Are you in need of a straightener intervention? Whether you want to reclaim that extra 10 minutes in the morning or if your hair’s become noticeably drier as a result of excessive use, a straightener sabbatical could be the answer for mending your relationship with it. “I think if people over-indulge in anything it's bad for you - whether it's food, drink and it's the same for over-straightening your hair,” says Jordan Garrett, Stylist at Hershesons. “If you are over-doing it with the straightening irons, then take a break – i.e. save it for the weekends or special events. When your hair starts feeling less dry, you know you’re on the way to recovery and can pick up the straighteners again.”
If the thought of going hot plate-free on a more regular basis is enough to make you break into a cold sweat, not to fret, there are alternatives available to ensure that you never put a hair out of place. We asked Jordan for his top haircare tips for taking a break from your straighteners in style.
Tip 1: Manage your expectations
Straighteners have fast become a staple in many a woman’s beauty artillery – and for just cause. They provide the kind of results that can’t be easily achieved from a bottle. So, rather than continuing on the straight and narrow, take a break as an opportunity to get creative and implement some easy yet effective hair hacks into your regime to mix up your style instead. “I would say to opt for a slight wave as opposed to straight hair,” recommends Jordan. “It’s pretty easy to maintain this look with Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom , £18, and a Hershesons Mixed Bristle Oval Cushion Brush , £24, – simply brush through the hair to get it straighter.”
For keeping slightly wavy hair smooth and flyaways at bay, a pre-blowdry product can make all the difference in anyone’s non-straightener artilleries. We’re big fans of Percy & Reed’s Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm , £18, for helping maximise definition and the efficacy of other styling products layered on top. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni Art Sleek and Swing , £14.99, is also a great way to achieve greater sleekness for your savings. When used in conjunction with a good quality hairdryer, the results are definitely impressive. “If you have wavy hair, invest in a good hairdryer such as Hershesons Ionic Professional Hairdryer , £110, recommends Jordan, “And, always put the heat setting on medium.”
Tip 2: Try an in-salon treatment
For wavier and curlier hair types, specialist hair treatments could help provide a more long-lasting helping hand. “If your hair is curly, perhaps invest in a Permanent Blow-Dry ‘keratin’ treatment (offered at Daniel Hersheson salons, prices start from £250),” recommends Jordan. “We do so many of these treatments and clients say it is life changing - your morning hair regime will be quicker and hair, easier to maintain.”
Additionally, there is also a great array of less expensive add-on treatments available nowadays which can help keep hair in tip top condition, reduce breakage, prevent further damage and restore natural hair texture back to its former glory. Two of our favourites are Olaplex (available at John Frieda Salons for £50) - an innovative hair strengthening treatment to help offset the negative side-effects of hair colour - and Kérastase Fusio-Dose (£20 at Paul Edmonds ); a crop of dry end hair boosters and concentrates designed to be custom-mixed to tackle a wide range of common hair concerns.
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Tip 3: Embrace your natural hair type
Hanging up the straighteners for a short time could also act as the perfect opportunity to embrace and enhance your natural hair texture. And, with so many products out there right now to help you do just that, it couldn’t be a better time to do so.
“I'm all for embracing your natural hair,” says Jordan. “If you have slightly wavy hair, arm yourself with a hairdryer and diffuser and a good hair volumiser to scrunch and dry. This will create a natural look – great for holidays.”
As far as hair volumisers go, there’s a huge selection of spritzes and styling hair saviours all cleverly formulated to suit a range of different hair types. Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray , £22, makes for an effective root-boosting pick across the board and for medium to thicker hair types in particular, Redken Guts 10 , £17, pumps up the volume to pretty impressively hair-raising effect.
A good hair oil has also carved its way as a haircare essential in our regimes. “If you have curly hair, a little bit of oil through the mid-lengths and ends daily will keep it in good condition as well as regular cuts,” says Jordan. “If you have Afro hair, Africare Silk Spray , £19.99, is easy to spray in when wet or dry.”
He adds, “The wavier your hair, the more intense the oil you need – I like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir , £9.99, as it keeps hair in great condition but doesn’t weigh it down or make it greasy.” Charlotte Mensah’s Manketti Hair Oil , £42, is also a firm favourite at GTG HQ thanks to its supreme rehydration abilities. Plus, it just won ‘Best Afro Hair Enhancer’ at the Best Beauty by Stylist Awards. A definite must-buy in our opinion.
For humidity management, the sweet-smelling Maria Nila True Soft Argan Oil , £16.99, really does come into its own. Silky and highly moisturising, it gives parched hair a dose of much needed moisture when it needs it most.
A pre-shampoo treatment also serves as the most vital of secret weapons in our experience. “While on a break, I recommend regularly using Philip Kingsley Elasticizer , £30,” says Jordan. “It’s a life-safer and will definitely get your hair on the road to recovery leaving it healthy again.”
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Tip 4: Try a silk turban on for size
The ultimate night time accessory to complement your eye mask, a silk turban works wonders for helping you wake up with a wonderfully well-coiffed head of hair - no matter the time you get to bed by. Our current favourite is Silke London’s range of chic and comfortable Hair Wraps , £45, with a colour to suit every preference and pyjama penchant. Simply roll hair up into a bun (no need to use a hair band) and slip on the wrap on top. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it.
Tip 5: Break up with bad habits
Once your break is over, forge a healthier relationship with your straighteners by investing in some essential protection to avoid having to turn a break into a breakup in the future. “One problem is not using the right heat protector or using the highest heat setting too much which doesn’t agree with their hair type. I can notice if this has happened as the hair is coarser and drier,” says Jordan. He adds, “The more frequently you use straighteners, the more intensity you will place on your hair. Hair protection from heat is always a must. Even if you’re on holiday and your hair is out in the sun – it still needs protection.” His top pick? “ L’Oréal Professional Tecni Art Constructor , £14.29, is my go-to product that’s always in my kit.”