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. 


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Purple Haze - From Ombre to Purple with Elegance by TLC Salon, Bedford.

So I had a bit of a hair change recently.

Purple. Yes, purple. 

As much as I loved my ombre and how it was matching the Autumnal leaves and winter vibe, I've been craving a change for ages. 

I'd been a redhead for almost 5 years, and going down the 'unnatural' colour route is something I've always wanted to do. I'd spent all Summer jealous of the pastel haired beauties that filled my Instagram feed, and decided that when the Winter months arrived, I'd set about my mission. 

Now I'd been considering this transformation for months, and embarked on many a Pinterest inspiration spree. The first thing I'd say to anyone thinking of making such a drastic transformation is do your research. Really consider your skin tone and what colours will work well with it, and how it will work with your everyday style. 

As you may have seen from other hair posts, there's only one person that I'd trust to touch my hair and that is the lovely Natalie, responsible for my barnet's appearance since 2008. 

Currently working at the Elegance by TLC salon in Bedford, I placed myself and my three tubs of Directions 'Plum' dye in her trustworthy hands. 

Obviously first things first: bleaching. Due to my dip-dye this was a complicated process, with two sets of  bleach being used: On the mid-lengths where the red dye was Nat used bleach and 40 Vol peroxide, leaving it for 60 minutes, whilst on my roots she used bleach and 20 Vol peroxide and left it for 20 minutes. You have to be really on top of your timings here. Nat noted at what time she started putting the bleach on the back sections of the mid-lengths, as they would have to be washed off earlier than the front sections. 

As you can see, the bleach took to my roots pretty well (I discovered on this day that I would NOT make a good blonde).

Once the bleach was washed off, on went the dye. Three pots later and I was well and truly coated. The processing time for Directions is between 15-30 minutes. We left it on for 30 minutes, to ensure that my hair would soak it up. 

A wash, lots of conditioner and a blow dry later...TA DA! 

Directions is pretty easy to use. My main  reason for doing this post was to help those who are confused with the bleaching process. There's no way I would have been confident enough to bleach my hair myself. I know some salon's can be expensive, but if you're unsure about bleaching and you get it wrong, you'll have to pay twice as much to fix it than if you'd gone to a salon in the first place. 

I must admit, considering this is my first 'drastic' transformation, it was a bit of a shock at first, and I'm still getting used to it, but I do love it. 

I hope this post has been of some help to anyone considering a doing something similar. If you have any questions, just leave a little comment below : )