essjay23x

A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Archive for the ‘Hair’ Category

Snowflakes and a special cause!

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Snowflakes and a special cause!

Hey everybody.

Picture from here

Hope you are well. I’m sorry that there has been a lack of (aherm, actually zilch) posts over the last week. Snow doesn’t half suck the time up. Not enough where I live to snow us all in but the dusting we have had, has caused absolute chaos as we try to get about and do the day to day stuff.

Seriously, I am shattered and it is so, soo cold.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a link to a very interesting post that I read yesterday. It was written by Kelly of Hair Advice and all things nice.

I love Kelly’s blog because I’m hair obsessed and as a hairdresser herself, most of her posts focus on different hairstyles, products and ideas. It is seriously a great read from an insider and although the post I want to highlight is a little a bit different to her normal ones, it provides no exception to her ‘great read’ standard.

Kelly has posted about a very special cause, The Little Princess Trust, which provides poorly children, suffering hair loss, with wigs and real human hair of their own.

I can only imagine the difference that this could make to an individuals sense of well-being and quality of life.

Please, please, please take the time to read Kelly’s post here.

Thank you.

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Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

Happy, happy

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Happy, happy!

Hey, I can tell you that I was one happy girly on Sunday :)

I was preparing a future post about hair extensions and as I took the few prequisite “before” shots, I had the chance to compare my natural hair with some shots took earlier in the year.

This was my natural hair in July.

This is my natural hair now.

Yay, happy dance!

There is certainly some extra length there.

Now I’m not sure why. It may just be normal growth or maybe it is the Moroccan Oil and the less heat I consequently use on my hair or the fact that I am no longer wearing the heavy sew in extensions but exploring other methods such as the clip ins or taped. Or just maybe it is the Hair Growth and silcia tablets that I have been trying to pop daily.

Ok, so I still need extensions of one form or another to leave the house but I finally feel as if I’m getting there. My hair is getting longer and who knows? Just maybe by this time next year, I will dare to leave the house with locks that are 100% mine.

Spookily Nicoletta did a fab post on hair growth at the weekend. Have you got any tips for hair growth?

X

Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:19 am

Posted in Hair

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Magik results!

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Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent ‘hauling’ did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I’ve used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more “chemical” products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the ‘thirst quenching’ ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?

X

Written by essjay23x

October 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Umberto Giannini Haircare!

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Umberto Giannini Haircare!

There is currently an offer at Boots on the Umberto Giannini range. You can get two products for £7.50. I’m not sure how long the offer lasts and if it is just online or not but it might be an offer that you may want to consider.

I recently took advantage of a different offer on this range, I think it was three for ten pounds. Anyhow I walked away with three products, all of which I use almost daily.

That really is value for money. Normally when I take advantage of such offers, I walk away with at least one product that is soon relegated to the back of a drawer somewhere!

So to my three utterly fabulous products . . .

Firstly, there is the Glam Hair Morning After Dry Shampoo.
This works and even on my dark hair leaves no white flakes (unlike certain other brands that I have discussed before) unless I really, really, really heavily spray.

This product has a beautiful fragrance which is maybe a little overpowering (air freshner) at first but soon settles down to pleasantly and gently scent the hair for a good five or six hours.

I have been using this product quite often sometimes more to scent my hair then to clean it and I still have a fair amount of product left. Full size Umberto Giannini products seem to come in fairly big quantities and I would hope would last a reasonable amount of time.

This dry shampoo gets a big thumbs up from me. It really has renewed my confidence in the whole dry shampoo concept.

Secondly, there is the Glam Hair Backcomb In A Bottle.

Ok, this is currently my fovourite of the three products. I use it all the time and it gives my hair some pisazz. The whole thing about this product is that it is meant to give you the backcombed, big hair look without any actual backcombing. Now I very rarely use volume/backcombing products but this one works. You spray it at the roots of where you want the big hair look, ruffle and play with the hair on the top a bit and ta dah, height and glam hair. Result!

