Let this be known: I am not a hairdresser. I am quite rubbish at doing other people’s hair, possibly able to pull off a simple plait or a high pony. I have no formal training and wouldn’t trust myself with a pair of scissors wielded on someone else’s mane though I have been known to trim my own. So if I offer, politely decline.
What I do have is a lifetime’s experience with naturally curly hair. Over the years me and my hair have fought, gotten along, sometimes been in love but have always been together. For better and for worse, in heat and humidity. In all the years I have learned a thing or two about what to do with it and how to do it.
Growing curly hair out is a challenge. Mine grows outwards not downwards and ends up a bit Muppety, so I’ve always changed my mind halfway through because it seemed an impossible task and a very unstylish one. This time, however, I persevered. It took a series of good cuts, headbands and a loooonnnnggggg time to get past my shoulders. My hair is now long, for the first time in my life I may add, and the learning curve has been intense.
Since I do not live in a warm, dry climate (everyone’s hair looks marv in Palm Springs btw. Second- home dreams, ahhhhh) but in the rainy isles, I battle frizz and fuzz and styling products are king. Luckily for me, I have lots of friends who are hairdressers, and they have helped me to find hair products, in a veritable ocean of choices, that really work.
Left to dry of it’s own accord, my hair does tight ringlets and looks a bit country and western but not in a good way. With the right styling product, I can let it air-dry and do a boho thing on boho days. The right stuff for this, for me, is Bumble surf spray which gives a beachy, windswept texture, “wherever and whenever” and has been making waves since 2001. Tis true. By the way, more hair, less makeup is a good rule to live by. Unless you’re going full Dallas or Nashville.
Most of the time these days, and almost always for work, I blow-dry my hair (use a heat-protective styling spray like Bumble hairdressers invisible oil or be prepared to feel the wrath of your hairdresser at trim time) then restyle it, with a tapered curling tong, to have curl! Ridiculous isn’t it? But I’m after controlled, grown-up curls that are more waves than curls and there’s nothing wrong with channelling your inner Farah! If only I could skateboard. Once the whole thing is done (that’s an hour out of my day, thank you very much) a certain finishing product puts it all together. The right stuff for this look, and now one of my all-time favourite hair saves, is Bumble brilliantine which, as it says, is “unique and hard to define”. I find it does indeed give “polish, and a languid, slept-in, sexy look”. It gives a bit of hold, separation and a touch of gloss (I sometimes smooth a bit over the Surf Spray if it looks too matte). Done but not ‘too done’ if you know what I mean. I keep a tube tucked into my handbag for touch-ups. You never know when you might need an emergency re-tousle.
My hair ‘top shelf’ has grown exponentially with my hair! Shampoos and conditioners, treatment masks, styling products. And tools. It never ends does it? Until I live either in Spain or Palm Springs, the mane needs all the help it can get. As with makeup, finding the right product (and there’s so many brilliant ones out there) can change not only your hair, but your confidence. Maybe even your life. They will also save you from this…