The downsides of healthy, virgin hair
Confession: naturally healthy, colour-free hair is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it’s shiny and glossy. It air-dries nicely and elicits compliments from everyone - but it doesn’t do anything.
This used to be the story of my life. I’d have my tresses teased and styled to absolute perfection, and by the time I’d paid and left the salon, it’d have fallen lifeless at the roots.
That all changed when I went to visit Barney Martin at his salon in Surry Hills. We exchanged hellos and how-are-yous, and as I started to tell him about my healthy hair woes, without missing a beat, he said, “you should colour your hair - give it some texture and grit”. Turns out, he was onto something...
Is healthy, virgin hair overrated?
If your hair is colour-treated, even just a little bit, you can still achieve shiny blow-dries, but you can also get that lived-in, bedhead texture that silky, virgin hair just can’t. Basically, if your locks are all gloss and no grit, many products and the heat from styling tools have nothing to hold onto. Plus, non-coloured hair has no dryness to counteract sebum production, so you probably need to wash it more often. Barney says this usually happens with fine and medium hair: “As hair is healthy, the cuticle is closed, meaning the hair is at its smoothest, sleekest and flattest. If the cuticle is swollen or open, the hair tends to hold texture more. Natural, shiny hair is great for long, sleek styles but not so good for volumised or textured looks.”
So, what to do?
Dye your hair, but leave it to the pros. They’ll be able to give you the right amount of colour, without stripping too much of your natural hue. Tell them your goal is to keep the same shade, but add some texture, body and, well, life. Ask for a full head of thin highlights - a bit of what Barney calls “detailing” - and then put a rinse over the highlights to end up with an overall colour that’s closer to your natural hue. That way, instead of just brown (for example), your locks will have a multidimensional effect they didn’t before.
Barney’s at-home tip? Start using dry shampoos, and not just in between washes to tide you over for another day. Get in the habit of using them on a daily basis because they not only “absorb unwanted oil, but also provide texture, which gives flat hair an added boost”.
Let’s add that to the long list of reasons why dry shampoo is the best beauty invention ever!
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