Archive for ‘Haircare’

January 25, 2012

Review: Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Mask

Green tub of hair mask

image from

Weirdly, for someone with hair as long as mine, I hardly ever use hair masks. In fact, I’ve only ever owned one before, and I’m not even sure that it counts – it was an Aussie treatment. So I decided to give this one a try, as it was stupidly cheap in Boots. Hooray!

I already know and love the green Herbal Essences range; I like the smell, and I like the products, though of course they are fairly middle-of-the-road. I was pleased with how much product there is in this tub – 200ml, and as they were half price, I got 400ml for the price of one. After my experience with the comparable Aussie product, I was expecting to use this stuff up extremely quickly; however, even with my waist-length hair, and after a few uses, I have most of the first tub still to get through. Good value!

Now, how well does it actually work? My hair definitely felt healthier, moisturised (but not oily) and shinier after using this mask, which of course is great! However, I wouldn’t say that the effect was any more pronounced than if I’d used the conditioner from this range in the same way as the mask – just using a big dollop and leaving it on for longer than usual. In fact, I suspected more than once that this stuff is basically the same as the Dazzling Shine conditioner, repackaged. *GASP* – a conspiracy!
I’m sure it isn’t the same stuff, but I think that’ll give you an idea of how effective it is. It does work, and it’s nice to use, but it’s not going to work any miracles that your conditioner can’t also achieve.

3 stars! 🙂

3 stars

image from Google Images

September 29, 2011

Review: RUSH salon & I’ve sorted out my hair

Thanks to my scary, traumatic experience with hair colour remover (read about that whole mess here) I had a bit of hair-sorting-out to do. I decided to do it at my local RUSH salon, as they have a Wednesday deal thing that I decided to take advantage of. (Read about that at their website, here.)

My hair had naturally toned down a lot from it’s orangey ginger that the colour remover had left it, but it was still way too “warm” (how tactful hairdressers are!) for my liking, so I was told that a very flat brown semi-permanent dye would be best for me, in the free consultation that I had with my stylist when I just walked in to make my appointment. It was nice that I knew exactly what she was going to do, 2 days before she actually did it.

When I turned up yesterday for my appointment, everything was running on time and I was immediately sat in a chair and told, again, exactly what they were going to do. (I was also offered a drink, which is always very nice. I never quite get over the nice surprise of being offered tea; simple pleasures!) Without any messing around, the dye was whacked on and I was left to read the paper for 15 minutes while it got to work. My stylist was very friendly, but not in the frequently irritating hairdresser way that seems so fake; she was genuinely up for a chat, which was nice. One annoying thing was that during this process, I had to move seats 3 times; once because the lights were all malfunctioning on one half of the room, and a bloke was coming to fix them (he ended up having lights dangling from the ceiling, which did look a bit unprofessional) and another time because someone else needed my chair more than I did while my colour was working away on my hair. In fairness, this second one wouldn’t have happened without the first one causing a lack of seats! My stylist and I then had to swoop down on someone else’s chair, almost before they got out of it properly, in order to make sure we could continue. Funny, but not all that professional. Still, it wasn’t their fault.

My hair colour actually turned out a bit too dark for my natural colour, but that wasn’t my stylist’s fault; I was worried that they would make it too light, so I did say that I’d rather it was too dark than too fair, and they were trying to even it out so that no stray “warmth” would still be hanging around my roots. Also, it’s semi-permanent dye, so it’ll fade up. I actually quite like it – I always wondered what I’d look like with darker hair, and now I know.

I got a cut too, in the offer thing; nothing too drastic, just a trim of the ends and cutting down in a V shape at the back, which I really like. I also got my longish side fringe cut back in for fun – it’s almost beret-wearing weather, and they always look cuter with a fringe. (I have an entire drawer full of scarves and berets!) However, I trimmed my fringe myself when I got back; she’d left it slightly too long for my liking, though it did look nice.

The most important thing to me was to dye out the ginger in my hair – RUSH did that perfectly fine. My cut was nothing spectacular – I’ve asked for the same before, and got something much nicer elsewhere – but there’s nothing wrong with it, the stylist was quick and it does look nice. However, I’m not entirely sure that I would get a cut there again, simply because it wasn’t really worth the price. The entire job cost me £70, which is pretty expensive for an experience which is ‘perfectly fine’ rather than ‘great’. I might go back to the same stylist for a re-dye though, because it was quick and worry free.

September 22, 2011

My Run-in (or Experience) with Scott Cornwall’s Colour B4 Hair Dye Remover

Box of Colour B4

image from

There it is. There is the beast that ruined my hair!

Well, ok, so it did exactly what it was supposed to do. I’M the one that ruined my hair really. But the way I did it was by using Colour B4!
I dyed my hair a dark red, about a week ago. The colour was beautiful – on top. But on the lengths of my hair (my hair is VERY long) there was definitely some brown peeking through. “A bit patchy” is the less tactful way of putting it. I’d used two boxes of dye, as I knew I’d have to; I really don’t know why my dye wasn’t perfect, as I was extremely careful and I combed it through all evenly. Anyway, even though I liked the colour, I decided it’d been a bad plan and wanted to get back to my natural brown. I was already feeling remorseful for having messed with it at all! I was about to feel a whole lot more remorseful.

