Festival Hair: 2019 Trends

It’s that time of the year again: the Hunter Wellies are being dusted off, the Vauxhall Corsas are preparing for their summer road trips, and the shops are selling out of wet wipes and miniature bottles of vodka. That’s right, it’s festival season, which can only mean one thing: an emergence of hundreds of wacky and intricate festival hairdos to get practicing on.  

We brought you the best festival hair trends of 2018, but a lot has changed since then. There’s still a clear obsession with braiding, but new styles have barged into the picture, and we’re here to share a few of our favourites with you. Bored of the flower crown? Keep reading…

1.       Accessories galore

This year’s obsession with chunky, retro-style hair accessories can definitely be used to your advantage at a festival, where everything is big and loud and excessive. Tying your hair up and sliding in an oversized hair clip or two is an easy way to vamp up any average festival look. Bonus points if you manage a bit of overall theming.

2.       Double-bun braids

The last thing you want to be doing at a festival is stopping to maintain the upkeep of your hair every other minute. You need a style that’s going to last for hours- maybe even days- on end. Enter double-bun braids. Simply part your hair into two sections and make two braids from either side of your forehead, plaiting all the way back until you reach the back of your skull.

Here, twist your remaining hair into two topknots that coincide with where each braid has ended. Pin, hairspray, and you’re ready to go. Glitter is a discretionary add-on.

3.       The neon fishtail plait

Another easy-last hairstyle of the 2019 festival scene is the timeless fishtail plait, vamped up slightly with the addition of neon wash-out hair dye. It’s a messy one, and your sleeping bag might never recover from the potential dye-smudge, but it makes an impressive festival look for certain. Bring all your hair round to one side of your hair and tie it in a bobble.

Next, separate your hair into two sections. Take a smaller piece from the underside of the right section and pull it across the centre towards the left section, and add it in. Repeat on the opposite side (YouTube tutorials are recommended for first-timers). Finally, spray with your neon hair dye of choice, and you’re officially festival-ready.

4.       Butterfly hair

We’ve seen an overabundance of flowers over the years of festival hair evolution, but butterflies? They’re a new one. Obviously, we’re not suggesting adding real insects to your look, but there are plenty of (unnervingly realistic) accessory alternatives available to buy on the internet. As with all hair accessories, you have the freedom to style your butterfly clips however suits you best, and you don’t need to be a creative pro to pull off the look- they look good even when clipped at random all over the head.

5.       The synthetic braids

Remember when you used to go on holiday, and your mum would let you pick a synthetic braid to be weaved into your hair by a lady on the street? Well, it turns out childhood nostalgia is back on trend for the 2019 festival scene. We’ve seen synthetic braid overload, in all different colours, with people weaving them into plaits, buns, or simply leaving hair down in a braid explosion. You can buy braids for fairly cheap off the internet, and they make an easy, colourful addition to any festival look- just be aware that they might not be the easiest things to take out…

6.       The brightly coloured turban

Last but not least, here’s a hairdo for your last day, when your hair has taken all the beer showers it can, and isn’t necessarily looking at its public-parading best: the turban. Turbans and headbands are trending this summer like they never have before, so you should find it easy to come across one in a style you like during your pre-festival shopping endeavours. Simply wrap and accessorise as you please, safe in the knowledge that only you and you alone know exactly what the situation looks like underneath.

Laura Shallcross
How pregnancy affects your hair

Okay, so science can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, but in small doses, it can be fascinating. This definitely applies to the subject of today’s post: how pregnancy affects your hair. If you fancy learning something that may never mean anything to you, but is something interesting to tell your friends all the same, read on.

If you, the reader, are a woman, chances are, you’re going to get pregnant. Not always- nobody said having children was a necessary aspect of anyone’s lifecycle- but a good overwhelming percentage of us will experience the pleasure (scoffs) of carrying a hefty baby around for nine months or so. With this being the case, you might find it valuable- or at least entertaining- to learn exactly what happens to your hair during those nine months.

