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Hibiscus for Hair

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D.I.Y hibiscus shine spray & shine boosting mask

DIY Shine Spray

Like rosemary, hibiscus is a great natural ingredient to incorporate into your hair regime. The hibiscus flower is mainly used in herbal teas, but not only is the tea healthy and delicious, it can also work wonders on your hair! Although there has been very little scientific research into the beauty benefits of the flower, it has been used by women for centuries, in cultures all over the world. For me, the best thing about using hibiscus on your hair is the fantastic shine it gives, especially to red and brunette hair, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper to prepare!

Step 1

Cut Hibiscus

The first thing you will need to do, is buy some chopped hibiscus. I get mine off ebay here for £4.25 for 200g (This will make 20 bottles of shine spray!!). Make sure your hibiscus is dry and fine cut.

 

Step 2

Hibiscus

Measure out 10g of chopped hibiscus. Add this in a saucepan to 500ml of boiling water. Leave to brew on a low heat for about 10 minutes (or up to half an hour if your patient).  The water should turn a lovely deep shade of pink. Also, your kitchen will smell AMAZING!

 

Step 3

Use a sieve to pour the tea into a measuring jug, wait till it is fully cooled and pour into an empty spritz bottle. And Viola! It’s that easy. Use liberally on damp hair before drying and you should see a visible difference in shine. You will have a lot of left over hibiscus in the sieve, but this doesn’t have to go to waste. Here are a few ways you can recycle the left overs :

  • To create a shine boosting mask, combine with a table spoon of coconut oil and apply all over wet hair. Wrap hair in a warm towel and leave over night. Wash thoroughly with a light shampoo and conditioner. Warning  this is messy, apply the paste in the shower or over a towel/sink.
  • To create a natural moisturising face wash, combine the left over leaves with some olive oil. Don’t be alarmed at how pink this is, it won’t dye your skin.
  • Keep the leaves in a ceramic bowl and put on top of a radiator to fill a room with their relaxing fragrance.

HibiscusAli x

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Blowpro Review

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blowpro products

Like many girls, I find the proccess of blow drying my hair to a professional standard almost impossible. How do our hairdressers make it look so effortless? The fact is, it’s always going to be easier to blowdry someone else’s hair than your own so don’t be disappointed if you can’t exactly recreate your salon look. Fortunately for us Brits, a brand new range of products have landed in from New York designed especially to make blow drying, and life, that little bit easier!

Exclusively available at Superdrug, the Blowpro range is a professional haircare and hair styling line designed to give better blow dry results at home. The brand is extremely popular over in the states, and was the first blowdry bar in the world! There are 17 products available in the UK range, but here is a quick review of my favourites. Keep an eye out for my next post which will be an easy blow drying tutorial using some of these products.

Ready Set Blow

Express Blow drying lotion £10.99, http://www.superdrug.com/hair-styling/blowpro-ready-set-blow-express-blow-dry-lotion/invt/813459

Ready Set BlowReady Set Blow is hands down my favourite product in the line. If you like to keep your hair regime simple and want a product that can multitask and save you time, then this is perfect for you.

What it does

  • Guaranteed to deliver an easier, faster blow dry every time.
  • Plumps hair, shaping body for noticeably fuller, longer lasting styles
  • Smooths the cuticle, locks out humidity, improves manageability
  • Eliminates frizz, static and flyaways.

The reason I love this product is how much it cuts down drying time. Without using this, it takes about 15-20 minutes to fully dry, but with, this is reduced to less than 10. Now I don’t know the science behind this, but it is definitely a miracle in a bottle for ladies short on time. It also has a similar consistency and texture, and gives an almost identical result, as my favourite Redken Thickening lotion, plumping the hair shaft to make it feel much thicker. I will definitely be switching to Ready Set Blow as it offers much more than the Redken Product for the same price.

 

Textstyle

Dry Texture Spray £10.99, http://www.superdrug.com/hair-styling/blowpro-textstyle-dry-texture-spray/invt/813957

TextstyleI like to wash my hair a maximum of three times a week, so for me it’s really important to use productson the ‘inbetween days’ that can keep my hair looking good without using heat. I have been using Redken’s wool shake for a while, but Textstyle is a really great, and much lighter, alternative for second day hair.

