I often get asked whether I style my own hair (yes, usually) and what I use to create waves. I have tried a LOT of products and tools over the years and I have recently found my favourite ‘go to’ products for care and styling, so today I’m sharing what I do- from start to finish.
A few years ago I would always request a creamy blonde with no warmth in it. Then I realised as I got older that some warmth/golden tones actually look better on me as a head full of cool tones can be ageing.
If you’re a blonde and you live in Melbourne, I highly recommend heading to Elliott Steele Hair as they are absolute pros at creating the most beautiful range of blonde shades. They know what they are doing, are realistic and take the time to get it right- if you scroll their Instagram page you’ll see what I mean, and why I decided to go there.
I see Carly, and when I met her I explained that with two kids I don’t get to the hairdresser regularly- prior to seeing her it had been regular six month stints between appointments. Because of this (and the fact that it’s unlikely I’ll have a huge amount of self maintenance time with a newborn) she has created the most beautiful “beigey biscuity lived-in blonde” for me- it will grow out nicely without me having to rush back in at the first sign of regrowth.
2. Shampoo and Conditioner
My hair has a natural, beachy, wavy curl. Because of this, it can feel quite dry and frizzy before its styled and theres also a LOT of it to deal with. I wash it once a week and my hair has adjusted to this and doesn’t get oily. I use a “normal” amount of shampoo but feel I NEED a palmful of conditioner each time I wash-my hair absolutely drinks it up and I fear I won’t get a brush through it if I use less. Given the amount of conditioner I use, for years I have always tried to buy in bulk, so I’ll always buy a 1000ml bottle if I have the option- it lasts a long time and is better value for money.
My newfound love is the range by Australian brand Mr. Smith (here)– Carly introduced me to this brand as it is stocked at Elliott Steele Salon. I have been trialling the Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner which comes with an Exfoliating Body Wash. These products smell amazing and leave my hair feeling ultra fresh, clean and smooth. They’re not tested on animals (PETA certified) and do not contain any sulphates or parabens- I definitely recommend.
3. At Home Colour Maintenance
In terms of colour maintenance, I had read about a new product called Blond during COVID-19 isolation, and the reviews and the before and after photos were so good that I had made a mental note to purchase some once my colour was sorted. During the first round of isolation I had two distinct shades of hair in my ponytail-with the elastic band being the separation between the two colours- eep!!!. As Mr. Smith is a product used and sold at Elliott Steele, I asked Carly about it and she confirmed how good it is, and suggested to cocktail in a small amount with conditioner to keep blonde hair looking bright and remove any unwanted warm tones. I have found that the difference between Blond and other purple shampoos on the market (I swear I’ve used them all) is that this is a treatment mask rather than a shampoo so it does not make hair feel dry and it gives fantastic results for keeping unwanted tones at bay in between salon visits (find it here).
4. Styling Tools
My hair is either in a (lacklustre) ponytail or fully styled with polished waves and there’s absolutely no in-between. Although the waves are a bit of effort, once they’re done they will last for the majority of the week so to me, it’s worth it.
If I’m styling it myself, I wash my hair in the morning and let it air dry naturally. I feel this is the key for me to achieve waves that last for 4-5 days. If I blow dry it or straighten it first, I have found that the waves themselves never last as long. I know I should be using a heat protectant and I do have some in my bathroom cupboard but if I’m being honest, the majority of the time I don’t use one. Once my hair is dry I section it in small layers starting from the bottom. I use the H2D Ice X 5 Professional Curling Wand and am happy to use either the medium or the large barrel as they both give a beautiful result. If you’re considering buying one, I have found you can generally always find this kit on sale somewhere if you do your research.
I take small sections of hair and wrap them around the wand, always moving away from my face. After a layer has been completed I continue moving up the head in layers, leaving the middle segments around my face until the end so I can decide how much hair goes into those final waves around the face to frame it nicely. Then I brush all the waves out and rejoice as they drop slightly over the next few days.
5. Hair Brush
On a trip to New York I got my hair done at Dry Bar and picked up one of their Lemon Drop hairbrushes. I ended up falling in love with this hairbrush and couldn’t bear to part with it. I was very happy to see them stocked at Sephora in Australia and have since purchased more of them. I know I should be able to give you reasons why I love these brushes but I’m struggling…..I think its because it detangles my fine (but thick), knotty hair so well without hurting, I use it on both wet and dry hair…I haven’t been able to use another since getting my hands on this one.
If I’m going out somewhere I use Make Me Shine Spray Gloss. I find this spray adds a shimmer/shine to my hair without weighing it down like a hairspray would. I don’t use this day to day as I feel the need to wash my hair a lot sooner after adding any finishing products.
That’s it! Everything I use and would recommend to friends, family and to you! Feel free to DM me on Instagram if you have any questions.