The 3 reasons why my hair looks 'expensive' - and yours can too

Actress Jessica Alba
Credit:  Wong Maye-E,/ AP

By your mid-30s, you should have learnt three things: that you can improve but not change your basic body shape; that you will probably never enjoy improv jazz; and the art of accepting a compliment. There is nothing worse than a grown woman responding to praise with a deluge of self-flagellation.

‘Oh stop it! My skin’s a disaster and this dress makes me look like Michelin Man.’ I have now learnt to swallow that response. And when I get a particularly nice compliment, like the one a friend handed me the other day, I even take it home and keep it like a pet.

‘You have the hair I dream of – that “expensive hair” every woman wants,’ she said. Of course, it’s always easier to accept a compliment that has little to do with you. I have ‘expensive hair’ because I’ve been going to Daniel Galvin since I was old enough to tear a picture of Cindy Crawford out of a magazine and ask them to ‘make my hair look like that’.

Jessica Alba, Gisele, Isla Fisher, Cat Deeley and Jemima Goldsmith (I mean, how is that hair possible?): these are the women James Galvin’s clients ask to emulate. ‘And if you pare it down, it’s because “expensive hair” moves and swings,’ explains the Daniel Galvin creative director. ‘But it can only do that if the ends are cut regularly and the hair is in good condition, not over-processed.’ 

Colour 

Confirmation of this basic ‘how to’ comes from the other hair gurus I canvas – although each has their own ‘expensive hair’ recipe. Award-winning highlight specialist Christel Lundqvist, who has devised Prism Lights, an uber-subtle alternative to balayage, at her London salon, sees it as being about ‘replicating almost childhood hair colour and texture to give you that natural, luxe look’. 

Cut 

Meanwhile, John Vial at Salon Sloane – who is responsible for Helena Christensen’s mane – believes the key is in the cut. ‘We use techniques that give the illusion of “block” cutting, but are actually much softer, which allow the hair to move more fluidly.’  He also recommends older clients leave the ends out when curling and tonging, ‘so that hair doesn’t bounce like a 1970s commercial’.  Armed with these tips – and the products below – you might even be able to get expensive hair on the cheap.

Products 

Living Hair Sprouted Mineral Greens Shampoo, £22.95, The Body Deli 

Living Hair Sprouted Mineral Greens Shampoo, £22.95, The Body Deli 

This shampoo can bring dull hair back to life. 

Regenerating Mask, £54, Christophe Robin 

Regenerating Mask, £54, Christophe Robin 

Responsible for the ‘expensive hair’ of stars such as Kate Moss, this helps prevent breakages.

Transforming Dry Shampoo, £11.85, Catwalk by Tigi 

Transforming Dry Shampoo, £11.85, Catwalk by Tigi 

This wonder product will maintain shine and volume for up to five days. 

Feed Your Youth Treatment Serum, £29, Yarok 

Feed Your Youth Treatment Serum, £29, Yarok 

Hot from New York, this anti-ageing treatment delivers results for split and frizz-prone hair. 

Fusio-Dose Concentré Oléo-Fusion, £34.49 for 10, Kérastase 

Fusio-Dose Concentré Oléo-Fusion, £34.49 for 10, Kérastase 

For an instant hair pick-me-up, half of one  of these 12ml vials could do the trick.