Great hair from home
Hair seems like one of those things that you only had time for BC - before children. Now that kids have arrived on the scene, there is no doubt you make sure their hair is clean, shiny and nit-free but paying attention to your own locks tends to fall by the wayside.
Getting to the hairdresser can not only be a financial stretch in the early days of having kids, but seems so positively time-consuming that you wonder how anyone without a full-time nanny manages to get there.
Here's how to make sure your hair stays happy in those long gaps between trips to the salon:
Split ends make you look a wreck
To mend them temporarily, rub a dab of non-liquidy styling cream between your fingers and pinch it over frayed ends. Hand cream also does the trick; if you've got nothing else, conditioner will work, but only use the teeniest-tiniest dab or your ends will look stringy and you'll need to shampoo and start all over again.
Dry shampoo saves time, and oily roots
When there's no time to shower and your hair starts to get greasy, nothing sops up the sebum like an old-fashioned dry shampoo. Back in the days when women wore corsets, this was how most shampoos were sold - as powders that were sprinkled into the hair and then raked through the roots and shaken out again. Powders are less sticky and a bit easier to apply than dry-shampoo sold as sprays. You can even use good old talcum powder as a dry shampoo. To ensure an even application, sprinkle the powder onto a fine-tooth comb, then rake it through your roots. But if you're using talc and your hair is dark, make sure you do a double-check that you've brushed out all the powder or you'll look grey.
Banish birth hair
While pregnant, your locks become luscious and thick and then hair seems to fall out by the handful. Anyone remember the pictures of Katie Holmes on her wedding day with the broken hairs around her hairline? That's a common post-birth hair effect, so if it happens to you, get a fringe. A fringe will also make fine hair look fuller although will require regular trims. Learning to trim your own fringe in the bathroom can save plenty of visits to a hairdresser, too.
Flatten out flyaways
Mist a little hair spray between your palms or onto a clean toothbrush, then smooth over. The result won't be as greasy as with a cream or serum, especially if your hair is fine. For really stubborn strands, add a second layer of spray and blow-dry flat on low speed.
Blowdry like a pro
Those gurus at VS Sassoon reckon the easiest way to give yourself a salon-style blowdry at home by rough-drying your hair until it's around 80 per cent dry and then section it into four - two front on either side of your part and two at the back. Starting at the back with the hair in the nape, section off approximately a 5cm section of hair. If this section is wider than the brush, separate it into manageable amounts. Clip the hair to be dried later out of the way. Draw your brush over the surface of the section from roots to ends and follow the brush with your hairdryer with the concentrator nozzle attached, directing the airflow from your hairdryer along the length of the hair. Concentrate on drying the roots and lengths of the hair first and then worry about the ends which can be bent around the hair brush and flicked out or under. For a professional finish, the hair can be curled or straightened later once all of the hair is dry with a hot styling tool. Check that each section is fully dry before moving to the next step as any remaining dampness will cause your hair to frizz. Once all of the hair is dried you can finish it for a super sleek look with straightening irons or simply smooth over the surface a few drops of smoothing serum and a little hair spray if you wish to hold and protect the hair from humidity.
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