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My Current Hair Care Routine…

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I'm a chronic lid-loser!

I’m a chronic lid-loser!

Hello!

I’ve had a couple of lovely emails off girls this week asking what my current hair routine is and the best way to start a hair growth journey, so I’m going to try and give you all the advice I can over these next couple of posts! Today I’ll start with my normal hair routine…

As a hair blogger, I hope you agree that it is understandable I have a ridiculous amount of hair products! My parents certainly don’t. However, this doesn’t mean that a good quality hair routine needs lots of different lotions and potions, quite the opposite in fact, it’s about finding the products that are right for your specific hair type. I have fine hair that is relatively healthy, so I try to stick to volumising/thickening products and balance them out with deep conditioners and oils to prevent damage. Unfortunately, this list is subject to change as there are very few hair products that I’m loyal too, but the ones I do are my holy grail products and I will use them every single week without fail; I would highly recommend everyone to add them into their routine!

1. Shampoo & Conditioner

So I’m currently using the Bodyshop Banana shampoo & conditioner, which I have reviewed on my previous post. I like them a lot, but I imagine I will be very bored of the scent by the end of the bottles so I will be switching them up when I have finished. The only shampoos & conditioners I have bought twice are the Redken Extreme range ones, when I was nursing my hair back to health from a dip dye disaster. These are fantastic products and I would recommend them to anyone with damaged hair, and if I don’t get my hair trimmed soon I’m going to need to order myself another lot!

2. Deep Conditioner

My hair mask of the moment is the new Pantene Advanced Keratin Repair  which I bought on offer from superdrug for £4.97. I am actually really impressed with this deep conditioner, it boldly claims to restore two years worth of damage in 2 minutes and although I can’t technically test this, my hair does feel stronger and my split ends just seem to disappear when I use it which is fantastic. I’m normally a bit of a snob when it comes to hair masks, opting for Kerastase or Redken but I think it’s highly likely I will buy this again.

3. Leave-Conditioner/Detangler

So I’m still using my Joico leave-in conditioner and detangler, it seems to be lasting a really long time which makes it great value for just £11. I use it each time I wash my hair after towel drying and it means I cause minimal damage during the drying process, you can read my full review and tutorial from a few months ago here.

4. Hair Strengthener (Holy Grail Product)

This is my absolute favourite hair product of all time and I must have repurchased it at least 5 times in the last 2 years. It’s the Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment, a protein and ceramide lotion that penetrates the hair shaft to restore and fortify it, protecting it against any further damage, and it really works! I honestly can’t swear by this stuff enough, I hardly ever see any visible damage to my hair and I believe this is product is the reason.

5. Styling

This is probably the hardest one to write about because it changes pretty much every week dependent on what I’m doing, what new products I have found on the market, and sometimes I have a detox and don’t use any at all! I’d say my favourite styling product is Redken Thickening Lotion which really makes my actual hair strands feel plumped up and voluminous, great for nights out. If I’m using my rollers I find the Treseme Root Booster Spray is very effective and keeps the volume for a full day. If I’m curling my hair I will always use the L’oreal Techni Art Constructor as this is very effective heat protector and keeps my curls in place all day whilst adding texture, I get mine from my local salon for £10, but I’m pretty sure LookFantastic.com sell the range too.

6. Hair Oils (Holy Grail Product)

Another product I am fiercely loyal to since its launch is the L’oreal Extraordinary Oil.  This product really delivers for such a reasonable price tag and for me, is far better than the over-hyped Moroccan Oil. It leaves my hair glossy and smooth, concealing any split ends. Just make sure you use this after any heat styling or you will cook your hair like frying food in oil, ouch! It also comes in new formulations for coloured or fine hair now, very similar to the Kerastase oils range. Would highly recommend.

So yep, that’s most of the products that I’m currently using on my hair, from time to time I substitute in natural alternatives like coconut oil or rosemary water, it just depends on my mood. If I was to write this post again in 6 weeks I’m sure it will have drastically changed so I may start doing a traditional beauty bloggers ‘Monthly Favourites’ type post so I can keep a record.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and you found it informative, next post I will discuss the best way to start a hair growth journey and give you a proper update on how mine is going as I haven’t talked about it for a while.

Bye for now,

Ali x

 

 

Quick Review : Macadamia Oil Flawless

flawless

 

Macadamia Flawless is a ‘breakthrough’ all-in-one hair product. It’s a cleansing conditioner which claims to totally replace the need for separate shampoos, conditioners, detanglers and serums. I’m a big fan of the whole Macadamia Oil line so I was really excited to try this product. I get mine from Look Fantastic for £20.60 which is currently 20% off. I’ve been using the product for over a month so here’s a quick overview of my opinion :

Pro’s

  • Very quick to use, no fussing around with different shampoos, conditioners and treatments, can be in and out of the shower in a flash.
  • Smells lovely and remains after drying.
  • Leaves my hair feeling lightweight, soft and voluminous.
  • Easy to de-tangle hair.
  • No nasty ingredients like parabens.
  • Easy to use foam-free texture.

