HAIR DOs (and why there aren’t any don’ts)

Chuck out the rule book, says star stylist LUKE HERSHESON. Th­ese days, any­thing goes – as long as it looks fab­u­lous. From sleek to sexy, here’s how to have a good hair day, ev­ery day…

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - HAIRSPECIAL -

IT’S TIME TO SMASH THE RULES

Some long-held hair be­liefs are to­tally ir­rel­e­vant for the way we live now. Per­sonal style is so much more im­por­tant than rigid edicts about how you should look. Here are the ones to ig­nore…

Women over 40 shouldn’t wear their hair long

Try telling that to Ju­lianne Moore and Ju­lia Roberts, both of whom are in their 50s and look in­cred­i­ble with long hair. Age shouldn’t de­fine you. The length of your hair has every­thing to do with your style and noth­ing to do with the year you were born. An 18- or an 80-year-old should be able to have the same hair­cut and rock the same vibe. You may just need to adapt how you style it.

You should dye grey hair

No one should feel obliged to do this un­less you want to. Grey hair can do won­der­ful things for your skin tone and make you stand out from the crowd. If you feel like em­brac­ing your greys, go for it, and more power to you!

Blondes should never have dark brows

Darker brows can look great with blonde hair. Blonde brows can some­times get a lit­tle lost among other fa­cial fea­tures and in­tro­duc­ing a darker shade to them (whether with a semi-per­ma­nent tint or make-up) can bring focus and def­i­ni­tion to the eye area. As well as this, slightly darker brows with blonde hair can be a style state­ment – just look at Cara Delev­ingne.

You should grow a fringe to hide your wrin­kles

Lines and wrin­kles are noth­ing to be ashamed of. Al­though you can hide them if you want. If you do want to ad­dress your lines, your money might be bet­ter spent in the pur­suit of great skin­care.

Dark roots are a no-no

Never heard of bal­ayage? Mod­ern tech­niques such as this colour the hair roots dark and the ends lighter to em­u­late nat­u­ral re­growth, in which the roots are al­ways half a shade or so darker than the rest of the hair. Re-cre­at­ing this with colour lends more cred­i­bil­ity to the re­sult.

Short hair is for tomboys

It’s time to chal­lenge gen­der stereo­types. Nowa­days women (and men) are de­fy­ing such out­moded ideas as long hair be­ing fem­i­nine and short hair boy­ish. Choose a length that you like and feel happy with.

You can’t have every­thing

Yes you can! Or at least you can give it a go. Al­though there’s still a school of thought that tells women that a par­tic­u­lar hair­cut or colour is out of bounds be­cause it won’t suit them, I like to take a more flex­i­ble ap­proach. I con­sider how things can be adapted to suit the client’s needs. You may have to con­sider the down­side or con­straints of do­ing some­thing, but there’s no rea­son why you can’t set your sights on a look.

You must cut your hair ev­ery six weeks

We’re not in the 1980s any more and women don’t tend to have those su­per-struc­tured, high-main­te­nance styles that need reg­u­lar prun­ing. Un­less you have short hair or a spe­cific length that you wish to main­tain, you don’t have to make fre­quent trips to the hair­dresser’s. Thanks to colour tech­niques such as bal­ayage and clever ways of cut­ting hair, you can ac­tu­ally have some fun with the grow­ing-out process.

HOW TO PER­FECT THE DIY BLOW-DRY

You don’t have to be a pro to be able to blow-dry your hair and make it look great. Just fol­low th­ese sim­ple steps…

PRO­TECT Be­fore you lay a fin­ger on your hair, treat it to a heat-de­fence prod­uct. ROUGH-DRY When your hair is wet it’s very vul­ner­a­ble to dam­age and a brush is about as dam­ag­ing as it gets, so rough-dry it with your hands first. This tech­nique can also shorten your styling time by about half. Use a hairdryer on a low heat and speed set­ting un­til your hair is 95 per cent dry. After this you can use a brush to be­gin shap­ing it prop­erly. TO BRUSH… It’s es­sen­tial to choose the right one for the job. If you’re cre­at­ing a style with lots of vol­ume, use one with a round bar­rel. Sec­tion by sec­tion, wrap your hair around the bar­rel and blast with your hairdryer in a down­wards di­rec­tion (the noz­zle should be par­al­lel to the brush). Turn off your hairdryer and al­low your hair to cool slightly around the bris­tles be­fore re­leas­ing it from the brush.

