The Christmas foods your hair will thank you for

Christmas is not really a time to be thinking about eating well, let’s be honest. From the early advent calendar chocolate-binge, to eating our bodyweights in Christmas dinner, and saying yes to that second helping throughout the whole of the “festive period” (read: from December 1st to late January, when the Christmas chocolates have finally ran out), it would be rude not to indulge, really.

We wouldn’t, of course, encourage you to miss out on what is arguably the best part of Christmas. Instead, we’re here to bring a nice surprise. Because, as it turns out, there are plenty of Christmas foods that are good for our hair- so it’s a win-win all round! Here’s a list of some of our favourite Christmas staples, and their surprising benefits to hair health:

Nuts

Whether you’re roasting chestnuts, salting peanuts, or shamelessly scoffing from the bag of caramelised cashews, you are, believe it or not, doing your hair a favour. Nuts are a great source of biotin, a vitamin known to help promote hair growth. Yes, most “sharer” bags of nuts do admittedly contain sugars, salts, and the occasional artificial sweetener, but it’s Christmas, and you’re trying your best.

Sweet potatoes

We’re glad sweet potatoes are so on-trend lately, because not only do they taste delicious (if you are yet to try them out of general fear of eating something such a vivid orange, we urge you to give them a go), they are also proven to be beneficial to hair. Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A, which helps to keep hair from becoming dry and brittle. So it’s definitely worth piling up those roasties on your Christmas dinner plate...

Christmas pudding

Okay, we had to stretch it with this one. We just want to be clear that there are no proven benefits of custard, or cake, or ice cream, or brandy, or anything remotely Christmas pudding-related… other than raisins. The raisins in your Christmas pudding are full of biotin, a B vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health. That more than justifies a second helping, right?

Sprouts

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, sprouts are a Christmas staple across many a household. If you’re going to try and force down a couple of sprouts this year in the name of “Christmas spirit” (or because your mum/nan/auntie is insisting you have some), try to find comfort in the knowledge that sprouts are, in fact, very good for your hair. Selenium in sprouts helps ward off dandruff and lets the scalp produce natural oil that promotes healthy hair growth. Okay, I suppose we can take just the one…

Eggnog

Again, work with us on this one. As well as being high in protein, eggs- as in, a key ingredient in your eggnog- contain biotin. Biotin is a B vitamin which is essential for scalp health and hair growth… meaning technically, there are some benefits to your Christmas tipple. Just don’t be downing them like water on a hot day because we’ve said that.

The cheeseboard

Ah, the cheeseboard- because after a day of eating, opening presents, eating, socialising with family members, eating, watching questionable TV, and- you guessed it- eating again, there is no better way to end the day than by settling down in bed with a good old plate of your favourite dairy selection. Luckily, as it turns out, certain cheeses are filled with protein, and a rich source of calcium, which is useful to maintain healthy, shiny hair.

Laura Shallcross
The Christmas tree hair trend is back- and it’s better than ever!

Ah, Christmas. If there is any excuse to showcase our general festivity and love for the winter season, we’re going to do it. And that’s why we love Christmas tree hair so much- because why would you limit your tree to sitting immobile in your living room when you could carry it round with you on your head?

For anyone who has been living under a rock and has somehow missed the yearly viral sensation, Christmas tree hair is basically how it sounds- using enviable creativity skills, women across the world mould their hair into a Christmas tree shape, and accessorise accordingly (think baubles, tinsel, and sometimes even green spray-one dye and actual lights).

Of course, the ultimate aim is usually to take a photo, post it to social media and watch it go viral (although kudos to you if you actually wear your hair like this in public). With December in full swing, it’s no surprise that on Instagram, the hashtag #christmastreehair has currently racked up an impressive 2,669 posts and counting. Because even if you don’t fancy rocking the look yourself, you’re still interested, right?

We have always loved the festivity of the Christmas tree hair trend from afar, but now we’re extra curious. How exactly does one shape the hair to look like a fir tree? And what about the logistics of accessorising? When string lights are involved, where are the batteries hidden? And, most importantly, how long does the ‘do last for?

Unfortunately, some of our questions are likely set to remain unanswered forever. But after discovering a Christmas tree hair tutorial on The General Beauty Bible (sorry, Instagram), at least the mystery of the actual hair styling has been answered.