What it does

  • Versatile formula allows you to set textured style in just seconds
  • Quick dry dispense provides dramatic definition that works to not only build up desired texture but controls grease and oil build up.
  • Brushable blend of ingredients and Lasting-flex Technology with built in memory allows you to recreate your style the next day.

I spray this on my previously blown out hair, and scrunch to have a messy/beachy texture, leaving no residue or weight like many other texturising products. This is really great of you want to wear your hair sleek and smooth the day you blow dry it, but want it to look a bit more edgy and textured the day after, without having to wash it or do any lengthy restyling.

Faux Dry

Dry Shampoo £9.99, http://www.superdrug.com/shampoos/blowpro-faux-dry-dry-shampoo/invt/814357

Faux dry

I am a bit of a dry shampoo junkie, I’ve tried so many, but never loved any until now! For me the best thing about the product is the packaging and the way it dispenses. I have never seen dry shampoo like this before, and I am very impressed. Unlike products such as Batiste, Faux Dry is not an aerosol,  which means you have much more control when using it, and you wont end up with any unsightly white patches. Another thing I love, which is down to personal preference, is that it has no smell! For me, regular dry shampoos always have quite a sickly, synthetic smell which I don’t like, whereas blow pro is completely neutral.

What it does

  • Instantly removes excess oil and build up without water.
  • Re-energizes blow dry style so that it last an extra day or two.
  • Adds volume at the root of hair where it tends to retain the most oil.

Although this product is considerably more expensive than batiste, I feel it is much better quality, and will last longer as the nozzle wont clog, which is a common problem with aerosol dry shampoo’s. The little translucent ‘poufs’ that come out absorb oil instantly without a residue and you only need a tiny amount for it to be effective.

For more info on the range, check out their website here, there’s also lots of useful tips for recreating professional blow dry style at home. The range is currently on 2-for-1 offer at superdrug, which you can take advantage of here.

Ali x

 

How to detangle hair without causing damage

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Detangler Looking after your hair whist it’s wet is so important to mantain its health and strength. Every time I’m in the gym changing rooms, I cringe to see women abusing their hair with brushes, towels and hair dryers. A single strand of dry hair can carry a load of 100g without breaking (Dr.John Gray), however when wet the natural hydrogen bonds are broken down making the hair extremely fragile, these reform during the drying process (this is why you hair will take on a different shape if you brade it when wet). After washing your hair you will notice that your hair is much more stretchy and will appear longer (so don’t trim your fringe when its wet!). This extra elasticity makes your hair much more prone to damage. So here are my golden rules to preventing hair loss, breakage and damage for wet hair.

Pre-shower preparation

It’s imporant to thorougly comb through your hair before you wash it to remove and tangles and knots. Washing tangled hair will only make it worse, this is especially important if you backcomb your hair. You could also use a tangle teaser if you prefer, just not a regular brush.

Shampooing

Treat your hair delicatley whilst washing, don’t pile it on the top of your head and scrub, instead massage the shampoo into your ends and work up to the roots. Aswell as not causing any tangles, this will reduce pull and stress on your hair, and you should notice a lot less hair fall in the shower.

Conditioning

This is common knowledge, but its important to comb your conditioner through your hair to distribute it evenly and remove any knots that might have occured during shampooing. Again start from the tips working up.

Post-shower care

When getting out of the shower, it’s most womens first instinct to wrap their hair up in a towel, although this isn’t the worst offender when it comes to hair sins, it is much more preferable to spend a few extra minutes to pat it dry. Twisting your hair into a towel will pull on your scalp and contribute to hair fall. The most important thing to not do is rub your hair vigorously with a towel, this will always cause brekage.

