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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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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

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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Battle of the Argan Oils – Moroccan Oil vs. Organix vs. Avon

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oils

 

 Argan Oil Review

 

Argan oil is really quite old news on the hair care scene. It originates from Morocco and is produced from the kernels of an Argan tree. Women from north Africa and the middle east have been using it for centuries, not just for hair but for skin and nails too due to its great moisturising properties. In the last couple of years, the west has been going crazy for this miracle oil, and since the brand ‘Moroccan Oil’ launched, it has been the number one best selling hair treatment in the UK and America. You just have to do a quick Morcoccan oil search on Youtube and you’ll find hundreds of girls claiming they cannot live without it and it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Sometimes when things are hyped up so much it actually puts me off,  aswell as the hefty price tag, so its only been in the last month that I decided to put these claims to the test. I’m a big believer in pure coconut oil, which for me ticks all the boxes at the fraction of the price of Argan oil so I was skeptical. I decided the try out 3 different brands, high end, mid range and low end to see if it made any difference to my hair.

 

Moroccan Oil –

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£28-32 for 100ml (sample size in picture 25ml)

I decided to go for the sample size in this as I couldn’t justify spending £30 without knowing if it was worth it, I got mine of ebay for £10, this should hopefully last a month so I think that’s fairly good value. The brand states ‘Our antioxidant infused, nutrient rich, innovative formulas are unmatched and provide dramatic results’ sounds promising!

I tested this product in 2 different ways over 2 weeks, as an overnight treatment before washing, and as a leave in oil before blow drying. I did this with all 3 products so I could get fair results.

My initial reaction to Moroccan Oil was that I really didn’t like the smell which was quite disappointing, its quite strong and I think its rather masculine, but of course this is a matter of opinion and some people really love it. The first night I had the product, I saturated the ends of my hair in it, wrapped it up in a warm turby-towel and went to sleep. In the morning I was pleased to see my hair had really soaked the oil up and was almost dry. One point to Moroccan oil! However by this point I felt the smell was a bit over powering and wanted to wash it out. So after shampooing with a clarifying shampoo, conditioning and using my Redken extreme anti snap I ran a small amount of the oil through my ends and blow dried.

In all honesty I wasn’t blown away, my hair did feel soft, and my split ends did look sealed so it did its job, but i find I get the same results from L’oreals Extraordinary Oil, which is a third of the price. Credit where credit’s due though my hair did stay soft and shiny all day despite it being rained on and it combed through very easily at the end of the day. I do think this is a good product and it does what it says, however I;m not 100% sure it is worth the money.

Organix Moroccan Oil-

Organix Moroccan oil

Organix Moroccan oil

£8 for 100ml

I was really excited to try this product, I love organix as a brand, I think it’s prices are great and the products are environmentally friendly, organic, and in my experience really work. This was £22 cheaper than a bottle of Moroccan Oil and I felt much more comfortable buying it.

The first thing I thought was how much nicer the smell was, much more subtle and floral, I’m a sucker for things that smell nice and it can really impact how I feel about a product. However, I did notice the consistency was thinner and runnier than the previous brand, which means you need to use more of the product.

The morning after I used it as an overnight treatment, I saw it hadn’t soaked in quite as well as the more expensive one, my hair was still very damp. But when I rinsed it out it felt like silk, so maybe my hair just didn’t need as much moisture that night. Before blow drying, I actually found this product much easier to distribute evenly through my hair, and realised the runny texture was actually quite a good thing. After I blow dried I found my hair to be super soft, shiny and smelt amazing, I didn’t see any differences between the results from Organix and Moroccan Oil at all.

 

Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Oil

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£2.50 for 30 ml

I’m not going to go into too much detail about this product, as I was very unimpressed. I tested it in the same way as the other 2, and found it didn’t soak into my hair overnight, left my hair greasy after blow drying, and smelt terrible. I’ve never used Avon hair products before and it has definitely put me off. I don’t like to do negative reviews. but I really wouldn’t recommend this if your looking for a Moroccan Oil alternative.

 

Overall, I think in terms of value for money and results seen, I would say Organix Moroccan Oil is by far the best of the 3. However my hair is already healthy and in good shape so there isn’t a huge amount for the oil to do, so I may not be able to see the results aswell as people with very dry, damaged hair. I will be sending the samples in unmarked bottles to a friend to do a blind test to see if she thinks the same as me and will report back in battle of the Argan Oils – Round 2!!

Love Ali x