Showing posts with label Deep Conditioner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deep Conditioner. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Conditioners

I've always had such good success with the Shea Moisture conditioners I've tried so I've been itching to get my hands on the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line. I couldn't find it in a lot of the shops I usually buy Shea Moisture products from but it is stocked in a few places online. I picked up the Intense Hydration Conditioner and Masque from  back in September and I'm in love.

There's only 4 products available in the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line - a shampoo, conditioner, masque and a treatment oil. I have so many shampoos and oils on hand currently I only really needed the conditioners. As you can probably guess from the name the star ingredients in this line are Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil which both help keep the hair hydrated. Mafura Oil has long been used to nourish the skin and hair in Africa but I haven't seen it used in many hair products available here. Other ingredients include Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, African Rock Fig, Baobab Oil and Rice Protein. Like a lot of the Shea Moisture line these conditioners are also formulated without sulphates, parabens and mineral oil. With such an impressive ingredients list it was hard not to have high hopes for these products.

Both of these conditioners really deliver on injecting moisture into dry strands and I've had consistent results with each use. My hair is prone to (a lot of) tangling too and lately these are amongst only a few products which I can rely on to melt away the knots. I tend to use the conditioner as a co-wash and the masque with a steamer after shampooing. I found these products really similar to the Superfruit Complex line (conditioners reviewed here) in terms of the scent, texture and ingredients but I find these slightly more moisturising. There's not much between them though and I'll probably continue to buy from both lines. Overall these are definitely winners for me. It's a shame there aren't any Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil styling products as I would definitely buy these too.

Have you tried anything by Shea Moisture?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review | Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System (Collab)

Today's review post is a little different as I've teamed up with blogger beaut Alisha from . We've both been using products from the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System so check out her thoughts for the shampoo and in this post I'll be taking a look at the conditioner and masque.

If you didn't know already the Shea Moisture brand is hugely popular in the US and has been developing Shea Butter-based products since 1912. I was sent these products in September and though I have used the previously I hadn't tried anything else by the brand before. The two products here are amongst the few products I've used in which I've noticed an instant difference to my hair.

It's easy to see why this collection boasts a 'SuperFruit Nutrient Complex' as each product is made with a blend of Red Raspberry, Ketones, Goji and Acai Guava extracts. These are stated to be rich in anti-aging antioxidants and, along with Marula Oil to help support elasticity and Biotin to strengthen strands, the products are stated to renew tired hair.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Conditioner (£10.99/384ml)*
With one use my hair felt softer, more manageable and this conditioner gave it so much slip! With regular use my hair has seemed more bouncy and shiny. I've used this product both as a co-wash conditioner and as a leave-in (mixed with water in a spray bottle) with great results. The formula is creamy but doesn't weigh hair down and has a sweet fragrance.

SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal Hair Masque (£12.99/340g)*
Masques are amongst my favourite hair products to use and even with high expectations this product did not disappoint. It has a very thick consistency but melted easily through my strands when applied. I usually apply masques for 15-30 minutes with my . I've tried the former and have used the masque alone. Used both ways my hair feels so much more moisturised. This is easily one of the best masques I've used.

Be sure to check out Alisha's thoughts on the Shampoo.

Since October has been stocking the brand, making it more widely available and I'm hoping it'll urge other retailers to follow suit! I've already picked up the Curl & Style Milk again and a few others from the Coconut & Hibiscus line at Boots and I'll be grabbing these two here when they run out.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried Shea Moisture products?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review | KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque

The  Intensive Restorative Masque (£15.99) has been a staple product of mine for over a year. I remember buying it for the first time, my hair was feeling pretty lack lustre from heat use the week before and none of the deep conditioners I had on hand at the time seemed to be making the impact I needed to get my hair back on track. I wasn't sure how well this product was going to work, but gave it a whirl and it's been in my hair stash ever since.

