My hairdresser disaster – the nightmare sombre

Hello, sorry for being absent for such a long time. There were few things that kept me away from writing, hopefully not for too long again. I just wanted to describe my horrible hairdressing experience. As you might remember I try to grow my natural hair. My roots are quite long and visible now so I had started to feel bored and I wanted to change something but without radical moves. While roots were dark and cool, the rest of my hair had brassy,  yellow tone, that I really didn’t like. So I started to think about a sombre to get a nice, natural look and let my hair grow without roots being so visible.

My hair a few weeks before the visit:

I’ve only been at hairdresser’s once, just before my wedding and it was a nice visit, however, I still try to avoid them (lack of trust)  :).

This time I’ve chosen the place carefully (they had some really nice pictures on their facebook page) and I went in to make an appointment.

The big day has come and I sat in the hairdresser’s chair. A young and a very nice girl (a student?) was responsible for doing my hair that day. I explained that I  wanted my roots to be blended down with lowlights (darker colour, similar to my natural) to hide a demarcation line and to achieve a very natural, sombre look (I don’t think that the lady understood the “sombre” word, but it could be my bad English pronunciation ). What I wanted was to tone my yellowish ends as well.  And I also asked to avoid bleaching because I didn’t want to damage my hair anymore.
I showed her those pictures and she was quite sceptical- she said that we couldn’t achieve it without the bleach. So I said that  I still want to keep it blond, but  I don’t mind going a bit darker, so instead of highlighting, I want to try with lowlights.

She seemed to understand perfectly what I mean, however, she went to consult the colour and toner with her boss (?) and the other lady. And there was my mistake: I trusted her and didn’t ask to show the colour they chose. When she started to do foils I asked: “are you putting a darker dye now?”. She answered: “No, I’ll level up your blond because it’s nice.”  I thought it was the first step of the work, so I didn’t want to disturb her anymore (silly, I know). When she finished I realised she only used one colour for all my hair, and I started to feel anxious.

I paid extra for using Olaplex- I had it done at home before so I knew the procedure pretty well. They’ve  put it on for less than 4 minutes- it was impossible for Olaplex to work. My hair was then washed with a hot water and the lady started to do some rubbing with the towel.  After that,  she started to brush my wet hair (!!!)  with something that looked like Tangle Teezer. Then the drying started- with… a very hot air.  My hair couldn’t bear it anymore so I said politely: “OK I think it’s dry enough now”. I paid for the service (I couldn’t see the result properly at hairdresser’s – my hair was still a bit wet) and I went back home to realise… how bad it was.

That’s before on the left and after on the right.

I wanted to achieve the sombre effect and it turned out to be completely opposite: my roots were more visible, because of the high contrast between dark roots and a very light colour of the length.

C’mon, seriously? Is that how they teach to do balayage now?

I’ve been trying to fix that disaster for the last couple of weeks, but the condition of my hair is so much, much worse now (it’s not visible on the pictures – I saw the result when I washed all the silicones that were used).  This situation made me very sad, I know it’s just hair, but for someone who really takes care of it, it might be very upsetting. I’ll be in touch.
See you soon 😉

Basic tips to fix chemically damaged hair

Hi, guys! I received a couple of messages about fixing chemically damaged or even burnt hair. Is it possible to make it healthy again? As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it might be really difficult. Hair that was damaged or bleached hasn’t got the ability to regenerate (it’s not a living tissue, but just a protein filament). There is no one perfect way that will bring health back to your hair. But there are a couple of methods that will help hair to look better. However, you need to follow them regularly- time is definitely your friend in the case of chemically damaged hair.

