Glasshouse clients are a diverse bunch. We see a wide variety of hair types moving through our doors every day, and no two consultations are the same, so it’s pretty obvious that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to getting the most out of your hair.
However, there is one piece of advice that always brings out the best in hair, whether it’s curly or straight, thick or thin, or something in between: embrace your natural texture. If you go with what your hair is doing naturally and learn to work with it and enhance it, you’ll always be onto a winner.
Lately at Glasshouse we’ve been thinking a lot about ways of keeping hair easy. From honouring natural hair superstar Solange to musing on the many merits of the fuss-free one length cut, simplicity is having a real moment here in the salon. So with that in mind, we bring you our latest masterclass, on wearing your hair as nature intended and enhancing your inborn assets with some clever care and styling tips from the Glasshouse girls.
Initially, the key to enjoying your hair’s natural texture is making sure you get the right cut. Our stylist Fiona has some general guidelines: “We tend to cut a lot of curly hair dry. We promote this so we can visualise how the curls sit - they’re different when the hair is wet, and it’s important that we can get to grips with the feel of the hair when it’s in its natural state.”
For thin hair, she recommends a blunter cut, noting that “thin hair often sits a bit better when it’s a bit shorter - anything longer than mid-length can look a bit flat.” If your hair is on the thicker side, Fiona suggests long layers to break things up and minimise width.
Once you’ve had the chop, it’s crucial to maintain the hair’s condition. Very simply, if your hair is damaged, its natural texture will inevitably be looking and feeling less than its best. If you’re dissatisfied with your hair’s texture, it’s more than likely that you’re using hot tools like straighteners or curlers to get your desired look. However, too much heat styling damages hair by degrading protein levels and bringing its overall condition down.
“Hair will always need repairing if you’re using hot tools, because over time they can degrade the natural protein and moisture levels in the hair. Protein treatments like Power Build or Power Build Revamp will help get the hair texture back to its best, but avoiding heat as much as possible is also key,” says Fiona.
It’s a common misconception that curly hair in particular always needs moisture, but this is often not the case. Getting hair to the right protein level can be crucial for curlier hair types: “Protein helps with the hair’s elasticity, promoting springy even curls and texture,” says Glasshouse director Olivia.
Finally, once you’ve got your hair’s condition on lockdown, understanding the best ways to style it can be invaluable in taking your natural texture to the next level. We asked stylists Ashleigh and Olivia about their secrets to getting the most out of curls:
“Hair will often sit in the nicest curls whilst wet, so after after shampooing and conditioning, gently towel dry the hair by squeezing and patting out the moisture - rubbing dry will cause curls to loose their bounce and separation, leading to a potentially frizzy finish. I often find combing the hair in the shower whilst it’s soaking wet, or only while the conditioner is in gives the best finish. If you wait till later you risk losing the nice natural curl shape you get when the hair is very wet. Never brush or comb curls once the hair has started to dry,” Olivia suggests.
Ashleigh takes a slightly different tack - “I tend to recommend a drop of either the Keep Curl Memory Gel if curls need smoothing, or the Keep Curl Memory Spray if the curls need a little more hold and encouragement. Apply by scrunching, or for a smoother finish try twisting sections of the hair around fingers to form smooth curls. In terms of blow-drying, it’s best to use a diffuser because this takes the heavy moisture out of the hair without flattening it with a traditional blow dry nozzle, and it also keeps the hair from getting too fluffy. After that, I’d just leave the hair slightly damp and let air-drying work its magic.”
For those of us with fine hair or no curl at all, but who want to embrace some texture, Ashleigh also has another hero product recommendation: “I swear by Olivine Love and Salt spray - it’s what I use on my own hair as well as any clients who have a thinner hair texture. It’s not at all tacky, and it’s by far the lightest sea salt spray I’ve used. This makes it great for adding volume, because it doesn’t weigh the hair down - you can just scrunch it in and go.”
At Glasshouse, our entire service is centred around bespoke haircare that works for each individual who comes into the salon. Working with your hair texture can improve the general health and look of your hair, and crucially, we think it’ll make your haircare routine just a little bit more fuss-free - and that’s the Glasshouse way.
Cover image: Lemaire
Words: Lauren O’Neill