Detangling

So now you are at the point where you can potentially cause major damage to your hair. My first piece of advice would be to invest in a good detangling spray. I would highly reccommedJoico

the ‘Joico’ leave in detangler and heat protectant. It’s a little on the pricey side at about £10.95, but the product really delivers. It is super lightweight, leaving no residue at all, yet I can easily comb through my hair in one go without any pull. I buy mine from http://www.lookfantastic.com/joico-daily-care-leave-in-detangler-300ml/10793077.html and often get it for 15% cheaper as look fantastic give out discount codes every weekend! If your on a budget, the l’oreal kids detangling sprays work well and are only a couple of quid, they also smell yummy!

I section my hair and spray the product quite liberally all over, including the roots as this product wont weigh hair down. I leave it to get to work for a couple of minutes before grabbing my trusty GHD detangling comb. Having a good detangling wide toothed comb is crucial at this stage, they casue a lot less friction and are gentle on the hair so you wont end up just pulling straight through a knot and breaking it off. Any wide toothed comb will do, but here is mine if you are looking to buy a good quality one http://www.ghdhair.com/combs/detangling-comb. Like shampooing, it is important to work on your hair from the bottom up. A good technique is to hold a section of hair with one hand and comb with the other, moving upwards as tangles are removed, don’t just comb from the scalp as this is likely to pull hair out.

 

Drying

In an ideal world we would let our hair dry naturally and cause no damage whatsoever, but for the majority of us this just isn’t possible. As a minimum let your hair air dry to about 50%, so it just feels damp, before using any heat. Don’t blow dry with a round brush until hair is at least 80% dry, as it can’t retain any shape until this stage. Make sure to use a heat protectant if your detangling spray doesn’t contain one.

And voila, healthy, strong, tangle free hair!

togreatlengths

If you follow these steps, you should notice your hair feels much stronger, and that there is significantly less hair going down the drain! Has anyone tried the Aqua Tangle Teezer? I’d love to hear some reviews as I’m thinking about buying!

 

 

Ali x

 

 

 

The Bleach Bible

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Bleach Salon

Bleach Salon

This month, the super cool Dalston salon ‘Bleach’ has launched its DIY range at boots, and although bleaching my hair is something I am totally against, I can’t help but love this brand. I am seriously tempted to bleach my ends green or grey or something crazy, I may have healthy hair, but I’m getting a little bored!

Bleach LondonBleaching your hair is not something to take lightly, and I have had bad experiences in the past. However now I feel I have the knowledge to look after my hair if I do decide to. For anyone else thinking about taking the plunge check out bleaches ‘The Bleach Bible’, http://bleachlondon.co.uk/bleach-bible it’s full of useful information about the process and after care. Also one of my favourite bloggers Lily Melrose has done a really great post on the salon and it’s home range which you can read here http://www.etcllymlrs.com/2013/10/bleach-launches-at-home-dye.html.

So tempted, what do you think I should do, focus on growing long healthy hair, or bleach it and get creative? Advice would be very much appreciated!

Ali x

Homemade Hair Smoothie

Treat your hair to it’s 5-a-day

Hair mask

If anyone has ever browsed the hair care department of Selfridges, you would have found it very difficult to miss the HUGE tubs of banana conditioner from the ‘Tina Cassaday of Beverly Hills’ line. The extra-deep conditioner claims to be formulated with 15% real banana pulp and a fruit complex from apples, sugar cane and citrus fruits. Sounds yummy! But unfortunately I could not afford the £55 luxury price tag, so I decided to research the brand & product to see if I could make my own version. Banana conditioner

 

The women of Beverly Hills appear to be going crazy for Cassaday’s in salon ‘Hair Shakes’ treatment. Much like going to your favourite smoothie or juice bar, Tina will whip up a shake for your hair after analysing it’s condition and level of nourishment required. So if you can’t nip over to Beverly Hills, her most used recipe is :

 

  • Half a banana
  • Quarter pint of purified water
  • Coconut creme conditioner
  • Half a tub of plain yogurt
  • Slice of cantaloupe
  • Eighth of an avocado
  • Aloe Vera juice

After a little trial and error, I have come up with my own favourite hair smoothie and here is a simple step by step guide :

hair mask

What you will need

  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Coconut Oil
  • Natural Yogurt
  • Organic Conditioner
  • Cling Film

