If there’s anything we’ve learnt in the past year and a half, it’s that we can happily walk to the local shops with roots like a badger or an 80s mullet. We were willing to experiment because the only people that would see us were the people behind the counter at Sainsbury’s. With this new-found bravery, why not experiment some more?
Whether you want to simply adjust your haircare regime so it’s a little kinder to the planet, or go the whole hog and opt for a self-salon cut and dye, here are some tips from the experts.
1. Go Plastic Free
Make an extra effort to ditch plastic from your routine. Chuck your empties in the recycling bin and start afresh with some good-for-the-environment alternatives. Object is an exciting new brand that’s got a whole lot of soul at its centre. Their idea is to create zero-waste products that don’t compromise on quality or design.
From nourishing conditioners to rejuvenating shampoos, each bar is made from natural ingredients (think ylang ylang, ginger, shea butter and macadamia) and comes in a neat little box (free from plastic). What’s more, an Object shampoo lasts longer than a normal bottle – it’s the equivalent of three! Plus, you get a free travel tin with your first order and by signing up to the newsletter they’ll even plant a tree in your name. What’s not to love!?
Price: From £14
Leave your hair to recalibrate and turn to the caveman way of life by not washing it with products at all.
2. Ditch Shampoo Completely
Haven’t you always wanted to know if that old wives’ tale about hair cleaning itself is true? Now’s your chance! Leave your hair to recalibrate and turn to the caveman way of life by not washing it with products at all. (Experts actually tell us this doesn’t work, but it might be a fun look to rock at your next business video call).
If that’s one step too far, then try Hairstory’s New Wash cleansing product. It’s specifically not a shampoo, but you apply it in the same way. It doesn’t lather like other products but that’s because it’s free from detergents. It doesn’t require a conditioner, it’s biodegradable and it works for every type of hair. To add to this list, you’ll also need to use it less than normal shampoo. Why not give it a go?
Price: From £44
3. Veganuary For Your Follicles As Well As Your Food
You might be swapping a meaty pasta for a butternut squash lasagne, but are you living a truly vegan lifestyle outside of the kitchen? A lot of products contain animal-derived ingredients such as biotin, keratin, silk powder, and gelatine, or have been tested on animals. But we’ve found an exciting new range that will help you stick to your vegan, gluten-free new year’s resolution: the Quinoa Collection from Green People. All of their products are vegan approved and while the “Quinoa Collection” sounds like it lives up to all yuppy stereotypes (and you might be right there), it is also great for hair health.
Infused with aloe vera, lavender, rosemary or pineapple, the gluten-free shampoos and conditioners are rich in vitamins and free hair from silicones and artificial fragrances. They say this results in 50% more shine – we’re not sure quite how you can measure that, but it sounds enticing.
4. Experiment With Seaweed
You normally find it on sushi or at the beach, but seaweed has some amazing effects on the hair and skin – plus it’s a very sustainable ingredient. Azure have a Healthy Shine range full of seaweed. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants – all of which help nourish and hydrate hair.
Price: from £14.99
Meanwhile, over at Haeckels, the magical seaweed store based in Margate, they have taken two years to develop a natural shampoo with seaweed and broccoli extracts. The Bio Energiser and Broccoli Hair Cleanser is gentle on the scalp and has a delightfully refreshing fragrance. And it’s packed fill of vital nutrients, like Vitamin A, C, E, B5, B12, iron and zinc.
5. Make Your Own Hair Mask
When you’re starting to miss the silky glow you get from a few hours spent at the hairdresser, it might be time to invest in a hair mask. A rich dollop of hair elixir will help nourish individual strands and bring some life back into the old mop.
You can make your own with olive oil and egg… yup, you heard right. Eggs are known to do miracles for your scalp because they’re rich in protein and vitamins. Mix two egg whites with two tablespoons of olive oil, add to damp hair and keep it in for 30 minutes. Then rinse with cool water (so as not to cook the egg) and shampoo as normal. Repeat once a week.
If that DIY sounds all too much for you, turn to Josh Wood and his Everything Mask which takes just five minutes to work its magic. It won’t be as much fun, but we’ll understand why you chose not to rub baking ingredients into your scalp.
6. Cut And Colour… If You Dare
Over on YouTube, Marylebone hair professional Michael Van Clarke has released videos about how to cut your hair and retouch your hairline. His first rule: don’t attempt highlights unless you’re a professional. His second? Be very careful cutting your own hair. Hairdressing scissors are very sharp and finely balanced to cut through hair. Kitchen and dressmaking scissors don’t come close.
Once those warnings have been blissfully disregarded, take on the challenge of a permanent tint. Wait for as long as you can possibly bare it and then start with the hairline and parting. If you have a centre parting, move it to the side and slant the line back up towards the crown. This can extend the need for a full head tint another few weeks. Michael is happy to provide a personalised colour pack and gloves to make it easier.
Unsure about committing to permanent dye? Understandable. But you could use his tutorial on colour shampoo, which provides gentle colour enhancement that sits on the surface until your next wash. Or use a vegetable colour that you apply directly from the bottle and washes out in 6 to 12 washes.
Still unsure? Style your hair in some intricate ways to divert attention from the greys/patches (see next point).
7. Curl Up These Wavy Creations
Michael Van Clarke is there for our everyday styling needs, from halo braids, beehives, waterfall plaits to natural waves and voluminous blow dries – there are endless videos on his YouTube account. The endless tutorials will certainly keep you busy.
If you want to see some people do it incredibly badly first, visit another YouTube hairdresser Brad Mondo. He reacts to people’s quarantine hair disasters and it’s simply hilarious.
8. Spray Dye Your Hair
If the thought of any permanent damage to your tresses is worrying you, L’Oreal have a spray in-wash out option. Their set of Colorista temporary hair sprays means you can go from blue cookie monster to pink mermaid in a day. The shades come in hot pink, grey, light pink and turquoise. Simply comb your hair, clip back the bits you don’t want to colour, and spray the can 15cm away from your head. Just make sure to avoid white towels and beige walls.