If you’ve already experienced a pregnancy, you probably noticed how thick and shiny your hair was looking around that time. You might have even had people complimenting you on it, such is the appeal of the all-encompassing pregnancy glow. But then, after you gave birth- disaster! Your hair lost its temporary thickness, and, if anything, became thinner than ever.

This isn’t your mind playing tricks on you- hair growth really does change during and after pregnancy. Your hormones go into overdrive, causing hair to grow even in unwanted places, such as around your face, belly or nipples. The increased levels of oestrogen and androgen promote thicker, shinier hair- which unfortunately doesn’t last post-pregnancy.

Every single person’s hair goes through a natural three-stage growth cycle: growth, transition and rest. When you’re pregnant, your hair spends longer in the growth stage, which means it doesn’t shed when it usually would. This, in short, is why hair is so thick and healthy-looking during pregnancy.

Some women may notice other changes to their hair during pregnancy as well. Some may note a change in texture, with curly hair falling straight, or straight hair transitioning into curly. You might also notice your hair is greasier during pregnancy, and some people even find their hair changing colour due to an increase in melanin.

Once your hormone rollercoster has rode itself out post-partum, sadly, that’s when you will most likely have to wave goodbye to your thick, shiny hair. Your hair growth cycle will go back to normal, so you’ll start shedding hair at a normal rate again. This is why so many people think that their hair is thinner than ever after pregnancy- they may experience a sudden, dramatic hair loss that convinces them of that. In reality, your hair won’t usually be thinner than it was before pregnancy, even if it feels that way.

If you’re currently experiencing hair loss following a pregnancy, you might feel a bit shocked or distressed by it. Remember to stay calm and note that it won’t last forever. Even if your hair has fallen out quite quickly, leading to bald spots, everything should right itself out after a couple of months. In the meantime, continue to shampoo, condition and apply hair masks as you usually would, and you’ll be absolutely fine.

It’s worth noting that while most women will experience thicker hair during pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for it to go the other way, too. Sometimes, a lack of oestrogen, which can occur if you stop taking the pill, or simply from a hormonal imbalance, can cause hair to spend less time in the growth stage, which makes it shed more often and at a quicker rate.

All hair loss is nothing to worry about. It should return to its normal growth pattern by the time your baby is around 12 months old. As for if your hair changes colour- lightening is the most common- you might stick with your new colour for years after you’ve had your baby, or it might fade back to its usual shade eventually. The change shouldn’t be that noticeable, maybe just one or two shades lighter, and if you end up liking it, it’s a win-win situation all round.

The most important thing to remember, if your hair makes any sorts of changes during pregnancy, is that these changes are often not permanent. If you’d like more advice on how to look after your hair while you are pregnant, speak to your local salon professional. They’ll be more than happy to guide you on everything from the best products you should use, to things to avoid and things to look out for.

Laura Shallcross
Making it last: extending your time between hair washes

How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I’d love to only have to wash my hair twice a week, but I have to wash it every night, or it gets really greasy straightaway.” Maybe you are the person who says that? If so, you’re by no means one of the few. It seems most of us think that we need to wash our hair on a near-nightly basis just to keep the grease from settling in, but that’s actually not the case.

Here’s the problem with getting into a far-too-regular hair-washing routine: you’re not allowing your hair to work for itself. Every time you wash and condition it, you’re stripping it of its natural oils (the ones the cause the build-up of grease over time). “Why is that a bad thing, then?” we hear you ask. “Surely the whole point of washing your hair is to get rid of the grease?”

Yes, of course it is. But the problem with frequent washing is that it confuses hair. The faster the grease is stripped from the hair, the faster your hair will think, I’d better make some more natural grease to protect myself. Washing regularly actually causes hair to become greasier, faster- you’ve got yourself into a bit of a bad cycle.

Luckily, all is not lost, and there’s a way to get out of this cycle in the same way that you got into it. If you’re fed up with splashing out on ridiculous amounts of shampoo and conditioner every month, it might be worth putting your hair through this detox, so to speak, to save a bit of money on hair care alone.

In the same way that once upon a time, probably back in your teenage years, you started upping your hair washing routine and getting under the shower every time you noticed even a speck of oil at your roots, you can gradually decrease the number of washes you subject your hair to every week. The trick is to do this in stages- if you’re currently an every-night washer, it may be too drastic to immediately jump to twice a week.