 

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until it has fully melted into a liquid.
  2. Mix 50ml of natural yogurt into the coco
  3. nut oil and whisk with a fork to form a paste.
  4. Mash 10 strawberries and one banana into the mixture. ( to make the banana easier to wash out, freeze and defrost before using)
  5. Finally add a squirt of your favourite fruity organic conditioner, mine is ‘Organic Surge’ shine booster http://www.organicsurge.com/product/shine-boost-conditioner
  6. When you are happy with the consistency of your smoothie, apply liberally to your hair.
  7. Wrap hair tightly in cling film and leave for 1-2 hours (any longer and it might start to go off!)
  8. Thoroughly wash out, use a comb to remove the banana pulp.
  9. Condition with a light, volumising conditioner and add a little coconut oil to the ends when you get out of the shower
  10. Voila!! Beautiful, healthy and nourished hair. Aim to do this fortnightly, if your hair is very damaged there are extra ingredients you can add:

Egg- Works as a protein treatment and adds shine.

Honey- Hydrating and lightens blonde hair.

Avocado- High levels of vitamin B and E to strengthen hair.

eggHoney

ganze und halbe avocado isoliert auf weiss

Hair myths from controversial Kingsley

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Philip Kingsley

The truth about hair care according to the Hair Bible.

It is no secret that Philip Kingsley is the most renowned and successful trichologist to date. His products are definitely some of the best on the market, and are highly regarded by professionals. I personally am a loyal consumer of the famous ‘elasticizer’ (designed for Audrey Hepburn) and  ‘shampoo for fine hair’. Wanting to learn a little more about the man himself, his theories and to broaden my knowledge of hair, I purchased ‘The Hair Bible’. Released in 2003, it is a guide to preserving and enhancing the health and appearance of your hair.  Although it is 10 years old, I found everything still relevant to today, and would really recommend it if your researching into your own hair care routine. I snapped mine up from amazon for less than 2 quid!

I found the book very informative, however I was shocked at some of the things he had to say. Particularly the chapter on hair myths, as some of these I had a fundamental belief in, from hours of research online, to reading blogs and listening to friends and family, Kingsley has made me question many of my hair care ideals and practices. So I thought I would share a few of the most controversial ones, and see if you agree with Phil?!

Hair Trim Cutting your hair makes it stronger/grow faster.

I have never really believed this myth, but I know a lot of people do, even hairdressers! ‘Neither is true, your hair is not like a lawn  or a rose bush where cutting can stimulate fresh growth. Compare your hair to bamboo, a long cane bends and flexes easily, whereas the same cane cut shorter feels hard, inflexible and stronger.’ Totally agree with you on this one Kingsley, although it is still important to get your hair trimmed every couple of months to prevent breakage which will make it weak.

Baby-Shampoo_250x250_thumbHair gets used to the same shampoo.

As a hair blogger, I change my shampoo’s so frequently that I could never experience this, however it’s a myth I have heard many times and lots of women believe. Philip Kingsley disagrees,  ‘ This is a myth initiated by shampoo manufacturers to encourage consumers to swap brands. The same shampoo, used on the same hair under the same circumstances, always gives the same result. Shampoo buyers are noted for their disloyalty (guilty) and manufacturers frequently take advantage of consumer dissatisfaction with other competitors.’ So that’s great news if you have found a shampoo that you love, don’t switch it just for the sake of it! Only change a shampoo that works for you if you change your hair e.g you dye it, heat style it more often, perm it, move to/visit a very hot or cold country.

