Amla + Hair Conditioner = Wonderful Things!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetThose that know me and try to make plans will know that Sunday is my day – a day to sleep in, catch up on my reading, go for a run and of course, a day of some much needed pampering. Sunday is where the week’s madness comes to a halt and gives one the chance to recuperate in order to face the week ahead; some just prefer to face the week looking their best.

Unless I’m using a hair mask like the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask or Aussie 3 Minute Miracle I’ll often resort to concocting a mask of my own, and one of my trusty recipes is a generous helping of amla oil mixed into a basic conditioner (I use Alberto Balsam for co-washing, and at £1 a pop it’s a steal). Found in many a Saudi household, I discovered Dabur Amla Hair Oil through a friend and it’s been dressing table staple ever since. Amla is a powerhouse of benefits including its anti-dandruff, properties and its ability to strengthen your locks and give great shine. To condition, most amla devotees favour it in powder form and add water to turn it into a paste, but since amla powder is hard to find I’m happy to use an oil instead. I’m not one for following exact measurements, but I guess I use roughly a quarter to half a cup of conditioner and around 2 tablespoons of amla oil.

Because Sunday means me not leaving the house, I take full advantage of the fact that no one has to see me with a shower cap on so anything less than 3 hours to let this mask work its magic is a no-no – the longer, the better and after lazing around for that long and finally rinsing the mask out you’ll find your hair to be instantly softer, but over time you’ll notice your hair becoming shinier, thicker and just generally healthier. However I’m in need of more moisture, so for next Sunday olive and avocado oil, I’m looking at you.

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.

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