Now I have been using this product quite haphazardly just to give me more glamorous looking but natural hair (contrary, I know, but true) and to cover my extension seams or clips (yep, I have gone back to clip ins. More on that soon). This product is brilliant for helping to conceal tell tale signs of such fakery. It gives my own hair the actual height to ensure that nothing betrays me beneath. However, I am not sure if this product would work as an ideal replacement to more conventional styling methods/tools in more structured looks where bumpits or technical ‘backcombing’ is needed but for plain, simple bigger hair, this product delivers. Again, I have noticed no residue and very little product seems to need to be applied. Love, love, love this product.

And finally, there is the hair treatment, Spa Rituals Overnight Magic Hair Repair.

Don’t we all want the healthiest hair in the world? This one contains bergamot (something I seem to like in my perfumes), lavender (the scent that overwhelmed me and took some getting used to but now seems to ‘signal’ bedtime) and honey. This concoction is billed to condition, nourish and beautifully smooth your hair while you sleep. Hmm, like Sleeping Beauty!

Well I am a sucker for hair treatments and this one appealed to me because you use it every night. However, no rinsing whatsoever is needed in the morning. Supposedly you can just get up and go with newly revitalised hair.

Note: With this product even I am only using the recommended pea size amount (and we all know how I like to pack the product in) as I still fear this product could build up.

Now I wasn’t that sure when I brought this product as I have brought a hair beauty balm type product from this brand before (the Overnight Beauty Moisture Balm) and was not absolutely overwhelmed with the results.

However, this time I have been using this product mainly on my natural hair -now my sewn ins have gone, there are no extensions to be matted at night etc- and I think this product could be doing something. It is hard to tell but my hair seems to feel quite soft and the colour pretty awake as soon as I wake up in the morning. There certainly seems to be fewer frizzy and wiry bits. I am sure in the very least it is keeping my hair quite smooth which then means less product and heat is needed in the morning which can only be helping the condition of my hair which can only mean another thumbs up for the Umberto Giannini brand.

I really recommend viewing the products in this brand even if none of my suggestions seem something for you, the brand is huge and the product names very inspiring (an ‘enviable body blow dry’ or ‘catwalk beauty hairspray’ anyone?) so why not try something and then tell us all about it?!

X

Written by essjay23x

September 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

Moroccan Oil Update!

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POST REWIND: Moroccan magic, Hair delight!

THIS IS A POST FROM EARLIER IN THE YEAR WHEN I FIRST TRIED MOROCCAN OIL. I STILL USE IT AND CAN NOT IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT IT NOW. HOWEVER, I HAVE HAD A SLIGHT BUILD UP SO USE A GOOD SHAMPOO. PERSONALLY, I DIDN’T FIND THE NAKED SHAMPOO FROM BOOTS SUITABLE.

Those of you who are, oh so fashionable, and already following me on Twitter may already know what I thought when I tried the Moroccan Oil for the first time on Sunday.

In a nutshell, I thought I was dreaming!

This time, it seems the hairdressers are not exaggerating. This oil rocks. It is very early days, I have only used it once myself and want to use it longer before I endorse it fully and suggest that anybody goes out and purchases it, especially at £29. Update 26/8/10: It still rocks!!!

However, I can tell you that I’m pretty certain that I’m going to come up with the cash and purchase the full size. Update 26/8/10 I did buy a full size bottle and it has lasted me a good four months and there is still some left! We all have very different hair and needs but for me, this worked like a dream.

Let me tell you what I liked about it.

* I liked the fact that my hair did dry quicker then normal. Also my hair didn’t go quite as mad when I was drying it. Normally it flies this way and that and then whizzes down the back of the hairdryer sometimes even causing it to cut out. (Note: I don’t always pay the attention I should when I’m drying my hair and I suggest for safety reasons that everybody gives hairdrying a little more attention then me). My hair seemed more controlled and better behaved when drying after an application of the Moroccan Oil.