The video, posted by @teamvanillarooms, is simply captioned “check out our 2018 Christmas tree”, and reveals the mystery behind the tree-shaped hair- the hair is moulded around what looks suspiciously like on of those cone-shaped party hats we all wore at someone’s birthday as a kid. Interestingly, the tinsel is added first, then the hair, then more tinsel, so it works in bits. Unsurprisingly to anyone, a lot of hairspray is used in the process.

By the end of the video, all of the model’s hair has been wrapped around the tree, and the finishing touch is added- a silver star and a handful of baubles. We must admit, we have seen people be more inventive with the decoration- but this look in itself looks difficult to maintain, let alone with an additional wrap-around string of lights and coloured spray to worry about.

So, our question to you is: would you rock this look? Or do you think it’s a bit OTT, even for Christmas? Personally, we think we’ll stay away from the look, simply because we couldn’t cope with pulling all the baubles out and untying the inevitable hairspray-based knots at the end of the work’s Christmas party, or wherever it is people actually showcase such a flamboyant look. However, if you do choose to go for it, good on you! Be sure to show us your pictures- we’d love to see them.

 

Laura Shallcross
The cure to baldness: finally here or too good to be true?

Hair loss: it’s something few of us will avoid in our lifetimes. According to the Internet, two-thirds of all men will eventually be affected by male pattern baldness. And it’s not just a male issue: around eight million women in the UK are thought to be currently experiencing hair loss. Although hair loss tends to effect men the most, and can often lead to baldness, hair loss in women is not as uncommon as it is often thought.

For most of us, hair loss is something to just quietly accept- a sign of ageing that comes earlier for some than it does for others. Some of us may be lucky enough to keep a full head of hair right until our old ages, whereas other men and women may start to lose hair from as early as their twenties. On the whole, most of us see it as an inevitable marker of growing older- one that cannot be prevented, and should therefore be accepted for what it is.

For those of us who do care about hair loss, there are plenty of so called “miracle workers” on the market today, and most aren’t cheap to buy. It’s a risk to spend money on such products, when hair loss is such a complex area of science, and to formulate a product that works effectively for everybody is virtually impossible. Similarly, be wary of the “home remedies” for hair loss, such as egg masks, coconut milk, green tea and, bizarrely, beetroot juice. Often these substances do not actually prevent hair loss, but work towards hair-strengthening, which is thought to slow down the balding process.

It might seem as if the mystery of hair loss will never be resolved, but behind the scenes, scientists have been working on hair loss remedies for years. There have been advancements made, but nothing too significant… until now, that is.

As reported in ScienceAlert, scientists at New York School of Medicine may have made a medical breakthrough, after discovering how to reverse the process of gradually going bald by successfully regrowing hair on wounded skin. Their research, based on tests on mice, could help develop better hair loss treatments in the future.

So what’s the technical babble behind the new discovery? The scientists activated a pathway in the brain called the sonic hedgehog, which is very active in the womb when hair follicles are being formed, but is noticeably less busy in damaged skin in healthy adults.

By stimulating communication along the pathway in fibroblast cells – the ones that release the collagen protein that gives skin and hair its shape and strength – the researchers were able to grow hair on wounded skin in mice with a few weeks... We will admit, this is impressive.

One of the team, cell biologist Mayumi Ito, said: “If we can get the right skin cells as chatty as they are in their embryonic form, we could eventually get hair growing back on skin damaged by scars and burns, as well as helping restore hair growth in people who've gone bald.

“That's still some way off – this research has so far worked in mice – but we now have a better understanding of the biological processes happening behind the scenes, when scarring and collagen buildup is happening naturally in a wound.”

Interesting stuff, right? This could be a big deal for the future of hair growth, as the doctors’ goal is to identify likely drug targets for hair regrowth. With current licenced drugs having possible adverse side effects, there is a definite market for effective, side-effect-less products. This is clearly just the beginning, but research is promising. We say watch this space…

Laura Shallcross
The 2019 hair colour trends- revealed

It might seem a long way away yet, but the reality is, 2019 is nearly upon us (it is just over a month away, in fact!). Before you know it, we’ll be making- and breaking- our New Year’s resolutions, preparing for a new start, and, if you’re anything like us, getting excited for the fashion trends the year will bring.

