Hello friends! As you can tell from my recent photos, about 6 weeks ago I got my shaggy hair cut into a layered bob. This has been a really pleasant change for me- I love the way it frames my face, I love the way it shows off statement earrings, I love how well it seems to go with every look. It means that I’ve had to figure out new ways of styling my hair. I’ve always been very anti-styling, because I am lazy and like funnelling all my attention into my makeup, but I’ve found this haircut to be extremely easy to style with little effort. A lot of people have asked how I do my hair now, and I’ve tried to answer in Instagram comments and brief tweets but this feels like an easier way of explaining what I do to my hair!
Here’s a good picture of what my hair looks like now, as you can’t always tell from a front-on selfie. As you can see, it’s just kind of textured, wavy, messy.
So! What do I use? I actually use products that I got from… of all places, Simply Be! Everyone knows Simply Be has loads of plus size fashion, but I feel like a lot of people don’t know they also have… loads of other stuff! Including hair styling products and electrical hair styling stuff. After washing my hair with Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo (I use this and nothing else- I stopped conditioning my hair this year because I couldn’t find a single conditioner that didn’t leave my hair greasy and heavy, and this shampoo is really doing the trick), I spray on the heat protectant spray from this Toni & Guy set. This set is doubly useful because the bag it comes in unrolls to make a heatproof mat which I set my straighteners on while I’m using them.
Then I blast it dry with a hairdryer, and get to work with my straighteners. This method does not work amazingly on clean hair, so I like to spray in some salt spray to make it less sleek and allow it to hold better.
I use the GHD IV straighteners, also from Simply Be, which have nice wide plates, unlike the straighteners I had when my hair was very short, which were basically mini straighteners and too hard to use now I have thick shoulder-length hair.
In terms of method, I watched quite a lot of YouTube videos to figure out how to get that wavy, textured look. I’m going to tell you my best methods and advice here:
- Divide your hair into sections. I have a shorter layer, so I clip that up and leave it, and only wave the bottom section and the bits around my face.
- Clamp a section of hair in the straighteners, making sure the straighteners are running parallel with your hair (so pointing down towards the floor, rather than going in at a right-angle with your hair).
- Turn the straighteners away from your face rather than towards it. You want the waves to go away from your face. This takes a while to figure out. Every tutorial said it and I found it quite hard to follow because it was easy to make one side of my hair go the right direction, but hard to make the other side go that way.
- Re: the previous point, I have finally figured it out. Because I’m right handed, it was easy and intuitive to use the strength and dexterity to wave the opposite side of my head but I struggled when trying to do it on the same side that I held the straighteners in. But I worked it out! If you’re right handed, go over your head to wave the left hand side of your hair from above and wave the right hand side of your hair from below. It’s harder to wave from below and I find that side of my hair looks less good but it’s the best way I’ve found to do it and make the hair go in the right direction. When I was getting my balayage done at Blue Tit Academy, the girl who did my colour (the lovely Jazz) was also struggling with this, and her trainer gave the same advice – about doing half over the head and half from below – that I just gave.
- Avoid the root of the hair- don’t start the wave above your eyebrows. Keep the roots and ends flat and only work on the middle of the hair.
- Once you’ve waved a section, twist it back in the same direction you’ve just waved it. I don’t know how much difference this makes, but it feels reassuring. I sometimes rub some Bumble & Bumble Sumoclay (I really like their products!) on my fingertips to make the twist-effect even stronger and hold the wave, giving it a more gritty texture.
- Bottom line: the dirtier and more matte your hair is, the better this strategy will work. If your hair is too sleek and slippy, it doesn’t work as well.
- I finish off with some Ouai Wave Spray, which I really like and smells amazing. I actually use the travel size one which is much cheaper but it’s out of stock at the moment so I’ve linked to the full size one.
I think those are all my tips that I’ve gathered so far. I hope they’re helpful, but if not I would just do what I did and watch lots of YouTube tutorials so you get a composite of lots of different people’s tips until you find a strategy or a way of explaining that makes sense to you. Sorry I haven’t made a video! It’s just not my thing and I lack the aptitude and the resources. Please feel free to tweet me if you have any specific questions!