* I loved the fact that I could style my locks so easily after drying. I only ran the straighteners through the head once quite throughly and I was ready to go. No serum or additional product required. I always need to run the straightners through more then once if my hair is freshly washed and I want a sleekish, lasting style immediately after washing. Often I either wash my hair the night before or have to wear my hair tied up for 3/4 of a day after a hairwash in order to look half decent and groomed. My hair can be very manic and fluffs up so quickly. On this occasion, I also required no additional styling product. All I used on my hair was the oil and a heat protector. Normally to style freshly washed hair, it would take some S-factor Serum from Tigi and maybe some Bedhead flattening mousse on the ends of my natural hair to blend in with my extensions and eliminating the step effect. Er, not this week.

* I adore how soft and silky (that does sound like a hair ad, doesn’t it?) my hair felt and how shiny it felt. It also still feels that way 36 hours later. It looks sleeker and flatter then normal but not too much so. The product does not seem to be weighing it down unnecessarily, there is also no horrible sticky, gooey feel to give away my shamful little secret (ie. that these healthy, groomed perfectly behaved locks are not purely a work of nature). Update 26/08/10: My hairdresser actually asked what I had been using on my hair last time I visited. She said it felt very silky. I think that is a result of both the moroccan oil and phyto products I was using.

* I adore that the effect seems to be lasting. I haven’t straightened my hair today. Granted, it was up for work but I work in a Care environment and more often then not at the end of the shift come out with a birds nest and frizz galore and those silly little baby kinks in the sillest and most obvious of places. Not yesterday, not today. Update 26/08/10: My hair is certainly more manageble

I should admit here that my hair is always a bit better behaved for the first two weeks or so after I have had a major hair appointment but I still think that this is better then that.

I wanted to try and show you the effect of the Moroccan Oil (and I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t imagining the top notch results). So I washed and styled an old hair extension of mine in exactly the same way as I did my hair on Sunday (using Curly Wurly shampoo once and Aussie Long Hair Conditioning treatment for 2-3 mins) except I used Moroccan Oil on one half of the extension hair only.

This is the before. The extension is folded in half so the hair does appear quite thick.

Here are the two afters. Can you see a difference? Please note in the afters, less thickness will be percieved because the extension is laid flat out and not doubled over as above. Oops!

Styled without Moroccan Oil
Styled with Moroccan Oil

I think you may see a slight difference between the two after pictures if you are really squinting. Where the oil has been used, the hair appears slightly shinier and possibly fuller (although the extension may vary in volume, it is an old one!)

In reality, I have to admit that I can not see the dramatic difference that I feel there was when my locks was coated in the oil on Sunday. However, I can see some extra shine and vitality in the oiled extensions here. Also it was easier to dry the oiled side of the extensions and easier to lay these out straight. When you add all these little differences up and multiply by the number of hairs on my head (I normally have at least four to six of these extensions sewn in to my hair plus my own hair which is not much shorter), I think you will agree that the wow factor I thought was achieved is certainly attainable.

Let’s not forget even if with long term use, it just stregthens and conditions, this oil could be worth something. Not sure about £29 though, I guess in my heart of hearts I am hoping that it will provide all the gimmicky bits too. It is early days but my heart and the mirror is telling me that there could be something in this ‘magic oil’ marlarkey. Update 26/08/10: I have concluded that Moroccan Oil is a ‘magic oil’ or something very close.

Now I’m just waiting to see how long my hair will go before it needs another wash. I’m thinking if there are any downers with this product, it may be that the oil makes it look greasier sooner or/and that it may look limper earlier because it is already a bit sleeker and has less puff to lose. If these hurdles occur, I’ll have to deal with them but for now, I’m floating in a little bubble of hair delight!!! Update:26/08/10: There is a build up of oil but not every time that I wash. Maybe once every couple of weeks, it needs a super wash. Don’t forget I’m the girl that overuses products with lots of very fine hair so you might not even have a problem!

