Oh holy silky hair heaven! A hair product I have obsessed with lately at the moment is the Matrix Oil Wonders Indian Amala Strengthening Oil. I needed to try it well because, well my hair was a mess of breakage and dryness. It is supposed to invigorate and renew weakened hair leaving it feel 4 times stronger and if anyone needs stronger hair it’s me *sobs into hands after removing giant wad of hair from brush*.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of luxury hair brand Kerastase. My experience with their products has been limited to shampoo and conditioners mostly. I was delighted to try their new designer range. I have been testing three of their styling products, and rather enjoying the experience. Is there really something exceptional about the products?
Now if you are a regular reader of my waffle you know how I can’t resist hair care products. If a product claims to make my hair softer, stronger or more manageable I buy it. Yes I have wasted a tremendous amount of money but beauty products really are my only vice.
I’ve said this a few times but what’s one more eh?! I’m a hige fan of Shu Uemura. I have only recently begun to explore their hair care products, which so far I have been very impressed with. This week I have been trying their new nourishing hair fragrance – Essence Absolue Nourishing Fragrance Oil with Pearls.
It’s no secret that I’m as fickle about hair care as I am about skin care. But I have found a little system that really works for me lately. It’s a little bit of a pick n’ mix brand wise.
Products that have made it into my favourites list
- John Frieda Go Blonder
- John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Days Straight
- Redken Clear Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
- Wella Brilliance Mask for Fine hair
I’m absolutely in love with Redken Clear Moisture. I have worked my way through all of their shampoos over the years and have finally found one that’s not too heavy for my fine hair. I love the fresh scent of the products too. My hair is like silk after using these but I still get to keep what little volume I have.
I picked Clear Moisture up from Hair Matters in Clontarf (they have a buy one shampoo get a conditioner free offer).
The Wella Brilliance mask is for fine hair too. I have never found a hair mask that’s light enough for my hair. It conditions the hair very well without leaving a residue or making hair greasy. Love.
Go Blonder – I recorded a video review on this one. It’s excellent for root blending. I’m going a little longer between highlights now.
3 Day Straight – Great stuff and easy to use. Spray it on and dry your hair. I get three days free from the dreaded ‘humidity hair’. Video review will be up on this one later this week.
What are you current hair care favourites?
I read about STR8 Forward by Scott Cornwall in a magazine recently (can’t recall which one). A reader and a beauty editor both rated the product highly. When I heard that it only cost €14 in McCabes I thought it would make an ideal blog experiment so I bought a pack yesterday. I chose the extra conditioning formula which is for people who have colour treated hair. There is another version for virgin hair.
Let me start off by saying that this product is Formaldehyde free – before anyone freaks out.
It says the kit can keep hair relaxed for up to 3 months. I always use the word ‘ relax’ rather than straighten because that’s really what it does – smooths down the hair follicle.
The kit comes with Keratin, Straightening Gel and Fixing Cream. I read the instructions, which was a challenge in itself, and it would appear that this is quite a long process and that there may be a lot of faffing around. Now, if you know me at all, you know I’m not one for faffing when it comes to beauty procedures – I’m think of the two hours I spent trying to glue on individual semi-permanent eye lash extensions and ended up in a huff with bits of eye lashes stuck all over me!
There is a little before and after picture of the results you can expect at the back of the box…
I’m a little sceptical but we’ll see. I want to wait two weeks before I try it out since I just had my highlights done 2 weeks ago and this product will probably encourage fading since it opens the hair follicle.
I have my doubts about this product and I’m quite sure it will be more work that I initially imagined but I’m keeping an open mind. I’ll get back to you with a review and before and after photos soon.
Have you heard anything about this product?
I thought I would post some pictures of my favourite hair care and styling products at the moment and talk you through how I use them. I did record a video on the subject last week but I didn’t provide enough information on the products, how I use them and why I love them.
Unlike my make-up addiction I tend not to be so fickle and faddy when it comes to hair care. I find a routine that works and generally I stick to it until the day it stops providing the results I’m after.
I’m using Pureology shampoo which is organic, sulphate free and it stops colour fading. This is hands down my favourite shampoo ( I bought it at Hair Matters in Clontarf). I originally bought it for use after the 12 weeks blow-dry / keratin treatment but I fell in love and it has become a firm favourite. I don’t bother with conditioner any more. It was once a necessity but since the chop there is no need.
I have also been using Wella High Hair Soft Clay to mould flicks into my hair. I never used products like this when my hair was longer but now that it’s shorter with lots of layers this is the way forward for me. I use the tiniest amount imaginable on my finger tips and use it to texturise the ends of random pieces of hair. I apply it only to the very ends of my hair, otherwise it will look greasy the next day. Although I like this putty I wouldn’t necessarily repurchase. My mum also informed me that the green label Wella clay is better. I will probably just buy whatever putty is on offer since I have no experience with clays.
I love the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening Blow Dry Lotion. I turn my head upside down and spray three pumps worth, I then work it in with my fingers. It makes my hair look thicker and healthier. It also makes my hair manageable and easy to style. This was in my Christmas stocking from my mum and I will definitely be repurchasing. It’s cheap n’ cheerful and does exactly what it says on the tin. (I’m assuming you’ve all seen the Ronseal ad!)