  •  Oiling
    Adding oils and other emollients to the daily care can visibly improve the look of your hair. These substances cover hair to keep it hydrated and they protect it against damages.
  • Proteins
    Use some proteins in the conditioner or mask. They will temporarily fill elements that are missing in hair’s structure. Remember: balance is the key-  it’s quite easy to overuse proteins.
  • Trimming
    It’s necessary to regularly cut damaged part of the hair. Otherwise, split ends will travel further up and make hair look even worse.
  •  Moisturising
    Yes, your hair really needs that. It’s like a watering a very dry plant. The humectants are hygroscopic substances used to keep hair moisturised.
  • Protecting
    Silicone serum is another haircare essential. It protects your hair from bad environment factors and keeps hydration in your hair.  One drop of serum is usually enough to keep hair healthy for longer.  Remember- it must be alcohol-free!
  • Olaplex
    It’s a new but very popular method already. Olaplex is definitely a good idea if your hair was damaged recently. I couldn’t see a big difference after the treatment, but my hair’s condition wasn’t so poor when I tried it. I would probably notice a big change if I had Olaplex treatment straight after bleaching.
    Repairing damaged hair always takes some time. It could be a very tough and frustrating problem to solve, but proper and well-balanced care is a key to success. It’s also very important to avoid destructive factors like heating, intensive bleaching etc. That will help your hair to recover and grow healthy.

Currently favourite- Planeta Organica Toscana Hair Mask

I thought it might be a good idea to describe my currently favourite hair cosmetics. They could be OK for girls with similar hair type to mine: thin, dry and previously damaged.
Today I will tell you a little bit more about Planeta Organica- Toscana Hair Mask, that I use at the moment and I’m really happy with.

It’s not easy to find that mask in The UK, so I bought mine in the online shop, encouraged by many positive reviews I had read. It is also available on Ebay or Amazon for about £7, which is a good price in my opinion.

Ingredients:
Aqua with infusions of Organic Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (olive oil), Organic Cymbopogon Citratus Essential Oil (organic lemongrass oil), Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil (grapeseed oil), Punica Granatum Fruit Extract (pomegranate extract), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (almond oil), Saccharum Officinarum Extract; Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient), Glyceryl Srearate, Bis (C13-15 Alkoxy) PG-Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Ether, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid.

That hair mask is not too watery- it has got very nice, buttery consistency. The great advantage of that product is the fact that it is really rich in emollients and they always work pretty well for dry and damaged hair.
The fragrance of Toscana Hair Mask is quite specific and intensive- it’s very nice for me, a little bit oriental, but it doesn’t stay on hair too long.

Using that mask is really a pleasant experience:) And hair definitely looks smoother and nourished after.
I try to use it at least once in 10 days for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes I add other natural ingredients, but it is not necessary- it works pretty well on its own:)
I was positively surprised by the effectiveness of that mask and I am going to test other products of the Planeta Organica brand:) Have you ever heard of it? Are there any hair products you can recommend?

How to get soft hair? Try homemade linseed gel!

For someone who dyed their hair in the past, having shiny, soft hair is often just a dream. Does your hair stay matte and unhealthy even though you really try to nourish it? Let me introduce one of the best natural solutions for dry hair. Flaxseed/ linseed gel is a humectant and that basically means it gives your “thirsty” hair some moisture:)

The recipe to prepare that hair gel couldn’t be easier. It doesn’t  really matter if you use gold or brown seeds. There are few different methods, but here is the one I usually follow:

-put 1 full tablespoon of linseed in the pot,
-add 1 glass of water,
-slow boil and stir frequently until it gets thicker,
-strain the mixture through the sieve.
It’s done, you can get rid of seeds or use them in the kitchen. Keep your gel in the fridge for maximum 7 days.

What can you use it for?

  • As a moisturising base before oiling hair. Put a little bit of gel on your hair and scalp. Wait a couple of minutes and apply the oil on your hair as usual.
  • For the last rinsing after washing: 700 ml of warm water with a half glass of warm gel. It’s a great start if you plan to stylize your hair later.
  • As a mask or conditioners addition. Linseed gel is one of the best moisturisers.
    Adding it to mask with a little bit of oil (explanation below) will make your hair look softer.
  • For stylization: use gel to create or just define lovely curls.

    As you know humectants usually need an emollient cover. Don’t forget about adding some oily substances to conditioner or use a drop of silicon serum when your hair is already dried.

    What are your favourite methods to get soft hair? Do you like natural, homemade treatments? Or do you absolutely trust professional products from drugstores?

Haircare essentials, PART 3- EMOLLIENTS

Hello, everyone!  It’s another part of my Haircare Essentials series. We’ve already talked about humectants and proteins. Today, it’s time to look closer to emollients!  When does your hair need them? How can they be recognised on the cosmetic labels? Where else can we find them?