This product is a deep conditioner formulated for weak and damaged hair and claims that it can make it 42% stronger. I don't have any way of measuring whether that's really the case but my hair does feel noticeably stronger with more elasticity after each use. It's made with plant and fruit extracts such as camellia, apple and lemon which are stated to reinforce weak areas whilst leaving the hair silky soft. You can use this product weekly but I tend to use it once a month. I like to rotate my deep conditioners and prefer to focus on moisture heavy formulas, not to mention this is one of the pricier masques I own.

I usually apply this sparingly post-shampoo. The texture is quite gloopy and stringy but this makes it really easy to distribute throughout the hair and it means you don't have to use a huge amount of product. I usually keep it on my strands for about 15-30 minutes either with a plastic cap or under my . My hair always feels soft and detangles so much easier when I use this.

I'm on my third pot of this masque and will continue to buy it when it runs out. As this product is pricey I tend to purchase it online from or where it's slightly cheaper than in the Afro-Caribbean haircare stores near me.

Do you use a hair masque?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Review | Big Hair Products

I received a few products from a couple of months ago which I've been using on and off. Big Hair is a natural haircare company which has a range of products created with mostly natural ingredients and I was sent their  (£9.95/200ml)*,  (£14.95/200g)* and  (£12.95/200ml)*.

I love using natural products where possible but I like convenience too so it's great when you find a company which makes using natural products easy. The products are on the pricey side and are fairly small in size but the quality of the ingredients justifies this a little.

The Soft Clean SLS Free Shampoo has the highest natural ingredient content of the products here and it's made with Sweet Orange Oil giving it a gorgeous citrus scent. It lathers pretty well and you can get away with just one application and rinse. It leaves my scalp and hair feeling so clean, I love it! The formula is supposed to be non-drying but my hair gets so parched I can't skip a pre shampoo treatment before using this.

I absolutely love the DEEP Conditioning Hair Treatment. It's made with Moroccan Rhassoul Clay which I've wanted to try for a long time and it leaves my hair so soft. The product is quite thick, but easy to spread through damp strands after shampooing. The tub is quite small, and though my hair isn't that thick or even that long currently, it's very dense which means I tend to use a lot of my deep conditioner each wash day. I've used this conditioner 3 times sparingly and I have just enough left for one more treatment. I wish the tub was bigger, but if your hair is shorter and you don't deep condition as often as me this is a great product to have on hand.

I've got the most use out of the Leave In Moisturising Milk which I've been using regularly since I received it. I'd say it's more like a cream than a milky product but it's still very light and gives the hair a good amount of hydration. The main ingredients are Aloe Vera, Murumuru butter and Shea butter, all great ingredients which have helped keep my hair soft. The Milk doesn't have much of a scent which is not really a problem, but I do tend to prefer products which have some sort of fragrance in them.

Overall Big Hair is a great brand with some well made products. I would definitely consider buying at least the deep conditioner which I'd rotate with a few other favourites I have already. I really want to try the Big Hair  next which has reviewed on her blog .

*Sample. See my disclaimer .

Have you tried Big Hair products?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Review | ORS Shealicious

My hair has been looking a little dull recently so I was quite excited to try two products from the ORS Shealicious range - the Shine Booster Conditioning Cocktail (£4.99)* and the Cleansing Balm Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo (£4.99/236ml)*. The shampoo is very creamy and rich and the conditioner resembles a yoghurt pot (muller corner anyone?) Both feature very bright and colourful packaging and smell deliciously fruity.

I used both of these products yesterday, starting with the Cleansing Balm. The instructions advise shampooing twice, leaving the balm on the hair for 2-3 minutes on the second application. The shampoo left my hair feeling very soft and not as stripped as I'm used to with some of my other cleansing products. I then moved onto the Conditioning Cocktail which is separated into two parts, one half containing the conditioner and the other the oils.

The oils are poured into the conditioner and mixed together to create the cocktail. The conditioner is made with Shea Butter giving it a good thick consistency. The oil mix contains Amla, Argan, Sunflower and Sesame Oils. Whilst there's plenty of oil included, there's not much conditioner. The conditioner tub is only about half full but there's enough room, even with the oil mixed in, for the tub to be 3 quarters full. The product also doesn't come with something to mix the conditioner and oil together.