It’s best to start by reducing the amount of washes you do per week by one, and then, once your hair gets used to that, two, and so on. Don’t give in immediately when you see how greasy your hair is when it’s due its usual wash. It takes hair time to adapt to fewer washes and understand that you’re no longer going to strip it of its natural greases so regularly.

Once your hair is adapted, however, it will start to produce grease in a much slower process than when you were frequently washing, meaning you can naturally wait for longer between washes without even needing the wash. Over time, you can eventually reach the point where you’re only washing your hair two or three times per week, saving on the cost of shampoos and conditioners at no cost to the quality or appearance of your hair.

Before we conclude, we should mention that sometimes, understanding the needs of your hair is more important than sticking to a strict washing schedule. There are some instances where hair washing is important for maintaining hair health, such as after you’ve been swimming, or endured a particularly sweaty session at the gym. In these instances, sweat and dirt will clog up your hair and give it that dirty, oily appearance that only a good wash can eliminate. Chlorine from swimming pools can also damage the hair, so it’s important to wash after you’ve taken a dip if you want to avoid split ends.

Getting into a less frequent hair washing routine is a habit that some people think just won’t work for them, but we would advise this: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You’d be surprised at how adaptable your really is, and a lot of the times, your hair is only greasy because you’ve programmed it to be that way. Obviously, certain hair types may require different approaches to care and maintenance, so if you’re unsure what is best for you, speak to your hairdresser and they can give tips and advice on how to have your hair looking and feeling its best.  

Laura Shallcross
Taking the chop: why short hair is underrated

Admit it: if you are one of the larger majority of the population, the thought of having short hair scares you a bit. There is so much emphasis on having longer hair as a woman, and how by doing so, you are somehow “more feminine”, sometimes even “more beautiful”. Short hair is often seen as “boyish” and “unattractive”- for no understandable reason whatsoever.

Luckily, the times are changing, and even those with the most pointlessly old-fashioned views on what makes a woman a woman are beginning to understand that a hairstyle is a form of expression, not a sign of gender. More and more women are going for the chop, but still, the short hair phobia remains, and it’s got nothing to do with looking like a man (pfft).

For many of us, we just wouldn’t know what to do with short hair. If you’ve had medium-to-long hair throughout your whole life, you may be daunted by the idea of something shorter at the thought of additional maintenance, or some hidden secret about how to keep it looking good that you might not know about. For the most part, there really is nothing to worry about. If you’re considering short hair but are worried you might hate it, here’s what to do:

1.       Talk to your hairdresser

This is always the first thing you should do if you’re considering the chop. A good hairdresser wants the best for you and your hair, and he or she will tell you honestly whether they think a short hairstyle will look good on you, and if so, what sort of length and style you should go for. They can show you pictures, discuss maintenance, and help you to get a better idea of what a certain style will look like on you.

2.       Find inspiration

There are so many beautiful celebs rocking the shorter hairstyle these days. Model-turned-TV presenter Emma Willis is a great example- she’s one of the most iconic pixie cut ambassadors of today. Emma Watson is another Emma who’s worn short hair well- and Emma Stone, for that matter. But the list really is endless- Halle Berry, Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway… get searching online and you’ll be surprised at just how many celebrities have embraced short hair over the past year itself.

3.       Take the plunge

Sometimes, you just have to take the YOLO attitude and do it. If your hairdresser’s supporting your short hair decision, as are your friends and family (and you’re sure they’re not just saying it to be nice), and you’re almost certain the style will suit you, what’s really stopping you? Chances are, you’ll love the decision you’ve made. If you don’t want the too-much-too-fast pressure of cutting everything off at once, you can always gradually chop down until you reach a length you’re happy with.

Short hair doesn’t get anywhere near as much love as it deserves. In terms of styles, in some ways, it is a lot more versatile than those on long hair, and you can experiment with layers and sharp edges in a way that a long ‘do just won’t pull off. And can we talk about how a short hairstyle can completely alter the shape of your face for the better? While long hair can often fall flat around your cheeks, hiding your features, you can use a short hairstyle to emphasize your face shape and flatter your assets.