The emollient in the hair care is a substance responsible for keeping moisture that we supply with humectants. In the nutshell: emollients cover hair to keep it hydrated and protect it against damages.

IS YOUR HAIR DRY, DAMAGED and MATTE? YOU PROBABLY NEED SOME EMOLLIENTS in your haircare!

They are necessary ingredients when we want to keep hair moisturised. I must tell you that, adding emollients to my hair care was the first step to see the real improvement. And oils had a huge, positive influence on my hair’s condition.

As well as humectants we can find emollients not only in professional and expensive hair products but also in our kitchen cupboards.
How to recognise these substances on the ingredients’ lists? Here are some examples of emollients:

1. Natural oils:
(look for the elements with “oil” or “butter” in their name)

  • Argania Spinosa kernel oil (Argan oil),
  • Linum Usitatissimum Seed Oil (Linseed oil),
  • Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive oil),
  • Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa butter)
  • Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba oil)
    and many others.
    2. Fatty alcohols:
    (that’s right, there are some good alcohols in hair products)
  • Cetyl Alcohol,
  • Cetearyl Alcohol,
  • Stearyl Alcohol,
  • Lauryl Alcohol.
    etc.

    3.Fatty Acids:

  • Stearic Acid,
  • Oleic Acid,
  • Lauric Acid,
    etc.

    4.Silicons:

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Trimethicone,
  • Amodimethicone
    etc.

My favourite way of adding emollients to the hair care is oiling in the night time. Sometimes I add oil to the conditioner or mask in the washing process.
In the case of emollients overuse, hair starts to look greasy, lifeless and unwashed.

Remember: emollients don’t moisture hair by themselves, they need a moisturising base just to keep hair “hydrated”.

Examples of products rich in emollient substances:

Garnier Fructis Oleo Repair
Vatika Naturals Virgin Olive Hair Mask
Kallos Blueberry Hair Mask

or any other cosmetics that contain ingredients I mentioned above.
I think the easiest way to start using emollients is putting a little bit of oil onto the hair for a couple of hours. Then you can decide which oil works the best for you.

Thank you for reading and see you next time:)

Split ends trimming- is it necessary while growing hair?

Hello guys:) Today I’m going to tell you a little bit more about trimming split ends.  Can we avoid it while growing hair? Or is it always absolutely necessary?

My hair grows really slowly. I always have to wait a couple of months to see any difference in the length. “Painful” thought about losing even an inch is never nice and easy for us, am I right girls?

In the beginning of my proper hair care, I was trying to avoid trimming because I believed “it’s not necessary” and “there is too much to lose”.  I also wanted to prove that everybody around is wrong:). Until the moment I saw that picture of my hair:
I must confess that, it was quite upsetting for me. I was trying really hard to nourish and moisturize my hair for a couple of months and the result was… pathetic. At least the top of my hair looks quite all right here, but split ends spoil everything:)
I decided to cut off a little bit of my hair (but I had no courage to get rid of all damaged part- today I regret it).

hair treatments can’t repair split ends completely! They can only mask the problem for a while, but not solve it. Basically, damaged and split ends “travel” further up, so despite the proper care, your hair will still look badly:(

After the first step of getting rid of split ends, I decided to cut them off every time they look dry and too frizzy or when I notice more breakage.
It’s still not too often, but at least I try to do it regularly. I know that I should cut much more off, but I’m so stubborn! Help!

I’ll describe my trimming accessories soon.

Does trimming make hair grow faster? The answer is no, but it is undoubted that it helps hair to be healthier and to look better. It also stops damaged part to go further up, so cutting should be an essential point of the hair routine. You can try to do it like me- less hair but more often, but I would advise cutting as much as you can bear at once:D

Of course, it’s also important to protect ends against heat and other damaging factors. You can read my basic hair tips HERE.

When you try to grow your hair it’s not funny and easy to cut your ends regularly.
I hated that thought of losing what I was waiting for at least a couple of months.
Today I know: shorter but healthy hair always looks better than hair long, but dry and damaged with split ends.