You can use this product as a co-wash or deep conditioner but I wanted to get the most of out this so I opted for the latter. I smoothed the mixed conditioner onto wet hair and applied a plastic cap for 15 minutes.

The pot only contains enough for one application and if your hair is longer or thicker than mine you'll probably need another pot. I like to apply my conditioner generously and this only just about covered all of my hair (which is the shortest it's been for a year, see ).

Despite limited product my hair felt so good after rinsing - it was so smooth and soft. I'd definitely use this product again though it would be much better if this came in bottles rather than for single use. I like to deep condition my hair every wash so if I started using this all the time I'd have to buy a pot every week! I might buy a couple of pots and keep them on hand for when I feel like mixing it up (no pun intended).

I've already seen this product pop up in my local and it will also be available in Tesco from September.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

What conditioners do you like to use?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review | Neäl & Wølf Harmony Intensive Treatment

My favourite hair products are always deep conditioners and I have quite a few on hand currently including this Harmony Intensive Care Treatment (£12.95/200ml)* by Neäl and Wølf. I'm not hugely familiar with this brand but  describe themselves as 'a professional brand...with a big dose of glamour, gorgeous an affordable price'.

The formula smells undeniably beautiful and the packaging does make this feel like a luxury product. However as far as what's actually inside the bottle the only ingredients which stand out to me are Mango Seed Oil and Hydrolyzed Silk. Perhaps it's what isn't in the product which counts as it's free of various additives typically found in hair conditioners like sulphates (sulfates) and parabens.

Despite being suitable for all hair types, this product works far better on my wig than my own hair. As my hair gets pretty dry I rely on deep conditioners each week to soften up my strands and to prevent me having to moisturise constantly. Whilst this treatment does make my hair smooth and soft, it's not quite at the level I'm used to from some of the other deep conditioners I have currently. I've tested a little of the treatment on my straight wig for comparison and the hair felt like butter afterwards. It took barely any product to get the wig hair super soft so my own hair clearly needs that extra something to make it feel conditioned.

I have no preference between salon or drugstore branded hair treatments, but I'll happily pay more for a good deep conditioner. For me this product is only worth the price if your hair doesn't need a lot of product to feel conditioned or if you'll only need to use this occasionally as it's a small bottle. In all this is not a bad product, but my dry hair definitely needs more.

*sample - see my disclaimer  for more info.

Have you tried Neäl & Wølf products before?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review | KeraCare Natural Textures

I’ve been using KeraCare products for a few years but it wasn’t until last year that I realised how extensive their product range actually is. There’s so much to suit different textures and conditions of afro hair. I’ll be reviewing various KeraCare products over the coming weeks and I thought I’d kick off my first review with the KeraCare Natural Textures* line. I had my first taste of the Natural Textures products back in November after attending a  and I fell in love with a few of them instantly. I'm most familiar with these KeraCare products and they've been tried and tested for several months.

As the name suggests, KeraCare Natural Textures are made specifically for natural afro hair, but a lot of the products work very well for my ‘’ strands. Most Natural Textures products smell gorgeous and they are all made with high quality ingredients. The ingredients which seem to feature most are Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Amla, Shikakai (Aurvedic) Botanicals and various Fruit Extracts. As a result, the products are on the pricey side and are marketed as salon quality.

Cleansing Cream (£6.35/240ml)*
As much as I love that squeaky clean feeling, most dry or curly hair types can’t take that regular lather, rinse and repeat. This sulphate-free shampoo is a gentle cleanser which removes product build-up without stripping the hair. The shampoo texture is quite thick, resembling a conditioner. As a result, it leaves my hair very soft, moisturised and distinctly less frizzy after using which is always a plus. It doesn’t give me that deep clean feeling, so when I need to clarify my hair from build-up I prefer to use a stronger product (like KeraCare 1st Lather Shampoo) first.

Leave-In Conditioner (£5.75/240ml)*
This is a product I’ve come to rely on a lot post-wash as my roots are very prone to frizz. When my hair is about 50% dry I apply a little of this leave-in to smooth out my strands. It has a bit of slip too so it also helps ease a few of the tangles, preparing my hair for the styling that’ll follow. 

