Thursday, 27 November 2014

Dry Shampoo: Battle of the Brands

Thank God for dry shampoo. Am I right? On days of unexpected greasiness slash laziness, it's an absolute lifesaver. 

I say this, but before now I didn't use it a lot at all. My hair doesn't get too greasy too quickly and when it does, it's also crying out for a good conditioning, so dry shampoo wasn't really my go-to in those situations. 

However since dyeing my hair a colour that fades rapidly with each wash, dry shampoo is helping me prolong my colour's vibrancy, and is a product that I would recommend to anyone struggling with fast-fading hair. 

Whenever I go to a fashion event, dry shampoo is a product that without fail makes its way into the goodie bags.  I've accumulated quite a few now, so I thought I'd  put the three biggest brands (Batiste, Tresemme and label,m) to the test on my new barnett in a battle of the brands, testing them on grease-elimination and volume. 

Obviously the most well-known, with Pixie Lott fronting their latest ad campaign and a variety of different scents and patterned cans on the shelves. The variety that Batiste has to offer is vast, and I will admit that it smells amazing. It does the job perfectly well in terms of eliminating the greasy bed-head look, however when it comes to styling and adding more volume, if you've got a gargantuan head of hair like mine, it just won't cut it. With my hair being so heavy, I need as much help as I can get when it comes to creating volume. I was also left with quite a powdery texture in my hair which really dried it out. 

For me, Tresemme is a brand I really trust. I've had a lot of success with their conditioners in the past, and I wasn't let down by this product either. I found that I needed less than I did with Batiste, and the actual feel of the product on  my hair was, as it says, refreshing. It didn't feel powdery or dry and doesn't leave any white residue at all. Didn't even need to rub it in really. Again my hair was too heavy for this to have any voluminous effect, but for a fresh, shampooed effect, this one is my favourite. A bit more expensive than Batiste, but you'll use less and it will last you longer. 

Obviously I don't use this at the moment, but when my hair was ombre I did. I know the can is tiny, and it's just a sample size. This is my favourite for texture and volume. It's the one product that can actually take on my hair and give it some lift, so if you've got a thick head of hair, or just want something a bit more heavy duty, then this is what you need. For dry shampooing, it's got a brown tint to it so that it doesn't leave any powdery marks, and it actually works well on reddy / auburn hair too. I've also tried and reviewed the larger Texturising and Volume spray which is actually quite similar, just more aimed at styling.  They're both brilliant for spraying on your hair before curling or backcombing for some extra hold and lift, whilst leaving the hair soft and pliable. 


Thursday, 10 April 2014

New Hair - Dip Dye How-To

So I mentioned in my last post that I'd had a complete hair makeover, which was my reason for buying the Remington Pearl Pro Curl. If you've read my About Me page, you'll also remember my mentioning of my lovely friend and hairdressing genius Natalie. Now we met back in 2008, working at a local hair salon together. To this day, she is one of my closest friends, and one of the most talented hairdressers I've ever met. She has been doing my hair for years now, and I don't think I'd trust any one else with it.

So when I decided I wanted a bit of a change, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce you to her, and show you an example of some of the posts we'll be doing together in the future. So without further ado, here is Nat:

 and here is my snazzy new do, literally minutes after it was done.:


I've been a redhead for almost four years now and with all these amazing pastel shades popping up, I was envious of the new lease of life everyone's hair seemed to be getting. Now I've never bleached my hair all over before, and as much as I want a pastel shade, I'm not ready to commit to bleaching my hair all over, simply because of how much colour i'd have to strip off, and I'll admit it now, I'm not very good at regular trims and overall hair maintenance, so I wasn't sure my hair could take it.

Instead, I opted for a firey dip-dye, to test the bleachy water, and I couldn't be happier. I almost squealed the other day when someone told me it looked like my hair was on fire. Now there's no way I would have attempted this by myself, but I am a massive scaredy cat when it comes to my hair. I'm extremely over-protective of it. But if you do decide to do something like this yourself, I've provided below a step-by-step how-to of everything Natalie did to get this look, as well as some tips and advice.

What you'll need
Sectioning clips | Mixing Bowl | Tinting Brush | An old towel/hairdressing cloak | Peroxide  and Bleach Powder (see image below for reference | Tin Foil | Gloves

1) In a tint bowl, mix peroxide (We used volume 40 to get through all the layers of red dye) and bleach powder half and half, until both components are combined.
2) Section hair into 4 pieces: two at the front, two at the back like so.

 3)Wearing gloves and using the tint brush, apply bleach to one of the front sections, applying a very thick amount to the ends. Using your hands, WITH GLOVES ON, massage the bleach into the ends to make sure it covers all the hairs, and then spread the bleach upwards to the mid-lengths, or the point where you want the dip-dye to start. There should be a lot more bleach on the ends than towards the top. The decrease in bleach the higher you go ensures the gradient effect. Repeat this on the other three sections.  Leave for 45 minutes.
4)For faster results, wrap  the bleached sections  in tin foil. 
5)Rinse off with shampoo and dry.
6)Reapply a fresh mixture of bleach (same measurements) to the very ends to slightly lighten them, about an inch or so up. Leave for about 15 minutes and again wrap in tin foil.
7)Rinse, condition and style.
   - For any sort of dip-dye, I feel the best way to showcase the gradient is to curl the hair, like the pictures         below,  hence why I purchased the Remington Pearl Pro Curl

As I mentioned in my March Haul post, I did a lot of research before buying this product, because I've never used one before, and I don't want to do any damage to my hair. So for my first try, just to be safe, Nat showed me the best way to use them, as well as some extra advice and tips on how to make the curls last, which we're going to share with you too. 


1) Section into four pieces, like you did for the dip-dye : two at the front, two at the back
2) On a section of your choice, take a thin slice of hair from the very bottom. Clip the rest of the section              away.
3) There are two ways to curl your hair, depending on what style curl you want. Putting the wand on top of the hair with hair going under it creates a curl with more of flick out, however this doesn't create volume.
Putting the wand under the hair with the hair going over it creates volume and lift, especially at the top of the head.  Pick one of these techniques, and use it on the first thin slice of hair. Repeat this all the way to the top of your first section. Then repeat for the remaining three sections.
TOP TIP: If like me you have thick hair, which is prone to dropping, spray each slice of hair with hair spray before you curl it, and spray it once more just after. (I recommend Tresemme Salon Finish Extra Hold )
Also, thick hair is quite heavy, which makes it quite hard to create volume. For a helping hand, use a texturing or volume spray. We used Label M's Texturising Volume Spray.
4) Give all your hair a quick once over with the hair spray again if you find your curls are dropping.  Tip your hair upside down and give a light spray with the texturising spray if needed.
5) Can neaten curls with a flat bristle brush. This type won't brush out the curls.

So here is the finished look : D Just for reference, as a base I use Loreal Feria Pure Scarlet Power.
It's taking me a while to get used to the full fringe, but I'm so in love with the dip-dye. I can't thank Natalie enough.

If there's anyone out there from the Bedfordshire area who's interested in contacting Natalie about having your hair done, or some of her work, contact Elegance Salon by TLC, Brickhill, Bedford, or check out their website at