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Image / Self / Advice / Parenthood

‘If you tuck your hair behind your ears you’ll end up with sticky-out ears’ IMAGE staff recall their mother’s advice

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05th Mar 2020
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To mark Mother’s Day, IMAGE staffers are reflecting on the best advice the female powerhouses in their lives have ever given them. Some of it is solid advice we hope you can take on board, some of it is sentimental and some of it is downright WTF?

Mums, grannies, aunts, big sisters, where would we be without the strong female role models in our lives?

From picking us up when we’re down, to always having the kettle on when we need it, mums are simply the best.

They’re a wealth of knowledge on every subject: work problem, relationship trouble, parenting advice, hair care, how to sew a button on that won’t fall off, and their cups of tea are always miles better than any cup you could ever make yourself.

And Irish mammies in particular are a rare breed. Sure who else keeps the good biscuits out of harm’s way in case she has visitors, or tells you your face will stay like that should the wind change?

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One of my earliest memories of my own Irish mammy is her French braiding all of our hair before Sunday mass. There were so many of us (six girls, one boy) we had to line up. We’d kneel on the floor and she’d have us hold each piece of hair in both hands until she was ready to braid it into place. We’d sleep in the braids that night, and she’d undo them the next morning so we could go to school with a fresh crimp.

Fast forward more than 20 years and unfortunately my mother’s French braiding skills were not passed down to me. Luckily my Dyson Airwrap™ styler waves my hair in just a few easy steps and I no longer have to kneel on the floor. I think my mum secretly misses that part though, so I often pretend that I can’t reach the back of my head so she can curl it for me and we can relive those French braiding days.

This Mother’s Day, team IMAGE are reflecting on some of the best advice our mums have given us over the years, from hair care to fake tan disasters. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums, mum figures and sisters doing it for themselves!


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I had naturally blonde hair growing up. When I was 13, I told my mam I wanted to dye my hair dark brown. She told me to never dye my hair from a box, that I’d ruin my “lovely blonde hair”. I was 13 and of course, didn’t listen. With my friends I bought a box dye. To say my mam wasn’t too pleased when I came home is a bit of an understatement. As I went through my young teenage years, my hair was every colour under the sun: brown, black, auburn, red – you name it and my hair was that colour. When I was 16 I finally realised how much I missed my blonde locks, admitted defeat and went to the hairdresser. My mam was right, I absolutely did ruin my hair, it had to be stripped, bleached, stripped again, bleached again… you get the picture. It took me a year-and-a-half to get back to a fresh, clean blonde and I have never, and will never, look back. Ciara Hanrahan, IMAGE events and branded content executive

Don’t tuck your hair behind your ears, you will end up with sticky-out ears.   Lucy Carroll, IMAGE senior events project manager

My grandmother never gave advice unless I specifically asked her for it. She chose to teach by example, teaching me to love unconditionally, take risks, never stop making friends, eat my favourite foods, travel the world and never jump to conclusions. She once said “forgiving someone is a choice we must make to set ourselves free” – coming from a woman who survived a concentration camp in WWII, I could never understand her endless patience, overwhelming love, and forgiving heart, even towards her captors.  Shayna Sappington, CARA staff writer 

My mother has definitely offered some questionable advice over the years, and that fringe that only covered the middle of my forehead from the ages of three to 10 which she insisted on cutting herself is pretty unforgivable…  But one piece of advice that almost makes up for it is “stop straightening your hair from the root as extreme heat damage can cause additional frizz and flyaways”. She’s very pleased I now swear by the Dyson Supersonic™ to dry and style my hair at the same time, without the use of extreme heat. So pleased in fact it ends up on her vanity case more than my own…

And I couldn’t let the day pass without acknowledging my older sisters – all five of them – who in their own way have taught me a thing or two in my nearly 30 years. My eldest sister taught me not to match my eyeshadow to my eye colour; my second eldest taught me not to straighten my hair before using a hot tool to curl it, my third eldest taught me to pick my battles, my fourth eldest taught me not to use the highest setting on the hairdryer and my fifth eldest taught me to roll with the punches until something better comes along.  Eva Hall, IMAGE branded content editor

How to even begin to sum up the best advice I ever received from my mom, when I learned so much and continue to do so. But one of the best pieces of advice she ever gave me was to “let fear drive me, not paralyse me”. She taught me how to be resilient. She believed in me, she pushed me to always learn and always grow and to never stop growing. She didn’t always give me what I wanted, but she gave me what I needed. She taught me to stand on my own two feet, to be accountable for my actions and decisions and to own my truth. She taught me that character and integrity were two of the most important things we could possess and to always abide by our conscience. She taught me what mattered most was that our intentions behind our actions were good and honourable. She is the lady who taught me that nothing is impossible. She never let me off the hook! She challenged me to face the uncomfortable but to not let fear ever consume me. She taught me that life is not easy, but we have a choice in how we respond to it and to face challenges head on, and when life is off balance to never let our moral compass be. Clodagh Edwards, IMAGE CEO

The only formative advice I remember my mother giving me when I was younger is beauty related. The first piece of advice: “Should you decide one day that you would like to do something with your eyebrows, please, please come to me first. Whatever you do, do not put a razor anywhere near them.” The second, when I was about 14, desperate to be peroxide blonde and frying my hair on a daily basis with a hair straightener: “If you straighten your hair too much, the heat will kill it and… your hair will go red.” Naturally as a blonde now whose hair required a lot of affection to recover from the straightener years, the fear never left me and staying away from extreme heat has always felt of supreme importance, which is why I’d sell you my mum before I’d sell you my Dyson Supersonic™. Joking! Sort of…  Holly O’Neill, IMAGE beauty editor

To let your mum know how much she means to you this Mother’s Day, why not gift her something pretty? Pretty intelligent, powerful and versatile. Dyson has launched a limited edition fuchsia and nickel Supersonic gift edition with Dyson-designed styling set. Available online from or in-store in Dyson Liffey Valley, Dyson Swords Pavillions, Dyson Stephen’s Green or Dyson Dundrum.