Thursday, 23 April 2015

WOW Haircare Colour Security

Colour Wow Colour Security
Colour Wow Colour Security

Summer sun, sweat, swimming, styling ...

All these Summer factors can cause your dyed hair to look patchy, washy and dry, so it's important to find products that help prevent such damage and keep your colour looking fresh. 

This current heat wave, as temporary as it may be, has created the perfect conditions in which to test the Colour Wow Colour Security Shampoo and Conditioner that I was sent. 

Now I've been dying my hair purple for a good few months, using Directions vegetable dye, and as much as I adore the colour it does start to fade after two weeks or so, and to a sludgy, murky bluey green. 

I started using these products after having recently dyed my hair, just before the fading stage, and the effects have really surprised me. 

Before I go on to describe the effects, I'll say now that yes my hair did fade. Most certainly not as quickly as before, but it still faded. I do not interpret this as meaning that these products haven't done the job, as what I'll tell you in a second will prove that. The purple that I used when I first dyed my hair this colour had very strong blue undertones, meaning that's the colour that's been absorbed the most by my bleached hair, so the purple, being the weakest tone, will always fade from my hair, and I don't think that can be prevented in anyway, only prolonged. 

So, as I said before, my hair would usually fade to a swampy blue-green tone that was gross. I just wanted to re-dye over it as quickly as possible. Since using these products however, the purple has faded to reveal a vibrant aqua with subtle streaks of green that give my hair a two-tone look. The vibrancy really is amazing. I've had so many people gawp in awe at my hair, and they're so surprised when I tell them that this is a fade. 

Colour Wow Colour Security

So above are two pictures from my Instagram showing the colour my hair was just before it started to fade, and the colour that it is at the moment. I haven't dyed my hair in between. 

Hopefully from this you can see the vibrancy I'm talking about. I'm so surprised with this outcome, and I know it's down to these products because I haven't changed anything else in my hair care routine, and haven't changed the dye that I'm using either. 

Because of this, even though my hair colour changes, I can go a lot longer before re-dying because I love this blue shade so much. 

Based on the results I've experienced, I think it's easy to assume that if you use a colour that doesn't fade out as quickly as mine, the products will work wonders on its vibrancy and longevity. 


Thursday, 5 March 2015

My Hair Care Routine

My Hair Care Routine: Catwalk TIGI Headshot

My Hair Care Routine

Dyeing your hair is a commitment, and requires your constant attention. Since going purple, my hair has taken over my life, but I get a lot of people complimenting me on how healthy it looks, so I thought I'd put together a post all about the products I use and steps I take to keep my in good condition. 

I will say now that the commitment definitely applies more so to those who bleach their hair before dyeing. In fact, in all honesty, if you're not prepared to invest in conditioners and masks and frequent trims to keep your hair healthy, don't do it. Not only will your hair dry out and break, but the colour will look awful as a result. The more effort you put into your hair's health, the more you get out of it. 

My Hair Care Routine: Catwalk TIGI Headshot
You're probably reading this now and thinking 'There's no way I can afford that!' But before you panic and feel that expensive hair products are your only hair saviors, this product is here to actually inform you of the amazing deals TK Maxx do on hair products. I bought this salon sized bottle from there for just £12.99. When you take into consideration the fact that a small bottle of Aussie conditioner is £5, this is a steal. TK Maxx actually do a variety of salon products, from TIGI and Sebastian to Fudge and Wella, all at majorly reduced prices. Obviously the stock in each store is going to be different, but they do have a good selection online. It's definitely worth putting your money towards products like these. We all come out of a hair salon wishing we could make our hair feel that good at home. It's all down to the products they use, so now you can. I bought this particular bottle because of its intense conditioning qualities. The more intense the better I say! 

My Hair Care Routine Schwarzkopf got2b Heat Protection Spray
I've been using this product for a good few years now. I don't blow dry, straighten or curl my hair that often, but when I do I know that it's imperative that I use this. Not only does it smell amazing, but my hair doesn't feel brittle or dry after. You wouldn't get something out of the oven without oven gloves, so why apply heat directly to your hair? This is applicable to everyone with hair really, but for us with dyed hair, applying heat actually opens up the hair shaft, so colour can escape. Another one I'd recommend is the Tresemme Heat Protect Mist, as it has colour fade protection. 

