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 : ) 


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Luscious Locks with Leonor Greyl

I think I speak for every girl when I say I spend an awful amount of time trying to find the ultimate hair care products. We all put our hair through an awful lot, whether it's blow-drying, straightening, dyeing/bleaching, exposure to the sun or even sea water. 

For those of you who have been reading my previous posts, you'll know that I have recently bleached the ends of my hair to create a fiery ombre look. I'm absolutely in love with it, but the amount of TLC my hair now needs has increase massively. 

There's no way of bleaching your hair without doing it damage, so the sooner you can restore your hair with the moisture and nutrients it needs, the better. 

These samples from Leonor Greyl came at the best possible time, when other products I'd tried weren't making my hair any healthier, and my ends were starting to look a bit like hay. 

Hair products are one of my favourites to review, mainly because when I discover a product that works for me, I feel like I've found hidden treasure, and I am extremely happy to say that this was the case with Leonor Greyl. 

I informed them that my hair was thick, dyed and damaged, and in response they sent me Eclat Naturel; a styling cream for dry hair (top right in reference to picture above), Shampooing Reviviscence; a deep repairing shampoo for coloured, dehydrated, damaged and brittle hair (top left), and Huile de Leonor Greyl;  a pre-shampoo treatment (bottom). 

I'm going to talk about the shampoo first because as far as I'm concerned, it's pure magic. This shampoo uses amaranth extracts which is rich in vitamins B &C to moisturize and condition, and Sea Lavender which is full of amino acids to hydrate and also prevent static electricity, so this is perfect if you're prone to frizz like me. 

I'm going to get a bit sciencey now - this shampoo works to repair your hair's lipid barrier. Basically, lipids are fats that coat your hair with an emulsion to keep it hydrated and in optimum condition. The outer surface of the hair is naturally replenished of lipids as well as keratin, which forms to create a barrier. All this contributes to the hair's elasticity. This barrier can begin to degrade as a result of common grooming practices. These are of course the bare basics of lipids and the barrier, but I feel part of finding your perfect hair treatment is to understand what it actually does. So...this shampoo basically restores the integrity of the surface of the hair. 

After using this shampoo, my hair was softer, shinier, and more manageable than I thought it was possible for bleached hair to be. The only negative I could find, if I was pushed to find one, would be that the floral smell of the shampoo is very strong, but that's only straight from the bottle. It's nowhere near as strong once your hair is dry, and  I am biased, as I'm not a big fan of floral scents. But if any of you out there are struggling with your dry or damaged hair, the shampoo alone I cannot recommend enough. 

The Huile de Leonor Greyl is a de-tangling, softening and protective pre-shampoo treatment for length and ends. Packed full of botanical oils, this product helps to protects your hair from the damaging effects of the sun, seawater, and chlorinated pool water, so this is a holiday must-have. 
I was very confused at first when attempting to use this product as to how I was supposed to get the waxy product out of the glass bottle, but the more I pondered, the warmer the bottle got in my hands, and the wax slowly started to melt into an oil. 

Confusion over, first time round I left the oil on for the recommended ten minutes, washed off and followed it with the shampoo. I think my hair was too dry at this point for ten minutes to be enough, because I didn't notice much difference, but second time round I left it on over night. I woke up with mega crispy hair, but once I washed it off, I think I may have made a noise similar to that on the Herbal Essences advert. The combination of this and the shampoo is perfect. It's literally as if they glued my split ends back together. 

The phrase less is more really applies to this product. Full of shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamins, this also protects your hair from the sun, as well as nourishing and reconditioning your dry hair. It's the kind of product you carry around in your bag for whenever you need a moisture top up; like hand cream for the hair. 

My first try of this resulted in mega greasy ends. In my desperation to rid myself of dry ends went in quite heavy handed. This is a treatment where just like shine serums, an amount the size of a pea, run through the ends of your hair with the tips of your fingers is enough. Any more and you will end up with thick greasy strands, and that's a look no one can pull off. 

So, for a brand I'd never tried or heard of before, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I am now a huge fan of Leonor Greyl, and I guarantee, within one try of their shampoo, you will be too. 

Steph x x x