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Hair care products, GHD straighteners and treatments, a guide for UK shoppers

HQ Hair Care Products
- Luxury professional hair care products by top brands including Tigi Bed Head, Fudge, Kerastase, Paul Mitchell, Redken, Matrix, S-Factor by Tigi, Fudge, Aveda, American Crew and more. The ranges include hair shampoos, conditioners, conditioning hair treatments and styling products.
Also stock Becca cosmetics.

Changing Your Hair Colour

I always find articles on changing your hair colour to be rather preaching and condescending, a little bit like some hairdressers, because if you want to change your hair colour dramatically, eg from dark brown to pale blonde, you will encounter resistance of the form:

  • It won't suit your skin tones to have such a dramatic change
  • Your hair will end up dry and in poor condition
  • It will require a lot of upkeep and expense to keep on top of the colour

Now my hair is naturally a dark brown / auburn colour. It's quite a nice colour really, and it's "such a shame" that I bleach it. So, I'm going to show you my natural and current hair colours, tell you honestly the advantages and disadvantages of bleaching your hair to within an inch of its life, and let you make your own decision.

mandy boylett brunetteMandy with her natural hair

OK, so the secret is out. I am not a natural blonde. My collars and cuffs do not match. Ahem!

The picture to the right was taken about seven years ago. It shows the natural colour and texture of my hair. The reddish bits in the hair are completely natural, as is the wave. I'm looking a bit grumpy on the picture because I was going through my sultry stage, when I thought I would look more attractive if I didn't smile. It was actually taken whilst I was breastfeeding my youngest son in a café in Amsterdam. My hair is slightly dry with split ends, not because I don't condition it, but due to its fine, frizzy texture.


mandy boylett blondeMandy with her unnatural hair

Here I am with my hair as I currently wear it. It is (temporarily) straightened with GHD hair straighteners that I find to be very effective. Notice that I am now smiling. My hair is in very bad condition, the ends now break off so I can't get my hair any longer than it appears. However, I think I look gorgeous! See Hair Straighteners for more information on straightening your hair.

When I originally went blonde, I had my highlights done at Toni and Guy. The highlighting technique used means that your hair is slightly darker towards the roots to give a more natural appearance, rather than a solid dark brown line when the roots grow out. I would have a full head of highlights done the first time, then about six weeks later a half head of highlights, and the treatments alternated in this way to maintain the look.

Although my hairdresser at Toni and Guy coloured my hair nicely, I found it to be very expensive. The highlights were costing about £50 every six weeks, and that was not even including a cut. I now get my husband, Andy, to do my highlights "he's very clever, you know". Andy is not a hairdresser, but he can turn his hand to just about anything. We stood watching hairdressers applying foil highlights through salon windows until he worked out what it was he needed to do. He confirmed this by reading an NVQ level 3 hairdressing manual (I kid you not).

The lightening mixture we use is the Jerome Russell B-Blonde Permanent Lightener Kit (Medium To Dark Brown Hair) and we leave the mixture to develop for about 55 minutes without heat. (Note: These are not instructions for you to try at home. Your hair is different to mine. We are not trained hairdressers. Don't blame me if you have a go and your crowning glory turns orange and falls out.)

My hair is in very poor condition - let's face it, it was dry before I did anything to it. However, it's not that difficult to maintain - Andy does the roots for me about every 6 weeks and the bleach only costs a few pounds per treatment. I have fair skin anyway (I never tan in the sun) and so the blonde colour does go well with my skin tones.

So I'll leave the decision to you. Do I look better blonde or brunette? The choice is yours...

Just Beautifully
- Hair care products including straighteners, dryers, curlers, stylers and tongs, clippers and trimmers, brushes, combs and scissors, together with a fantastic range of professional hair products including shampoo, conditioner, treatments, shine enhancers and thermal protection. Brands sold include MOP, Tigi, Fudge, GHD, American Crew and Sexy Hair.
Jason Shankey
- A great range including the GHD hair straighteners and mini straighteners, dryers, diffusers and straighteners by Hairart T3, together with a range of professional treatment and styling products by L'Oréal, Tigi and Fudge.

The Funky Hair Group
- Stockists of GHD and cordess hair straighteners, curling tongs, hairdryers, professional brushes, clippers and hair loss treatments.

Heavenly Hair Accessories
- The extensive range includes hair clips, scrunchies, barrettes. bands, elastics, bobbles and clamps.