It is no surprise to anyone who has a) seen me in the flesh or b) seen my manufactured Instagram feed, that I have been having a few barnet problems of late. Some of these I can blame my child, or more accurately, postpartum life for (I use this excuse way too often) whereas some are more longstanding. Either way, as much as I love the bobble hat my husband bought me for Christmas (was this a hint?) I can't wear it in the office.
Thankfully it turns out there are lots of you with pearls of wisdom on how to stop the Rod Stewart effect (not that I don't ADORE the pint sized Scottish crooner - I just can't pull off his hairdo). So I have lovingly compiled the TOP 10 barnet savers below to help tackle hair loss, trauma, dye allergies and limp, thinning hair.
Raved about by several people who really know their shit (Caroline Hirons I mean you). This is a treatment that you can either get done at the hairdressers or you can buy the No. 3 bottle online and use it yourself as a weekly treatment. Great for any kind of hair trauma (bleach, heat damage, life) it acts to help rebuild your hair. I've used it about 3 times now - too soon to see significant results but my hair loss/damage certainly hasn't got any worse in that time. I'm going to continue with this in my routine for a while. Not the cheapest at £26 for 100ml (I got mine a bit cheaper on Amazon) but I reckon it will last me a few months. Cosmo review on 'the science bit' here.
It turns out living on Haribo isn't that great for your hair. Actually that's not strictly true, it wasn't just Haribo, I also ate a lot of cake in the post partum period. Whatever, 3 months later my hair fell out. Could have be the hormones, but perhaps a steak or some spinach wouldn't have gone entirely amiss. Or, even easier, just take supplements. I was recommended Floradix in particular for an iron boost but also a general multivitamin would do the job. Hair needs food too, peeps. Just not of the sugar variety.
3. L'0real Elvive Fibrology Thickness Booster
Just started using this one as it is supposed to instantly boost the diameter of fine hair creating the illusion of fuller locks. As my balder bits do have a few baby hairs growing over them I thought I'd give it a try. You apply it after shampooing and before your conditioner in the shower and there is supposed to be an immediate thickening effect which also increases over time. God know's what coating is being thrust upon my feeble strands and frankly who cares, if it works. I've only used it once and it looked a little bit thicker so I may as well use it all up, although never going to be Barry Gibb on this stuff alone. £3.99 for 30ml here.
4. VO5 Plump It Up Amplifying Blow Dry Lotion
Continuing on the 'fake it till you make it' theme I swear by the this stuff for adding volume. I've tried loads of expensive alternatives but always come back to this. It 100% adds volume without giving you the Brillo pad effect and is dirt cheap. £3 for 200ml but always on offer here.
5. Dry Shampoo
I use about a can of Batiste a week - I live by the stuff. I was slightly offended when my husband said that the smell of it reminded him of me. Not Chanel no 5, not wild roses, sodding Batiste. You know what, it saves me hours in the morning so I'll take it. Top tip is to put it on at night so that it gets properly absorbed and avoids that not cool grey effect you can get if you spray too close to your hair and don't rub it in. Saves hours washing and adds tonnes of volume.
6. Kerastase Specifique Aminexil Force R
I've had two different people recommend this to me for hair loss recently. I've yet to try it but it seems worth a shot, although expensive. You apply a sachet a day to your hair and after 6 weeks it is supposed to be thicker and stronger. I'm dawdling because of the price although currently on offer at £84 for a 6 week treatment here.
Not joking here. I've had to be very creative at hiding my bald AND grey spots which are much worse around my temples. Check out the Instagram account of @erinelizabethh who has video tutorials and loads of braid inspiration. It actually works really well to hide certain areas - although slightly infantilising.
Grey hair/allergies to hair dye
8. Alternatives to PPD
For all you people with normal immune systems and a great head of all over colour - that's nice. Now go away. For the poor sods like me who are horribly allergic to one of the major components of hair dye, read on. Sadly I discovered the hard way about 7 years ago that I am extremely allergic to hair dye. I'd always had blonde highlights and had never had any problems. But one fateful day I went for an all over dark tint and fuck me, I nearly went blind. Bleach highlights hadn't caused me too many problems since then but unfortunately I discovered I am also really allergic to toner - so much so that my hairdressers have refused to dye my hair again. Apparently sensitivity does increase, especially after you've had a baby. Helpful.
Clearly there are bigger fish to fry in he world right now than my grey hair but I have to admit I was quite sad when I was told that dyeing was no longer an option. Thankfully several of you got in contact to recommend some hair salons which are specifically for people with dye allergies - God bless you! I've yet to book my appointment as I'm waiting for my patch test rash to die down (yes, really). But here is the list.
Karine Jackson in Covent Garden
Josh Wood Atelier (who use the Wella Innosense PPD free dyes)
9. Grecian 2000
I kid you not! Mostly used by men called Alan from the Midlands circa 1988, but my dirty little secret. Really good if you have loads of little grey hairs and are hideously (and I mean hideously) allergic to hair dye. You can put this on dry or wet hair and build it up to cover grey (can be washed straight out). Not the best effect but it does do the job and frankly beggars can't be choosers at this point. At around £10 for a can that will last you ages it is a bargain - although be warned if you have white pillow cases or towels as it does get everywhere!
10. Go for the chop
I'm loathe to put this here, as if you are reading this you are a) my mother or b) someone who wants help with their hair without having to resort to cutting it off. I am resisting so far but a good hack of my lengthy split ends probably wouldn't go amiss. I'll keep you posted on this but going for a restyle would most likely improve my barnet no end.
If, after all this you are still hungry for MORE hair knowledge then you can also watch this latest Caroline Hirons blog here. She lists loads of products which are good for restoring the lustre of hair. I've tried a few and particularly keen to get my mitts on some of her recommendations.
So there you have it - top 10 tips to restore your schujj. Any other ideas people have do let me know. All of your advice is very gratefully received! X