Hair Milk (£8.85/240ml)* 
Without a doubt this is my absolute favourite Natural Textures product. I love milk-y textured products as my hair drops and looks flat if I use anything heavy on my strands. This Hair Milk provides lasting moisture to my thirsty strands without leaving it lank and greasy.

Honey Shea Co-Wash (£7.30/227g)*
To me this product is pretty similar to the Cleansing Cream but it acts more like a conditioner. It’s another great alternative to harsh or stripping shampoos and it's perfect for those who wash their hair regularly. Whilst it’s supposed to be a stand-alone product I’ll always follow this with a deep conditioner as I'm a bit obsessive about ensuring my hair is conditioned to the max each wash day.

Deep Moisturising Masque (£11.95/227g)*
Deep Conditioners are always my favourite products to use. I strongly believe that regardless of your hair type or condition, the right deep conditioner can transform your hair. I have so many deep conditioners that I love already that I had high expectations for this masque. I’ve found it’s not one of those deep conditioners that you can feel working instantly. In fact, when I put it on my hair it always seems to take a long time to sink in and it’s not until I rinse it off that I can really feel how well it’s worked. A plastic cap is a must for this product to help it absorb fully and this is one of the few deep conditioners that I will put aside a full 15 minutes to use as the results are so worth the wait. The only downside is I get through a lot of this product with each use so each tub doesn’t last long.

Butter Cream (£8.40/227g)*
The Butter Cream is like a thick whipped version of the Hair Milk so unsurprisingly it's another favourite. I love using it when I’m twisting or braiding my hair as it gives my hair great definition and shine. I only ever really need to use a little of this product at a time so I’ve had this product on hand for a few months. I like to mix it with a little of the Hair Milk too for the perfect moisturising combo. 

Twist & Define Cream (£7.25/227g)*
I really wanted to love this product as it’s supposed to give ‘smooth, soft twists and twist-outs’ but it's the product I reach for least out of this range. It provides beautiful definition but you have to use this on wet hair each time or it can make the hair dry and sticky. I don’t always tend to wet my hair when doing twist-outs and I like to re-twist my hair each night so I just personally find it a little inconvenient to have to wet my hair every time to use this product.

Defining Custard (£7.10/227g)*
I’ve been on the look out for a great defining product, but I haven't been able to make this work for me. My natural hair lacks definition, so throw relaxer into the mix and without any product my hair can look like a fluffy mess. Like the Twist & Define Cream this ‘Custard’ needs to be used wet. Though I’ve followed the instructions to the letter each time I’ve tried this my hair never quite comes out right. My hair usually ends up dry and flaky which is a shame. 

Overall I love this range of KeraCare products. Most of them work well for me, smell great and I’ll definitely continue to use and buy most of them when they run out. The only products I’m not to crazy about are the Defining Custard and the Twist & Define Cream. I’ve seen many natural ladies get great results with these products so maybe its my transitioning hair which makes them not work for me. I'm hoping that if I revisit these two products when my transition is complete that they'll work better. 

*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried any Keracare products before?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Review | Motions Deep Conditioning Masque

I got the Motions For Natural Textures Deep Conditioning Masque (£6.95/236ml)* in last year. It took me a while to get around to trying this, mostly as I have so many deep conditioners amongst my stash which I absolutely love already. I really wasn't expecting much of this conditioner either so I was pleasantly surprised with how well this works on my hair.

The consistency is pretty runny which fooled me into thinking this wasn't going to do much for my hair. As a result I was pretty heavy-handed when I first applied this product and I really didn't need to be. I've found this conditioner to be very hydrating and subsequently, since that first application, I haven't needed to use a huge amount to reap the benefits. I've now almost completely run out of this conditioner but I'll definitely be snapping up another soon.

*sample - product provided courtesy of Glowwbox. See my disclaimer .

