How to get the hair you want with the hair you have

Backstage at Missoni A/W 16
Credit: Sean Cunningham

When it comes to your hair, you always want what you don’t have. Those with naturally fine, straight locks want voluminous curls and vice versa. According to research, only one in 10 British women are happy with their hair and despite shelves brimming with products promising to shape every texture and style, 47 percent don’t know how to make the best of it.

With this in mind, we asked two experts how to create the hair you want with the hair you have…

If you have straight hair, but want curls and waves…

Credit: Sean Cunningham

To create long-lasting curls prepping your hair is essential. “You want products that hold without looking stiff,” explains the hair stylist Jason Lawrence. “Spritz L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli Thermo-Fixing Spray, £11.90, through damp hair and for extra volume, layer with a mousse, such as Tigi Bed Head Queen for a Day, £10.37, before drying.” Tongs, wands or heated rollers all give you a curl and are all equally is effective. It’s about finding the tool that you feel most comfortable using.

“If you find your curl drops too quickly, use a smaller sized tool,” says Lawrence. “Once you’ve tonged it, twist and lip your hair to your head while the curl sets and spritz with hairspray.”

If you have fine hair, but want thicker-looking locks…

Credit: Sean Cunningham

Long-lasting volume is the Holy Grail for those with fine hair. The traditional method of backcombing hair and then fixing it with hairspray is still effective, but there are products that offer a similar texture too. “For a volume-booster, lightly mist hair with water and then apply Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray, £6.99, which is like backcombing in a bottle,” says Ken O’Rourke, hair stylist and Charles Worthington ambassador. Oribe Dry Texturising Spray, £39, is also a favourite amongst experts as it gives you that natural next day texture with none of the grit. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to style your hair, switching the side of your parting can also create instant height.

If you’re willing to commit more time and effort, adding a few lighter strands of colour to your hair can create natural-looking texture and volume. Ask your hairdresser to focus around your parting line and the crown of your head.

If you have thick hair, but want lighter tresses…

Credit: Sean Cunningham

Frizz is often a key concern for those with thick, unruly hair. Adding a hydrating hair mask to your weekly regime will help, as will combing a smoothing serum through the mid-lengths and ends. Both Kerastase Discipline Fluidissime Spray, £15.65, and Pureology Smooth Perfection Serum, £17.25, relax and smooth your locks.

If you’re happy to wear your hair down, Lawrence also recommends braiding the lower section of your hair to the nape of your neck to help it to sit flatter. “Essentially it’s like an under cut, but it’s temporary and you don’t have to worry about the regrowth,” adds Lawrence. For those who struggle braiding their own hair, flat clips can offer a similar result.    

If you have curls, but want straight hair…

Credit: Sean Cunningham

“Curly hair generally has a lot of natural body that straight hair girls crave. Curls need weight in order for them in place, so go for a style that falls below your shoulders,” says Ken O’Rourke, hair stylist and Charles Worthington ambassador. “To make curly hair straight, it’s all in the blow-dry and what you prep the hair with.”  Use a five-pence-piece amount of Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow-dry, £23, through damp hair before blow-drying it. The formula smoothes frizz without weighing hair down.

“When your hair is 80 percent dry, employ a round bristle brush to pull your hair straight as you dry,” says O’Rourke. “Direct the dryer nozzle down to prevent frizz and make sure hair is completely dry before moving onto using straightening irons.” Spray Redken Frizz Dismiss Smooth Force Lotion, £13.60, through each section of your hair before straightening it. Not only does it offer heat protection, but it also smooths and makes your style last longer. For a super sleek finish, use small sections of hair – it takes longer, but the results are worth it.