It’s amazing how the locks on our heads can make or break how we feel about ourselves on any given day. Bad hair days call for hats or tight ponytails and generally feeling like shit, whereas good hair days mean that extra bit of confidence and bounce.
Even better are those days when you’ve been to the salon and walk out with silky hair that makes you feel a million bucks. But then, a day or two passes and, try as you might, you can’t get your damn hair to look like it did after a professional spent an hour or more getting it just right. Is it even possible to have great hair without going to a salon?
Perhaps you’re one of the many people who tips your head upside down as the hair dryer blasts away before spraying the crap out of it. Or maybe you opt for the scrunching technique until it’s nearly dry before using your straightener to finish things off. If you do any of the above, you’re doing things oh-so very wrong, wrong, wrong!
So what’s right then? This is where top British stylist, Angelo Seminara comes in. His latest project is a collection of seven essential products designed to help create a smooth and weightless look. Called Your Hair Assistant, it comes under the Davines range and is creating a buzz in the beauty world. We went to Ryder Salon to test the range and talk to Benjamin James about what it takes to make your hair glisten and shine like a pro.
Step One: Wash Hair
Washing your hair seems obvious, but chances are you’re doing it wrong. Firstly, it all starts with great product, so make sure you find one your hair loves. You’ll need to shampoo your hair twice—the first time cleanses the hair, the second gets the nutrients in. And, you only need a thumbnail size of shampoo. Yep, overusing product is a big problem, so use it sparingly.
Focus on the middle and ends of your hair and don’t worry about the roots—they’re already getting natural oils from the scalp. If you need to get some full-on lathering going, simply add a bit more water and wash away.
Add some conditioner in the same way (thumbnail size only!), rinse and wrap a towel around your hair and squeeze gently.
Step Two: Apply Primer
All heat products are doing damage to your hair, so applying primer is an essential second step to the perfect blow-dry. Divide your hair horizontally and then vertically, flaring it out to work in two-and-a-half inch sections, spraying 30cm from the head.
Step Three: Secure Hair
Sweep the top half of your hair up and secure it. The trick here is to not use a metal clip—it will dent your hair. Ben recommends simply twisting hair and then using a knitting needle to secure it. He’s all about treating hair with respect.
Step Four: Brush Hair
There is no rough and tumble in this process. Use a round brush to slide through your locks again and again and again. Think you’ve done enough? Do it again for good measure. Your hair should be completely knot free.
Step Five: Blow Dry Hair
Ahhh…finally the big moment. Relax, this isn’t a race. Take a section of hair and place the brush on top of it, securing it in place with your thumb and creating tension. Place the dryer at a 45-degree angle and move it down at the same time as the brush.
You’ll see those small, annoying bits of hair that you probably only noticed on your hairline are actually all over your head. Blowing the hair at this angle pushes them downwards. When you’ve done that a couple of times, place the brush beneath your hair which then keeps those small strands hidden and makes the ends nice and smooth.
When you’re done, let your hair out of its knot and repeat the process with the top layers. While it may seem counter-intuitive, if your hair has started to dry, give it a spritz of water to get it damp again.
Finally, make sure your hair is 100 per cent dry. Not 97 per cent, not 98 per cent and not even 99 per cent. If you want that salon-look to last, you need to make sure it is dry, dry, dry!
Avoid heated tools—irons flatten, a blow dry leaves life.
Step Seven: Finishing Spray
Remember, light is best, so don’t spray your hair so that it sits like a helmet. Davines Definition Mist and Perfecting Hairspray are ridiculously light and add that little bit extra shine.
Step Eight: Ongoing Care
Again, moisture is your enemy! Forget that shower cap you got in some hotel years ago, you need to invest in a quality one from a chemist.
On day three, give your roots a little boost with some boosting powder. Your Hair Assistant’s Volume Creator works very well, and voila—you’ve added another day or two to your blow-dry. All up, your stellar look should last between three and seven days.
Image credit: Davines