Not everyone can pull off short hair, so if you can, count yourself as one of the special ones. Not only will you stand out from the crowd, but you’ll never have to fuss around with knots and the like either (or rarely, anyway). Short hair is a lot easier to maintain, and generally requires less attention than a head full of long, disobedient locks. The only thing to bear in mind is that you’ll likely need more regular cuts if you’ve got a particularly sharp style, to keep things neat and even.

So, the verdict: no, short hair isn’t for everyone. But if you can pull it off, and you fancy a change from your usual style, you should absolutely go for it. If you’ve never tried short hair before, even more reason to give it a go- it might just be the best hair decision you make in your life…

Laura Shallcross
The best hair products for worldwide travel

Summer is (supposedly) here, and we’ve all got travel fever on a major scale. Whether the summer holidays to you means driving down to the nearest beach, hitting up a capital city, or splashing out on a more exotic or lavish getaway, travel is something almost all of us will be partaking in over the next few months.

Taking hair care into consideration on your travels is likely not at the top of your priorities. You might think- and rightly so, in some cases- that hair care is inconvenient for trips away: a waste of suitcase space, a part of your at-home routine that you don’t feel guilty about leaving behind for a week or so (the same goes for general exercise and healthy eating, unless that’s just us).

While it’s true that there are far more exciting things to be doing on your escape getaway than making sure your hair looks and feels fabulous all the time, exposing your locks to an unfamiliar environment with different temperatures, humidity levels, and even pollutants, can cause irreparable damage. With that in mind, we’ve devised a list of the key hair products that are easy to slip into your suitcase, based on where it is in the world you’re visiting.

1.       A major city

Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting, a major city’s climate can vary drastically, but there’s one thing that will never change: pollution. Dust, gasses, and dirt from vehicles and the like can leave hair dry and weak, leading to split ends and scalp irritation. The solution here is not to wash your hair like a maniac every night- this will only strip your hair of its natural oils, which are essential to keeping it healthy.

Instead, consider bringing with you one or two products that will help keep your hair shielded from the worst of the pollution. Many brands now make targeted products for just that, which work by coating the hair with a barrier of sorts, to protect the dust and dirt from penetrating. It’s also worth bringing a good conditioner with you, so that you can rehydrate your hair once or twice as a part of your hair washing routine. Products aside, keeping hydrated and wearing a hat can help in general to keep hair healthy and moisture-rich during your stay.

2.       A beach location

If you’re visiting the beach on your holidays, chances are (and hopefully so), you’re going to be exposed to a bit of sun. While we all love the feeling of the warm rays on our skin, these can damage the protective outside layer of hair strands, leading to discolouration, weakening, and a bad case of split ends.

The solution to this problem is clearly not to hide away inside all day and avoid the sun for all it’s worth- you came on holiday to get a tan, after all- but there are ways aside from wearing a hat that can help keep your hair protected. Special products focusing on shielding hair from UV rays are widely available in most drug stores, and can be sprayed onto hair at any point in the day to offer long-lasting protection. The natural UV filter should help to keep your strands safe from sun damage, meaning you won’t have to fork out for an essential split end chop once you get home.

3.       A desert

Desert climates are known for being dry, harsh and moisture-sucking, so it’s important that you’re equipped with the tools to restore moisture and keep your hair happy and healthy in the heat. Leave-in hair masks are a great solution in general, but if you can’t be bothered with the fuss of applying one, there are simpler things to take with you in your suitcase.

There are a number of sprays and balms to target hair hydration that are the perfect size for travel, and can simply be applied to the roots as and when you feel your hair needs it. Aside from these more specialist products, there’s nothing wrong with using a good old moisture-restore shampoo and conditioner, too. If you don’t want to take a giant bottle in your suitcase, look for brands that offer travel-sized versions of their products.

Laura Shallcross
Hair bands, peach cobbler, safety pins... the latest spring 2019 hair trends

The summer season is fast emerging, we've hit July already- it's time to assess the latest spring/summer hair trends the internet has to offer. From nineties hair bands, to peach cobbler hair, to a safety pin parting, it's certainly another interesting one.

