Ok. Let’s talk hair.
Throughout my adult years I’ve had pretty much every hairstyle and hair colour going – from black to blonde (with fiery orange and various shades of dip dye/ balayage in between) and from very long to very short with lots of mid length bobs, layers, fringes and waves along the way.
I’m thinking of putting together a little hair story – maybe the last ten years in hairstyles? If I can find photographic evidence that is deemed blog worthy I might just treat you all to a little trip down memory lane.
Anyway I digress. Basically I’ve always liked experimenting with my barnet. I never get precious about my hair, my view is that it always grows back (even after pregnancy when you get those fluffy little tufts around your hairline – yup those grow back too, don’t worry) and colour can always be dyed over/ changed. I started on the hair dye when I was around 11 (much to my Mums dismay – sorry Mum) and used to buy those hideous mahogany mousses and wash in wash out sachets from Superdrug, each time hoping they’d be strong enough to transform my very dark brunette hair. They never were of course so I’d end up piling about 5 of the treatments on at once and and be pleased as punch when my scalp came out bright purple. Chances are I’ve damaged my hair irrevocably over the years but… well what ya gonna do?? I got to live out my mahogany hair dreams at age 11 so I’d say it’s worth it wouldn’t you?
The thing is, over the last year or so, I feel like I’ve accidentally fallen into the boring camp with my hair. Actually worse than boring… I maybe even ventured into the realms of dowdy without even realising it!
A mixture of never having time to style my hair with a baby who won’t even let me go to the toilet on my own, always throwing it up into a messy bun out of ease, avoiding the headache of travelling into London with a baby to get my colour done and I guess just having so much other stuff on my mind that I just didn’t care enough, meant that my hair has been seriously neglected over the last while and as a result was looking all kinds of flat, dull and lacklustre at the start of this year.
The last time I’d had it professionally coloured was when Evie was only about 4 months old. I’d taken advantage of my Mum visiting so that she could accompany me to London and occupy Evie while I got pampered. But of course it wasn’t the relaxing affair a visit to the hairdresser previously was – I was still breastfeeding which meant I had to stop in between my colour and cut to do a quick boob feed before sending poor Evie on her way again, terrified that the fumes of peroxide in the salon would have some sort of adverse affect on her. My serious sleep deprivation and lack of brain functionality at the time meant I also went in not really knowing what I wanted. My long time colourist and all round great guy at Sassoon had had the audacity to go travelling and leave me in the hands of an unknown (!!) who persuaded me that if I wasn’t sure, it was best to just go for an all over colour in my natural shade (dull). As for the cut, I opted for a blunt bob very similar to what I’d had pre baby in the hope that it would make me feel like my old self.
Which of course it didn’t. (spoiler)
I mean I wasn’t unhappy with the colour or the cut, but it was just ok. Plain. Easy to maintain. Nothing exciting about it. Whereas pre baby, a simple short wob (wavy bob) made me feel young, and on trend, and sassy, this time around it felt frumpy and old fashioned and like I’d chosen a cliche ‘Mum Bob’ just because I was now a Mum. I should have known really – I was a very different person to who I was pre baby, I was an exhausted and stressed out Mum, who didn’t have time to curl my hair every morning, who wasn’t wearing the same stylish clothes I used to and who would inevitably end up rolling out of the house to a baby class with the same pants as the day before on, an unwashed, make up free face and greasy hair tossed up into a bun.
I liked the hairstyle when I had time to style it up, but on an average day where the GHD’s didn’t make it out, the cut ended up looking frumpy and the colour was just plain boring.
I guess I gave in to the Mum cliche and gave up caring for a while – I let the cut grow out, did a home hair dye every few months whenever an ‘occasion’ arose where I didn’t want those little grey hairs popping out and most days was definitely guilty of adopting the ‘Mum bun’ before rushing out of the house.
By the start of this year my hair was so dull and lifeless it was really in need of a little pick me up and I was in need of a new look. I have a habit of changing my hair around March time for my birthday, which always feels like a time of renewal for me after the long winter months (all my big hair changes – going bright orange, going from brunette to blonde, cutting my long locks off – have happened pre birthday). But I wanted to get it done before Evie’s birthday this time so we could take some nice photos and also so I’d look all cool in Amsterdam when we visited at the start of March.
I called upon a friend, who happens to own a hair salon, and shared my plight. He booked me straight in for a new colour, a fresh cut and a style overhaul. I’d been wavering around thoughts of a heavy fringe for a while (and that same friend had cut in some long bangs for me while on holiday in summer to ‘try a fringe out’ before going for the full look), and thanks to serious fringe inspiration via Liv Purvis’s recent chop, the decision was made.
Many warned me against a fringe as a time poor Mum – ‘You know a fringe is a lot of work right?’, ‘It needs styled each morning’, ‘it’s murder in the rain’. But my thinking was different – I was going to add style and interest to my look, even when I had no time. The Mum bun would no longer look last minute and unplanned and show off the grey hairs, it would look stylish and different and cover my unruly eyebrows. My five minute everyday hairstyle would (hopefully) give the illusion of a purposeful style statement rather than an insight into my disastrously unorganised life. Best of all, the minute that fringe got chopped in, the discarded locks would propel me straight out of the boring camp and back into the (mildly – I’m still me) stylish camp.
So I went for it. A full heavy fringe that blends out at the sides with longer lengths so that as it grows I can rock that Bardot/Christensen look (because let’s face it I ain’t got time for weekly fringe trims), and a blunt yet softly layered long bob that can be worn wavy, straight or fresh out the shower unstyled (the option that I usually have to settle with).
To get ready for spring, I ditched the dark brunette in favour of lighter blonder ends again (oh how I’d missed them – I think someone told me dip dye was for the young at one point and I mistakenly thought once I was a Mum I needed to opt for a classic look, which so isn’t me!) and I couldn’t be happier with the overall result. I’m going to keep going lighter in the approach to summer and hopefully have nice blonde tips by the time the sunshine arrives!
The only issue I’ve found with having a fringe is maintaining that volume and bounce that you get at the hairdresser. I soon discovered that my fringe looked terrible and never sat right if my hair fell flat after drying so I really need to ensure some body to my do to keep the fringe happy.
My hair is naturally fine and pretty straight so if I want volume and movement, well, I have to fake it with products and tools. Enter rollers, the large plate GHDs and curling tongs… although I only really have time for these on days when my Husband is at home and can afford me the luxury of dedicated time to doll myself up.
So at the moment I’m relying on products and there’s a few volume enhancing wonder products out there that really help. Lately I’ve been using Pantene’s Three Minute Miracle range. Their conditioner claims to be able to repair up to three months of damage in just three minutes and it’s been working wonders on mine, especially as I continue to commit the cardinal hair sin of continually tying it up daily and have a baby who loves to pull it out by the clump load all night long!
It’s ‘miracle’ is that it adds volume to your do, without weighing it down. The conditioner is light, goes on like a dream and smells delicious too. It’s my go to for keeping my hair looking full, glossy and fresh from the hairdresser bouncy. I deliberately left my hair un-styled in these photos to show you how it sits without the help of tongs, or straighteners and as you can see my fringe is voluminous while the rest is sleek and frizz free.
The range comes in 4 different variations, depending on hair type and the problem/solution you’re looking for and is available at Superdrug.
So that’s my current hair story – rocking a fringe and going for an easy, manageable day to day look that still feels like ‘me’. What’s your current hair story?