First of all I’m not a girl who spends hours styling her hair! I have in the past but that was short-lived. I find that the more effort I put into styling my hair - the more I dislike it! In recent years I’ve come to realise that if you keep your hair clean and healthy, it’s easy to style but will also look great when left natural! Personally I’d rather embrace a hint of natural curl, rather than straighten my hair to within an inch of its life. You’ll often find sooner or later that nature is a difficult opponent - especially in the world of hair styling. This is why your beauty regime should be all about working with what you have and enhancing your natural self.
Basic Hair Tools Checklist
Not all hair styling tools and products give you an authentic looking finish. I’ve tested my fair share of hair styling equipment and in all honesty, I’d say I’ve been disappointed with far more products than I have genuinely liked. So without further ado here is my basic hair tools checklist consisting of products that I’d highly recommend!
GHD Hair Straightener
It’s had me hooked for the last 15 years and I’m still finding new uses for it: ironing clothes, attaching iron-on transfers, hair straightening, curling... it’s also excellent for taming frizz and thinning down thick hair. I'd recommend the standard flat iron for its versatility. It's a hair styling toolbox must-have!
GHD Air Hair Dryer
I wrote an in-depth review on this hair dryer on the blog a while ago. Basically, this hair dryer has been my saviour when I’ve been short on time or during the winter when wet hair is just cruel! It dries your hair in record time and although it isn’t the cheapest hair dryer on the market, when you consider how much others of similar quality cost, this one looks very reasonably priced! Here’s a little case study for you to prove its effectiveness: I washed my long, thick hair and managed to dry it thoroughly within just 40 minutes in -10 degrees weather last winter!
The GHD Diffuser Attachment for Hair Dryers
Ok, so when I bought my GHD Air Hair Dryer I bought the set that includes the GHD round brush and the diffuser attachment. I’ve never had much success with using diffuser attachments on hair dryers in the past, but this one really does work well. If I plait my hair beforehand, the diffuser seals in the waves nicely. Alternatively, it’s a quick and fuss-free way to style my hair and add some volume from scratch!
GHD Round Brush
I have long hair but find that the best brush that works for me is the GHD Bristle Round Brush Size 2. This is a relatively small round brush but its compact size means that it is more versatile. It offers multiple styling capabilities, including: quick drying, straightening, curls, volume, flicks and beach waves. Initially I wasn’t sure whether it would be worth the money or whether I was just paying for the GHD name. Thankfully, this hasn’t disappointed. I don’t feel that it “drags” through my hair in the same way that other cheaper round brushes do. I’m not easily fooled by a brand name or an expensive retail price, but this really does feel more expensive too!
The Mark Hill Wonder Ball Brush
I recently wrote a review on this hair brush too. The Mark Hill Wonder Ball brush is a hair brush like nothing I’ve seen or used before. This brush offers 6 unique ways to easily style and blow dry your hair with ease. Although upon first glance, the brush does look slightly unapproachable, its clever bristle formation means that it is impossible for you to get your hair knotted in the brush whilst twisting and flicking sections when using a hair dryer. This brush is for you of your looking for a normal hair brush that doubles up as an elite hair styling tool, making blow drying your hair easy and manageable for anybody!
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo isn’t just for festivals and lazy days when you can’t be bothered to wash your hair – although admittedly, it works great on those occasions too! Dry shampoo is one of the best texturising products invented. I’ve tried products that advertise themselves as a texture spray or powder, but none of them have matched up to Batiste dry shampoo! Now over the years the brand has expanded their product line from their simple original dry shampoo to dry shampoos that are tinted, scented and volumising. I loved the original. I am a huge fan of the heavenly volume dry shampoo. I am currently testing out their latest version: kiss, which is also a great product.
You know how your hair feels so lovely after visiting the hairdressing salon? Well I have found that using a good hair dryer, a high quality brush and finishing off by running a few drops of 100% argan oil through the ends of my hair really does the trick!
The sleep-in-rollers are an invention from Amy Childs’s beauty brand. To be perfectly honest, I have never followed her career and don’t really know who she is. For me, my interest was entirely directed towards the product rather than the person endorsing them. But what I will say is that she did well with creating the Sleep-in-Rollers collection. I’ve always loved having my hair in rollers every since I was a small child, but ouch! I have a high pain threshold but even I have woken up in the middle of the night wanting to literally rip the rollers out of my hair just to stop the agony! How poor Shirley Temple managed for all those years, I don’t know! Sleep-in-rollers are so comfortable that they are actually like an extra pillow. I think I’d go as far as saying that I actually sleep better with them in my hair. It’s like sinking into a really comfortable pillow! They’re 100% pain-free and they style your hair beautifully!
Sleep-in-Rollers Fringe Roller
Nobody ever really knows what to do with their fringe when they set their hair in rollers or when curling their locks. Your fringe doesn’t normally fit well around one roller so you have to really use two, which results in an odd-looking, badly-parted fringe. Quite often, I use the fringe roller on its own without using any other rollers. The Sleep-in-Rollers Fringe Roller fits all of your fringe around a single roller – because it is much wider than a standard hair roller. If you roll your fringe backwards towards the rest of your hair, you get lovely volume. If you roll your fringe forwards you get that gorgeous sweeping curtain fringe, which falls really nicely without any additional effort.
Babyliss Curling Wand
I remember buying this several years ago. I was so excited to try it out to see how it differed from the average curling tongue with a clamp. I’ve never really liked curling tongues because the end result makes my hair look too overdone and the style just isn’t flattering on me! Curling wands however, are clever styling tools that allow you to create different types of curls. If you use the curling want vertically, you’ll create full, Hollywood-style curls. By keeping the wand horizontal as you curl your hair, you’ll achieve those really cool 20s style S-Waves. Because there’s no tongue/clamp, it doesn’t matter where you position the wand either, because it won’t leave a ridge from the clamp. This means that you can also use curling wands for creating low curls, flicks and volume at the root.
Crimp Your Way to Enviable Volume!
Hair crimpers aren't very popular these days. If you've ever owned a hair crimping tool you will probably understand why. But did you know that you can use a crimping iron to discretely add volume to your roots? Use a hair crimper to crimp 2-4 cm of hair at your roots. Crimp only at the root but leave the top layer of your hair crimp-free. The idea is for the crimps to add volume while remaining invisible under the top layer of your hair! I own this root boosting crimper which has slim plates, making it easier to use!
The Top Knot
Saved the best ‘til last? Or rather, the easiest ‘til last?! This one was (until now) one of my best kept secrets. Sporting the Trunchball-esque top knot has its benefits. Plus, the top knot doesn't have to look so fierce or ageing! I pile my hair on top of my head, wrap it into a top knot and leave it until I am ready to go out. By the time I let my hair down, my hair is full of volume and tumbles down in impressively-formed curls. It’s one of my hairstyle cheats! It looks like I’ve spent so much longer on creating the style that what I really have. I also plait my hair often because it is another easy and simple technique that works well and doesn’t damage my hair.
My Top Hair Care Tips
- I like to multitask when it comes to styling my hair. So I often tune into a podcast while styling my hair or I style my hair while watching TV.
- By using heated hair styling tools to enhance what you already have, they will be less damaging on your hair.
- Regular hair cuts will make styling your hair much easier. Plus, healthy hair holds a style better than unhealthy tresses!