Last spring I finally got an old curling iron (purchased in the late 1980s) with a barrel so large it would have been modeled after Coca-Cola cans.
Of course, it was at this exact moment that everyone started to become obsessed with tutorials showing how to recreate Cindy Crawford’s huge-haired look of the 90s. We’re talking glorious, shiny, gigantic do’s, with some serious supermodel attitude – making wannabes grapple with arm pain and scorched scalps.
The curly-curled Adele confirmed the return of the large, bouncy hair dryer. Then, last week, the Duchess of Cambridge beamed down with a torrent of Rita Hayworth curls and the world exclaimed, ‘Wonderful! Miraculous! Let’s look like this now!’
For some of us, the big bouncy blow-dry never went away.
In the summer, I threw a bouffant-mode party, despite a hairdresser friend begging me to stop in favor of the cool, unstructured flex made famous by George Northwood on his poster hipster, Alexa Chung. ‘Oh my God, Hannah, no! You look like Shirley Temple,’ he whined as I passed it shiny.
Hannah Betts shares advice for embracing the big bouncy blowdry trend seen on Adele (pictured)
But I’m not cool. I’m 50, and the heart wants what the heart wants. Lush, bouncy styles say health, energy, greatness. If I want slack locks, I can wake up with it. Instead, I long for the elevation that only an expert can bring.
My expert favorite is Magda Liliana Chelinho, who operates out of Cila Hairdressing, a small salon near London’s Victoria station (cilahairdressing.com).
Given my role, it’s not bragging to say I could probably score a free blow dryer at every scrap in the country. However, I pay to see Magda because Magda is the best.
Not only is her styling gorgeous, it’s a bargain (£25 for medium lengths), takes 20 minutes and lasts for a week.
I’m afraid she’s being dragged away by some super-rich tyrant who wants to be groomed on a yacht, and picks up a lottery ticket every now and then so this rich bitch in question can be me.
Before Magda, I was lucky enough to have my locks groomed by the biggest names in the business, but I preferred going out of the salon with wet hair, that’s how little I liked most blow dryers. I thought they were too straightforward, too naff, too newsreader. I wanted something minxish, witty, worth having.
What I needed was go-getter hair: a neat, glamorous, dominating hairstyle. It’s not for nothing that we associate it with the 1940s and 1980s – eras when women pushed their way through the glass ceiling and emerged with no lock in place.
First, Magda prefers L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo (£9.35, lookfantastic.com). Then remove thoroughly and do not condition too much (mid and ends only) otherwise the hair will become too soft and limp.
Use a root boost. Again, the Magda pick is L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Root Spray (£10.15). Turn your head upside down and shoot the roots to make sure they stand up straight.
The trick is to get the roots almost 100 percent dry. Even those using the BaByliss Big Hair Care Hot Air Styler (£70, reduced to £34.99, amazon.com) or Dyson Airwrap (£449.99, dyson.com) should keep this in mind or their locks do not go up -out.
Hannah (pictured) said her favorite expert is Magda Liliana Chelinho, when she wants a hair dryer
Magda’s favorite brushes are the ultra-spiky Termix Evolution series (from £7.68, coolblades.co.uk): the thicker the barrel, the bigger the curl.
The dryer she’s on is the Parlux 3200, with a thin nozzle (£94.95, amazon.com): compact, fast and hot.
Wrap strands around the barrel making sure they are smooth against the spines, including ends, otherwise they will stick out at an angle. Hold tight and pull the hair straight up from the root.
I love a 1940s shot with hair on my face, so Magda only makes curls one way: up and out. However, for an 80s vibe, one can style both ways.
When she’s done, Magda uses one last heat wave to “release the hair.” I’m a fan: hair should look like hair, but expertly cut. A spritz of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium Pure 6 Hairspray (£8.45, allbeauty.com) from below and you’re going to headbutt the patriarchy.
RACING YOU TO IT
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR
Sophie-Ellis Bextor (pictured) likes bright makeup and Barry M nails, because she wants to look like a good version of her age
The 42-year-old mother of five – who did a 24-hour danceathon for BBC Children In Need last week and raised more than £1 million – has stated: ‘I don’t want to look younger, I just want to look like a good version of my age.’ She likes bright makeup and Barry M nails and says, “It’s amazing how much it can change your mood.” Plus, Lancôme Hypnôse Artliner Precision Liquid Eyeliner and Mac’s Pink-Orange Vegas Volt for Lips.
You don’t really crave oral hygiene, but with kissing and socializing season just around the corner, Hello Activated Charcoal Freshening Mouthwash – an all-new, all-natural rinse – is a gift for the middle-aged mouth.
It eliminates odor without stripping your oral microbiome (thus exacerbating the problem).
At the same time, bad breath is especially a problem if your mouth dries out, so Hello’s mouthwash contains coconut oil to help hydrate it.
Face mask mouth, get out!
ONE MINUTE MANICURE
A one-coat wonder with a drying time of 60 seconds.
Lacquer lovers will love these couture colors.
A powerful purple that lasts up to ten days.
Less ‘lawn green’ than Christmas tree.
A mix of silicones that makes any paint touch dry in seconds.