Luckily for us, there is already prediction aplenty amongst the experts about the hair colours that are set to be big in the New Year, as reported by Cosmopolitan. According to the online mag, the rose-gold highlights, deep reds, and icy platinum shades will soon be replaced by a whole new line-up, including:

·         Ash grey

Remember the silver obsession of 2018? Well, ash grey is similar, but without the icy tones. It is softer than silver hair, and starts darker at the roots, finishing with a light grey towards the ends. The colour can’t be achieved without bleaching, and the process shouldn’t be taken lightly, so it’s best you take this job to your hairdressers, should you be interested in it yourself. It also requires a fairly demanding upkeep, so if you fancy going grey any time soon, make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibility!

·         Inky black

Unnaturally black hair has had some stick for a while now for being, well, unnatural. However, we think there is a way to make black hair work for virtually everyone- although obviously your exact chosen shade should depend on factors such as skin tone, so that your hair doesn’t end up standing  out for all the wrong reasons. There’s nothing gothic about inky black- instead, think shine. The higher the shine, the better, with this shade. As inky black is one of the most daring shades out there in terms of upkeep, make sure you are prepared for the commitment that comes with maintaining the colour (think sulfate-free shampoos and plenty of hydrating hair masks) in between root touch-ups.

·         Pastel pink

Let’s face it, pastel pink never fully goes out of trend, ever. We think it’s gone, and then a celeb is spotted with newly-dyed pink locks, and it’s back to stay again. The pastel hair trend in general moves with the seasons in the same way that fashion does- and if the runway of the Marc Jacobs Spring 2019 show was anything to go by, it’s set to be another big year for the soft colour tones. As with ash grey, to achieve a light pastel pink will require bleaching, and your hairdresser can help you to achieve the desired colour. Believe it or not, there are multiple shades of pastel pink, ranging from the lighter tones, to the deeper, sharper tones.

·         Strawberry honey

We love it when a shade combination hits it off, and this is apparently the case with the set-to-be-massive strawberry honey colour that has recently picked up traction in the hair industry. A perfect middle ground between golden blonde and vibrant copper, strawberry honey brings out warm tones of gold and pink, with darker underlayers. It’s a long way away yet, but we can’t help thinking this creamy shade is a perfect summer colour.

Are you tempted to try out a 2019 trending colour ahead of time? Book in to see us if you’d like to chat about your ideas!

Image and information credit: cosmopolitan.com

Laura Shallcross
The water bottle hair-drying hack- our verdict

You already know we love a hair hack here at Q, so when we heard that Huda Kattan, aka the legend behind beauty brand Huda Beauty, had shared one of her own, we had to find out more. This one, weirdly, involves using a water bottle and a hair dryer to produce curls- and probably not in the way you’d imagine. Prepare for a work of investigative journalism at its’s finest.

Huda shared the hack with her 28.8 million-strong Instagram following via her account, @hudabeauty, which shows a video of a water bottle being cut in half, with a slit cut in one side. Hair is then placed inside the water bottle and a hairdryer blows air through the slit (if you’re not following this, give the video a watch- it’s short and will explain in ways we can’t!). This, apparently, gives hair a curly appearance.

In the caption, Huda writes, “OMG!! 😲 Have you guys tried this HACK?! Using a water bottle to create curls! I had to try it & I have to say it WORKS! This took me less than 1 minute to do MY WHOLE HAIR!! It’s got to be the best hair curling hack EVER! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Caution: make sure to wear gloves to prevent burning yourself, I hurt myself a little bit 😫”

We almost don’t want to believe it works. But judging by Huda’s curly ringlets at the end of the vid, it does. It seems the combination of the heat and the pressure of the hairdryer causes the hair to bounce around inside the bottle and twist, creating curls within seconds.

And Huda’s not the only person claiming that the hack works: a fair few people have tried it out themselves, with a large proportion sharing their curly after pics. This includes South Florida stylist Olivia Smalley, who shared a video of her attempt with her nearly 140,000 Instagram followers, writing, “Did this hack just BREAK THE INTERNET?! Died. Dead. A water bottle? Is this real life? I saw this on @asil page and I had to do a tutorial immediately!! I said to myself, there is NO WAY this will actually work.” Her video inspired others to post their attempts at what Smalley is calling the #blowthebottlechallenge (a very amusing hashtag to scroll down).

However, there are some people who were disappointed when the hack did not live up to its promise, with Evening Standard journalist Sabrina Carder writing: “I was optimistic about the hair curling trick as I love an at-home beauty hack, but alas, even to my poker straight thin hair it did nada.”