Throwback hair bands

Have you noticed how many blasts from the pasts are reappearing this year? We've had vintage hair clips, scrunchies, and claw clips- and fast to join them this summer is the neat straight hair band of the nineties.

This season, we've seen celebrities and influencers alike using hair bands of all colours, textures and thicknesses to push hair away from the face, like we used to do in PE. It's great to see something that was renown for being both practical and stylish making a comeback.

Peach cobbler hair

We always enjoy the inventive names of hair colour trends, and we're not disappointed by the newest one to grace our Instagram feeds: peach cobbler hair. We've seen similar colours trending in autumn, but peach cobbler hair is a lighter, blonde colour infused with peach tones (hence the name).

The term was first coined by American hairstylist Chad Kenyon, who said in an Allure interview that he "painted a soft shadow-root, lowlights, and a global-gloss (all over) with varying nutmeg-infused peach tones" and "vanilla bean ice-creamy blonde dimension throughout her hair by balayaging and strobing."

Peach cobbler hair works perfectly for summer because of its warm tones, and legitimately does remind us of the sweet summer dessert. The colour would work well on those with natural blonde or light brown hair, and especially on natural redheads. Shades vary, but we particularly love the one in the image featured above, created by Helsinki hairstylist @hairbylindal.

Safety pin parting

As far as hair accessories go, we've seen some pretty unique ones over our time, but we wouldn't expect anything from our stationary drawer to make it onto the list. However, we've been proven wrong by the latest summer hair trend, set by American model Yara Shahidi, who posed with a braided middle parting adorned with safety pins.

The style was the work of Yara's hairstylist Nikki Nelms, who has made a bit of a name for herself using craft store materials in her celebrity clients' hair. She arranged the safety pins in a criss-cross pattern along Yara's parting, from front to back, where the rest of her hair was pulled into a neat low bun.

Lobs

If you're from certain parts of the UK, you might think "lob" refers to throwing something very hard (just us? Okay). In this instance, a lob is simply an easier way of saying 'long bob'- a hairstyle that's made its way back onto the runways this spring/summer season.

Lobs have been around for ages, but there are always ways to freshen them up and make them unique to a new season. Lobs look particularly good with a Balayage effect hair colour, and are equally as effective with sharp, bold tones.

Championed by celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Olivia Munn, the 2019 lob isn't set to go anywhere soon. It's ideal for if you fancy a new look without subjecting your hair to a substantial chop (a decision you may regret later). A good lob will skim your collarbones, and should be slightly longer at the front, with a heavier appearance at the back.

In summary

In all, it's set to be another busy season for hair trends. With shorter styles and warm tones gaining their usual summery popularity, we're not surprised that lobs and peachy shades are proving so favourable at the moment.

The same goes for throwback headbands- the practicality of being able to scrape back your hair on a hot summer's day makes them a trend worth jumping on. As for the safety pin hair, as artistic as it is, we think we'll give that a miss. But it will be interesting to see if the trend takes off and results in specifically designed safety pin hair accessories making it to the high street stores.

Laura Shallcross
The perm has returned! What to know about the 80s hairdo

We love it when trends from the past come back in fashion. Admittedly, some things, like fluorescent leg warmers, handlebar moustaches, socks with sandals and male rompers, never deserved to resurface for a second time, but there are plenty of past reincarnations to celebrate. Double denim, leopard print, flares, dungarees, thick rimmed glasses… yes please. And perms? Things just got exciting!

It’s almost too good to be true: perms are back. The throwback hairstyle first got popular in the 80s, and at the time, it seemed like every high schooler had one. Apparently, the reason for the sudden popularity was that girls were finally starting to grow their hair long, after it had been a trend to keep hair short for such a substantial period of time.

At the height of its fame, the perm was seen on many famous celebrities, including American actress Sarah Jessica Parker, and, of course, Sandy after her glow-up in the last few acts of Grease. Sadly, by the 90s, the perm has already run its course, and was replaced by crimped waves, the high ponytail, feathering, and questionable half-hair braids.