Do you agree? Do you cut your hair regularly?
See you soon and thank you for visiting:))

Haircare Essentials, part 2- HUMECTANTS

As I mentioned last time, sometimes it is hard to understand what hair really needs. That’s why I decided to start “Haircare Essentials” series on my blog. In my previous post, I told you more about PROTEINS.  Today it’s time for humectants.  What are they? Why does hair need them? Where they can be found?
The humectant is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moisturised.  “Hygroscopic” basically means ability to hold molecules of water from the surrounding environment.

IS YOUR HAIR DRY, Light, matte and brittle? YOU PROBABLY NEED SOME HUMECTANTS!

They are very important substances in process of moisturising our hair. One of their features is a capability of attracting water and absorb it to hair.

You can find them in professional skin and hair cosmetics or in your kitchen:)

How to recognise them? Here are some examples of the most popular:

  • honey/ (on cosmetic labels-” mel”)
  • sugar,
  • glycerin,
  • homemade linseed/ flaxseed gel,
  • aloe juice,
  • panthenol,
  • hyaluronic acid,
  • urea.

    My absolutely favourite way of giving hair moisture is adding honey to the mask.
    Humectants, as well as any other substances, are quite easy to overuse. In that case, hair looks a bit wet and lifeless with no volume.
    Be aware: if it’s very dry and hot outside (doesn’t happen in England!:P), humectants will give moisture back to the environment. It means that hair can look dry again.
    To avoid it, moisturisers need a good cover- emollients! I’ll tell you more about them in my next post of that series:)

    I’m currently using Russian hair and body soap (Grandma Agafia) instead of shampoo. It works fantastic as a moisturiser because one of the ingredients is Altai Mountain Honey. That soap is a product that I really like and can recommend (No, they didn’t pay me for saying that:)
    If you prefer moisturisers in conditioners, you can try one of those products:

    Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Conditioner
    Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Shampoo Strengthening For Normal To Dry Hair
    Dr Organic Manuka Honey Conditioner

    or any other cosmetic that contains humectant substances.

    Please remember that balance between proteins, humectants and emollients is very individual. What does your hair need the most? In the beginning of your proper hair care, you should experiment to check what is the best for you:)

Yeast drinking for a hair growth. Is it safe and effective?

I know that method could be controversial for some of you. Yeast drinking sounds quite weird and maybe even disgusting:) I can assure you it is a popular tip in the communities of hair lovers! It’s been proven that yeast drinking has got undoubted, positive influence on the general condition of the body, making nails stronger and of course on faster hair growth.

I was one of the “yeast drinkers” about a year ago- it was on my menu every day for a month. (It sounds like the AA meeting confession 🙂 ) I’m not going to encourage any of you to try, I only want you to do some further research and think about it. Of course only if you struggle (like me) to grow healthy, strong hair faster. High five!
Yeast contains:

  • vitamin B complex
  • minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium,
  • amino acids.

In my opinion, the best is fresh yeast, but it’s really hard to find it in the UK.  Sometimes you can get it from ASDA or Sainsbury’s bakery department. But don’t worry, dried yeast should be OK as well- I was using it.

My hair usually grows about 1-1.3 cm. per month. After drinking yeast I had about 2.3 cm. more.
For me, it’s a great result.

(On the first picture you can see a good example of PROTEINS overuse- don’t do it:P).
My hair also stopped to fall out (it was in the spring, I usually lose some hair in that season) and  I also had a new baby hair! It worked really nicely for nails- they were much stronger and not so breakable.

How to make a yeast-drink?

  • 1 tablespoon of yeast (could be more)
  • about 150 ml of boiling (!) water

Put your yeast into the glass, add water, stir thoroughly and wait about 30 minutes.
Done!

It’s very important to use boiling water- it kills the yeast so it won’t ferment in your stomach. But it doesn’t kill all the goodies (like vitamins and minerals) from the yeast.

I’ll be honest with you- it’s not tasty. Some people mix it with banana and add for example cinnamon. But for me, it was easier to drink it as fast as possible and just forget about it!:)

Don’t worry- yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that you can find in grocery aisles or bakery departments is completely different to Candida albicans. The last one is a pathogen which causes infections in the body.  Yeast that we use as a baking ingredient is safe and doesn’t make any harm to our health.

Garnier Ultimate Blends- conditioners review. Worth trying?

