Archive for the ‘Hair’ Category
Just a quick one – I’m in this month’s The Chapel magazine (www.thechapelmagazine.co.uk), brought to you by the The Chapel hair salon. On its fourth edition, it’s superbly put together AND it’s free. Here’s the direct link for issue 4. Thanks, guys – see you for my next cut and colour!
A year (or nearly two in my case) feels like a long time but looking back, it’s gone quickly. Those who have been reading Just Nice Things for at least a couple of years will know the obstacle I had to face in 2011, leading me to stop blogging for a while. (Here’s a little reminder of that.)
I have openly talked about the drastic loss of hair I suffered as a side effect of taking harsh medication, and the sadness and distress it caused to see pretty much half my hair fall out. However, I knew it was just a temporary glitch and I was far more concerned with fighting my illness and recovering from that.
I stopped my treatment towards the end of March last year but I still had to be monitored with regular check-ups and tests, and that it takes up to a year for the drugs to leave the body. It’s also when the healing process began.
This February I was given the all clear and discharged. On Valentine’s Day funnily enough. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m back to my usual self and it’s as if the last 18 months never happened.
But back to the point of this post. This time last year, the above picture is how my hair looked – very thin and whispy. I barely recognise myself when a year prior to this, I looked completely different – I had a huge crop of hair!
Georgia had to cut my hair much shorter to regain its strength and to allow it to grow back healthy so it was like taking a step back to go forward. I wasn’t happy when I had been wanting to grow my hair longer but I agreed with Georgia that this was the way forward.
Yesterday I popped along to The Chapel and four hours later, I left looking like this:
Now I’ve had a little booster with some human hair extensions by Racoon but only in the sides as that’s where my hair is the weakest. I first tried them in the new year and decided I wanted to keep them (expertly done by Billie).
There is actually a logical explanation behind this and it’s not for vanity alone. Billie advised that by having some extensions added for fullness, they would also take the stress and pressure off my real hair at the sides from when I use straighteners. Think about it – when you run straighteners through your hair, you are pulling at it. My hair at the sides always seems to be particularly weak as a result of such actions.
After two months of wearing extensions, when they were removed we noticed a difference – the hair looked stronger. I have continuously used straighteners but running them over the extensions has meant they have guarded my real hair from damage.
Some friends have told me they aren’t keen on extensions as they ruin real hair. Not if they are applied correctly. These were attached by glue about an inch from the roots, so the new hair has room to grow and become strong and the extensions are completely separate from inflicting any potential damage. I also didn’t experience any hair loss, no headaches and after a day, I forgot they were there.
Although the extensions have been matched perfectly with my real hair, the only giveaway is they are longer in length (so I’ve cheated a bit!) but could you tell if I hadn’t made the revelation?
My real hair has been growing back quickly too; the back alone is sprouting new, healthy hair which I am so chuffed about. I try to use castor oil whenever I can as that stops hair breaking and promotes growth but my use of it is now pretty sporadic. My health bouncing back is most likely the main source of it all.
The extensions are something I don’t intend to keep forever, but they are very addictive and has made managing my hair so much easier. The important thing here is they are doing something positive to my real hair so it feels like a treatment at the same time (albeit an expensive one!)
It is a welcome change to find a salon which is concerned about progressing forward with the needs you may have, and the girls at The Chapel have done exactly this for the last two years with me. They’ve already got ideas in their heads about what they’re going to do to my hair in the summer and for Christmas and do you know what? I can’t wait.
If you’re wondering what products I used here, they are: Illamasqua Skin Base in number 12, NARS blusher in Taj Mahal (face), Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in On And On Bronze, Urban Decay’s Smoked palette, Bourjois’s Eyeshadow pot in number 16, Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express mascara (eyes), and MAC’s Chilli lipstick with Illamasqua’s lip gloss in Drag.
Recently I wrote about converting to a sulphate-free shampoo. Well, I’ve got another one and it’s by NYC salon stylists Bumble & Bumble.
