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My Daily Hair Essentials

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I often get asked about my barnet. Usually the colour – many a girl has approached me whilst out shopping as to where I get it “done” or what I use. I endeavour to take this graciously as a compliment (yet often end up mumbling like an imbecile) and answer as best I can.

I don’t have some swanky hairdresser on speed dial or a special combination of colourants to perfect my ashy hue, just a selection of tried and tested products that I’m religiously faithful to (my relationship with my locks is far more monogamous than the one I share with my cosmetics collection.)

Oh and straight up bleach – I have a partial foil every 4 months or so, I’ve been having more in recently as I like the texture it creates i.e. ever so slightly pouffy and um…well, a tiny bit candy floss-esque if I’m honest, it just styles better that way. And definitely has more volume. Honestly, I haven’t used conditioner since about 2001, it just weighs my fine hair down, even if I use the specific “body boosting” types.

To maintain the silvery tone I use Touch Of Silver Weekly Treatment most washes (I know, I’m such a rebel). I’ve tried other fancier brands but I always come back to this, it works and it’s as cheap as chips (It might even be cheaper than bloody chips, the chip shop by me is super spendy!)

Styling wise I’m allergic to most sprays and things (it’s my eyes – they go all red, itchy and generally unattractive) so I use this 3 More Inches mousse religiously, I won’t bore you with the merits of this wonder product as I’ve gone on about it before, it’s so ace I dedicated a whole feature to review it in fact. The same goes with dry shampoo, my scalp and peepers are not fans. I think it does wonders for eradicating grease and that whole dishevelled/just-got-out-of-bed-yet-look-hot look so after a rather long mission to find an alternative, I discovered Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder. You kind of shake it on (do you remember shake “n” vac? sort of like that, only on your bonce instead of the carpet) and then rub it in rather haphazardly. It lifts your roots and gives a decent amount of oomph. Love it.

I also like a good bun. Not the scraped back uber neat ballerina variety (my head looks like the moon) but a backcombed-within-an-inch-of-your-life MAHOOSIVE bun. I pull a pony through the biggest donut I can find and pin separated lengths at random around it to cover the netting. It’s one of my “go to” styles for feeling like I’ve made an effort. Also good with a bright lip or a metallic eye. And to take the emphasise away from the fact I’ve probably got baby drool down my front.

Other daily essentials include my Parlux hairdryer (this gets so hot sometimes it feels like it is actually frying my brain). I even take it on holiday, the hairdryers in hotels are notoriously naff and I want instant results. This gives them. Hence why I put up with any associated over heating. Oh and a tangle teaser, I use this whilst my hair is still damp to remove knots and evenly distribute the aforementioned mousse.

I confess to not actually “brushing” my hair for at least ten years, I use the Mason Pearson nylon bristle number for back-combing as it’s the best. Fact.

What are your hair heroes?

Anything that you use religiously that we need to know about?

Anyone have as many allergies as me and managed to find a setting spray that doesn’t make you want to scratch out your eyeballs?

Do share in the comments box below.

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Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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31 thoughts on “My Daily Hair Essentials

  1. This is really interesting because I’ve just started using touch of silver and end up with a hideous rash between my fingers every time I use it…. I googled and apparently it has got pretty strong chemicals so you must be lucky with your allergies. It’s very annoying because I ike what it does and it’s so cheap.

    I have curly hair and after years of experimenting I can’t live without a wide tooth comb and the Aveda curl activator. It is expensive. It really works and you don’t need much.

    1. Hannah that is interesting, I am allergic to everything! My sister is also sensitive and swears by the brand Bleach London, they sell a similar product in Boots.

      The Redken for men purple shampoo is also quite good x

  2. For me it’s all about Kerastase. It’s a bit spendy but one bottle of shampoo and conditioner lasts for about 4 months. It smells super lush and helps fight the frizz like nothing other!! I am definitley going to try some of your tips as I have long been a fan of the volume in your tresses

      1. I haven’t no at the moment I have their new anti-frizz products which have been amazing in this portuguese heat. I will definitley check it out xx

  3. You don’t use conditioner??!! My very fine hair (and not much of it) tangles so much that I use it rather liberally. Perhaps I can have a week sans conditioner and try and get some volume going!

    1. Honestly Christina never! I have to be very strict with the hairdresser too, as in “DO NOT put conditioner on my hair!” (they always try and suggest some kind of light version and I still say no)

      You could try just putting it in the very very ends, the tangle teaser is great for knots though and I find the mousse aspect helps with the tangles too.

  4. I also never use conditioner Charlotte for the same reasons, even the ‘light’ brands weigh my hair down. Instead I use a touch of Moroccan oil and brush through with a teaser when wet. Then I liberally spray Bumble and Bumble surf spray, twirl around into mini dreadlocks and blast with hairdryer, which leaves a nice voluminous wave. I have recently converted to Tigi salt spray…smells fantastic and half the price!

    1. Rhiannon I might try Tigi! I like the sound of this dreadlock business?! Do you literally just twirl it around in a kind of twist? I love the be beachy look x

  5. Love this!

    I’ve been straightening my naturally curly hair for about 15 years. My hair is so damaged and looks so sad I’m going back to the curls. Got a hair appointment with my very trusted hairdresser Jamie on Sunday and I’m going for layers! No idea about what products to use though. Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated.

    Charlotte any idea if your mouse would work for curls?

    Shampoo and conditioner I swear by Joico, the blue one for dry hair. It’s amazing!!