Similarly, Evening Standard journalist Meghann Murdock “My hair has refused to cooperate, even at the hands of some of the capital’s finest hairdressers, so I was surprised by the hint of a wave.”

So what’s the verdict? Personally, we don’t think this one’s for us. We can’t help but linger on Huda’s caution to wear gloves, because here’s the reality: applying heat so closely and directly to the hair isn’t going to be best for it, and not only that, it could melt the plastic of your water bottle. If you’re planning on trying this hack yourself, our advice is to proceed with caution. It might produce promising results, but Huda doesn’t specify how long the curls actually last, and the whole thing seems a little… well, DIY.

You might just be better off sticking with what you know and getting out the old curling tongs.

Laura Shallcross
Vitamin D: why your hair needs it

You hear vitamin D, you think… what? Sunlight? That’s what most people would jump to. And when it comes to the question of whether you get enough vitamin D, your answer would probably be no. The UK isn’t known for its heatwaves and endless hours of sun, of course. You probably just shrug this off. A vitamin deficiency is the least of your worries, right? Well- no, not really. And it’s helpful to be educated on the subject whether you truly care about it or not.

Which is why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve researched, and we come bearing answers: how exactly does a vitamin D deficiency affect your hair? What are the symptoms? And what can you do about it? Read on to find out.

First off, a bit of background info: the biggest source of vitamin D is, unsurprisingly, sunlight. But it can also be found in the following:

·         oily fish

·         red meat

·         liver

·         egg yolks

·         fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals

In short, vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which keep the teeth, muscles and bones healthy. During the autumn and winter, we are unlikely to get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight, which, if not acted on, can result in a vitamin D deficiency. Aside from impacting your muscles, teeth and bones, a lack of vitamin D can also negatively affect hair growth.

According to Express Online, the deficiency was linked to alopecia areata - an autoimmune condition which is caused by your immune system attacking your hair. Although more research is needed and the link isn’t entirely understood, the evidence is there.

Similarly- and less seriously- a deficiency in vitamin D can cause “an excessively sweaty head”, which is apparently a classic sign of the condition. We can’t imagine an excessively sweaty head would be fun to live with, so if you’re sweating up there for reasons unknown, it might be worth a visit to the doctor.

And that, on the whole, is that- hair loss and a sweaty head. It’s easy to forget just what a vitamin deficiency does to our body, and we should actively try and prevent this from happening where we can. Although hair loss can be a sign of many things- stress, pregnancy and ageing to name a few- it’s important that you consider all possibilities and get yourself checked out.

(Not so) fun fact: You’re more likely to become deficient in vitamin D if you’re over 50 years old, because the skin doesn’t produce as much vitamin D as people get older. So it’s all the more important that you make sure you’re getting enough of the vitamin if you fall into this age category.

If you are concerned about vitamin D deficiency, you can make sure to include the foods listed in this article in your diet, or you can take vitamin supplements. There are plenty to choose from, and 10mcg a day will be enough for most people.

Laura Shallcross
steps to maintaining healthy hair

You’ve just had your hair cut, you’ve had a little more taken off the ends than you would have preferred, but you can admit that on the whole, the outcome is worth it. But then two weeks later, your split ends are back in full force, your hair’s lost its shine, and you feel like you’re back at square one- only with shorter hair. It’s no wonder so many of us end up going for the chop so frequently that we never allow our hair to actually grow.

If, like many of us, you dream of bum-length, split end-free locks, you have to be prepared to sacrifice in a few minutes of daily hair care and general love. There are so many natural factors that can cause damage to hair over time, from sunlight, to pollution, to icy winds and low temperatures, not to mention the more obvious- styling with heat products being a good example. We’re here to tell you exactly how you should be looking after your hair in the long run if you want to grow it out without channelling shaggy dog.

1.       Avoid washing your hair daily

Not many people know this, but there is such thing as washing your hair too frequently. When you wash your hair too often, your shampoo and conditioner use can strip away the natural oils produced by your scalp, which help to keep your hair healthy. When these oils are stripped away, your hair becomes brittle, which results in the scalp overproducing oil to make up for the oils that have been lost. This means you end up in a cycle of wash-wash-wash as the more often you use your shampoo and conditioner, the more oil your scalp will produce- which will make it look greasy and therefore warrant another wash.

Tip: Try to only wash your hair two-to-three times a week. If you are struggling to cut down, be assured in your fact that your hair will adjust to the new shampooing schedule, but remember- there’s always dry shampoo for the greasier days.

