Ask An Expert #2

errol douglas mbeSo we’ve got world renowned, celebrity hair stylist Errol Douglas back for another installment of Ask An Expert after an email from Nancy, a Bikram yoga aficionado which Errol is a fan of himself so there’d naturally be no better person to answer:

“I  will be attending Bikram teacher training which requires two classes a day, 6 days a week for 9 weeks. I wanted to know if there are any tips on how to treat my hair during that period. I currently have relaxed shoulder length hair. I relax once ever 12 weeks and wash bi-monthly. I moisturize daily with castor and coconut oil and do not like silicones”.

Yoga sessions are actually a good time to hydrate the hair on the go. As the movement is smooth enough to create enough heat without too much perspiration, putting on a light leave-in conditioner and showering it off after class will really keep the hair in top condition. Naturally we need hair out of our eyes during exercise but be careful not to created ponytails or top knots with too much tension, cumulatively it can cause breakage. Use bungee clips or soft material bands that are snag free, use just enough tension to keep hair off the face but within that as loose as is practical.

Got a skin, hair or any other dilemma? Email me and I’ll forward your question over to an expert to answer!

Reviving Curls With The Urban Fudge Sea Salt Texturising Spray

20131002-042654.jpgIf there’s something I’ve never really understood it’s sea salt spray for your hair. Used to create ‘beach hair’, I’ve always seen it as a pointless invention along with mousse and hair mascara (a bit of 90’s nostalgia anyone?), but after attending an event during London Fashion Week and leaving with the Fudge Urban Sea Salt Texturising Spray* in my goody bag I had to consult Google and check whether I should give this spray a chance. And I did.

Many of you will nod in agreement that a lazy wash and go is one of life’s pleasures, but come day two and it’s all flat, limp and lifeless. I’ve tried pretty much everything to revive my mane back to its former day one glory, Aussie’s Miracle Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner comes close but the Fudge spray gives texture that any other product is yet to rival. Just a couple of sprays and some scrunching action and it’s day two curls with just a little grit and wave to it. Sickly coconut smell aside, revived curls are yours for just £6.99 at Superdrug.

Second Day Hair On The First Day

photoThere’s just something that overcomes me when I’m in the presence of a beauty industry heavyweight. I ambush, throw some questions at them and try to take in as much information as I can – brushes or fingers? Career advice? Products you’d have with you should you be stranded on a remote desert island? And Flavien Abbas, celebrity hair stylist, senior art director at the Urban Retreat in Harrods and founder of Touché By Flavien is no exception. I recently got to sit down with Flavien over tea and dessert at Bond & Brook in Fenwick and the tip I picked up… well it’s epic.

With his years of experience it’s fair to say that he knows exactly what women want to achieve with their hair, and he mentioned that his clients would go to him to have their hair done for an event two to three days in advance. Why? That ‘second day hair’ look. It’s a blow dry that’s beyond the point of being being super neat and polished – there’s something textured, tousled and lived in about it. And with Flavien knowing what the ladies like, he created the Soft Control Cream* for us to get that day two hair from the get go. I quizzed him on how to create this second day hair, and it was notepads at the ready – Warm the Soft Control Cream up by rubbing between your hands. Never apply wax or product from the front of your hair, always start from the back towards the front. Using your fingertips get the product right into the middle of the hair, and it’s good to also twist the hair while applying it. We parted ways that night with a Soft Control Cream in my hand (show off in your bathroom cabinet worthy packaging FYI) and once home I whipped out the blow drier and got to work. Verdict? Whoa.

It’s a good thing I got the scoop from Flavien because I’m not really one for hair wax or styling creams so I’d never have known, but as of late it’s been all about the Soft Control Cream. And the style possibilities have been endless. Flavien noted that sleek and polished locks have been featured on the runway all throughout NYC, London, Milan and Paris during the past month. Hair should look like there’s product in it. I couldn’t think of a more perfect example than at Elie Saab for SS14 Paris Fashion Week where hair was slicked at the sides and poker straight with product run through it. After scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing Glamour Magazine backstage at the show I attempted to recreate the look with generous amounts of Soft Control Cream. Results weren’t as Elie Saab-esque as I’d hoped, probably due to technique, but the second day hair thing? Like second nature now.

Beauty Experiences | ShampYou at Concoction Pop-Up Selfridges

IMG_4833[1]You know when you come across a genius idea and think why didn’t I come up with that? That’s exactly how I feel about Concoction. I came across the brand, founded by former Apprentice series six candidate Alex Epstein quite some time ago, but between then and now Concoction has only improved with new test tube resembling packaging, slight tweaks to fragrance and until very recently a pop-up store at a certain yellow shop called Selfridges where customers could have a shampoo whipped up for them before their very eyes by Concoction mixologists.

The concept behind Concoction is that you create and customise shampoo, or what the team at Concoction have dubbed it… ShampYou to your hair’s needs with shots of serum. So if you’ve got curly, blonde hair and like the smell of lemons then you may choose the Lemon + Verbena shampoo with the Curl Me Up and High-Definition Blonde serums. You’re never going to find products specifically for curly blondes and that’s what makes Concoction so genius.

IMG_4862Already being a fan, I had to to check out the pop-up and get me another bottle of shampoo. With their Bakhour scented shampoo being my favourite I was pretty gutted when Alex told me that they had run out as it was their best selling scent (Selfridges has a huge number of customers coming from the Gulf at this time of the year so it makes perfect sense!), so I opted for Black Pepper + Citrus* which is just as deep and musky, but with a kick to wake up the most tired of people in the morning. Then came the fun part – the serums for your ShampYou. I chose Curl Me Up and Gimme More Moisture, and they come in these cute little plastic vials which the mixologist snaps the top off, pours into the bottle and then shakes just as you would when preparing a cocktail. It’s all fun to watch and I even had a little shake myself. Shampoo is never moisturising, but the Gimme More Moisture really does help to stop my hair from feeling dry, and what’s more is the Cashmere + White Lily Crème De Concoction* isn’t your average conditioner, its super thick consistency takes it to the same level as a deep conditioning mask so this’ll come handy during the winter months.

Customising your order at Starbucks, bespoke suits and now made to measure haircare – wish granted!

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