Hair care guide


Woman singing into hairbrushThe excellent thing about the Mumsnet Style & Beauty Talk board is that however grim you're feeling, there is always someone out there who shares your pain, and never more so than when you are having a bad hair day.

Fine hair

Here's what's interesting about fine hair, for all the many millions of pounds' worth of products designed to thicken, strengthen and generally bouff-up fine hair, the single best thing you can use to battle lankness is the Babyliss Big Hair, a swirly-twirly hairdryer that gives oomph where previously there was none. Just get one.

"A friend phoned me to rave about this product and I am usually deeply unimpressed, but I bought it on a whim and I can't quite believe it." pagwatch

In fact, extra-volume products tend to add extra weight, which is all very well until you leave the house and experience anything approaching weather, at which point your entire 'do' heads south. Nul points.

Cut is everything, and do not be tempted to let your fine hair get too long.

"I think, speaking as one with fine hair, that you have to give up on long hair. I have tried but it's just no good. So go for a classic, blunt-cut, short bob - it'll look much thicker and fuller and really is better than limp and floppy." santacutie

Dyed hair

Everyone has dyed hair nowadays, don't they? Well, not quite, but even a semi-permanent can boost the mood. Venturing into the realm of permanent colour, however, must be done with consideration and caution.

Condition is everything, because chemicals can make hair appear drier than it is, and can lose shine and fade. Thankfully, there are many 'colour care' shampoos on the market. And you know, you can always go grey.

"My friend went grey very young and I thought she looked most beautiful when she was pregnant and didn't dye her hair. The minute she gave birth she went off to the hairdressers and her hair was too dark and too flat." ingles2

Dry hair

And what do we do with dry hair? Why, stick a serum on it, of course. But not so fast, the straw-haired women of the MN Style & Beauty board would advise choosing such products carefully, avoiding silicons and paying particular attention to the list of ingredients on shampoo.

"I steer clear of anything (ie most high street stuff) that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS for short. It's an industrial chemical used for cleaning oils, but foams well, hence manufacturers like to use it. Tis obviously incredibly drying as it strips our hair and skin of precious oils. Most organic shampoos don't contain SLS - but double-check, because some are sneaky." Furball

Oily hair

Often, when people moan on Mumsnet about having greasy hair, people with dry hair come on and insist that the way to proceed is to wash it less.

Crowd-sourcing of advice is all very well, but be sure to take said advice from other greasers, who know that regular shampooing, with a gentle, SLS-free shampoo, is the only way.

"I have extremely greasy hair and used to wash it with shampoo and slap it back in a ponytail. I got advice from a very experienced hairdresser and was advised not to use anything medicated like dandruff stuff. Just lightly condition once a week." parker1313

Curly hair

The so-called Curly Girl Method has gained many, many followers here on Mumsnet. There is a book, Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey, and no shortage of blogs and websites as well as MN's own Style section, where the merits of the 'no 'poo' approach are discussed. (And that's 'poo. Not poo. You will find the latter being discussed just about everywhere else on Mumsnet, though, if that's any comfort.)

"I have decided to embrace my wavy/curly hair recently and have done some reading around, this is my routine:

  • Wash with non-SLS shampoo every other day (I use Soap & Glory), but only wash the scalp using fingerpads
  • Use conditioner for curly hair every day just on the ends
  • Once a fortnight, use a clarifying shampoo
  • Don't rub hair dry, just blot it
  • Use leave-in conditioner (I use the Aussie brand spray, as it's lighter than a creme)
  • Also use something like Boots Curl Cream, rub it in your hands until it emulsifies and then apply scrunching it in
  • Leave to dry naturally

DO NOT BRUSH. I have had so many compliments about my hair recently and it's actually very low maintenance." Librashavinganotherbiscuit

So there we have it, your crowning glory is gorgeous. Should you wish to discuss just how gorgeous, do not forget to head to Style & Beauty to swish your hair and toss your curls appropriately.

Last updated: almost 2 years ago