Once confined to being purchased online from selected e-retailers, Bumble & Bumble has become so much more accessible since being taken on by Boots but examining the contents on their shelves has left me flummoxed many times so I was glad of some help from the experts at their recent event with Smashbox Cosmetics.
I’m using sulphate-free shampoo to maintain my hair extensions and Bumble & Bumble are one of the brands which caters confidently for this preference so I was recommended to use their Color Minded duo which also protects colour and crucially is sulphate-free as well.
So come shower time, off I went with the shampoo (£23/250ml) and conditioner (£25/250ml). I always look forward to trying new hair products. There’s a kind of excitement and hope of having nice, clean and shiny hair to look forward to – never gets tiresome.
Well the first major surprise with Color Minded was the shampoo lathered up generously from a small amount. It feels wonderful to work it through your hair and you honestly feel thoroughly ‘cleansed’. The conditioner needs no further explanation though I use a small blob from mid-length to the ends.
The second surprise? Soft, shiny locks with sheen(ie) and I do believe my hair appears more vibrant despite the fact it has not been coloured in three months. This is a good sign if colour is preserved as too many other colour protecting shampoos don’t work.
I also spritzed their Prep spray (50ml/£5.50) all over my damp hair, massaged into my scalp and then blasted the hair dryer for a smooth finish. I have been advised to try the best-seller thickening spray to add volume, which I’ve since bought (available in two sizes – £21.50 for 250ml and £7 for 50ml) and this can be used together with the Prep spray for ‘the ultimate blow dry’. We shall see about that.
I have been washing my hair with Color Minded for about 10 days (yes, I wash nearly every day or every other day) and so far, I am really impressed. The price tag is a bit steep so I think only those who are concerned about haircare (like me) will invest. If it prevents me from getting greasy roots and dry ends, I am happy to pay it. Besides, this stuff will last me ages! Looks like I’ve been stung by Bumble & Bumble then… (excuse the pun!)
Sulphate-free shampoos is not a new thing, as I discovered recently when searching for a replacement. However it is a discovery for me since I got a few hair extensions in the new year.
Although I’ve had to get used to washing my hair in an oddly different way, I’m now reluctant to give them up because they’ve made my hair easier to manage and style, and they look amazing of course.
The individual human hair extensions by Racoon have been glued to my real hair and it’s because of these bonds I can’t use a regular shampoo and conditioner as the sulphate would destroy them. To deal with this, I was recommended Redken Nature’s Rescue shampoo.
It’s a clear liquid, lathers up superbly and deep cleans the hair, removing impurities along the way and without stripping away the natural oils. My scalp always feels refreshing after a wash, and it almost tingles in a weird but nice way!
Having used it solidly for two months, my hair’s condition hasn’t fluctuated – it continues to look healthier, shinier and the colour has lasted too. I had my locks dyed red 3 months ago and I know only too well this colour fades fast but I still have a burgandy tinge – impressive when I wash my hair 4 times a week.
I didn’t realise how much sulphate can affect hair until I read more on it. Apart from stripping the colour, the chemicals cause frizziness, breakage and aging. I know we are exposed to so many chemicals in products every day that whatever we can do to limit damage is good. Also loading the hair with other products like serums and sprays that become stale in-between washes means the build-up left previously is lifted from the wash. Detox IS good.
I’ve been using Redken Nature’s Rescue shampoo for two months since the extensions were put in and I wish I had started using it sooner because it’s brought so much relief to my hair and scalp. I don’t miss the old formula and whenever I decide to have the extensions taken out for good, I will stick to using the kindness of sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner.
I have spent a fortune on hair cleaning products and Redken has only cost me just under £12 online which to me is a reasonable price point. There are other alternatives on the market (some priced lower and some costing more) but Redken sits nicely in the middle and works very well for me.
Does this mean I can stop going from one shampoo to the next and actually stay faithful to one? Perhaps. Have you switched to using sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners? I would love to know what you think of them.