 

Natural products are better.akin-australian-synthetic-free-hair-care-photo

I like to try and incorporate as many natural and organic products into my routine as possible, I don’t know why, but I feel like you are doing your hair and the planet a favour when you do. In this day and age, it’s not really acceptable to say you would use anything synthetic and chemical ridden over an organic alternative However Kingsley isn’t afraid to speak out on this one. ‘This is another physiological ploy adopted by advertisers. Products labelled ‘botanic’ ‘organic’ or ‘herbal’ also carry the connotation they are natural. We could equally say that deadly nightshade, poison ivy, a bee sting and rabies are ‘natural’, yet the word implies something healthier and better for you. ‘Chemical’ has negative associations, although everything is chemical. Even when natural ingredients are used they have to be extracted, leeched, masticated and mixed with chemicals to preserve them! By the time a natural ingredient has reached a commercial product, it is completely different to its original form.  Natural is just a feel-good factor.’ So it seems unless you are putting raw fruit and veg on your hair, its not worth buying into the natural hair care brands. Not sure if I fully agree with this, but he has a good point.

Dying your hair makes it fall out.photolibrary_rf_photo_of_woman_removing_hair_from-_brush

In the past I have had bad experiences bleaching my hair, and it has definitely made it thinner. This could be from it falling out, or it just continuously breaking from the ends. The Hair Bible states ‘There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. It may sometimes appear so because colouring often starts when we age, which is the time hair will begin to thin anyway, so we just blame colouring.’ Disagree on this one!

greasy-scalpThe more frequently you shampoo your hair, the oilier it becomes.

I have heard lots of beauty bloggers talk about how they trained their hair to become less oily by washing it a bit less every week. I am quite a firm believer that the more you wash your hair, the more oils your scalp will produce to compensate what has been removed. Of course, Kingsley disagrees. ‘You might as well say that the more you bathe, the dirtier you get. Clean hair shows grease faster than hair that is already oily, similarly, clean clothes show dirt immediately, however dirty clothes wont. Myth!

In total there are over 20 myths that Philip Kingsley address’s in his book, from brushing your hair a 100 times a night, to using a cold rinse to add shine. All of which he believes to be untrue! But who am I to contradict him, he has over 50 years working in the industry.

For more info on the man himself and his products you can check out his website here.

Let me know what you think of his theories, or if you know of any common hair myths to be untrue!

Ali x

Nisim Fast & Mane ‘n’ Tail for hair growth.

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Updated hair growth routine

 

Hello!

Thought I would give you a quick update on the products I’m using to maximize my hair growth. It’s been a couple of months since I finished up my Nisim FAST bottles, so I decided it was about time to start the regime again. However this time I have changed things up a bit, and instead of using the FAST conditioner, I have replaced it with  the Mane ‘n’ Tail conditioner, which is renowned for improving hair length.

m&t

 

Mane ‘n’ tail products were originally produced for horses but in the 90’s owners starting raving about the effects it was having on their own hair, and it hit the commercial beauty market. The company’s website states :

Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner benefits:

  • Exclusive micro-enriched protein formula fortifies the hair shaft preventing breakage and split ends
  • Natural oils nourish and condition hair and scalp while delivering essential moisture to dry, damaged, neglected hair.
  • Keeps hair tangle free, soft, manageable, renewed and healthy while achieving longer, stronger, fuller looking and feeling hair.
  • Effective as a leave-in or rinse out conditioner based on hair type and condition.
  • Safe and gentle for all hair types.

Although there is no scientific back up that the products improve hair growth, nor does the company guarantee it, the conditioner is packed full of hyrdolized proteins which will prevent damage and keep hair stronger for longer. I bought mine of Ebay as Mane ‘n’ Tail is difficult to find in the UK.

I’m really excited about this brand because the products are so cheap and their are thousands of glowing reviews about peoples hair being transformed using them. Combined with the FAST shampoo I am hoping to get a full inch of growth a month, if not more!

Lee Stafford

I have also just purchased the brand new Lee Stafford leave-in hair growth treatment. If you have had a look around my blog, you’ll know how much I love the pre-conditioner growth treatment that’s been on the market for a while now, so I had to snap this up straight away. As it’s a leave-in treatment, it works round the clock, so  I can’t wait to see how it compares to the other products in the range. Read more here http://www.leestafford.com/en/products/hair-growth/hair-growth-leave-in-treatment .

My hair is currently about 23.5 inches, so I will be doing fortnightly updates again to let you know how my new regime is going.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products before and your experiences!

Ali x