As in flat as.

That is what my barnet looks like on any given day unless I backcomb the living daylights out of it (Ok for a special occasion but not exactly good for you – the resulting knots are a killer).

My hair is fine. Baby fine. The slightest hint of volumising goop and it looks greasy. And up until very recently I resided myself to the fact that it was better to look a little lack-lustre than it was to resemble a giant chip.

On the run up to the big day this was one of my most prevalent beauty hang-ups, that my do would droop and I would end up looking all a bit pancake-like in the photo’s (Yes I know, incredibly vain. But I was the bride…I figured I was allowed).

Of course I was very lucky in that I had an uber talented hairdresser, plenty of time (it took HOURS), a whole can of hairspray, clip-in extensions, a crimper, about a thousand grips…. you get the picture. Not everyone wants to go through that on the morning of their wedding though, there are far better things to do, like drink champagne and gossip with your best girls.

And actually I no longer want to go through life as the perfect accessory to Shrove Tuesday. I want my locks to be big, bouncy and natural looking.

Recently I have discovered some products that actually work. No really – they do. And combined with some tips and advice from my sister (she’s now trained in doing cool things with hair styling as well as make-up) I no longer leave the O’Shea abode straggly and limp.


Wash And Go

There are an abundance of shampoo’s and conditioners that promise ultimate body and lift and I’ve never found any that genuinely deliver. With a sensitive scalp I also find that many of them leave me a wee bit itchy…

You can buy Yes To Tomatoes shampoo and conditioner from Victoria’s Health (I am completely obsessed with that website) and they have transformed my life. With over 99% natural ingredients and a pleasant fresh fragrance they make my hair soft and swingy – like a kilt.

Speed Demon

I’m not a big fan of the whole hair drying process. It bores me to tears. And the last thing I want to do after a shower is go get all hot and bothered for a good twenty minutes.

If you invest in one tool this year make it a Parlux 3200. You can literally turn your head upside down, blast the roots for 5 minutes and you’ll be pretty much ready to go. If hanging upside down makes you dizzy, as you dry lift your hair up in sections and aim the nozzle right at the root, promise you’ll notice more than a little “Big Hair” action.

Mr Parlux and I are now firm friends. We go everywhere together.

A Little Extra Help

So the deep fat fryer look I mentioned earlier – the trick is to not put any product on the top layer of your hair, just the underneath bit – that way there is no risk of looking like the great unwashed. I find one of those skinny handled combs work well – pull the top section of your hair up with the handle part and apply a specialised volumising product just to the roots. I rate Fudge Root Juice – I apply straight from the can as the nozzle is nice and precise.

For even more texture and Bardot inspired bouffant you can’t beat a shake or two of Lee Stafford’s Matt Fat powder. Dust it in and watch your height increase before your very eyes people… You can also add it to the lengths – especially effective for that sexy bed-head look.

For extra body I like those curling wands to create loose waves, wrap relatively large sections around the wand for a few seconds and blast with a super fine non-sticky hairspray. The ONLY hairspray I use is the one by Milkshake as recommended by Sev from Hepburn Collection.

So lovelies. Now I’ve shared a few of my secrets I’d LOVE it if you shared yours too.

What are your Go-To volumising products?

Any hair issues you are currently concerned with that maybe our community can assist with advising on?

Any hair styling requirements that any of our industry professional friends can perhaps post about here on Rock My Wedding?

Anything you want to tell us or need to know just leave us a comment folks.

Big Look Like You’ve Just Stepped Out Of A Salon Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

39 thoughts on “Pancake.

  1. My hair is also quite flat but also quite curly if i dont blow dryer it properly i look like i have a cotton ball for hair!! i long to be able to just blast my hair and it be lovely!! …… i would also love it if you could do a piece on hair styles for the wedding day – my wedding day is 47 days away (to be precise!!) and i am still struggling to decide!! any help woudl be much appreciated 🙂 thank you Xxx

  2. I have written all those things down and am getting them pronto!! God I love it when you list things that really work cos I hate having to spend a fortune on so called miracle products that are utter rhubarb!

    I don’t really have flat flat hair, it is long and gets greasy at the roots very easily, like every other day it has to be washed.
    I have tried all sorts of shampoo’s to make it soft and swishy and nothing spectacular has happened so I am soo having some of that shampoo you mentioned!

    I am lucky in that if I leave it to dry naturally it has a wave to it that looks like I have done something with it even when I haven’t. I normally tie it up all the time though as I have to for work.

    Which curling tongs do you use because I have tried some babyliss ones and they are rubbish! I am useless at curling with GHD too so would love a recommendation for big loose curls!

