Across the Domestic Sluttery team, I think we have a pretty good representation of hair types, lengths, cuts and colours. But all of us share one thing in common; we want our hair to look amazing, and we want to spend as little time as possible achieving that. I’m sure you’re the same, so to aid you in your quest for perfect, effortless hair, I’m running down the products, tools and tricks that have cut my hair styling time in half!
Remember shampoo and conditioner in one? It might have saved time, but it always felt like cheating. Step forward cleansing conditioners, the newest takes on the does-it-all product, which are conditioner, rather than shampoo-based, and promise to cleanse, condition, reduce drying time, reduce frizz, aid styling and probably make the bed while they’re at it. The concept takes a bit of getting your head around. Most are oil-based, they don’t lather much and the idea of oil on oil as a way of cleaning hair takes a bit of getting used to. But they really do leave hair clean, just find the right one and you’ll cut your shower time in half. Macadamia Oil Flawless is my product of choice (my hair is very dry but prone to greasy roots). WEN cleansing conditioner also gets rave reviews, as does Grow Gorgeous’s 11-in-1 product. Extra points if you can guess what the 11 things are that it promises to do.
Once you Tangle Teeze, you never go back. If you’re still using one of those old wide-toothed combs to detangle your hair, stop, drop and roll over to Boots. I counted last time I used a plastic detangling brush on wet hair (after applying hair oil - see below) and I managed to get all the tangles out in 10 strokes of the brush. That’s no mean feat on hair as thick and unruly as mine that can take up to 15 minutes to do the same with a comb. The only learning curve with these babies is getting used to the ripping noise they make going through the hair. Once you get over that, you’ll be amazed. For me, the Tangle Teezer is still the best product on the market despite the fact it doesn’t have a handle, but there are also competitive offerings from Michel Mercier (sturdier bristles, has a handle, but I found it pulled out more hair) and the winged Tangle Angel (looks like it’s designed for My Little Pony hair).
Oh, Moroccanoil, where would I be without you? The introduction of oils to mainstream European haircare over the last 5 years or so has been a revelation for my dry hair. Everyone else has been using them for years, of course, just ask anyone with afro hair about the benefits of coconut oil. A good hair oil aids detangling, adds killer shine, and helps condition the hair deep down. Do bear in mind the ingredients though. Most of the big sellers (like Elvive Extraordinary Oil) combine a natural oil like argan or coconut with synthetic ingredients found in serums, like silicone. This is great for smoothing and giving a mirror-like shine, but if you don’t like the idea of a hair-coating chemical, opt for the pure oil instead, which has more deep-conditioning benefits too. A bonus? Using oil can reduce drying time, as it wicks the moisture out of the hair.
No Heat Curls
Sometimes we need heat as a styler. When trying to get curly or wavy hair to go straight, it’s the only option. But if you’re trying to add a curl, one of the best ways to get one that’s long-lasting is actually to ditch the heated tools and try setting the hair from wet or damp instead. Obviously you need time to let it dry, but it’s much quicker to set up, and works its magic overnight. I've basically broken up with my hot rollers after working out how to get a good look from a wet set. Just add a bit of styling creme or setting lotion to damp hair and either plait it (I find 3 french plaits gives a good beach wave) or twist it into mini buns (mix up the sizes for a less uniform finish). For a look you can do during the day, my favourite lazy styling trick, headband curls, work on any hair longer than bob length. As they set (above) you get to sport a bit of a 40s rolled updo, when they come out you get big sexy curls.
Newfangled Ponytail Holders & Tools
From the topsy tail to the hair donut, I’ve tried them all, and I am a big fan of about 50%. There’s a lot of crap out there, but some cleverly designed hair tools can make an updo or ponytail a million times easier. Top of my list for reducing styling time are hair ‘screws’ (Goody calls them 'spin pins'), which twist into a bun or undo and do the job of a dozen kirby grips, and hair bunjees (elastics with hooks on the end that grip into the hair, solving the whole ‘it won’t go round three times but twice is too loose’ ponytail holder issue). I also secretly love the overpriced hairbands with beads on that double-up as bracelets, because we all know they end up on our wrists, and ribbon elastic, which are an acceptable alternative to the scrunchie. I am ambivalent towards the Invisibobble which claims not to dent the hair when holding a ponytail. To me, it just feels like I have half my 90s keyring in my hair!