2.       Let your hair air dry

Drying your hair with a hairdryer, or scrubbing it dry with a towel, both wreak havoc on your hair over time. Regular hairdryer use will cause heat damage (unless you have a cold air hairdryer, in which case, carry on as you were) and rubbing your hair with a towel can cause frizz, and damage the tips of your hair while it is in its more fragile, damp state.

Tip: Try to wash your hair when you don’t have anywhere to be afterwards, like in the evening, to allow it to dry naturally over time. If you do blow-dry your hair, do so on the coolest setting possible.

3.       Apply hair masks

We are very much of the belief that a good hair mask is practically a gift from the gods, and the good news is, they are now available in abundance in every decent hair and beauty store. There’s a hair mask for every bad hair situation: for taming frizz, facilitating hair growth, adding shine, repairing split ends and adding shine, to name a few. Hair masks are a great conditioner to revitalise tired hair, and we would suggest applying one two-to-three times a week to help maintain your hair’s overall health.

Tip: If you don’t want to part with your cash, you can make your own hair mask out of products you might just have in your kitchen cupboards already, like coconut oil, honey and egg whites (there are recipes galore on the big wide web).

4.       Switch your pillows

We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth reiterating: cotton pillowcases can cause breakage and tangles, which is pretty much impossible to avoid if you’re a nightly tosser-and-turner (like we all are). Get yourself a silk bedspread- silk is far kinder to the hair than cotton- and you’ll be reaping the benefits even as you sleep.

Tip: If you or your partner aren’t fans of silk bedspreads, wrapping your hair in a silk scarf should do the trick.

Laura Shallcross
Red wine hair-the new colour perfect for autumn

A new season is well and truly upon us, and what better time to switch up your look to something more autumn appropriate? As always, this time of the year, the reds, purples and oranges of the season prove popular in the hairdresser’s. And one shade of burgundy in particular is cropping up on our Instagram feeds again and again: a so-called “red wine” shade.

A particular viral post by @beautylaunchpad shows hair of an admittedly very realistic red-wine shade- with tones of deep purple and berry to create the autumnal colour, which they call “Cabernet Sauvignon”. The post has rightly racked up over one thousand likes, and we’re sure it’s inspired hairdressers and clients alike to give the colour a go.

There are plenty more examples to go off on Instagram; it’s worth checking out the #autumnhair, #berryhair and #redwinehair hashtags for pages and pages full of inspiration.

Want to rock the red wine hair look yourself? Anyone can make the colour work, and you can easily customize it to suit your skin tone- a brighter berry tone flatters fairer skin, while a dark merlot looks great on darker complexions.

What about original hair colour? The burgundy shade has red and violet undertones that blend perfectly onto a brunette base- although your hair might have to be lightened before the colour can be added, depending on the particular shade you’re going for (it’s all very technical). Be prepared for multiple sessions, or one long sitting, if you want the look to be at its best. It can take a lot of work to layer and mix several shades for the desired result.

Another idea for the red wine hair is to ombre effect it- because who doesn’t love a good ombre? Simply ask your hairdresser to keep your roots dark and gradually fade into the red and burgundy tones on the way down towards your tips.

Speaking of red wine… it turns out the real stuff (not just the colour) is actually proven to be effective against baldness and hair loss, as it contains Resveratrol, an ingredient that neutralises free radicals, which are believed to cause aging. More reason for that occasional after-dinner tipple, then?

Red wine is also a great hair treatment, if you fancy wasting one of your bottles on a rinse. Regularly rinsing your hair in red wine is said to protect against the radiation of the ultraviolet light from the sun, as well as fight dandruff, rejuvenate damaged hair, act as an excellent conditioner, strengthen hair, promote shine, fight free radicals and prevent ageing. Whoever said wine was bad for you?!

Laura Shallcross
What to know about your shampoo

It might be one of the least pressing worldly issues in general, but when it comes to shampoo… well, there are some good ‘uns and some not-so-good ‘uns. Hair health, strength and quality can be affected by your shampoo, so if you’re despairing over a lack of growth or tired ends, it might be worth re-evaluating the products you use for hair washing. You might be surprised to know that in some cases, a great shampoo is more important than conditioner. With this in mind, we’ve put together a lost of the things you need to know about shampoo, including ingredients to look out for- and ingredients to avoid.