While it seemed like perms might be a, well, permanent thing of the past, now, nearly thirty years after their big debut into the fashion spectrum, they appear to be coming back. Hair salons are offering them to customers once more, catwalk models have donned the look on the runways, and even a few celebrities (Spider Man’s Emma Stone included) have been seen showing the look off.  

So, for those of you who aren’t old enough to be sure of this, what exactly are perms? Put simply, they are essentially a permanent way of keeping your hair wavy or curly- ideal if you’re sick of brandishing the curling iron every morning, or worse, wearing rollers to bed, just to achieve your desired look.

You can expect a perm to last for a few months, after which it’ll take another trip to the hairdressers to get a touch-up. Back in the day, perms broke down the hair using chemicals that reform it into a different shape. Definitely not the healthiest process for the hair, but as with hair dye, sometimes things have to be done in the name of looking good.

These days, something called sodium thioglycolate is used instead of the nastier chemicals, but other than that, the process hasn’t really changed. Unfortunately, the price has changed with the times- you can expect to pay around £70-150 for a decent perm job lasting several months. But you can expect a more bespoke treatment than you could have got back then, which should tailor the perm to your hair type as much as possible.

Wondering what the rules are once you’ve had your hair permed? Looking after a perm takes some work, but shouldn’t be too different from your usual hair care routine. You should aim to avoid washing your hair for at least two days after the perm, and don’t comb your hair for the first 24 hours. After that, it’s just a case of treating hair like it’s naturally curly, moisturising it to prevent dryness, and using oils as leave-in conditioners to keep it healthy.

If you’re thinking about dying permed hair, it’s best to consult your hairdresser first, just to check that it’s okay to do so. You can use heat styling tools on permed hair, so it shouldn’t limit you in any way. You can’t wash your curls out, either, so don’t be afraid to take regular showers- in fact, we insist!

The future of the perm, and whether the style really will take off as the next big trend of 2019, is uncertain as of yet. But what’s really important to remember, if you’re considering a perm, is that it is incredibly damaging to your hair. Think about it- the process breaks down every single bond in your hair, then reforms it into something unnatural. Some hairdressers will simply refuse to do perms because of the damage they would be doing to their clients’ hair (and there really is no avoiding this damage, no matter what you might have heard). You’re entitled to treat your hair however you want- just as long as you know what you’d be putting it through with a perm!

Laura Shallcross
Do hair colouring policies put a stop to self-expression?

It wasn’t so long ago that if you dyed your hair the slightest shade of unnatural, you were assumed a societal outcast and given a wide berth by nearly everyone. Luckily, some much-needed progression has led to hair colours all across the rainbow spectrum not only being respected but adored- and often, it’s a case of the brighter, the better.

These days, you don’t have to label yourself as anything out of the ordinary if you want to dye your hair a non-natural colour: you can simply do it because you think it looks cool, or you fancy a change. More and more people are requesting more vibrant, less natural looks at the hairdresser’s, and the semi-permanent and permanent market for more “unusual” shades like silvers and pastels is expanding by-the-minute.

It’s quite clear that non-natural hair colouring is more than just a trend: it’s a choice of self-expression that’s here to stay. There’s something of a thrill that comes from experimenting with a shade that a person can’t naturally be born with- not to mention the gorgeous colours that can be achieved by a hairdresser with the right skills and knowledge. So why, we wonder, are there still rules and regulations as to non-natural hair colouring in the work and education sectors?

Many of us can probably think back and recall the numerous unnecessary regulations regarding uniform, hair, makeup, jewellery and nail varnish at our own schools. In the majority of educational institutes, the somewhat old-fashioned rule that states hair can only be dyed a natural colour still exists.

While it is understandable for a school to want its pupils, as representatives of the establishment, to look smart and tidy, it is confusing how and why hair colour comes into play in this. A student with hair of a non-natural shade can represent a school just as well as a student who has dyed their hair blonde or brunette, surely. Non-natural hair shades do not decrease a person’s smartness.

In the workplace, the situation is slightly better, although the rules do tend to vary from one workplace to another. Largely, if you work in the retail, entertainment or food industry, and perhaps in some office environments, there may not be any rules concerning hair colour of too much of a suffocating nature.

