close up shot of three models backstage, posing and holding an iphone

ATH hair diaries: Our hair secrets, horror stories & top tips revealed

The ATH team reveal their mane confessions...

Welcome to the All Things Hair hair diaries, where we ask our team personal, juicy questions and get them to spill the tea on their hair. Why? So you can get to know them better and see how their hair journeys have evolved.

From their best hair hits to their worst mane fails, nifty hair hacks and more, keep reading to see all their confessions.


Jeanette Nkwate Chief Content Officer ATH UK wearing a beanie with twostrand twists
Two-strand twists are one of Jeanette’s fave protective hairstyles.

Jeanette Nkwate, Chief Content Officer

The look

“You can’t ever rely on our British weather so even in Spring/Summer I still rock a lot of my protective hairstyles.

This means: lots of flat twists, braids and two-strand twists.”

Jeanette Nkwate Chief Content Officer ATH UK wearing a beanie with straight hair
Jeanette with her straight hair.

Hair history

“I’ve always been natural-haired… but I tried relaxing my hair twice in my lifetime and every time, it just washed out! So, because of this, I spent a lot of my youth straightening my hair with heat.

Nowadays, I’ve finally embraced being curly! So, if I’m going out it’s most likely to be a twist-out, big bun or a party pineapple.”

Hair hits

“I love when my twist-out is popping! But as most naturalistas know – there’s really no way to really recreate the magic! One day it’s fabulous, the next time (following the exact same steps and using the same products) it’s complete trash.”

Black and white image of Sam Chang Gardner

Hair fails

“Ok, so this isn’t really a hair fail. But the first time I got box braids, the synthetic hair I got irritated my scalp so much! It was soooo itchy but eventually, after rinsing my box braids with a DIY ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse and using a medicated scalp spray, it subsided.

But I don’t regret a minute of it… My hair looked hella cute and I think that my talented braider did a good job of making me look like my hair idol, musician and model, Sam Chang Gardner.”

Hair hacks

“When I want to tame my baby hairs, I use a little bit of gel/edge control and a toothbrush to brush them, before setting it with a silk scarf.”

Mane motto

“Don’t waste time and effort trying to fight your hair texture. Embrace your curls or straight hair! And trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort and money.” 

All Things Hair editor Leona with shoulder length long bob wavy brown hair, posing outside wearing a burgundy midi dress
Hair fails to hair wins, I spill the tea on my hair history.

Leona English, Editorial Producer

The look
“After going for the chop last Spring and going all Rosie Huntington-Whitley (or so I wished) by rocking a long bob, I am currently in that awkward in-between length we all get when growing out our hair.

As such my day-to-day look has become slightly samey, I am either wearing my freshly-washed tresses loose or in my fave hairstyle, the messy undone bun (AKA the blogger bun).

Not only is the blogger bun super easy to do in the morning – which means I can have a few extra mins in bed – but I can easily jazz my style up using ribbon or one of my beloved hair cuffs.”

Hair history

“To be brutally honest with you, I have been colouring my hair since the age of about 14 or 15 ? (I would not recommend this BTW). From deep violet to platinum blonde I have tried almost every hair hue imaginable.

But it doesn’t stop there, oh no: growing up I had waist-length tresses (I like to think Kim K was copying me) but as a teenager, I slowly began cutting it all of until eventually aged 18 I went for a VERY short platinum coloured pixie – think Zoe Kravitz‘ look from end of 2017.

I wish I had a photo of this but I have erased all photographic evidence from my social media, but it still haunts me as my passport picture.”

Hair hits

“Saying all that, my pixie looked pretty good at the time. I had always wanted to go super short and whether it worked out for the best or not, I loved that I was bold enough to give it a try.

When it comes to hair hues, I have finally managed to figure out what looks best on me. From stints being blonde to jet black, I always return to one of two shades; all-over medium brown (perfect for the winter months) or a light brown balayage for summer.”