At the moment, this product gets a big thumbs up. Who knows? All could change but I don’t think it would be too much to say that this is one product that could be heading for holy grail status. Update 26/08/10: I think I’m about to endorse it Holy grail!!!

Well, I’m off to enjoy having slighter nicer and more managable hair. Hee hee, I don’t know which I will appreciate more, the pretty factor or the less maintenance one?

What is your favourite hair product? Do you spend hours maintaining your hair or do you prefer something more manageable?

You can also read about Moroccan Oil here

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Written by essjay23x

August 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Getting the Glow with a Green Monster!

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Getting the Glow with a Green Monster!

I’m liking the Green. . .

My mission is to make more of myself. I’ve previously talked about how I go through phases. One week, it is all about the lipstick. The next, it is all about the bling and then the next, haircare. At the moment, it is less about the products (just a little less though) and more about good old fashioned science or as I prefer to call it ‘beautiful living’.

I’m trying to find out more ways of living which could actually help me make more of myself now and in the long run.

Yesterday I had my first ‘Green Monster’.

Typically of me, I forgot to take a picture so this one is from the Green Monster Movement website. Mine didn’t look quite as good.

In fact, mine was browny. It looked gross and it smelt foul but actually it tasted ok. It certainly tasted yummier then my very first green tea. These green smoothies are supposed to give you a HUGE increase in energy and decrease your cravings for sweet things. Oh and this is a direct quote from Angela the founder, ‘My skin has also become more clear and my hair and nails started growing like weeds!’

Yay, I’m excited about this little drinkie.

The main ingredient is spinach. This or kale is mandatory as is some form of milk. However as long as these two ingredients are there, you can add any other ingredients you want (many people do choose seeds and fruit though), blend and ta dah, you have a Green Monster!

Since I can never have too many antioxidants, I added 5 or 6 large strawberries then a banana and a very small scoop of sunflower seeds to my little Monster.

It tasted like a creamy banana, strawberry concoction with a slight tinge of something else.

Obviously, the spinach or the kale is always going to add some nutritional goodness. Spinach has Iron, Folic Acid, Dietary Fibre and Vitamins A, C, E.  Milk provides the Calcium but the rest is up to you. You can make your monster as calorific or as slimslime as you like.

I had my monster for lunch today and along with the leftover strawberries, I didn’t feel any hunger pangs or any need to top my meal up with anything else. I will certainly be having more and it will be a bonus if my skin starts to glow!

I found out about Green Monsters in Gemmas fabulous video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1UF0AIILk4&playnext_from=TL&videos=9QAsnig1oxo  Gemma always provides excellent links and information. I love her channels!
There is also a whole movement here http://greenmonstermovement.com/.

I also think that many of you will love ‘Oh The Glow’, the blog where the Monsters originated.

Angela is a health blogger who has completely changed her own life and got her glow again. Now, she is inspiring others to do the same. This blog is so different to any I’ve come across before (admitedly I haven’t really lurked in the “healthy living” communities) and you really have to take a peek to see what I mean. I only found it on Friday night but I stayed up hours reading Angela’s stories and her amazing ideas. Today, I can not stop talking about this blog. Check it out here http://ohsheglows.com/

What with green monsters and green teas, I’m now starting to think as long as it is called ‘Green something‘, it will be good for me!

Have you tried a Green Monster? What do you think of the inside out approach to beauty and life?

X

Written by essjay23x

July 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Cheating my way to silkiness!

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Cheating my way to silkiness!

One fact about me, dry shampoo has always disappointed me. I did a review earlier in the year https://essjay23x.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/batiste-dry-shampoo/  and my biggest concern was that I had trouble brushing the flakes out and when you have brunette hair and you are using the tropical Batiste or Boots own brand, this can be a bit unsightly and annoying. Even if I was using a Brunette Batiste, I’m not sure if I like the idea of flakes in my hair.