However, those that work in careers related to law, finance, teaching, and some customer-facing jobs, may be expected to “tone down” hair colour as part of their job role. It is understandable that professionalism is an important aspect of any job, but it’s a shame that even today, there are strict rules on what is and isn’t considered professional, and non-natural hair falls into the latter.

There’s been some debate about whether being told by your workplace how to wear your hair is considered discrimination or not, and there have even been cases taken to court regarding the subject. Unfortunately, though, while it may seem unfair, being told you need to keep your hair a natural colour is not discriminatory- especially if it is mentioned in the contract you signed when you started your employment (and it most likely is).

Different businesses have different regulations, and it may not always be obvious to you what these are until you are working within a company. If you consider your non-natural hair-colouring as a form of your self-expression, all that can really be done on your part is to ensure you select a workplace that is accepting of all hair colours, even ones that are considered “extreme”.

Workplaces have come a long way since the days of no tattoos, no earrings, minimal makeup and hair tied back and not dyed, which gives hope that attitudes will continue to evolve to a much more liberal approach to hair colour, and a re-evaluation of what is and what isn’t considered “professional” will take place.

As with schools and other educational establishments, it doesn’t seem likely that the “uniform policy” will change anytime soon, which, in many cases, you could argue will only encourage a resentful relationship between pupils and their teachers. Perhaps one day in the very distant future, children will be celebrated for embracing their own appearance and stylistic choices, but for now, the rules must be obeyed… ridiculous as they may seem.

 

Laura Shallcross
Dry shampoo sheets: the latest hair revolution?

We've recently talked about keeping your hair hydrated and healthy over the coming summer months, especially if you've got a trip away planned. But we can appreciate that hair maintenance is hardly ever quick and easy. To really give your hair the TLC it needs, you need plenty of time on your hands, for a start- so not ideal if you're on a long-haul flight or out and about seeing the sights all day.

There are a few hair-boosters, so to speak, that exist on the market today. One of them, dry shampoo, is up there with the most popular, but let's face it, it's not the most ideal hair product out there. For a start, it leaves white patches in your hair, and gives it a funny texture- not to mention that it's been linked to hair loss and all sorts if used excessively.

With a lack of any really decent portable, travel-friendly hair product at the present, it was only a matter of time for something to swoop in and claim to be the solution to all of our out-and-about hair issues. Meet dry shampoo sheets. Kind on your bank card and easy to slip into your handbag, these little wonders promise to tackle static, frizz and grease while you're on your travels (or just whenever you fancy using them, really).

As with all new products that claim to be the next best thing, research has to be done to see if they're worth their word. For us, the first step was to understand exactly what they are, and what makes them different from what's already available in our local beauty stores. In short, why should we give them our attention?

Appearence-wise, dry shampoo sheets are not actually very sheet-like. They're more like tiny cotton makeup wipes that you essentially rub onto your hair from the roots to the tips as a sort of shampoo that doesn't involve actual showering. There's no need to do anything once you've rubbed the wipes around your hair for a bit; apparently that's all it takes to give your locks a bit of a refresh.

So, the benefits of dry shampoo sheets are probably obvious. They're ideal for using on hair on-the-go, so if you haven't got time for a full wash, you might just have found your solution. Unlike dry shampoo spray, they don't leave a residue, nor do they leave that funny dry shampoo smell lingering about the place (actually, the ones we found online are said to have a "deodorising natural fragrance", which could, to be fair, mean anything).

In terms of how dry shampoo sheets are supposed to improve hair, apparently, they work to absorb excess oil from the hair without weighing it down or leaving a powdery residue. If these do work, that's certainly something to be impressed with- although we do worry that regularly stripping the hair of its oil would only encourage it to produce more oil to make up for it, leaving you in a greasier situation than you started out in.

Would we recommend using dry shampoo sheets every day? Definitely not. In the same way that we'd advise against repeated use of dry shampoo spray, compared to an actual, proper wash, the sheets just aren't going to make the cut. But if you're after a bit of a refresh on your travels, or if you've been swimming or gyming and you fancy giving your hair a much-needed tame to keep it going for the rest of the day, why not? They're the perfect portable size for carrying round with you, so you may as well take advantage of them where you can.