    1. Stacy, I use Pantene perfect curls mousse. It’s the only thing I find that works for my curly hair. I find the best way to style curly hair is to apply the mousse when my hair is soaking wet (I just wrap it in the towel for 10secs or so while I get out the shower and then take the towel off), if I allow it to dry even the slightest it gets v frizzy. I brush my hair out and then I use a good old dollop of the mousse, spreading it through my hair with my fingers. I turn my head upside down to “scrunch” a bit then leave to air dry. It’s a bit of a pain as I have A LOT of hair, so it’ll take a couple of hours to dry, but it usually works pretty well. if I dry with a towel or hairdrier, it’s just frizz central. I often refresh the curls later in the day if the frizz sets in by wetting my hands a bit and adding a bit of mousse to scrunch through. It often ends up looking a bit “crunchy” but if you run your fingers through it after it’s dry, then the crunchiness goes away and you get nice soft shiny curls. When you wash your hair after you can feel the moisturising benefits of the mousse too, so it’s a win win! hope that helps!

    2. Hi Stacy, I don’t see why not, although it is volumising so it’s whether that’s a requirement? it certainly doesn’t create flyaways or anything x

  6. My only real investment was learning how to do a good blow dry. My hair is naturally curly but sadly does not have nice defined curls. If left to dry naturally I turn into Sideshow Bob. I have to blow dry my hair twice a week to avoid matting – not just tangles. Besides that I’m lucky my hair responds well to Tresemme which is cheap and lasts forever!

    1. What is sideshow Bob?!I bet your naturally curly hair is lovely! I’ve always wanted natural waves/curls and folks I know who have them always want straight….always the way x

  7. I wish I could perfect the donut bun! I always end up with a bit of the net showing or the pins fall out… I’m essentially all fingers and thumbs when it comes to hair styling – it’s either down, ponytail or a scraggly knot!

    I use Aussie and I’m totally in love with it. I’ve recently switched from Lucious Long to Miracle Moist and my hair is definitely feeling lighter and smoother. I also use their Miracle Insurance Leave-In Conditioner just before blow drying and then their Anti-Frizz serum for in between days if my hair starts playing up. It might be an expensive purchase but there’s always an offer for 2 for 3 or half price.

  8. I have recently discovered cleansing conditioner. (Its probs not for you though Charlotte with your conditioner aversion) however I cant believe what it has done to my hair in only a couple of weeks – its softer, smoother and more volumous than ever. It odd because it’s like just using a kind of runnier conditioner so doesn’t lather and you think that there’s no way its getting your hair clean, but you leave it on for a few moments, wash it off and voila! Amaze hair! My fave brand is ‘Grow Gorgeous’ from Boots. Its a little bit spendy but my bottle has lasted me about 4 weeks. It smells delish too!

    1. – Oh and I am totally with you on the hairdryer Charlotte – mine comes on all holidays with me too! Did you read about the new EU ban on high power vacuum cleaners? (I didn’t but my mother in law did and immediately made me order ‘on the internet line’ for her two of her fave hoovers before you cant get them any more!) But anyway – I digress – APPARENTLY the EU are going to ban high power hairdryers too so now I am asking my hairdresser to pick me up two new Parlux ones to put in emergency storage – BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

      1. Ha ha, Georgina, I also read about the powerful hoover ban, but decided it can’t be true! Is it?! I must go and buy another Dyson animal if this is the case – nothing gets rid of dog hair like that bad boy!

      2. What?!!!! I have not heard this story!!! What will hairdressers do?! Right then, thanks Georgina, I’ll be buying in bulk too in that case!!! x

  9. Yes Charlotte, literally twist it into little dreadlocks, which doesn’t take long as my hair is quite fine and keep twisting and kind of scrunching throughout blow drying. Then I just mess it up a bit afterwards and lovely waves and beachy effect. I very rarely brush my hair at all! What a scruff I sound!

  10. I too struggle with using a donut to create a bun, I think my hair is too long to all tuck under!
    However, I discovered the “Sock bun” a while ago (Google for instructions) and it’s amazing – once you get the hang of it, it’s so quick to do and gives a much more unstructured bun.

  11. I can’t get over the no conditioner idea either – I didn’t know it was even an option for long hair people! Having said that my friend has recently joined the #nopoo gang… check out the hashtag on instagram for loads of glossy natural unwashed, chemical, shampoo and conditioner free hair! Her hair actually looks amazing now but you do have to go through a week or two of grease-hell first. I am inspired by this movement…but not enough to actually try it. I love washing my hair too much and the smell of pretty scented chemicals.

    My fave new thing though, (which is conditioning, so not for you Charlotte) is to wack a load of coconut oil in my hair through the ends before bed and sleep with it up in a topknot. (I have a tub in the kitchen and a tub in the bathroom so I dont get onion in my eyes or hair in my stirfry) …then shampoo it out in the morning and its uber conditioned.

    I do have to be a bit clever with quick hair fixes though so will certainly try some of these tips out – my hairdresser has a son in my boy’s class so having to face her EVERY morning on the school run at 8.30 requires a bit of effort. Soon it will be cold and hat season though so I can hide bad hair a couple of times a week so that she doesnt judge me too much on a tangly day!

  12. Love this article, even though I have a super short brunette crop with undercut a la Ginnifer Goodwin. I love a good hair blog.

    Is it wrong that I want to try the Touch of Silver Shampoo?

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