    Can’t wait to read everyones comments, you just know there will be loads!!! x

  3. I am not normally a big one for commenting but felt an uncontrollable urge to share with you girls the discovery that has quite simply changed my life.

    The BaByliss Big Hair device – I was sceptical initially and the first few attempts were more hassle than it was worth but I can honestly say it gives me the volume, shine and movement only formally seen after a 28 quid blow dry.

    The trick, as I have now learnt, is to rough dry your hair (upside down I find) until its 80% dry, any wetter leads to knotting and then section it off and use the Big Hair right to the root. Mid length hair takes about 20 mins as a newbie but the results are totally worth it and I even find my hair stays cleaner for longer when I do it.

    I used to say I couldn’t live without my GHDs, now I’d give up wine for the BBBH!

  4. ‘makes my hair soft a swingy – like a kilt’ Charlotte I actually snorted at my desk, thanks!

    My hair is relatively okay, other than the fact that I cannot make curls / waves still in it, yip I’m the annoying girl who doesn’t have to go near her hair with a hairdryer and it will dry poker straight. Ideal, unless you want sexy curls!!

    But my scalp is uber sensitive (this is a relatively new thing that I blame on a slight addiction to cheap dry shampoo!) so I will be trying out some of that shampoo 😀 xx

  5. I too have ridiculously fine hair (and am totally cack-handed at doing anything with it). I’ve been meaning to get a Parlux hairdryer for a while now and after this endorsement I’m off to Say Yes to Tomatoes and buy all the products listed in the hope that they will work miracles! Thanks Charlotte!

  6. This post is a god send as I am also worrying about this for the W-day. My hair is super fine and when in a ponytail resembles a rats tai!!

    I’ve been using Alterna Hemp thickening compound – pricey but works v well on my hair and all natural too I also tend to use dry shampoo for an afterwork drinks pick me up! On the big day however I think I’ll be using hair pieces and plenty of backcombing – I’ve told my hairdresser to not be shy!!

    I’ll also be trying all the products featured here – thanks Charlotte!!

    Rachie xo

  7. I too have very fine hair which can go limp and flat…..sounds pathetic really!

    I think blonde hair is always on the fine side, we have more hair on our heads than anyone else but it does tend to be a little more ‘delicate’.

    I love Tigi Bead Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray. Great on either wet or dry hair but word of warning…..use too much and you can end up a little crispy like Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary 🙂

    In all seriousness though, I used it on the morning of my wedding to give my hair some oooomph and it was fantastic. I was like the blonde version of Cheryl Cole 😉

    Also love Silvikrin Wellaflex Hairspray which is uber cheap and uber effective. Gives my hair hold, adds shine but doesn’t weight it down…….I now sound like the advert!

  8. Charlotte you have made my day!!! There is only one thing that has gripped me with sadness in the wedding planning process and that is my really thin hair. It’s only recently when I have most things ticked off that I thought I thought there was nothing I could do to make my hair nice and healthy and happy for the day.

    I just can’t afford an amazing hair stylist to do wonders on the day so it’s up to me to make it healthy and I’m going to definitely try those shampoo and conditioners!

    With 7 weeks to go I actually haven’t booked anyone I’m in such a pickle as I don’t live near the wedding venue (hindsight…) but would love to be able to have a consultation or two to figure out what I want and it’s such a nightmare! If anyone knows any Hampshire hairdressers that travel into Wiltshire I need their help!!


  9. For really volumous hair I swear by Tigi Bed Head ‘Cocky Hair Paste’! I second the comment from Apollo though, don’t use too much! That combined with starting the blow dry by drying hair upside down at the roots and hey presto, big hair! 🙂

  10. Oooh, I love this type of post, my bank account not so much.

    I’m a bit like you Charlotte – I can’t get any volume, even with backcombing I struggle!! My hairdresser can sort it perfectly, me not so much. That would be why I trust them 100% for my w-day barnet!

    Must get the Lee Stafford product for honeymoon… I think it could be exactly what I need!!


  11. Am loving the similie – ‘soft and swingy like a kilt’ and also – what the hell happened to Salon Selectives?

  12. Give Babylis Root Boost Crimpers a go. You just use them on the undersections of your hair at the roots. They are very thin so you can get in very close to the root. I’ve gotten a little too close on more than one occassion, ouch! Then let the top sections down to cover the crimped bits, and hey presto, va va voom!