Macadamia flawless

Cons

  • Hair becomes greasy quickly, needs washing at least every other day.
  • Never get that fully clean feeling
  • Does not reduce drying time
  • Expensive

Overall, I like this product and the way my hair feels on wash day. It can be a strange experience when you first use it as it creates no suds or foam and needs to be left in for a few minutes to work properly, but this is much healthier for your hair. However, my main issue is that my hair becomes greasy quickly and as the kind of person that is used to washing my hair only twice or three times a week, I think this isn’t something I would buy again.  Having said that, if you are a regular hair washer this would be great for you and will definitely save you money in the long run!

Ali x

 

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

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

Blog Giveaway Results

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redken_extreme_anti-snap_350wHello!

Thank you to everyone who entered my competition, I received many more entries and new subscribers than I expected, so to say thanks, I will be throwing in a runner up prize!

So the results…I used the site http://www.random.org to make the draw completely fair, by inputting all the comments and email entries in the order I received them.

The winner of the Redken Anti-Snap treatment is : Annabelle Hastings, a bloglovin follower who emailed me with her holy grail hair product of tresemme dry shampoo. Well done Annabelle, I hope you absolutely love this product.

The runner up prize is a travel-size bottle of Phyto’s Day cream for hair, another of my favourite luxury hair products.

http://www.feelunique.com/p/Phyto-7-Moisturiser-50ml for more info on the product.
The runner up prize goes to Tams, from beauty blog http://nakedbeautyblog.wordpress.com/, who commented with her holy grail product of guy kremer protection serum.

Congratulations Annabelle and Tams, please email me your address at aliolive2@gmail.com so I can get your goodies shipped out!

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I will be doing another luxury haircare giveaway soon so watch out for that!

Ali x

Rosemary for Hair Growth & Hair Care

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How & why I incorporate rosemary into my hair routine.

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As much as I love Nisim’s FAST shampoo and Lee Stafford’s hair growth range, you don’t always have to splash the cash in the quest for longer locks. Sometimes a little scavenge through your kitchen will unearth hair care gold!!
Rosemary is a really great natural stimulant, it is often used in aromatherapy and herbal teas to invigorate the mind and body. When applied to the scalp, it does an amazing job of stimulating your hair follicles, increasing blood flow and therefore improving hair growth rate, and for people suffering with hair loss, it can help brand new hair growth. It is also proven to darken the hair over time and will keep greys away. If that wasn’t enough it is also great at tackling dandruff and an itchy scalp and will leave you feeling fresh and flake free.
I love you rosemary!

There are tons of ways you can use this is your hair care routine, but here are four of my favourites…

Rosemary leave in conditioner and rosemary & cider vinegar rinse

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Rosemary leave in conditioner is a natural way to detangle your hair and leave it super glossy whilst stimulating your scalp, and it’s so easy and cheap to make.

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Take a pack of dried rosemary, I buy mine from Holland & Barrett for about £1.20, and put roughly 200g into a saucepan.

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Fill to the top with cold water and bring to the boil, simmer for about 20 minutes until water is a dark red/brown colour, keep stirring.

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Let this cool, then use a sieve to pour the water into a jug and get rid of the used rosemary. Once it’s completely cool pour into a water spray bottle (I get mine from poundland) and that’s it!
After you have washed your hair spritz this all over, and comb through.

A rosemary and cider vinegar rinse is a great way to neutralise the ph of your hair as shampoo and conditioner is very alkaline and it can take your a hair a while to rebalance itself out, leaving it vulnerable to damage. The acidity of the vinegar will make your hair extremely shiny and healthy, the smell isn’t great but is masked by the rosemary and olive oil. Here’s how to make it.

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In a spray bottle, fill 1/3 with apple cider vinegar. Then fill the rest with the rosemary conditioner from the previous method. Add 4-5 drops of olive oil for extra moisture.

To use, shake really well, remember oil and vinegar don’t mix! After conditioning whilst hair is still wet, spray evenly and leave for a minute. Then rinse fully. You should feel the results immediately and your hair will feel like silk!

Rosemary and coconut hair mask

If you have read my blog before, you’ll know I’m a bit obsessed with using coconut oil in my hair. Well this post is no exception! An overnight mask will deliver maximum results, the rosemary to grow your hair and the coconut to repair any damage. Again this is super easy to make.

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You will need some pure rosemary essential oil, again I get mine from Holland & Barrett for about £8 but you can get it cheaper on ebay

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Then all I do is pour about 6-7 drops into my virgin coconut oil tub, use my hairdryer to melt the coconut and massage the mixture into my scalp and tips. I will then wrap it in a warm towel over night and wash out in the morning. Simple!

Rosemary tea

Beauty starts from within I am always told, so this is a really easy way to boost your hair from the inside out.
That first method of boiling the rosemary to make a conditioner, well that’s also known as rosemary tea and you can drink it! It’s not the nicest flavour tea, but I promise it will work wonders for your hair!

Let me know if you have any other techniques for using rosemary!!
Alice xx

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