I have been a fan of Catwalk by Tigi Root Boost for a few years now. It’s designed to give texture and lift. I use it only at the roots. I don’t use it every time I wash my hair but usually at the weekend. It’s doesn’t make my hair greasy or sticky which is important. I do hate the nozzle. It’s supposed to be directional but it’s just annoying.I end up squirting some into my hand and using my finger tips to massage the products into the roots. I bought mine on Amazon since it was so overpriced here in Ireland. The bottle last absolutely ages though.
What hair products are you using at the moment?
This recipe is not oily despite the fact that is uses essential oils. The witch hazel leaves you scalp feeling tingly and fresh.
Rosemary essential oil has been used for thousands of years to help stimulate the scalp. The lavender oil calms the scalp whist the witch hazel acts as an astringent.
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel (distilled)
- 3 drops Lavender essential oil
- 3 drops rosemary essential oil
Mix the ingredients together, shake vigorously to disperse the essential oils. Massage in to the scalp (damp or dry) using your fingertips. It’s up to you if you want to rinse it out or not.
Easy – Hello stimulated scalp!
As a hair stylist, my Dad has always grumbled about the promises made on anti-dandruff shampoo advertisements. His best friend, a trichologist (hair scientist) also agrees that using anti-dandruff shampoo is a viscous cycle that will lead to you buying hundreds of bottles of the stuff in your life time.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that I understand the science because I don’t but I trust their judgement! I suppose it makes sense – Using harsh shampoo chemicals on your sensitive scalp every time you wash your hair will keep your poor head sensitive long term – even if you do get a few days relief. Maybe a long term approach to scalp health could alleviate the problem.
If you are interested in trying a natural herbal solution then this recipe might be of use to you. The shampoo contains eucalyptus and tea tree which both have microbial properties that control fungus. They help to clean the scalp and facilitate healing.
A note on packaging – I always keep an eye out for pretty or usual bottles and jars so that I can make a batch for friends and family. I usually store my own in pretty containers, it feels more luxurious.
- 50ml Water
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 50ml mild natural shampoo (I bought an organic version on ebay – or try your local health shop)
Mix the apple cider vinegar with the essential oils. Shake well to disperse. Add the natural shampoo and the water and shake once more.
I hope that this was helpful!
If you are a hair product junkie like me you are familiar with the downside to this addiction – Build-up. It makes your hair look dull and lifeless. You can use a clarifying shampoo to sort out the problem but if you have colour treated hair I wouldn’t recommend this.
One of the quickest ways to remove product build-up from the hair naturally is to use Baking Soda. A baking soda hair wash cleans out the excess product, remove impurities, and cleanses your hair naturally.
All you have to do is put two tablespoons of baking soda into a cupful of warm water. Mix with a fork until the mixture resembles a paste. Then apply the paste to damp hair. Massage and ensure even distribution. I wash it out immediately after massaging it in.
It feels weird at first, especially when you are used to suddy shampoo. It feels a little gritty, exactly what you expect from putting baking powder in your hair I suspect :)
Take your time when rinsing to make sure the baking soda is completely washed out of your hair. You want to avoid any residue. You don’t have to follow with shampoo and conditioner as your hair should feel squeaky clean. That being said, I usually do. I’m not entirely sure what -probably because I’m a slave to routine.
Hair products work so much better after some clarification so I like to do this once a month to clear gunk out of my hair. Some people use baking soda as a shampoo. Personally I wouldn’t go that far but I’m happy with the effects once a month.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray has been a favourite of mine for quite a few years. It’s about time I shared my love for it.
The spray is essentially a salt spray (yes we could make one ourselves but are we bothered?). It’s primary job is to add texture to the hair. It’s one of those products people use to create sexy beach hair.
The official line: Sexy, salty, sun-dried, windswept styles – whenever, wherever. (stolen from their website)
I use it in 3 ways:
1. I spritz my hair when it’s damp and leave it to dry naturally. I end up with a tousled, textured effect.
2. The spray can also me used to get volume at the root of the hair. I like to spray it on my roots and dry my hair upside down for tonnes of volume.
3. After wearing my hair in ghd curls or a set style the following day I might spritz some Surf Spray in to make a messier look.
I do find it a little dying on the ends of my hair if I use it too often. Everyone’s hair is different though. Although my hair looks great after applying the spray, I don’t really like the feel of it. It feels exactly like you hair feels after you get out of the sea. I realise that this is the point but I just need to point out that it doesn’t deliver silky soft hair.
A word of caution to those who colour their hair, the salt in the spray it’s great for keeping your colour vibrant!
I love the name, the packaging and the results. I don’t however like the price, €16 for 125ml’s makes for quite an expensive hair product but it does last.Would I buy again? I’m on my third bottle so yes but it’s not a product I could use every day, it would be too drying.
I bought mine from Amazon. (for those of you in Ireland Peter Mark sell their products).