I toddled down to Superdrug and bought two boxes of Colour B4. As I’d only just coloured my hair, and I’d had no other dye on it previously, I didn’t go for the hardcore Extra Strength stuff (and I wanted to save my hair any unnecessary trauma). The example on the box is of someone with hair colour very similar to mine, dying it a similar red to the one I did, and then going back to brown. I followed the instructions to the absolute letter, rinsing for a neck-killing 25 minutes in total. As I rinsed my hair, no colour seemed to come out of my hair, which was a bit weird, but my hair looked pretty brown and normal under the water, so I was happily assuming it’d gone back to its original colour. It felt dry as hell, but then I had just stripped out the dye of the day before, so I just conditioned it with an Aussie hair mask.

Then I got out of the shower.

My hair was orange. Most of it was still wet and looked dark, but the roots where I’d combed it through with my fingers were flaming, brighter-than-the-sun orange ginger. Naturally, I burst into tears and called my mum.

While on the phone to her (having to admit that I’d ignored her advice to use natural henna rather than synthetic dye – when will I learn that she is always right?) I re-read the leaflet with the FAQs on. It says there that lots of dyes, even dark-coloured ones, contain peroxide that will pre-lighten your hair; this orange colour is my natural hair colour now! As a first-timer with my dye, I didn’t know that. D’oh. And the example on the box was so like my situation that it never occurred to me, foolish consumerist sheep that I am! 😦

I know that a lot of people have re-dyed their hair straight away and had their previous colour come back. I’d read enough of the leaflet to know not to do that, and so I manned up and allowed my boyfriend to see, as I was going to have to wait at least a week until dyeing back to brown. (I know, the red was lovely, but I’m so traumatised I just want my natural hair back!)
If you’ve done something like this, I can assure you – the ginger does tone down. Right now, if I’m not in natural light, I very much doubt anyone would notice that my hair colour was warmer than before. (I’m writing this 6 days after The Incident.)

My student loan very handily is due to come in 10 days after my mishap – hopefully that’ll be long enough afterwards for me to have my hair re-dyed at a salon. I’m going to run to Toni & Guy and beg them to fix me!

Conclusion: if you’re reading this having had a crisis, don’t panic. You can re-dye using semi-permanent colour immediately (the less permanent the better – 6 wash stuff is best, apparently), and the ginger DOES calm down. Hey, I went to work the next day without having re-dyed at all, and someone told me I looked nice.
However, if you haven’t yet had a crisis with it, you VERY possibly will. Put the box down and step away slowly. Unless you’re absolutely sure that either you don’t mind having to immediately cover it, or that your previous dye(s) didn’t contain any peroxide, it’s a bad move.

ALSO, my hair now stinks of the stuff whenever it’s wet. It is NOT a good smell.

September 2, 2011

Review: LUSH Solid Shampoo “Seanik”

Firstly, the product itself: The blue circular 'bar' of shampoo

I can’t lie, the first time I tried one of Lush’s solid shampoos I really didn’t get it. I bought a lump of Trichomania just because it smelt amazing, and it made my hair get dirty/greasy quickly than before, and gave it a strange texture. For ages after I just wrote them off as being not for me.

However, I got a sample of Seanik with another purchase that I made, and eventually curiosity got the better of me. I’m so glad it did! While the nature of it means that it doesn’t foam up quite as much as regular liquid shampoo, it does still make my hair feel almost squeaky-clean; no problems with that. But then, Trichomania had done that too – the real test was once my hair dried.
I used it first without any conditioner, not on purpose but because I was in a tearing hurry, but it was actually a good thing because I got to see exactly what the shampoo did on its own. As my hair is very long, I do need to condition it quite religiously or the ends will start looking sad, and I can feel the dryness setting it. Seanik definitely didn’t dry my hair out – it actually made it feel very noticeably softer than before. When I tried it again, this time with Tresemme conditioner, the result was gorgeous softness and silkiness, while feeling every bit as clean as with ‘normal’ shampoo, and with none of the strange residue left by Trichomania. Success!
Another thing to mention is that some of their solid shampoos smell really awful. True, I think those ones are more medicinal, so if you have some scalp or hair problems they might do the job just fine. But Seanik has almost no scent whatsoever – if I hold it right under my nose I can smell it, but it’s not noticeable while using it and there’s certainly no lingering scent on my hair when it’s dry.

I’m very glad that I gave Lush solid shampoo another chance. If you’re after a more natural shampoo (yes, that is seaweed you can see there!) with less packaging, it’s definitely worth a go – but be prepared to do some trial and error before you find the one that’s perfect for you. Ask the assistants, they’ll help you out deciding!

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