  13. Oooh, also – I don’t know if you ladies are fans of Brandalley but I’ve definitely seen the ‘Yes to Tomatoes’ shampoo and conditioner on there. Cheaply 🙂

  14. Trying to find the perfect shampoo is like the holy grail!
    I have very thick brown hair, but with the most sensitive scalp ever. I have tried every shampoo going in attempt to stop my scalp falling off my head (not a good look really!), the only thing I have found really works is Head and Shoulders but you should have seen the look on my hairdressers face when I told her this – apparently it is the worst thing for your hair. She got me to try Redken sensitive shampoo, about 4 weeks in and I’m flaking.
    If any of you ladies have any suggestions I would be very very appreciative!

  15. As someone who spends a fortune on my hair and hair products (and it’s not even long!) I just have to comment on this!!!

    I, too, have baby fine hair (hence why it’s short – long just does.not.suit.) and struggle constantly against the elements to maintain my style throughout the day. However, there are a few products I have found lately that DO work a trick….

    1. Bed Head Styleshots Epic Volume Shampoo and conditioner – smells lush, sulphur-free (my colour says yay), and gives you oomph
    2. Bed Head Small Talk – just a tiny amount will suffice. More will leave you with lank locks by the end of the day.
    3. Morrocanoil – a little bit of this after I have washed and conditioned every morn actually helps to give it some body, even if I don’t add the Small Talk.

    I must say, I got both the Lee Stafford Matt Fat powder and the Osis Dust It version, and the Osis wins hands down for me. But everyone’s different!

    Must dash – I have to do my hair… ahem. 🙂 xx

  16. Hello ladies!

    @Roz and @kathryn I’m glad you appreciate my similes – a kilt was the first thing I thought of 😉

    @Anna – um… I clearly need to invest in this implement. Where can I purchase one?

    @Caroline bless you – I have lots of hair but it is soooo delicate and breaks really easily. I swear the shampoo and conditioner are brilliant. My sister travels if you need assistance – check out the List.

    Charlotte xxx

  17. OMG this post could not have come at a better time! I have the flattest hair I have ever known on anyone. Even if I backcomb it droops after half an hour!

    …. that is until this weekend when I stumbled upon Fat Sam’s “0” Calorie collection of styling products. They were 2 for 1 in Superdrug so i got the Thinkening Potion and hairspray. This hair spray is A.Maz.Ing!

    On Monday morning I turned my head upside down and sprayed on this hair spray, it was litterally transformed, I could believe it! All day i had colleagues commenting on my hair as it actually lasted!! Seriously you need to try it!!

    I will definately be trying those shampoo and conditioners though too!!!!


    x x

  18. I think I got mine in Currys of all places! Sure Boots stock them too. If you do invest let us know how you get on, and persevere with it!x

  19. god I love beauty posts, a perfect way to while away a boring afternoon at my desk!

    my hair is fine but somehow also ridiculously heavy, hence flat hair after 5 seconds. on w-day i had the old ‘heated rollers/under the hood dryer’ treatment before my hairdresser put it up and, while it worked a treat, is maybe not totally practical for everyday!!

    I’m in need of a new hairdryer and you’re not the first to recommend the parlux so I think i may be investing.

    apart from that, i’m terribly conventional when it comes to products – tresemme shampoo and conditioner is the nicest i’ve found, frizzease to tame the fuzz and good old elnett hairspray.

    may have to invest in some matt fat powder through, if purely for the name!!

    mrs xxx

  20. As Charlotte well knows a week ago today I got my fine blonde hair chopped from halfway down my back to my collarbone – 6and a half inches later and (for now at least) I love it!

    The best tips I can give are:

    – If you want some volume – blow dry in an upward direction from the root but make sure you did it from your parting – no idea why. My hairdresser told me this last week and so far it seems to work.

    – For anyone who’s blonde is a little blonder than their natural colour I’ve just discovered John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Colour Renew. Yes it is purple which is a horrifying thought but my hair is yet to go purple so it seems to work.

    – Oh and any products by Lee Stafford. Currently adoring the Sea Salt Spray, Shine Head spray and Matt Fat – all truly fab!


  21. @Kathryn – Adam and I have spent the day singing the Salon Selectives tune, what the hell did happen to it?!!

    We’ve been looking on Youtube and everything, have been killing ourselves laughing – there are adverts from 1990!!!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  22. Totally unable to comment on the flat hair situ – I have the exact opposite problem.
    My hair is so curly and frizzy that I regularly end up looking like the love-child of Russell Brand and Tina Turner (circa 1984).
    Nothing vain about wanting to look your best on your W-day Charlotte – the invention of ceramic straighteners was a highlight of my life thus far (OK, I’m joking, but it was a total revelation for me!)

