I was 12 the first time I ever dyed my hair. Ever since I'd seen Angela in My So Called Life tranform into a red bombshell, I wanted that hair colour. Alas, having been blessed with the dark brown hair of my father's side of the family, there was no way my hair was going that colour. Instead, I went down the plum route - earning myself the nickname Dot Cotton from my mother. Thanks, Mum.
Wella Shaders & Toners and Clairol Glints
There were only really two products that we used - Clairol Glints or Wella Shaders & Toners. Sun-In was also available, but I tried it (also tried lemon juice and.........Domestos.......DON'T DO THAT) and it never worked on my hair. Nor did Wella Shaders & Toners, really - I favoured the Rich Mahogany or Plum shades, and more often than not would end up with a plum line around my scalp and a tiny bit of colour in direct sunlight - but Glints and I became very firm friends right up until I graduated to Herbal Essences aged around 16.
Wella Shockwaves Mousse
Having been blessed with naturally curly hair with a heavy layer of frizz over it, I went through a phase where I tried to embrace my curls. This led to a love affair with Wella's Shockwaves - I went through cans and cans of the stuff, my hair would be solid by the time I was finished with it. I remember a dalliance with some gel from the same range, but I don't think I liked it as much as I liked the mousse - scrunch-drying was a thing. A big thing. I had my hair scrunch dried for my Confirmation in 1995 and it took me three days to brush it out afterwards. Not even messing. There were tears. There was also a hat. It was wicker. And navy.
The L'Oréal ones in the picture were from 1998, and NO WAY did they look like that on my dark hair. No way. The scoury gold one was the only one that added any hint of colour to my hair, and even at that it was just a faint gold stripe. I had blonde classmates who could rock the pink or purple ones and I was so jealous - even going down the old "use the middle of a marker" route, but it never worked on me.
Glitter Hair Spray
Stargazer still sell this glitter spray. Let's just take a moment to appreciate that fact. Much loved by my sister and I around Halloween (witches like to sparkle too), this was a firm favourite in our house for years. I'm also nearly ashamed to say that I think I put a spray or
These were often given away with teen magazines - I remember having that actual hairstyle that Alyson Hannigan is sporting there in that picture. Only my hair is not straight... Butterfly Clips would actually be very, very handy for pubicles (follow lovelygirlybits on snapchat - ain't got nothing to do with your nether regions) so I think they should come back in fashion. Who's with me! *tumbleweed*
The Rachel, The Lois Lane, and The Gwen
I can't let a nostalgic hair post go by without mentioning "The Rachel" - so iconic that it even had its own gag in Friends (Rachel about her mother in "The One With The Lesbian Wedding" - "couldn't she have just copied my haircut?"). Notoriously hard to maintain, this was one I wanted for years but never achieved.
Teri Hatcher's Lois Lane bob was another one I lusted after - I almost got there (see below) but with the absence of a live-in Hairdresser, this was never something that was going to work for me.
"Let me take a picture of your hair" "No". "Ah come on, please, it's lovely." "No". *picks up dog and turns to face the wall*. <<<----------teenage stubbornness, right there.
"The Gwen" - also seen on Mel B and most female popstars at one time or another throughout the late 90s/early 00s - this was one I sported regularly. The perfect solution for frizzy, unruly hair - just wind it all up into balls. My hair is like this on my college Student ID card. I was doing a Hairdressing course. It was 2001. Moving on......
I think I got my first hair straightener one Christmas around 1997/1998 - it was a Remington one with several attachments and a huge water tank. It took about three years (slight exaggeration) to heat up and it took about two hours (not an exaggeration) to even remotely tame my locks. It never got my hair half as straight as any of the modern straighteners can. One of the attachments included was a set of crimping plates, that I adored. This was the exact one I had:
The straightening plates never really did much for my lions' mane, but the crimpers - YES!!
I discovered too that if I braided my hair into hundreds of very, very tiny plaits and then covered them in hairspray, I could achieve super tiny crimps that lasted a few days. I'd say I was only gorgeous.
I'm sure I'm forgetting loads of things (like scrunchies, french plaits and ye olde side parting plastered to your head) - but that's where you come in! Share your hair memories with me and let me know what you liked to use before we all got very stylish altogether.