First let me wish you all a very happy New Year! With all the trials and tribulations that 2020 threw at us, this year feels like we all need a fresh start and lots of good stuff to replace the awfulness of the past nine months or so.
Whether you are fortunate enough to be jetting off to distant shores, or preparing for a staycation in a charming spot here in the UK, chances are that you’ll be wanting to enjoy as much time in the sun as possible.
One of life’s simplest pleasures is getting your hair cut and styled in a salon, and I know that many of you will have sorely missed a trip to your favourite hairdresser during lockdown.
As you read this, we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown. As the days, weeks and - heaven forbid - months drag on, so does the unstoppable march of roots, grey hairs and split ends.
I can pretty much guarantee that any man with more than just a soupcon of vanity looks at himself in the mirror. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this as we all like to look our best, so a cheeky little check of your reflection doesn’t go amiss.
January and February are traditionally the harshest of the winter months, and the colder air outdoors can make your skin drier, while central heating at home and airconditioning in the office might also cause eczema. In those circumstances, the easiest thing to do is turn the thermostat down to between 16C-18C and, if you can, invest in a humidifier, which puts moisture back into the air.
Well, hello and a very happy New Year to you! As we look forward to the year ahead, join me – Mystic Craig – as I polish my crystal balls (one is never enough, sweetheart) and reveal what I foresee to be the hot hair trends of 2020.
Whether you’re driving home for Christmas, seeing old friends for a swanky dinner or wriggling into something sparkly before the office party, you’ll want to look fabulous when you arrive. So, with these Christmas beauty tips you’ll be looking hotter than a fresh-out-of-the-oven mince pie.
These beauty switches will help you to do your bit for the environment. Wherever you stand on Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg or Meat-Free Mondays, I think we can pretty much all agree that climate change is most certainly ‘a thing’. I don’t wish to sound flippant about such a serious issue but let’s be honest, I’m a hairdresser not a scientist. However, from putting a recycling bin in your bathroom, to using sustainable beauty products, we can all make a difference.
Crisp mornings, leaves on the lawn and, when the clocks go back on 27th October, shorter days… Much as autumn is a beautiful time of the year, it can play havoc with your beauty regime.
As a hairdresser I never really switch off. So, when I was enjoying a post-work drink with friends in my local the other evening, I couldn’t help but notice that there were two distinct types of middle-aged bloke; those who are bald/ing and those still with a thick head of hair.
'Going anywhere nice on your holidays?’
What have Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe and the Suffragettes have in common?
Catriona Sheehan was my great friend, business partner and inspiration. She was funny, occasionally fierce, highly creative and intelligent, brave and loved life. Tragically, cancer took all that away from her, Catriona’s family and of course, us her friends and colleagues.
Greggs may have stolen headlines with their vegan ‘sausage’ roll (other bakeries are available) and the ‘Flat White with Oat Milk’ might well be the go-to drink for the cyclists hanging out at Birdwood Café in Leigh-on-Sea, but newcomers to the lifestyle might still be trying to replace their regular beauty products with those that don't contain any animal-based ingredients.
In 1992 Keith Flint was a long-haired dancer ‘shuffling’ in The Prodigy’s early hit Out of Space. Five years later he had transformed himself into the group’s charismatic frontman, complete with demonic hairstyle, tattoos, piercings and guyliner.
Early spring always represents a challenge when it comes to your hair. Gusts and gales can turn the most perfect style into ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ in a mere moment, while rain can dampen far more than just your spirits…
Now, I don’t profess to be a great shakes as a weather forecaster, but what I can tell you is that winter is set to stay with us for quite some time yet. Never mind all those folks in Game of Thrones banging on about ‘winter is coming’, while looking all dour and Northern, we just have to get on with it and deal with the effects that it throws at us.
Well, here we all are, together again for an exciting new year ahead. Pun intended. During the Christmas break I had the chance to catch up with some of my friends and colleagues in the fashion, hair and beauty industries to discuss what hair trends will be huge in 2019.
