beauty

LEIGH CAMPBELL: The 6 little tricks I use to keep my hair looking nice.

Back in the days I worked at Cosmopolitan, the issues of the magazine that always sold the best were the ones that contained stories about hair. If there was a coverline related to hair, it helped us sell copies.

Because hair is annoying, and disobedient. And although it’s dead, we spend a silly amount of time and money loving it and trying to get it to love us back.

Watch: Styling tips from Kate Middleton's hairdresser. Post continues below. 


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Personally I find doing my hair boring and laborious. I’m intrinsically lazy so I’m always looking for shortcuts when it comes to caring for and styling my hair. Luckily I’ve picked up a fair few tricks in my 15 years of writing about beauty, so I’ll share the best ones with you now.

1. Make sure you’re using shampoo the right way.

I reckon half the population uses shampoo incorrectly. Most people put a blob on their hand then whack that blob on their head and then start rubbing. This is wrong.

To use shampoo correctly, put the blob in your palm, then work the product up into a lather with your hands and fingers on both hands, theeeen gently distribute through the scalp, mid-lengths and ends. This will mean a more even distribution, a better clean and you’ll be less likely to be left with product residue or build-up at your roots (which makes hair feel dirtier and more oily).

2. Conditioner and masks from the ears down.

Hair stylists tell people to use conditioner and masks from the mid-lengths down, but this can be confusing if you’ve got really long hair. 

So, as a better general rule for everyone, conditioner and masks go on from the ears down - no higher. We avoid the roots with these products because they generally add weight and can leave hair looking limp or dirty.

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3. Work with your natural texture (make air-drying your friend).

I have fairly straight hair with the teeniest tiniest bend to it. When I was young I desperately wanted curls (I had a spiral perm from the age of eight, that’s how bad I wanted it) and in my early twenties I wanted poker-straight hair. Both took ages to style and fried the sh*t out of my hair. 

To make your life easier, work with your hair’s natural texture and make air-drying your friend. If I need to look polished I let my hair air-dry to about 80 per cent and then just style the top bits so they look smooth and less frizzy. It works on all hair styles, you just have to play around a little.

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4. Choose your weapon of destruction.

All forms of styling - be they chemical or heat - damage your hair. For that reason I pick my weapon of choice wisely. As discussed above, I’ll often let my hair air-dry, then use a straightener to add a few waves on the top. This means a lot less damage than blow drying it from wet and then using the hot iron on top, which would be a double whammy. It’s faster too, as I do other stuff while it dries.

5. Use your ears as a styling tool.

This is a weird one but I swear by it. When I want that cool-girl ‘editorial’ look like I just woke up but my hair is fabulous, I put my wet hair behind each ear (with my hair parted in the centre). As it dries there it adds the perfect ‘bend’, so when I release my hair from behind my ear it just looks tousled and cool. It makes me feel all Kate Moss or like an Olsen Twin. It works a treat on straight to wavy hair.

6. You need way less product than you think you do.

I am basically writing this tip for myself. I go overboard on products pretty much every week, so you’d think I would have learned by now. Less conditioner will mean happier hair, not weighed down or lank strands, and the same goes with heat protectants, serums and styling products. You can always add more as you style, but you can't really remove it if you’ve put in too much, bar from washing your hair and starting all over again.

Do you have any hair styling tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Instagram / @leighcampbell


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