Here’s a little updated video on how I style my shoulder length hair – regular readers have seen this all before, I’m not sure much has changed.
The Cloud Nine curling wand is still the tool of choice (here*) – it’s just the right diameter for the curls I like to make (they quickly drop into waves) and it doesn’t have a clamp to negotiate with. I don’t get on with the tongs with a clamp at all.
I choose to curl rather than wave because if I just wave the hair, by the end of the first day it’s almost straight ,just with better texture and volume. Curling it gives me at least a day or two of full, sexy waves and then a day or too more of texture. If I use enough dry shampoo and try not to touch my roots I can get four full days out of one torturous curling session!
(It’s not that bad. I just get aching arms from holding the wand in the air, which is testament to how unfit I am. Or maybe not unfit: untoned. My arms have always been weak and flimsy; it was my intention, when I was in my twenties, to really buff them up, GI jane-style, and do pull-ups like Sarah Connor in The Terminator but I think I managed about four pull-ups, once, before I decided that arm strength wasn’t for me.)
After curling the whole lot – it’s important to section off tiny strands because if you try to do chunks that are too big they don’t curl so well – I spray my roots with Living Proof Dry Volume spray (here online*) and then the whole thing with Elnett hairspray (online here*.)
Dry Volume Spray is a hair miracle in a can: spritz roots and massage in and BOOM. Massive volume without any crunch or stickiness. It’s fast becoming my “can’t live without” hair product. Elnett is for holding the waves. Again, no stickiness or crispiness, this just brushes out if you need it to, though I like to just layer it over a number of days until I’m left with a huge, grippy mass of hair on top of my head.
Any questions, let me know in the comments. My hair, by the way, is cut to all one length just at shoulder level in a sort of blunt-ended long bob. No layers.
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Good grief I put Elnett’s Extra Strength Hairspray through its paces for these photos! Short of sitting in a sauna for an hour, I can’t think of anything that would test the limits of a hairspray more. Gale force winds, driving rain, what felt like sleet at one point, a broken car heater that wouldn’t stop blasting out boiling hot air, two kids riding on my back using my hair as reins (“be a horsey Mummy”)… By the end of the day I should have looked like Worzel Gummidge, instead I looked pretty presentable, all things considered.
I wasn’t even set the task of testing the Elnett Extra Strength Hairspray’s powers – all of that was purely incidental. My intention was to take some nice pictures and tell you about the limited edition Electric Nights can, which is a very festive red instead of the usual gold, but I got sidetracked by the performance.
It’s no secret that I have a very long-term love affair with Elnett – just read this post to find out why it gets me all sentimental – but the Extra Strength version is new to me. I have to admit to the fact that I was slightly apprehensive about the first application, because stronger hairsprays usually leave my hair as crispy as a Ryvita. Stiff as a board. And I hate that feeling. I love the hold and I love what a strong hairspray can do, in terms of keeping things sleek or adding volume or what have you, but I can’t stand not being able to run my hands through my hair.
Not a problem with the Elnett Extra Strength – just like the original, there’s no stickiness or crispiness to the finish and you can simply brush it out when you want to restyle. I have no idea how this miracle is achieved, but I’m glad that this particular level of low-commitment hair styling exists. Because I like to brush out my high-glam before I go to bed, in the same way that I like to take all of my makeup off.
Anyway, the hold is excellent. I didn’t quite test the “up to 24 hours” claim but I think that my extreme conditions more than made up for the shortened timeframe. The weather was truly frightful and my broken car heater basically replicated what it would be like if you stood in front of an industrial space-heater for ten minutes. One half of my face was actually cooked, like a boiled ham and the metal buckles on my coat were glowing red, like iron on a blacksmith’s anvil. It’s amazing I’m still alive, quite frankly, and even more amazing that my hair still looked almost perfect.
In case you’re wondering, my choice of festive hairstyle was a three-step catalogue of near-disasters. “Do something festive”, they said, and so I was going to do this amazing, towering, backcombed up-do with sleeked sides and a messy chignon. And then I woke up and realised that I wasn’t Guido Palau and went with some low-key waves.
I’d like it recorded, however, that I did spend quite a while prepping and fussing with my hair to achieve this particular look: first I blow-dried it smooth, then I put in rollers through the top and front to give it a bit of bounce and lift (surprisingly this made quite a lot of difference!) and then I went in with the waving tongs and gave it all a once-over.
Fixed it all in place with liberal amounts of Elnett Electric Nights Limited Edition Extra Strength Hairspray, including one dizzying upside-down session where I sprayed the roots and underneath sections to give a bit more texture and body.
My usual (almost daily) use for Elnett is to fix down the flyaways around my hairline when I have my hair in a neat bun or ponytail, but it’s equally as good for setting styles that are looser or longer – because you can brush it out the styles feel flexible and natural.
Right, that’s enough of this year’s Elnett love-in – you can find the limited edition Electric Nights version at Superdrug here – it’s £4.19.
What’s your usual party style for hair? Do we all have one? And which kind of style is the one that you always dream of doing but never quite achieve? That “ooh, I’m going out-out so I must do something with my hair that is potentially going to make me late but only after I’ve burnt myself twice with something heated and then cried and then realised that my whole head looks like a haystack and that it looked better before I started”?
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