Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 7: Reader Q&A

Forgive me for this photo being two years old, but I've run out of photos and this one shows my natural hair colour quite well.  I'm having a cuddle with my nephew Micky.

Anonymous asked:

I am envious of your gorgeous hair- looks so healthy! Can you tell us how you care for it and how you tend to style it? Any helpful tips you can share will be so appreciated!

That’s really nice of you to say, Anonymous, and it makes me laugh a little bit because my hair is often my biggest source of stress.  Will it go frizzy today?  Should I colour it differently or let it go natural?  How can I heat-style it to look nice without damaging it too much?  Is this way I do it too young or too old?  So many questions.

But let’s start from the beginning, in the shower.  I’ve tried fancy shampoos in the past, and found them no better than less expensive ones (in my opinion).  I’ve been using L’Oréal Elvive shampoo and conditioners for a while and really like them.  They are a great price at the supermarket and I even pulled an extreme couponing move this week when I bought a $6.59 bottle of shampoo on special at $4.00, and I had a $3.00 manufacturer’s coupon.  $1.00 total!  I was so proud of myself.

I used to wash my hair every second day but thought I’d try every third day to not overwash.  So far so good and I’ve been doing it close to a month.  I don’t feel so bad about using my hairdryer and occasional flat-irons now.  I do have good quality appliances.  My mum bought me, at my request an Italian Parlux hairdryer for my fortieth birthday, and I have a set of GHDs which have been in use for several years now (bought through a hairdressing salon) so no complaints with the longevity of these.

Something else I have that I love, is one of those micro-fibre turbans.  It’s so nice to comb my wet hair and then put that on.  It means I can enjoy my breakfast without wet hang dangling around my neck.  And when I take it off to blow-dry my hair most of the moisture is gone.

I use a very light hand with hair products before blow-drying because my hair is very fine so it easily gets weighed down.  Sometimes I use nothing and sometimes I use a light serum or gel/cream.  Just a tiny bit and I comb it through, then start drying it with the hairdryer using my hands before I move onto a round brush. 

Depending on my mood I might dry my hair entirely with my hands for a natural slightly wavy look, or I might section starting from the bottom, holding it with a beak-type clip that hairdressers use, and straighten it out one layer at a time.  That certainly makes it nice and shiny but takes a while and by the time I get near the top of my hair my hairdryer arm is aching.

I used to let my hair dry naturally but it does me no favours.  The type of hair I have is lots of it but fine, and it dries a bit woolly with curly and wavy areas.  I feel like the coloured areas are a bit wrecked on the ends (and I’ve just had it trimmed), so I’m going without colour for a while for a change. 

Air-drying amplifies the grey hairs I have, since they’re a more wiry texture, and I don’t want to look like one of those crazy ladies (you know the ones).  Blow-drying definitely blends in grey hairs, both in colour and texture, and I tell myself that my natural colour is a highly expensive and rare, extremely fine, priceless in fact, shade.

After my last trim and blow-wave my husband asked if I’d had colour, which just tells me I need to keep on blow-drying to not want to go back to damaging colour.  Blow-dying makes your hair look better which is quite ironic since it’s not better for your hair than air-drying, in fact a lot worse.

I always reserve the right to change my mind about colour though.  I go through phases.

Last time I had some colour the hairdresser did ‘high-lift tint’ highlights rather than colour/bleach highlights, so if I feel like a boost, then I may get a handful of high-lift tint highlights scattered over the top.  Usually I had a half-head of highlights/low-lights (it was about every three months) done very naturally so I didn’t have obvious regrowth.  The underneath colour is completely natural.

Ways I like to wear my hair are:

-         Down, parted on one side or the other
-         A sleek ponytail, high or low
-         Half-up, with the bottom down and the top looped up at the back with two bobby pins crossed over to hold it

I haven’t worn my hair in a chignon for a while.  Even though I say I feel French in it, I actually feel like a grandma.  And even though technically I am a cat-grandma, I don’t want to dress or look like one (a customer did actually say that to me yesterday, without the word ‘technically’ or ‘cat’ in the sentence).

One thing I can’t live without, and that’s hairspray.  I use it every day.  I used to buy supermarket hairspray but always wanted to try Elnett.  I finally got some, in a big gold can and it’s wonderful.  It looks and smells glamorous and I love using it.  A big can lasts for so long too, I think I can forget the price and treat myself.

I hope you’re not too bored by now, I know I am listening to me go on about my hair, but if there is anything else you’d like to know, ask away.


  1. I tell myself my hair is silver (not gray) LOL. Your hair looks lovely.

  2. Another great post Fiona. I too have fine hair, which I keep short. I coloured my hair (a variety of colours, always professionally) for about 25 years but stopped about five years ago. Although it's still dark, there is a fair bit of silver (like Juhli's!) but the amazing thing is that the condition of my hair has improved out of sight. I now get compliments on the colour of my hair -- which is entirely natural and thicker than it's been in decades.

  3. Oh I hate those wiry silver hairs! I have them.

  4. Hi- I am the one who asked the question and I am so happy you replied! My hair is also very fine but I have lots of it- so hard to style nicely. Like you, I found that washing every other day (or even third day) makes a huge difference with it's health- I also love dry shampoo!.

    I am so appreciative of all your tips and am learning so much from you. Agree about the look of a good blow-dry. I sometimes treat myself to a professional blow-dry which will last four days and I will feel so gorgeous all that time!

    Thanks again- you are beautiful inside and out!

  5. Lol about the hair spray! I can tell you are a fellow 80's girl! Can't leave home without it! Funny thing....when my 18 year old step daughter and her 3 friends spent the night I ran out and asked if anybody had any and they all looked at eachother and said they don't use hair spray!

  6. HI Fiona, So glad you are writing again. I have fine hair too and keep it highlighted for texture. I also use a "beach spray" on it which gives it great body.

    I have been learning so much from you and the way you live your life! Enjoy your writing very much.

    Donna at


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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