-          Watch your alcohol concentration

I bet you’ve heard that a few times on a night out- but this is about the stuff going onto your hair, for a change. Certain fatty alcohols can actually condition dry hair, so we’re not saying to buy nothing with alcohol from now on. Instead, just try to stay away from anything containing alcohols in high concentration (listed in the top four ingredients), as this can actually have the opposite effect and dehydrate your hair.

-          Avoid sulfates (or sulphates)

Sulfates, or sulphates, are the things that make the suds in your shampoo (they’re also added to some cleaning products, which is kind of disturbing). Despite giving a rich lather which makes shampoo more effective, they’re known to cause scalp irritation, redness, and itching, and can also remove hair protein, which is essentially what causes hair to grow. A good percentage of percent of your hair is protein, and when the protein is damaged, it can weaken the hair, affecting its strength and appearance. We advise you to look out for sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate on the ingredients list, and avoid products containing these.

-          Careful with the silicones

Have you ever found that the more you wash your hair, the dryer it seems to get- and the more it “needs” to be washed? You used to be okay washing every other day, and now it’s a nightly job? Chances are, you’re using a shampoo containing silicones- that is, ingredients such as dimethicone, amodimethicone, cyclomethicone (if you can remember that mouthful). Although they’re great for smoothing unruly hair, they have a nasty habit of building up on hair and preventing oils and moisture from entering the hair shaft. This eventually causes hair dryness and frizziness that can feel impossible to shift.

-          Big up the natural oils

Any organic shampoo based on natural oils pretty much gets a big tick from us. Oils such as argan, coconut or avocado oil will ensure hair isn’t left thirsty or dry, which can cause brittle ends and stunt growth. It’s fairly easy to find oil-based shampoos on the high street today, and they don’t tend to cost a bomb, either. If you struggle with hair growth, an oil-based shampoo is one of the best treatments you can give it (just make sure that the oils are natural and not artificial).

-          The power of amino acids

Amino acids are a vital nutrient needed by our hair. They produce keratin, which helps boost and grow the hair, and also play a major role in the production of red blood cells that supply nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles, which again promotes hair growth. Look out for shampoos that are amino acid-based, or contain amino acids in high concentration.

Image credit: oprah.com

Laura Shallcross
Our top styles for shorter hair

The seasons are changing, and with it, you might also decide you want to switch things up in the looks department. If you’ve gone for the chop, good for you! It can be daunting cutting your hair shorter, although in many cases, having a shorter style actually looks neater, edgier, and is easier to maintain. And with La La Land and Easy A star Emma Stone recently having her hair cut into an effortless long bob, we can see a trend coming.

That said, you might be missing your long hair, just for the fact that it gave you a bit more freedom to experiment with various styles. If you’re fed up of doing the same thing with your shorter hair on the daily, we’ve made a list of easy-to-master styles to help liven up your shorter ‘do over the season.

The half-hair top knot

If you’re not sure whether you’re feeling tying your hair back or not, why not do it half and half with the half-hair top knot? Simply brush back the top middle section of your hair, making sure there is even hair left over on either side and at the back, and fasten in place with a bobble, wrapping around to make an easy bun.

Embellished

Good news: fashion show runways tell us that hair accessories are back in this autumn- and we’re not talking the tacky things you wore in high school, either. Buy yourself a head scarf from any of the high street stores and use it to push back the hair from your face, or experiment with vintage hair clips and brooches.

The plaited half-crown

A little more difficult, but still achievable: start by parting your hair to the side (right or left, whichever it falls most naturally). Then take hair from the side of the parting, at the very front, just above the forehead, and plait backwards and around over your ear, adding hair as you go. Make sure there is still hair below your plait; you’re not trying to use it all. Then secure your plait at the back of your head with a bit of hairspray and some hair grips.

Up the volume

Not every hair style needs more than a bit of mousse, and this is one of that doesn’t. If you’re hair’s naturally quite thin and limp, add volume by blow-drying upside down and adding some mousse to the roots. Once it’s dry, spritz with hairspray and you’re good to go.

Slicked back

It’s not a look for everyone, but shorter hair looks great slicked back from your forehead with some hair gel or wax. Simply apply a penny-sized amount to your roots and work backwards until your hair is evenly coated.

Wavy

Simply plait your hair and sleep on it (make sure the plaits aren’t too tight). Take out the bobbles the next morning, give your hair a quick finger run-through and voila! Look complete.

Laura Shallcross