This is a guest blog post from Annie. Annie has recently set up her beauty blog StumpyTitch. She has amazing hair that I am envious of which is why I have decided to feature her on my page. As someone who dyed my own hair at home for over 10 years, I’ve had some bad experiences. When I learned what worked for me, I loved the shiny new locks I had when I dyed it every 2-3 weeks (too often, I know!). With my time being so stretched over the last few years, I went back to my roots because I just didn’t have the time anymore. So for those of you who take the DIY route with your hair, I hope you find this post helpful and pick up some great tips!
I am afraid of hair salons. I feel uncomfortable in the chair, avoiding eye contact with all the mirrors looking at me and the stylist getting way into my personal space. Sometimes the lines of communication are not clear when it comes to what you want and it can get expensive.
I had long blonde hair on my 24th Birthday. My mother decided to treat me to a haircut and the guy cut my hair to under my ears. I am still traumatised. I stupidly tipped him €20 instead of the €5 my mother gave me to give him and I ran home. I have been doing my own hair ever since.
It all began with a Star Gazer bleach kit I bought in a shop in Stephens Green. I soon discovered that I could be more expressive with my hair and that I enjoyed my creations, so I moved on to the proper bleach and developers and began experimenting with colour. Here is what I learned along the way; Caring for and treating your hair is essential for style management (colour treated or not) and maintaining your colour.
I make a mask with coconut and Argan oil and leave it over night with my hair in a lightly tied plait. It may require two washes the next day but it leaves your hair clean healthy and manageable. This can also be used before a bleach job to protect the scalp from the chemicals. There is no need to wash out before bleaching. You will notice the difference in the way your hair behaves for a good few washes after this treatment.
A good shampoo and conditioner is very important for coloured hair. I find the colour conditioners not very good when it comes to caring for your actual hair so I always choose a repairing or moisturising conditioner. I swear the OGX Kukuí oil shampoo and conditioner is one of the reasons why I still have hair. If you have greasy roots its probably best to try their coconut one which is a bit lighter. I comb the conditioner through my hair with a wide-toothed comb to distribute it evenly and it is a step I never miss.
Another product I swear by is Garnier Wonder Butter leave-in conditioner. It obliterates knots, prevents hair damage and it is not oily at all. If this is not moisturising for the hair then it is definitely a protection for the hair as a brush or comb will glide through any knots without stressing the hair. Any leave-in conditioner will do, it depends on your preferences. Another fave of mine is the Boots coconut leave-in conditioner: Divine
For heat protection I use John Frieda Heat Protection Spray. Heat protection for any hair is important. It can help prevent damage that causes that little fuzzy crown you can see on hair that is often straightened. A ceramic plated straightener or curling tool causes less damage to the hair and creates a smoother hairstyle
Good brushes are important for drying and styling. I recommend the Head Jog brushes, which I think, are available in most hair shops and on Beautybay.com. Natural bristled brushes are smoothing for the hair and can make a blow dry look more voluminous and last longer than the metal curling brushes. A vital step that not many people are aware of when styling is letting the hair cool. If you heat style the hair for example with a hairdryer, click the cool button when you are finished with a particular piece and the volume and style will last noticeably longer.
Dry shampoo can help to hold a hairstyle for a day or two longer and is great to extend the time between washing. This is a must if you want to keep your colour and its great for people with greasy roots and dry ends. I use the COLAB Dry Shampoo because they don’t test on animals and they are environmentally and vegan friendly. You can also use cornstarch, which just needs a little bit extra rubbing and brushing in and actually gives amazing volume.
I cut my own hair and recently bought a professional scissors and I can tell you it makes a whole lot of difference. It is a smoother cut and much healthier for the hair. I don’t actually have a technique. I watch a few you tube tutorials and wing it each time, which may not be for everyone. I have had a few scarlet hair dos so snip at your own peril.
Always be gentle with your hair. Especially when wet as it is a lot weaker. Leave your hair to dry about 80% naturally before you style as this gives your hair a chance to strengthen. Don’t rub your hair in the towel, always squeeze dry and never ever, ever, drag a brush through your hair when it is wet unless you have a conditioning product in it. It might not feel like it but you are shredding your hair. Style the front of your hair first because there is no going back once that dries 😀
Coconut oil & Argan oil
You can find more of Annie’s posts here.
*Annie is not a qualified hairdresser and this post is not to discourage anyone from going to a professional hairdresser, but to give some advice and tips for those who change the style and colour of their hair at home.