Oh, 2019. You find us in a sorry state. All the merriment of the past month has really taken its toll. Sure our hearts and stomachs are full of love and roast potatoes, our homes packed with thoughtful (slightly questionable) gifts, but our bank accounts? Empty.
Food we can scrimp on, coffee will just have to be home-brewed, but we draw the line when it comes to our hair. Seriously, just look at it! Where have these frazzled tufts come from, and how on earth have our roots grown back already? The only viable solution is a trip to the salon.
Two cash-saving schemes later and we’ve pocketed a mighty £20. Time to figure out an alternative, and preferably one that doesn’t involve selling our only designer handbag for funds (show us some mercy, January). Luckily, great hair is closer than we think – all we need is some DIY skills, a splash of patience, and just a couple of pennies.
Here, we round up all the genius ways you can get salon-esque hair at home for a fraction of the price…
TIP: Ditch the hairbrush
Wet hair is fragile. So fragile in fact, that the moment a traditional hairbrush touches a tangle, you can expect breakage. Of course, certain hairbrushes have been designed to gently unwind knots without a snap attack, but we’re on a budget. Plus, there’s another option – your hands. Look down at your five-fingered friends and you’ll spy something that mildly resembles a comb, and works even better. Dexterous fingers are not only great for gently smoothing your tresses, they work as a handy (pun intended) temperature gauge – if the hairdryer is too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for your hair.
TIP: Keep colour natural
We’ve all experienced that mini heart attack on the reveal of our freshly home-dyed locks. Blonde, brown, red or other, there’s nothing more frustrating than our real-life ‘after’ shade looking absolutely nothing like the picture. The key is to err on the side of caution. Keep within the bracket of two shades lighter or darker than your natural colour and steer towards trusted brands. For what-you-see-is-what-you-get results, we recommend Schwarzkopf’s Only Love range, available from Superdrug. It comes in 10 natural-looking shades, is gentle on hair and respects the scalp. What’s more, the formula has no ammonia, silicone or alcohol* and contains natural ingredients. All that, and it still packs a colour punch. Always test the dye first – just a little colour check on some hidden hair. If you’re happy, go go go. If not, think of the money you’ve saved on colour correction.
TIP: Trim it yourself
Remember the trend of people tying their hair in a high ponytail, slicing it off, then releasing the hairband to reveal perfect choppy layers? Well, don’t do that. Unless you are blessed with a hairdresser for a sister (one can dream); complicated cuts still demand a salon trip. Those with long hair, however, can definitely give their ends a little spruce. Create a centre parting that continues to the nape of your neck. Bring the two sections of hair in front of your shoulders. Keeping your chin and shoulders level, twist each side, then use some hairdressing scissors (not kitchen choppers) to cut into the ends and snip off any split ends that poke out. Check, neaten up, et voila! That fringe can do with a little tidy, too.
TIP: Mask that damage
One of the key reasons for hair loss and breakage during winter is a dry and dehydrated scalp. How did it get that way? Two words – central heating. No need to consider ditching modern comforts for a life in animal skins, simply replace lost moisture with a hair mask. You could opt for a high street brand (there are plenty out there), or why not mix your own? Coconut and jojoba oils are ultra nourishing, so mix them up, slather it on, and give that scalp a long old drink.
BACKUP TIP: Accessorise
There’s nothing like a little distraction technique to divert eyes from our lacklustre locks. Just until payday. Those embellished, knotted headbands may just be our favourite Christmas gift after all.