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During lockdown, I could handle the fact that I wasn’t able to get lash extensions, and I even got used to swapping my gel polish for a regular varnish. But what I wasn’t happy about was the state of my hair.
So when I went (alright, ran ) into Paul Edmonds hair salon in Battersea this week, I was prepared for a few disapproving tuts from the stylist about my shoddy effort at removing tape hair extensions myself, but not to uncover a little-known fact about handbags being a main cause of hair damage.
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“Is your hair usually a lot thinner on the right side of your head?” asked Paul Edmonds himself, after brushing through my tangled lengths.
How I came to deserve the honour of being sat in his chair, I still do not know – considering Paul’s clients range from Julie Walters to Emma Thompson – and my claim to fame is I once made it onto a billboard in China (a story for another day).
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I replied that I suppose it always has been thinner on that side, and had often wondered why it never looked quite as bouncy and full after styling.
Paul nodded knowingly. “It’s your handbag.”
“I see it a lot in women who carry a handbag on their shoulder all day,” he continued. “They sling it on and the hair catches beneath the straps and can pull it out.”
But not just that – even if your hair doesn’t get pulled out instantly, the constant weight of the bag is enough to apply sufficient strain on your strands for them to become weaker over time. And it’s usually the right side of your head, as most of us carry our handbag on that side.
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I was in awe. And not just at the fact that Julie Walters’ bum may have graced this seat before me. But because there was such an easy fix to this problem – to tie hair back while you’re carrying a handbag, or simply brush it over the opposite shoulder before hiking the bag up.
With that revelation, Paul handed me a tube of Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Taming Serum, £28.35 here, and told me to apply it before bed, and it would improve the condition and strength over time.
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As I walked out (with considerably better hair, might I add), I made sure my handbag was safely dangling from my arm instead of my shoulder.
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