Rihanna with red curly hair in an updo tied with a red and white scarf, wearing a strapless denim dress
When I wanted to feel like the only girl in the world… but failed. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Hair fails

“Okay here is where it gets interesting…

Picture the scene, its 2010 and Rihanna’s hit song Only Girl (In the World) is dominating the radio and music channels. Everyone (just like now) wants to be Rihanna and rock the red hair she is wearing in the video. Now, I am still coming to terms with the fact I am not Rihanna, but at the time I thought if I had her red hair, well, I would be a step closer, right? NO!

So off I popped to the hairdresser, a picture of Rihanna and her red hair in hand, proudly announcing “I want this colour please”. Quite a bold request for most people, but for me, it was just stupid. While Rihanna’s red hair may suit her colouring, for my fair skin it was just all kinds of wrong and really washed me out.

Leaving the salon looking like a London phone box, I went home and cried into my pillow. Shredding my last bit of self-respect, I called said salon and said it wasn’t quite right. A few days later, I was back in the chair and the hair colourist worked his magic and I left the salon with a much more suited dark brown hue.”

Hair hack

“My fave hair hack has to be braiding my hair before bed and waking up with dreamy beach waves (most of the time). As someone with fine hair, I try not to use heated tools if possible but since I can be quite lazy, if there’s a way to speed up, you can bet I am doing it!

So at night, I often braid my hair into double Dutch braids, get my 8 hours of beauty sleep and then in the morning I let my hair loose and like magic I have waves.

This style works best if I spritz my towel-dried hair with a sea-salt spray. Right now I am loving the TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spraybefore braiding, this gives my braids extra grit, holding the braids in place while I sleep, and adds texture to my waves in the morning.”

Mane motto

“It is all great looking to your fave celebrities for inspiration, but you need to consider your own hair texture, skin colouring and how much you will be willing to commit to your hair before taking the plunge.”

All Things Hair editor Amra with long box braids, swept to the side and wearing a silver jumper
These are my confessions!

Amra Markic, Digital Editor

The look

“Since it’s cold, I’m rocking a protective box braids hairstyle to give me a break from my natural afro.

When I’m not wearing my long box braids down, I’m rocking half-up, half-down hairstyles. They’re easy to style, come in all shapes and sizes, and are simply awesome!”

Hair history

“I’ve recently become a naturalista (I’ve been relaxer-free for three years now!) and I’ll never look back. I used to think my curls weren’t chic enough, but now I love them and can’t wait to channel my inner Foxy Cleopatra in summer!”

Hair hits

“If I could pick one moment I’d call a hair hit, it would be the moment I decided to go for the chop. I remember crying at the time, as I didn’t realise the extent of the damage relaxing had done to my mane. But, it was such a freeing experience.

You know what they say: a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life, and my life and attitude towards my natural tresses has definitely changed.”

close up shot of nicki minaj with blonde hair, with heavy blunt fringe, posing on the red carpet
I tried to look like Nicki Minaj and ended up looking like something out of a horror film! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Hair fails

There was a time where I was obsessed with Nicki Minaj! I knew all the lyrics to all her songs, and I honestly couldn’t get Super Bass out of my head. So guess what I decided to do? Copy her mane look from the music video, of course!

I was all about the weave life, so I remember going to the salon and asking them to make me look like her (see the picture above for reference)… and it went terribly wrong! The hue didn’t flatter my skin and the fringe looked like something out of a horror film.

Despite this moment being a hair fail, I learnt that it’s important to find a hair colour and style that works for you. One day, when I’m brave enough, I’ll show you a picture, okay?”

All Things Hair editor Amra with long box braids, swept to the side and wearinng silver jumper holding a tresemme leave in conditoner
I’m never caught without it!

My hair hack

“Never leave the house without a good leave-in conditioning spray! Why? It’ll help give your mane a much-needed moisture boost, making it feel supple and more manageable, too. Yaass!”

“My current go-to is the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist, because it does everything I need and also smells like a tropical cocktail!”

Mane motto

“No matter what your hair type, love it and show it off! There’s no point comparing your mane to others, cause only you can do you, honey!”

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