When the Christmas lights go on in Southend High Street, you know that the festive season is upon us - and not only that, with it comes a round of social engagements that keep going through to the New Year.
The #MeToo movement has had a seismic effect on social politics and naturally the fashion and beauty industry has wasted little time in putting the notion of female strength at the forefront of catwalk shows and hence into the pages of glossy magazines, national newspapers and influential blogs.
Deadlines being what they are I’m writing this month’s column in August and, as I type, it is a glorious day. We’ve enjoyed a long, hot summer with very little rain. But as the local, cheesily cheerful radio station plays ‘Dream’s Things Can Only Get Better’, I can’t help but think that things can only get wetter.
I know, last month's column was all about poolside hair and beauty and I don't want to labour the point, but let's be honest, it'll soon be autumn and we'll all be going about the place under brollies and bundled up against the cold, so let's celebrate the summer while we can!
Years ago, I was lazing by a very swanky hotel pool overlooking the Med, when a very glamorous woman sashayed to one of the nearby loungers. Everything about her was immaculate; hair, manicure, pedicure and makeup. This girl was the epitome of PREPARED FOR THE POOL. I even envied her sparkly bikini, but that's another story. Over the course of my holiday, I was able to observe her daily catwalk from the hotel, down the steps to the poolside area and she remained impeccably turned out. Even after taking a dip. Here's how I think she did it…
On May 19th we all fell in love with Meghan Markle when she married Prince Harry... Unless you actually want a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, the key to wedding beauty is to keep things simple. Don't make dramatic changes, leave the spray tan in its can and ditch any ideas of botox, and really, what is the point of vajazzling??!!
Last month I introduced you to my cycling friend Adam and his insistence on only using fake tan on the parts of his body that are exposed to the sun whilst riding out on his bike. He's been up to his tricks again. The other day he sauntered into the salon, plonked himself into one the stylist's chairs and asked for a ‘Brian Holm'. Previously, he has requested a ‘Marcel', which caused no end of confusion. It turned out he didn't want a hairstyle from the 1870's but one replicating that of German cycling superstar, Marcel Kittel.
Unless you are fortunate enough to live ‘The Life' – by which I mean spending winter in the Caribbean and enjoying subsequent cheeky weekends in sunny climes whenever the mood suits – the harsh weather and lack of sunshine can leave some of us looking somewhat ghost-like. Even though we live in officially the warmest and driest part of the UK, it would still be unreasonable to go about the place sporting a natural Mediterranean glow during the early days of spring. But a little help – from a tube, bottle or spray gun - can you give a fabulous confidence boost as you prepare to break out your t-shirts and shorts for summer.
Could Spring finally be here? The signs are just about there; what with the longer days and the joy of bright blue skies and sunshine with a little warmth in it. As spring gently elbows winter out of the way, you may like to consider a fresh new look for yourself. There's plenty of hairstyles and trends for you to try; whether it's an old school headscarf teamed with a blunt fringe, school girl plaits or a super-short buzz cut, spring is the perfect excuse to test out some of the hottest looks from the international catwalks and bring them to Southend-on-Sea.
Despite the generally dismal cold weather and short days, the gloom of February is always lifted by St Valentine's Day. So, if you've got a hot date lined up, make sure romance is in the (h)air with my top tips. Get an eyeful - Start by curling your lashes. Gently pinch lashes at the roots and then move along the length, making pulse-like squeezes as you go. Apply mascara by wiggling the wand back and forth at the roots to deposit as much of it as possible before pulling the wand straight up. To make lashes look long and separated, apply three coats of mascara but comb through the mascara while it's still wet with a clean, dry spooley brush.
If the catwalks of Paris, Milan, New York and London are anything to go by, this year's coolest cuts can be labelled under ‘What goes around, comes around.' In some ways, this is a good thing. Especially if you're naturally conservative, have found a style that works for you and are not having a mid-life crisis. If you're in this bracket, then styles labelled as ‘Natural Lengths', ‘Relaxed Curls', ‘Headbands', ‘Side Partings' and ‘New Generation Ponytails' will make you feel on-point in the fashion stakes.