I wanted to write a post today that revealed a great product that you can use instead of fallible dry shampoo. I was very excited about sourcing a ‘find’ and an ‘exclusive’ of my own. I found a spray with a fine mist instead of lumpy flakes to silken my locks. A perfect subsitute for dry shampoo, I wanted to post. However, I now realise that unfortunately it would be a step too far to advocate the product in question that way.

Lately I have been trying to wash my hair as and when it needs it. Apparently the longer your hair goes between washes and the more frequently you employ such gaps then the more your hair manages to maintain itself and the less washing/ ‘baddie’ products are then needed. Get in!

Sounds a great idea except for one thing . . , my hair is not very cooperative. It can look fresh, clean and soft before I go to bed one night and the very next morning, I can wake up with greasy roots, quite crunchy ends (Sorry but it is the horrific truth)and little time to spare. Eurgh, what a great start for the day ahead.

At that time of the morning, I never have time to wash, dry and style my hair from scratch so I have to look to my hair products (yes, what I was trying to avoid in the first place) for a helping hand and yes, I have quite a few hair products but that doesn’t mean I can rely on them to save the day.

Most of my products -bar the dry shampoo- are to actually flatten my hair further because it is so puffy after a wash.

However I have recently been employing one little product to help and it is Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from ion moisture solutions.

I used to use it on my clip in hair extensions to freshen them up and make them silkier and softer as they aged.

One day I noticed that it can be used on natural hair too and blimey, does a spritz of this make my hair soft again! I’ve been trying to find out how it works but have drawn a blank so far. However I think it works as a bit of a moisturiser and you can see from these photos that my hair just looks so much healthier and less wiry (indeed silky) after a spritz of this.

BEFORE
AFTER (spritzed, fingered through, left 2mins and brushed)

I’m so impressed that I was tempted to use this as my dry shampoo subsitute and tell you all about it but no, I can’t.

This spray just doesn’t do enough for the roots to equal a dry shampoo. My roots may feel a little softer after some of this but they still fall on the wrong side of lank.

I have worn my ‘I need a wash’ hair out after a spritz of this and I got away with it maybe because the rest of my barnet looked so fresh but it is not enough because I do not feel that I have clean hair and you can see I’m right if you look at my roots closely enough.

Saying that I am glad that I have this spray, it is a great product to have. It has a nice pleasant fresh, possibly slightly floral, scent and there seems to be no product build up. I can not recommend this product enough if you want to silken/detangle hair (extensions or real) as a ‘pick me up’ occasional product.

I think it could work as a daily moisturising treatment too for the lengths and ends but the only thing I would say here is that I have only used this product occasionally and am a bit wary of the ingredients listed alcohol denat, butane, isobutane, propane, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone. I am tempted to use this product daily because it makes my hair so soft but at the same time, I’m sure many would see these ingredients as ‘baddies’ and could this mean evantually with such frequent use, it would dry the hair out instead of rejuvenating it?

Going back to occasional use, you could maybe even use this product to change your hair style from day to night. After all, it seems to break down product ok and leave your hair soft but personally I find it is more of a maintanance/polish product rather then a cleanser.

When the lank roots need a wash, I think they need a wash more because of physiological waste such as sweat and oils. This ion spray will not clean such hair but then it was never designed to, extensions don’t have to deal with physiological issues!

Dry shampoos do though and dry shampoos haven’t really worked for me yet so I’m just starting to wonder if there is such a thing as a short cut or even a quick fix just to get you through the day when it comes to matters of beauty.

I got my Ions Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from Shear Beauty (http://www.shearbeauty.com/). It is currently £8.99 there. You could google other retailers too.

So for me right now, it is either get up earlier and wash my hair properly as required, or try out the Big Sexy Hair products that Nicoletta http://nicolettasbeautyspace.blogspot.com/ has recently posted about!

Do you believe short cuts ever pay off? What do you think of dry shampoo?

X

Written by essjay23x

July 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm