Taking my hair from freshly washed to on-air ready


I am asked often about my hair – how I style it? What products I use? How do I get the curls? Is it naturally curly? And is it all mine? Absolutely! So I enlisted Maestro Will 'IT' Gowing's  assistance and we made a little video showing it from freshly washed to on-air ready! I hope you like it…


[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube's Help page

My favourite shampoos are Philip Kingsley and Liz Earle. Elasticizer is always in my cupboard, in fact that and Tangle Teezers I would fight you for! Truly necessary and often recommended.

Claire and baby JoeEvery strand of my hair is fine but I have tonnes of it! Interestingly since I have had the children I've developed a wriggle , the kind of wriggle you see on corrugated iron, but not the top layers interestingly. I'm truly grateful for that movement, as random as it is, as straight was not the word as I grew up! 

You'll see from the picture I was a blonde as a little girl and have always been utterly convinced that I should've STAYED blonde, truly blonde and not from a box, though my box of choice is L'Oreal Recital, lightest ash blonde. My natural shade (not sure I recall it) is a medium/warm brown with warmth in it.

Claire and her brothersAs soon as I was old enough I used to pinch Mummy's purple-toned shampoo in the vain hope I too would emerge from the bathroom a true blonde…the actual 'dye your hair first', the vital part of the process had not really registered ! In fact the purple shampoo was purely to tone coloured hair and obviously did absolutely nothing for my mid-brown shade!

In the days of perming (remember I was poker straight) aside from the inevitable corkscrews of frizzle, each perm I had altered my colour to a rather strange shade of orange! Thrilling for me as that was one step closer to my desired blonde!

Claire's real hair colour'Flying colours,' was a rather expensive albeit classy way of painting hair with an array of colours to add a bit of a wow. Vidal Sassoon in Manchester was where I had it done – it was a birthday present. Hair was an important thing for me even then, however, I still yearned to be blonde. Although looking at this picture taken whilst on holiday in Portugal (I was just 16) I rather like it my natural look. 

My blonde moment! (yes these days blonde moments are a regular occurrence) was to come when whilst still at college I successfully auditioned to be a Sindy Doll in a show at the huge annual Toy Fair at Earls Court.

The hugely important designers David and Elizabeth Emmanuelle who created Lady Diana's wedding dress were the designers of our costumes – we were the 'real life' Sindy dolls and did shows during the fair to a fantastic response.

Sindy hairI was in heaven as I truly was a Sindy Girl growing up and not at all interested in the American Barbie. So, a brunette Sindy? Don't be silly! Of all the blondes George May ( the choreographer) COULD HAVE chosen, he wanted me! It was meant to be, destiny was calling!

I was escorted to a salon in North London and literally hours in the chair turned me into a tiger. I loooooved it and that was the start – blonder blonde I now had firmly in my sights.

Throughout my dancing days I toyed with ash/short hair, highlights and a yuk grey-coloured blonde (not a great look!!! ) whole head blonde though became the way for me with the odd set of stripes as I call them just to break up the rather Bet Lynch look I sported!! As I've greyed in areas, I've been delighted to see lighter bits through my hair, so a bonus of age for me!

I have for many years now done my own roots at home and I find it works so well for me and can be easily applied at the oddest of times of day or night which has been so very helpful with all the strange working patterns , auditions and photoshoots I have experienced over the years. I learnt at a very early age to 'do' my Mummy's hair and feel very confident with doing my own roots. That said, I am certainly not advocating home hairdressing is for everyone and lets never forget that a hairdresser is trained and knowledgeable in all areas of colour application.

Bad hair day

Unfortunately for me some years ago now I worked on a commercial for a hair product and the salon I had been sent to made a huge error with the quantity of bleach and the length of development time – the result was a disaster!

My hair was ruined, cotton wool in texture and coming out in handfuls. I was sent to a trichologist (none other than Philip Kingsley!) to ascertain if indeed there would be any lasting damage which thankfully there was not . Equity took my case on and I received a significant amount of money from the hairdressers as my work was compromised during the time it took to grow out, as indeed was my confidence.

I remember acutely how utterly devastated I felt during that whole time and as a consequence I have always been aware of how our hair is such a very important part of who we are. I saw the devastation Ali Keenan felt as she began to lose her hair during her cancer treatments, the dignity with which she coped during her battle and I shared in her immense joy when her new baby fluffy hair emerged! "It's only hair" some may say yet to Ali and to so many of us it is very symbolic.

Perhaps because of this I am always so very very thrilled when any one comments on my hair and although its a bit of a pickle washing and doing it, I know I'm a very lucky girl to have it and am sticking with the long, flowing look….for now at least!

Claire X


  1. Steven April 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Claire I always think you look sensational and your hair is definitely a part of that! I wont go into any more details! It must have been awful for you when the salon made the error with the bleach. At least you got compensation.
    Caught one of your shows last week and as always you looked fab. A lot of younger ladies would be well jel as they say!
    Take care and keep the gorgeous flowing look.
    Hope all is well with you and your family xx

  2. Gwen Tugwell April 20, 2013 at 8:35 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire,
    Have just read and enjoyed another one of your lovely blogs, it was fun watching your video and seeing how you do your hair, thank you for sharing with us I have to say it is always worth the effort you put into it, and have to say I love it when you are presenting as there is always a laugh with you, I especially enjoyed the show you did with Renee. Keep up the good work.

  3. Jeanette April 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Yay!! thank you so much for the video and info on hair colour and shampoo etc. I have very similar hair to yourself not as long though ( still trying to grow it )but I have found it difficult to style the last 18 years. as the texture of my hair has changed still having my children- I used to have poker straight hair so it is great to see on the video how to curl it with rollers. I also use L’Oreal colour but the natural light blonde but it does go a bit gingery so I will try the ash blonde next time as would like it to be more blonde looking. I have a friend who last year lost her hair when having chemo so I used to feel quilty if my hair got on my nerves but when we are having a good hair day it makes a lot of difference to our mood . It is very kind and thoughtful of you to have done a video etc as when we get older ( will be 45 next month ) we sometimes forget how to make the most of ourselves, so your info has spurred me on to start making a bit more effort and get some confidence back and also get my heated rollers out of the cupboard !! Thanks Claire enjoy the sunshine
    love Jeanette x

  4. Joanna Downey April 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    Happy Saturday afternoon Claire, Your hair is truly your crowning glory and it was so interesting to read your stories. My original colour is dark brown, however, it has been most colours with the exception of true blonde – not good with an olive skin. I’m now “pepper and salt” following an incident at the last school I worked at when a student decided to spit in my face and hair. I was so upset I went straight to my wonderful, and very understanding hairdresser, who transformed my much loved bob into a short spiky style which allowed the silver strands to show through. I soon grew back my bob and loved its piebald appearance; I wash with a purple shampoo once a week because I use straighteners and it reduces the yellow that occurs when I scorch it..! I think the world of Ali K and I can only imagine her feelings when she lost her hair, it is a delight to see how lush it is now. My mother had beautiful hair and even though her chemotherapy treatments made some of it fall out it was only when she had to have radiation for a secondary brain tumour that it all disappeared so when I’m doing my hair at some horribly early hour before work I just think how lucky I am to have it. Love from Jo x

  5. Mrs V April 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Enjoyed the video. Your hair is amazing. You look beautiful.

  6. mary April 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

    Claire, your ‘hair do’ video was a master piece! I bet you can put those trusty curlers in in the dark! I showed it to my 13 year old daughter who has hair your length, thick and is a multitude of red tones. She plaits hers each night in various ways spraying each piece with good old fashioned setting lotion as her hair is so thick its the only way to keep a curl. When she is feeling obliging she indulges me and I yogi her. A mammoth task but looks amazing when done as all the red, blonde and copper tones in her hair are emphasized with each curl but we can literally see them fall out before our very eyes. She is fab at putting the sponge donuts in but has it in a ponytail when she plays cricket..she is a Kent U13 county player, a natural swing bowler! However, she has to wear a helmet when she bats so has it down and tucked in but when she is out she walks off the field removing her helmet to show a flowing lions mane and shakes her locks from side to side…because she’s worth it! She is very proud of her nickname… ginga ninja! Xx

  7. Claire_sutton@qvc.com April 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to hear from you Steven, and as ever I thank you for your compliments!!! She says whilst swinging the locks! Family are all good thanks , was a bit odd really as they weren’t mentioned on this blog!!! Strange..
    You take care , Claire xx

  8. Claire_sutton@qvc.com April 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Gwen, great hearing you enjoy the shows! Sometimes it’s good to have a giggle!! Miss Renee makes me laugh, glad you enjoyed it -and my blog, it makes it really worthwhile hearing that,
    Sunshine…… Enjoy! Lots of love Claire xx

  9. Claire_sutton@qvc.com April 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Ginja Ninja… Well that did make me laugh Mary as did the description of you’ve daughter releasing the mane… Fantastic.. Can you imagine if she chopped it off… Sacrilege … Bet she would get great money from a wig company! I used to use those sponge rollers when mine was straight, but inevitably woke up in the morning with them all over the bed. I used to take them out in my sleep! You are right though I could do mine in the dark these days! Great hearing from you,
    Love to your daughter too,
    Love Claire x

  10. Claire_sutton@qvc.com April 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Thank you! Ever so nice of you,

  11. Jean Pugh April 24, 2013 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Clare,
    It was interesting watching your video of you doing your hair. You certainly have a lot of hair, it always looks so nice, it is beautiful.
    How is your labrador, saw him with you on QVC the other day, he is lovely. We have nine labradors seven black two yellow. The eldest is twelve and the youngest are two brothers who are just six months old. They are all working dogs, we are just starting to train the puppies. How old is your lab now.
    Jean x

  12. Claire Sutton April 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm -  Reply

    Jo, hello, children playing in school field, me trying to get ahead with dan’s party and tom’s.. Unsuccessfully!! Saw Ali yesterday and she looked a sunshine treat , yellow top , pink cheeks and lovely hair and that was BEFORE she glammed up for Gem Day!
    Lovely to hear from you tho not re the incident… Tough and I can understand the need for swift change…
    My mummy laments her hair these days as she had the same( better) hair as me, thyroid issues have taken its bulk, though compared to many she still has hair to envy. I know what you mean re thankful during those early morning wash and do’s….. Lots of love, off to open up Gypsy and have a cup of tea on her steps.. Happy x

  13. Claire Sutton April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    hi Jeanette, glad you liked it! I too used to be reddy infact the pic with Joe highlights that… Still the same hair colour used!!! Weird isn’t it! I used to break up the gingery with a few highlights around the face, you could try that. Enjoy playing… We are only just getting started us girls, 45 ….. Years of gorgeousness to go I say!
    Lots of love c x

  14. Claire Sutton April 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm -  Reply

    Goodness Jean, 9 !!!!! Wowie! Gus is a super dog, we really feel lucky that he has a beautiful nature and has been such a great pup, heading to 11 months old now. Dan is carrying on with his training , but I guess with our lives it’s more to interest him and keep him happy and motivated. My brother and sis in laws girls go out with them on shoots and beating, trouble is their pup, same age as Gus but black is the object of his affection!!! We keep doing little training attempts in the garden just to get them more used to each other, but I variously they are separated!!!!!!! Kiss kiss kissing! My children told all their friends to watch Gus on tv!!! He is their famous boy!
    I imagine a busy life for you, and each with their own personalities! How interesting that must be to watch.
    Thankyou for being in touch and I shall keep you updated Jean, as I hope you will me,
    Love Claire x

  15. Susan April 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I so adore the way you write. So honest and funny and human. Your hair is always beautiful, the crowning glory of QVC. It is a really lovely tribute you pay to lovely Ali K. Just right too. I know she spoke so wonderfully about you too in her blogs during treatment. You were clearly a pillar for her too. I don’t understand how people cannot sympathise with losing your hair through stress, chemo, illness etc. Strange. I also think while it is of course great to be positive if you can, gosh how difficult it is if you don’t have a good support network. You’re allowed as many down days as you want! Most people go through some form of depression at some point – as well you know – but it so helps if you are fortunate to have people to lean on, like you. Hope you have a lovely weekend and we’ll keep enjoying your hair!
    Love SUsan x

  16. Steven April 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    They were mentioned in one of your last blogs Claire – sorry if that offended you

  17. Claire Sutton April 29, 2013 at 9:18 am -  Reply

    Morning Susan! Really lovely hearing from you. I’ve been laughing at Ali’s recounting of her airport larks on twitter as she heads to Bassel to the jewellery fair! She is hysterical! And retained that all through her difficult time last year.
    I’m off to put on my labrodorite necklace, I’m on at 1pm with the lovely gemstone, it’s an uplifting stone, so on a Monday when it’s a bit of an effort….I’m going to let the gem stone help me out and lift my mood!!
    Have a super Monday, with my love C xx

  18. Claire Sutton April 29, 2013 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Steven, soooo didn’t offend! What I meant was that I usually write about them and this blog was all about me!!! So that felt a bit weird writing solely about me! It’s always super lovely hearing from you and I’m always chuffed that you ask after us all, lots of love, speak soon, Claire xxxx

  19. Steven April 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for clearing that up Claire. It”s always hard to know how someone means something when it’s written down instead of spoken. Think I took it to heart and obviously wasnt meant that way. You are still my number one QVC girl and I hope you in particular are well lol
    Take care and I loook forward to your next wonderful blog
    Steven xx

  20. martin forbes April 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    hi Claire hope you are well iam not bad

  21. NAFISA May 1, 2013 at 11:06 am -  Reply


  22. NAFISA May 1, 2013 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    hello pleasetell methe make of your heated rollers

  23. PAULINE BIRCH May 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire I think you have beautiful hair I had blond hair not long like yours till two years ago when it fell out through illness it came back pure white I feel tempted at times to color it blond my Daughters say no they say people would pay good money to have this color im lucky to have it back so I will keep it white not to temp fate . love your humor Pauline

  24. Linda Limara in Spain. May 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    I enjoyed your video very much. I have hair like yours, except it is Auburn. Could you let me know via Customer Services, what roller set you are using, and can I get it from QVC? I ask this as my rollers are very old and they will not stay in as they cannot accomodate all of my long hair! Could C S send me an e-mail and let me know the answer, thanks. You alway look good when presenting and I enjoy your presentations. Take care, Linda in Spain.

  25. Lois May 2, 2013 at 12:03 am -  Reply

    Linda in Spain I’m pretty sure they are Babyliss rollers as i recognise the clips that go with them. Don’t think QVC do them (yet) so be interesting to see if they allow this post to go up!

  26. Jane Dillon May 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Clare I had long hair in the eighties when perms were in and my goodness what a frizzy mess it was. Wish hair straighteners were around then I would love to have had slick shiny hair then (in my dreams I think!) I have thick course wavy hair and I have always admired your lovely long hair. I remember you once saying on air that your mum thought you should have it cut, but I think keep it like that for as long as you can. It looks fabulous! Best wishes xx

  27. Claire Sutton May 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Lois and Linda, spot on. We stock baby Lisa but not the rollers. .. As u say yet!!! Really nice hearing from you ladies. Linda think we finally have some of your sun!! Yaaaay,
    Love Claire x

  28. Claire Sutton May 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    Nafisa, they are baby liss ones, highly recommended! Claire x

  29. Claire Sutton May 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Pauline, gosh, a…to lose your hair and then for it to be white! I bet it is truly stunning, and there are shampoos to keep it sparkling aren’t there.
    Super to here from you,
    With my love( and humour!!)
    Claire x

  30. Claire Sutton May 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Jane, THANKYOU! LOvely of you to write to me, bet your hair is admired you know!
    Have a super weekend, with my love, Claire x

  31. Sandra May 2, 2013 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Just wish something could be done for my hair as it is falling out so much due to stress from a couple of year ago, been told in a few months will be bald, I don’t want to go out I don’t want to be seen without my hair, my eye brows have also gone no hair on my arms or legs it is so embarrasing. I envy you Clair and anyone else that has got gorgeous hair especially like yours.

  32. Claire Sutton May 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Sandra, I’m so saddened reading your words, I wish I had that magic wand I wish for many times . I hope that you have support to help you through this difficult and emotional time . I send you my love and thoughts and if there is anything I can do please let me know. Claire xx

  33. Susie Rigsby May 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    I have never done this before so I hope I am doing it correctly !
    I was wondering if the top you were wearing on Sunday 12th may,during your kipling show,was a QVC top ? I loved it. It was pale pink i think,with three quarter length sleeves and sparkly bits on the shoulders and pocket detail. I hope you don’t mind my asking.

  34. Claire_sutton@qvc.com May 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi susie, you did it right!!! That top is my own from a little shop near me. Tho all saints do similar looking things, more money tho!! Sorry not to be of more help,
    With love , Claire x

  35. Gwen Tugwell June 6, 2013 at 8:56 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire,
    Where are you? really miss your lovely blogs, hope all is well
    and that we hear from you soon.
    Love Gwen.

  36. deborah somerset-malia June 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire – yes I am interested too in the make of rollers you use! I am doing some internet research but its soooo confusing as there are so many different types. Please let us know if you can

  37. Stephanie Kemp April 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire! I’d love to know what specific hair rollers they are please? Also, that hairdryer looks fab! Could you tell me the make of that too please? I love your hairstyle! You are an inspiration! Hairspiration! πŸ˜‰

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