With everything said, there definitely needs to be more info out there about dry shampoo sheets before we go rushing to buy a pack ourselves. So far, only a few limited companies sell them, and not all reviews are fantastic. It seems the sheets are substantially better for hair than the spray, but we'd definitely like for more to be made of this emerging trend before we can fully give our verdicts on it. Right now, we'd say that they would make a good emergency go-to, and nothing more than that.

Laura Shallcross
Packet hair dye vs a salon job: what’s the difference?

We love hair dye. Sure, natural hair is nice, but when there are so many colours to experiment with, the temptation to try out a new shade is often too strong to ignore. That’s why we’re grateful that these days, it’s so easy to dye your hair, whether that means doing a DIY job, or getting it professionally done at a salon.

No matter which hair dying method you go with, the results are marginally the same- or so it would appear. But actually, there can be quite a difference between a quick at-home hair dying sesh with an extended salon treatment. Multiple differences, to be exact. Read on if you want to know what they are…

Hair health

If your hair health is important to you, it may be worth considering that packet hair dyes are often far worse for your hair than salon colouring. PPD, a harsh chemical found in many permanent home dyes, causes toxicity to the hair, and peroxide, used in many blonde dye kits, can cause damage to the hair if you use the incorrect level- which, as a DIY hair-dyer, you probably will.

At a salon, you can relax in the knowledge that you’re letting a professional mix up your hair dye formula for you. Your hairdresser should know exactly which ingredients are in which hair dyes, and how much of them to use, in order to achieve the safest (and more attractive) results. They can use specifically-designed chemicals to achieve a more dramatic colour change without negatively affecting hair.

Lasting length

Many home dyes, especially the cheaper ones, do not last for longer than a month, maybe two months, if you are lucky. After this time, the colour will begin to fade, which means even if you do a root touch-up with the same colour dye, the majority of your hair may look muted in comparison.

Salon hair colour tends to be a stronger formulation, helping the colour to stay bold and vivid for a longer period of time. While your roots will start to show after about 4-6 weeks, you should be able to return for a root touch-up that won’t look noticeably bolder than the rest of your hair.

Cost

Here is why perhaps so many people are put off going to the hairdresser’s for a professional dye job: it costs a whole lot more than a packet dye. However, you get what you pay for. Packet dyes are by no means useless, but they won’t produce results anywhere near as promising as a salon colour can.

When you’re looking for salons to have your hair dyed at, make sure to do your research and read the reviews. Beware of salons that offer too-good-to-be-true low-priced dye jobs. Most likely, there’s a reason for the drop in cost- a lack of training amongst staff, or cheap ingredients for the job. It’s usually better to pay a little bit more for an excellent job from a reliable professional.

Colour accuracy

There is so much secret insider hairdressing knowledge that, as a non-hairdressing human being, you simply won’t have the access to. A lot of this knowledge involves hair colour- namely, the science behind the different shades, and how exactly to achieve a colour on all hair types.

When you buy a packet hair dye, chances are, your hair isn’t going to look anything like the colour on the box. This is because hair dye really isn’t a one-solution-suits-all: our natural hair colour very much determines the outcome of the dye job. Hair dyes often end up being a shade darker in real life than they are on the packet, so most likely, you’re not going to end up with the colour you wanted.

There is certainly more convenience in going to your local salon to have your hair dyed, too. Your hairdresser can make sure your whole head is coloured evenly, which is quite hard to do yourself at home, with only the help of a couple of mirrors. They can also tailor to your specific requirements, such as if you want highlights, and offer professional advice or recommendations based on what you’re after.

The Verdict

While there is nothing horrifyingly wrong with packet hair dyes, it’s clear that parting with a bit more cash for a better job at a hair salon is the winner out of the two. No matter which option you go for, just remember to do a patch test beforehand (your hairdresser should provide this anyway), and look after your hair with plenty of conditioner and colour-specific shampoos in the months following your colour change.

Laura Shallcross