…OR NOT TO BRUSH I don’t ac­tu­ally use brushes much th­ese days. I find it bet­ter to rough-dry hair then use tongs or irons to do the styling. You can even do some of the styling by us­ing your hands dur­ing the rough-dry­ing process. To soften a cowlick, for ex­am­ple, use your fin­gers like a comb to pull your hair taut while it is still wet. You can re­duce the ap­pear­ance of frizz by us­ing the same tech­nique; keep the hair taut and the air­flow from your hairdryer pointed down­wards in the di­rec­tion that you want your hair to fall. CRE­ATE VOL­UME There is a for­mula for vol­ume, and it’s very sim­ple: wher­ever you point the air­flow from your dryer is where you will cre­ate body and lift. Get the noz­zle of your dryer close to the roots – if that’s where you want to see vol­ume – and pull your hair from side to side in op­po­site di­rec­tions to lift it away from your scalp. POL­ISH IT UP For your hair to look shiny, you must en­cour­age its cu­ti­cles (the pro­tec­tive outer layer of the hair shaft) to lie flat. To pro­mote this, make sure that your hairdryer is fit­ted with a noz­zle to con­cen­trate the air in one place and keep the air­flow skim­ming down­wards along the hair shaft. Freshly washed hair tends to be quite soft and fluffy and not so easy to style, which is why you hear hair­dressers talk­ing about ‘day two’ hair. If your hair is dry­ing on the fluffy side, just add an­other drop of styling cream, about the size of a 50c piece, rub it into your hands and scrunch it into your hair. It will give some guts to the strands and take down some of the fluff. FOR CURLY GIRLS, it’s time to bring the dif­fuser out of the 80s. This ap­pli­ance is bril­liant for quickly dry­ing curly hair and adding def­i­ni­tion and bounce be­cause it al­lows air to cir­cu­late around the shafts. There was a time when hairdry­ers typ­i­cally came with a dif­fuser at­tach­ment; that’s not al­ways the case now, but just go to the web­site for the com­pany that made yours and or­der the dif­fuser separately. Or try the fabric dif­fuser by YS Park, which can be at­tached to any hairdryer. Hold your dryer with the dif­fuser fac­ing up­wards and pool your hair (do not al­low the dif­fuser to ac­tu­ally touch your scalp) – one sec­tion at a time – into the bowl of the dif­fuser. Han­dle your hair gen­tly – so as not to dis­turb your curl pat­tern – and leave your hair in the dif­fuser for as long as it takes to dry com­pletely. HAVE PA­TIENCE If you’re feel­ing lazy or in a hurry it may be tempt­ing to stop styling your hair be­fore it’s fully dry but, if you’re prone to frizz, be warned: any re­main­ing mois­ture will bring it on and puff up your hair at the slight­est provo­ca­tion, un­do­ing all your hard work. FIN­ISH­ING FLOUR­ISHES Once your hair is com­pletely dry, give it a fi­nal blast of cold air from your hairdryer to lock the cu­ti­cles in po­si­tion and ramp up the shine. Keep the air­flow trav­el­ling down the hair shaft so that it doesn’t frizz at the last hur­dle. My wife has a bril­liant tech­nique when it comes to fin­ish­ing her hair. She rough-dries it, flicks it back and forth a cou­ple of times, then flings it for­ward over her head so that it’s all fall­ing in the same di­rec­tion. Then she ties it up into a loose bun and leaves it alone for a bit to set be­fore let­ting it down. And the re­sult is amaz­ing. I’m not one for hair look­ing too man­i­cured, and this fin­ish­ing tech­nique is a great an­ti­dote to this. It has a kind of Parisian vibe: very easy and non­cha­lant. ➤

LUKE HERSHESON (above) is one of Europe’s lead­ing hair­dressers. He and his fa­ther Daniel are the dy­nasty be­hind the Her­sh­esons sa­lons and brand. Luke is as well known for his celebrity clien­tele as his ses­sion work for lead­ing mag­a­zines and on pop videos. Great Hair Days is his first book.

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