Last spring, I finally disposed of an ancient curling tong (acquired in the late 1980s) with a barrel so vast it was said to be modelled on Coca-Cola cans.
Naturally, it was at this precise moment that everyone began obsessing over tutorials showing how to create the huge-haired look of 1990s-era Cindy Crawford. We’re talking glorious, glossy, gigantic dos, with serious supermodel attitude — leaving wannabes grappling with arm ache and scorched scalps.
Tremendously-tressed Adele confirmed the return of the big, bouncy blow-dry. Then, last week, the Duchess of Cambridge beamed down with a torrent of Rita Hayworth curls and the world cried: ‘Magnificent! Miraculous! Make us look like this now!’
For some of us, the big, bouncy blow-dry never went away.
In the summer, I threw a party in bouffant mode, despite a hairdresser friend pleading with me to desist in favour of the cool, unstructured bendiness made famous by George Northwood on his poster hipster, Alexa Chung. ‘Oh, God, Hannah, no! You look like Shirley Temple,’ he whined, as I bounded lustrously by.
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. Sumptuous, springy styles say health, energy, fabulousness. If I want lank locks, I can wake up with them. Instead, I crave the uplift only an expert can bring.
My expert of choice is Magda Liliana Chelinho, who operates out of Cila Hairdressing, a small salon near London’s Victoria station (cilahairdressing.com).
Given my role, it is not show-offy to say that I could probably score a free blow-dry at any snippers in the land. However, I pay to see Magda because Magda is the best.
Not only is her styling magnificent, it is a bobby bargain (£25 for mid-lengths), takes 20 minutes and lasts a week.
I live in fear of her being teleported away by some super-rich tyrant who wants to be tended to on a yacht, ferreting away the occasional lottery ticket so that this rich bitch in question can be me.
Before Magda, I was lucky enough to have had my locks groomed by the biggest names in the business, but preferred to exit the salon with my hair wet, so little did I like most blow-dries. I found them too straight, too naff, too newsreader. I wanted something minxish, witty, worth the having.
What I needed was go-getter hair: a groomed, glamorous, rule-the-world guise. Not for nothing do we associate it with the 1940s and the 1980s — eras when women headbutted their way through the glass ceiling, emerging with not a lock out of place.
First off, Magda favours L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Shampoo (£9.35, lookfantastic.com). Remove thoroughly afterwards and don’t over-condition (middle and ends only), or hair will be too soft and go limp.
Use a root boost. Again, the Magda pick is L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Root Spray (£10.15). Flip your head upside down and blast roots to ensure they are suitably erect.
The trick is to get roots almost 100 per cent 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) need to bear this in mind, or their locks won’t have lift-off.
Hannah (pictured) said her expert of choice is Magda Liliana Chelinho, if she wants a blowdry
Magda’s beloved brushes are the ultra-prickly Termix Evolution series (from £7.68, coolblades.co.uk): the fatter the barrel, the bigger the curl.
The dryer she insists upon is the Parlux 3200, with a slim nozzle (£94.95, amazon.com): compact, fast and hot.
Wrap strands around the barrel, making sure they are smooth against the spines, ends included, otherwise they’ll stick out at an angle. Hold firmly, pulling hair up straight from the root.
I’m fond of a 1940s take, with hair on my face, so Magda only creates curls one way — up and out. However, for a 1980s vibe, one can style in both directions.
Once done, Magda deploys a final blast of heat to ‘let the hair free’. I’m a fan: hair should look like hair, however expertly coiffed. A spritz of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium Pure 6 Hairspray (£8.45, allbeauty.com) from underneath and you’re off to headbutt the patriarchy.
RACE YOU TO IT
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Sophie-Ellis Bextor (pictured) relishes bright make-up and Barry M nails, as she aims to look like a good version of her age
The 42-year-old mother of five — who last week did a 24-hour danceathon for BBC Children In Need, raising more than £1 million — has declared: ‘I don’t want to look younger, I just want to look like a good version of my age.’ She relishes bright make-up and Barry M nails, saying: ‘It’s amazing how much it can change your mood.’ Plus, Lancôme Hypnôse Artliner Precision Liquid Eyeliner and Mac’s pinky-orange Vegas Volt for lips.
One doesn’t exactly crave dental hygiene, but with the snogging and socialising season upon us, Hello Activated Charcoal Freshening Mouthwash — an all-new, all-natural rinse — is a gift to the middle-aged mouth.
It eliminates odour without stripping your oral microbiome (and, thus, exacerbating the problem).
At the same time, bad breath is a particular issue when your mouth dries out, so Hello’s mouthwash includes coconut oil to moisturise it.
Face mask mouth, begone!