a decent-looking style alone). It will also make hair that may be mostly roots, or mostly vitriol, look “on purpose”.
My go-to is always an undone wave. It works for all hair lengths (provided you have enough to wrap at least once around a heated styling tool) and since the aim is “charmingly imperfect”, you can’t really come away looking dishevelled and possibly unhinged.
If you tend toward frizz, use a good mask such as Living Proof Weightless Mask (€39 at livingproof.co.uk) after shampooing. It will soften the hair without making it heavy or lank.
Skipping conditioner entirely will give you hair more accommodating to texture (which is good in a wave), but not all of us can do that.
Before styling, spray L’Oréal Professionel Tecni Art Pli Spray (£12.05 at lookfantastic.co.uk) through lengths and ends. It is used by every top stylist I’ve ever met for heat protection and to force elasticity into the hair – it will help the wave to take and to stick around.
A good hairdryer is the best place to start. Elegant Europeans may be able to air-dry their hair and end up with glossy tresses, but everyone knows a head of air-dried Irish hair looks like tumbleweed. I consider the GHD Helios Hair Dryer (€169 at ghdhair.com) currently the best dryer on the market for power, heat and price.
The new neo-mint colourway got me right between the ribs (so help me but I can’t resist a pastel). Being mint doesn’t make it more effective, but it makes it considerably cuter, and at the current time, I’ll seize small joys where I can.
For a loose wave, you could use a straightener (there are plenty of tutorials online) but a curling tong is easier. The bigger the barrel, the looser the wave. I use the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong (€149 at ghdhair.com). You may be detecting some repetition here, but I find that ghd tools are effective and very long lasting. The waving technique takes practice but isn’t rocket science.
To finish, run your fingers vigorously through the hair to break up the waves (brushing will create puffiness) and use a texture spray to enhance and preserve them. A shot of Tigi Revitalising Dry Shampoo (€19.90 from selected salons online) will also do the trick and give significant body at the roots.