Hi guys:) Today I’m going to tell you more about 2 conditioners that you can easily get at drugstores in the UK.  I bought my Garnier Ultimate Blends products about 7 months ago at Superdrug, just for 2 pounds each.  I think it’s really OK for 400 ml of product, but it’s not a regular price.
I’ve chosen two:

  • Sleek Restorer Conditioner with coconut oil and cocoa butter,
  • Marvellous Transformer Conditioner with argan and camellia oils.
    I like the packaging, despite the fact it’s quite big, it’s also light and handy.
    The consistency of conditioner is nice and silky. Not very thick, but not too watery, it stays on hair with no problem.
    I was using these products regularly for some time. They were great in the beginning, but unfortunately,  I noticed that my hair started to look quite dry after a couple of weeks. I checked lists of ingredients (I don’t know, why I haven’t done it before) and they were not as perfect as I thought. For example, they both contain Isopropyl Alcohol– conservant which is never good for hair;( However, I’m still using these products,  but not at every washing.
    Sleek restorer version (coconut and cocoa butter) is silicone free so it doesn’t block hair against good ingredients. Sometimes I use it as the first conditioner.
    You can read more about that method  here: CLICK 
    The variant with argan and camellia oil has got one silicone (Amodimethicone), so it should cover the hair and help it to look smoother.
    And it’s true- both of these products worked pretty well- no tangles, hair was easy to brush and had a silky texture for some time.Advantages of conditioners:
  • lovely, not overwhelming  fragrance,
  • long lasting,
  • price,
  • common availability,
  • emollients are quite high on the ingredients list.
  • hair looks smoother.

    In my opinion, Garnier is a very good brand, one of the best you can find in supermarkets and drugstores. There is a great range of their products and you can often choose something nice.
    These conditioners are quite all right, but to be honest, lists of ingredients are not impressive.  Of course, there are oils, moisturisers and plant extracts, which are always great. However, we can also find some chemical additives that I would prefer to avoid.  Yes, they can make hair look silky and smooth, but they won’t nourish it deeply. If you have got low porosity hair Garnier Ultimate Blends should be really OK. If your hair is damaged and dry,  try not to use them every time – swap them with other, richer conditioners.

Oily scalp and dry ends. How to deal with combination hair?

Someone asked me recently how to care for combination hair– with oily scalp and dry ends. Should it be washed more or less often? What about oil and oily masks?
First of all, you should know that greasy scalp and dry, matte length is a really common problem, especially if the hair was coloured or bleached in the past.
My tips can look a little complicated, but when you make them your routine, it’s gonna be super-easy.

  • Oil is always a friend of hair, not an enemy, although in that case it should only be used on the length and ends of hair, not on the scalp. Coconut oil or shea butter are not the greatest choices in the beginning because they are good for hair with lower porosity. If your hair is damaged and dry, those oils will probably make it more frizzy.  Try with olive oil, walnut, linseed or almond oil first.
  • You can wash your hair as often as your roots need it. Your shampoo could be a little stronger than I usually recommend, but it shouldn’t contain oils and silicones.  Basically, these ingredients build up on hair and can make it more greasy. Silicones will also stick to hair and block it against conditioner’s benefits.  What do I mean by stronger shampoo? It’s a product that contains one of the detergents with SULPHATE in the end, for example:

– Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS),
– Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES),
– Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
etc.

  • OK, but as you know, these ingredients can make your hair even more dry and brittle. There is an advice for that issue as well:) Before washing hair with shampoo, apply any conditioner onto the length (it will protect your ends against shampoo’s detergents). So the method is simple:
1.CONDITIONER- 2.SHAMPOO- 3.CONDITIONER

(number 3- again only for length and ends). The last conditioner could be really rich (it should contain emollients and moisturising ingredients).

 

  • Remember to only use warm but not hot water for washing hair, it could even be cool for the last rinsing.
  • It’s also important not to keep a towel on the head for a long time after washing- otherwise, it can increase sebum production by the scalp.
  • Always protect your ends with a drop of silicone serum.

These are just a few things, but I believe they will help! The method I mentioned (1.CONDITIONER, 2.SHAMPOO, 3.CONDITIONER) is good not only for combination hair, everybody can follow it. I DO! :).