  23. I have very fine hair that breaks easily but it has an uneven wave/curl to it – the underneath bits are very curly (ringlets if I let them dry naturally) and then it gets flatter as it gets to the outside layers. Its also really frizzy. It drives me nuts! The only thing I can do to make me look normal is dry it and then straighten it. I’d love to be able to wash and leave it.

    The best thing I’ve found is Kerastase Bain Satin 2 (super nourishing) and S Factor ‘Serious’ Conditioner – you only need tiny amounts of each so although they are expensive, they are cost effective. They have really improved the condition of my hair since I started using them on recommendation of my hair dresser in February. I also use the S Factor heat protection spray before straightening and the Kerastase Nutri Sculpt to protect it from moisture once its been straightened.

    I’d love my hair to be long and healthy but I think its so traumatised from straightening it, that it just won’t grow. I’ve thought about clip in extensions / hairpieces for the big day but I’m worried they will come out and fly across the dance floor like a rat when I start spinning! I still don’t know what I’m going to have regarding style for the big day – I’ve thought about proper extensions but everyone says they wreck your hair too.

  24. you definately need to buy some ‘dust it’ from swarzkopf, its instant backcomb powder and my must have make up bag item!!!

  25. I just bought a Babyliss Big Hair – which is like a cross between a hair dryer and a round brush – it is A-Mazing (even my H2B notices when I have used it)! Takes a bit of getting used to, but is now really quick and easy. If I was wearing my hair down for the big day then I would definitely use it. See a video of it in use here – (and it doesn’t pull your hair out like the comments suggest!). Oh, it’s about £45 x

  26. oh, great post Charlotte! I also suffer from ridiculously fine hair and will definitely need the clip-in extensions on the big day to give me some va va voom – although mentioned products are definitely worth a try 😀

  27. And concur with what Abi says about ‘dust it’ it’s fab for a night out but i like my hair to “move” during the day. Love the beauty posts

  28. @Keika – I live for purple shampoo!!! I actually don’t mind a bit of a lilac highlight either, suits me more than yellow.

    @Shirley – The clip-ins don’t move seriously, invest in some natural hair ones and use lots of spray so they “stick” – mine were fab.

    @Stacy – oooh off to watch the video!

    @Abi and @Cat – OK then Dust it is my next purchase 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  29. I too love purple shampoo and following Charlotte’s recommendation have been using the L’Oreal shampoo – which is actually for grey/white hair but does a brilliant job of getting rid of those nasty brassy tones without leaving residue and weight. It’s saved me a small fortune on highlights as I don’t need them nearly as often now and leaves hair super shiny!

    I also tried out an amazing hairdryer a couple of weeks ago courtesy of Sev from Hepburn Collection (who very fortunately happens to be one of my clients – I know, lucky me) and it was brilliant for volume and bounce so I’m trying to find out what it was so I can get my hands on one. I’ll keep you posted when he lets me in on the secret!

    Thanks Charlotte – a great post for all of us with hair as far from the bouncy locks of Kate Middleton as one can get! I’m going to get myself some of the Yes To Tomatoes, for the name itself if nothing else! xx

  30. I’ve seen Anna’s hair after she’s used the BBBH and it’s super glamorous!! Each time I’m like ‘have you had your hair blow dried again?!’.

    I have the opposite problem – frizzy and ridiculously thick – I swear by my parlux hairdryer and pureology shampoo and conditioner (fab for coloured hair – I use hydrate).

    I have the worry that should it be a slightly bit drizzly on the day I’ll end up looking like I’ve been electrocuted – pretty 🙁 – umbrellas at the ready!!!

  31. Hey salon selectives fans, man that stuff used to smell gorgeous…like apples if I remember rightly…anyway! Volumising foam from Joico is THE BEST – non sticky, light and airy, you pump the non aerosol pump and the magic stuff comes out like a wiggly worm. Simply work into the roots and voila! Boingy hair that swings and stays swingy! Aveda Purefoam also v good 🙂

  32. On the basis that you have to pick your battles, I’ve decided to stop fighting that my hair is fine and instead concentrate on getting it really sleek and shiny. I do find the Brazilian Pro-keratin treatment amazing for this – it’s pricey though (even with a Groupon voucher) but I couldn’t be without now. No damp weather frizzies for me!

  33. thank you for the info, I personally prefer the Karmin Salon Pro Professional Hair Dryer which is the best one I’ve used and keeps my hair smooth, shiny and with volume. 😀

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