Dry shampoo should be your best friend if you've dyed your hair, particularly if you've gone quite a bright colour. These colours fade so quickly, that sometimes the best way to make the colour last that little bit longer is to postpone washing it. I'm not suggesting you go two weeks without washing your hair, but if you wash your hair every other day, whether it's due to grease build up or just habit, you could maybe push it to once every three days and use dry shampoo in between. Now I know Batiste is probably the most popular, but I just don't get on with it. I find it quite claggy and drying and a bit sticky. Tresemme's is light on the hair and it doesn't feel like I've got anything in my hair after using it. I also find that this one lasts me so much longer than Batiste. 

My Hair Care Routine L'oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil
I wouldn't say this product is a must, but it's definitely handy to have around. There are days when my hair just isn't happy - maybe I've styled it too much or it's been a pretty cold and windy day and it's just been battered around a bit. That's when I use this gem. £10.99 seemed a lot at first, but I know Argan and Macadamia oils are a big thing at the moment and they're something like £12 for a bottle 1/5 of the size of this one. You only really need one pump and a quick ruffle through your hair, paying attention to the ends and you've got a quick moisturising fix. 

Other Steps

Another trick of mine is adding an equal amount of conditioner to the dye every time I dye my hair. Vegetable dyes like Directions are pretty concentrated anyway, so there's no harm in diluting it a bit with some intense conditioner. 

I also add a bit of dye to my conditioner, just so it's getting a top up every time I do wash it, and for a treat - if it needs it - a bit of the L'oreal oil too. 

I hope you've found this post useful, and it would be awesome to hear about any tricks you guys might have for keeping your hair in tip-top condition. 


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Vintage Waves - Tutorial

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.

Ever since The Great Gatsby came out I've been obsessed with vintage hairstyles. However, up until recently I couldn't even curl my own hair, so I purchased my Remington Pearl Pro Curl and got practicing. A lot of burnt fingers and dodgy hair-dos later and I've finally mastered it. The brilliant thing with perfecting the skill of curling your hair is that once you've got the knack of it, there's so many styles you can create. So now that I have curling down to a fine art, I can achieve those Gatsby-esque vintage waves, and show you guys the technique. Not only will this tutorial help you accomplish the skill of curling, but take you a step further to achieving another easy yet glamorous style. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
What You'll Need:
A curling wand / iron
A hair bush (preferably a paddle brush, but others will do) 
A large hair clip
A hair band
Heat Protection Spray

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
1. Part your hair where you'd like it to sit.  

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
 2. Tie one side of your hair up in a hairband so it doesn't get in the way. Take a strand from the other side, and pin up the rest. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
3. With your curling wand in hand, reach behind you and point the wand downwards. Pull the strand of hair you want to curl out to the side, so that it's in front of the wand, and starting wrapping the hair around. It doesn't matter if the hair twists in your fingers as you wrap. Just hold on tightly. *TIP* Always use heat protection spray, and if your hair struggles to maintain a curl, spray dry shampoo onto each strand before curling. This gives it a bit of texture and rigidity. Then spray with hairspray afterwards as an extra measure. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
4. How long you hold your hair on the wand for depends on how thick your strands are. With a strand of this size, I count 25 seconds before releasing. This is why it's good to start with the hair underneath, so you can perfect your technique as you work your way up. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
5. Slowly release, and you should be left with a gentle curl. Spray with hairspray if needed. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
6. Repeat, working your way up that one side, making sure the strands are equal in size. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
7. Remember to wrap the ends as tight and close as you can to the wand without burning your fingers, otherwise you'll have flicks at the ends of your curls. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
8. When you've completed one side, move on to the next. Remember to swap the wand into the other hand. Using both hands for this may be tricky at first, but after a bit of practice, you'll soon master it. It's much easier than having the wand in front or to the side of you. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
9. When you've completed both sides, give one last spritz with hairspray and let it set. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
10. With a paddle brush, slowly brush out the curls, softening them into waves. So that you don't brush them out completely, wrap the curl around the brush and slowly glide it through. Brushing in the same direction as the curl means that the shape stays, but drops into a wave. 

Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.
11. TA DA! I like to give it one last coating of hairspray (since you have brushed out most of the last lot), and if you like your hair a bit on the scruffy side, a gentle backcombing of the waves not only gives it an edgier style, but also helps the waves keep their shape for longer. 
Vintage waves tutorial with purple hair.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Colour Purple: A New Shade and a New Routine

So you're probably all aware that my hair is now purple, and it has been for the last two and a bit months now. However, I'm sure if you've dyed your hair a crazy colour, you know that a lot of experimenting is needed before you're at the colour you had in your head. 

The purple I've had up until now was lovely and vibrant. I used Directions Plum. But it had blue undertones, which meant in just two washes the purple was taken over by a teal/aqua shade, with hints of pink and purple. It actually looked quite iridescent for a while which was cool. I rocked the My Little Pony look for as long as I could, but the more it faded (and it did, rapidly) the less appealing it looked. 

I was at a bit of a loss for a while, until I seeked the help of  Hair Crazy. The girls on the forum here are experts at dying hair every colour under the sun, and told me I needed to tone down the blue with something warmer. Something pinky-red. It kinda makes sense really. 

I knew exactly what shade to use, as I'd used it before on top of a red a few years ago, and pinky-red it most certainly is. Or Cerise, if you're going by it's proper name. 

When I decided I wanted to go purple, the shade I had in mind was exactly the same as 'The Purple One' in a box of Quality Street, and after this little experiment I'm so pleased to say...I'M THE PURPLE ONE!

I've put this little how-to together to show you just how easy it is to mix Direction dyes to achieve the shade you want. 
(Excuse the not so great process pics - it's very hard to dye your hair and take pictures at the same time).

Equipment Needed for Dyeing Hair
 What you need: 
- The Directions dyes you plan on mixing together. It's a good idea to do a strand test first to make sure it's the colour you want.
- A good quality conditioner / hair mask 
 - A tint bowl
- A tint brush
- A spoon
-Hair bands
-Hair clips
-Rubber gloves.  
- Hairdressing cloak / bin bag / old t-shirt 

Directions Plum mixed with Directions Cerise

Directions Plum mixed with Directions Cerise
 Using a spoon, put half of each tub into the tint bowl. 

Directions Plum mixed with Directions Cerise
 Add a similar quantity of conditioner. Directions dye grabs onto anything, so I wouldnt recommend using it in it's undiluted form. It's very hard to get off skin and surfaces. Conditioner not only dilutes it, but nourishes your hair through the dyeing process. This is a must especially if your hair has been bleached beforehand. 

Directions Plum mixed with Directions Cerise
 Mix thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps of conditioner. 

How to section hair for colouring
Make sure your hair is parted how you would usually where it. 
 How to section hair for colouring
Section your hair by following up behind your ear. Clip up the front piece, and the hair on the other side, so you have just one back half remaining. 

How to section hair for colouring
From that back half, take a strand and pin up the rest. Wearing the rubber gloves, paint on the tint until the strand is coated. Work your way up the back section, remembering to get your roots in between strands. When you get to the top, make sure you get your parting and your hairline. Then move on to the front section. Repeat on the other side. 

Use plastic bag on tinted hair to speed up the dyeing process
 When you'v coated all the hair, give the ends a good massage to make sure they're fully coated. Tie your hair into a bun and tie a plastic bag over the top (not my best look I know). This helps keep the heat in and speeds up the process. I left it on for about an hour. If like me you get in a bit of a mess with the dye, a bathroom cleaning spray will get it off bathroom surfaces, and for your skin, surgical spirit or an alcohol based hand gel works wonders. 

Related Posts: The Best Dry Shampoo, Hair Dyes and Make-Up for Your Skin Tone, Dyeing Over Ombre Dip-Dye


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 : )