Have you tried this conditioner or any Motions products?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Review | Root2Tip Protein Balance Masque

I was kindly sent Root2Tip Protein Balance 'Elasticity Retention' Hair Masque (£12.99)* a couple of weeks ago and it's one of the few protein treatments I've tried which doesn't dry my hair out.

I'm always impressed with the ingredients in Root2Tip products and the formula of the Protein Balance Masque does not disappoint. It contains a variety of oils, including Coconut, Grapeseed, Avacado, and Meadowfoam Seed Oil. The latter I've not noticed in a conditioner before, and I wasn't quite sure what it was. After a quick Google search a couple of websites state that Meadow Foam Oil is found in a lot of beauty products for the hair as it provides excellent slip, adds shine, is non-greasy and helps prevent moisture loss.

The masque is also made with henna, silk protein and wheat protein in order to strengthen the hair. I love using henna on my hair, but I was a little worried this would make the masque quite gritty and hard to wash out. The texture of this product is actually very smooth and buttery which makes it a breeze to rinse. The balance of the henna in the product is perfect for me. If you're curious about using henna but don't want to do a full henna treatment, it's definitely worth giving this product a try.

I constantly emphasise the importance of deep conditioning on my blog but I tend to encourage using moisture heavy products rather than protein.  I know first hand that using too much protein can cause breakage, which meant until the last year or so I've been very cautious about using any protein at all. However if you have chemically treated hair like me or rely on heat often, using protein regularly is an essential step in keeping the hair strong but you have to balance it properly with moisture treatments.

My hair feels very soft after conditioning and the last time I used this product my hair had so much volume. I've found no dryness either, which means I don't have to follow this product with a moisturising treatment afterwards like I usually would with a protein treatment. I'm going to continue using this conditioner every 2-4 weeks to keep the balance of protein in my hair.

products can be purchased from their website. 

*sample. Read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Root2Tip products? 

Christine Stewart x

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hair | How I Deep Condition

Deep conditioning is one of those parts of my hair routine which I will not compromise on, no matter how tired or lazy I'm feeling. I really do believe that deep conditioning regularly is one of the key aspects of keeping chemically treated, relaxed or dry hair in good condition. I do it every time my hair is washed (1-2 times weekly). I probably deep condition more than is necessary, but it works for me so I've stuck with it.

I often get questions on how I use a deep conditioner and honestly, I don't think I do anything out of the ordinary. I use a range of deep conditioners including JOICO Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (pictured).

In general I try to stick to the following:

1 Wet but not soaking wet hair
I like the idea of conditioning hair which is dry as then it can absorb more of the product but as I always shampoo before I condition I rarely do this. Instead I always try to get as much water out of my hair before applying conditioner, sometimes even allowing it to airdry for 10-15 minutes.

2 Add ingredients
I love adding extra oils and glycerine to my conditioners to give it an extra kick. I usually mix up batches in separate containers and apply when needed. What you add is entirely up to you. You can experiment with adding stuff from your kitchen like Olive Oil, Avocado and Coconut Milk. If I add anything that might perish quickly I usually put any left over conditioner mix in the fridge and use it as soon as possible.

3 Condition in sections
My hair is so prone to tangling I like to thoroughly detangle and separate my hair in 2-4 sections. This ensures the conditioner is evenly spread across the hair. Once I'm done I twist the sections individually and roll them up into bantu knots to keep them together.

4 Apply more to the ends
I try to concentrate most of the deep conditioner on the lengths of my hair which are more fragile. I then apply it to the rest of my hair, trying to keep the conditioner off of my scalp to prevent build-up. I also like to apply a little around my edges which need a little extra TLC.

5 Plastic Cap/Wrap/Bag
I don't have a steamer and it's unlikely I'll get one as I just don't have anywhere to put it. To achieve a similar effect I try to generate steam from the warmth of my head by covering my hair with either a plastic cap, wrap or a bag to keep the heat in. I leave this on until I'm ready to rinse.

6 Leave for at least 5 minutes
No matter how much I'm strapped for time I always leave on my deep conditioner for at least 5 minutes. It may not sound like much but I personally don't think it's necessary to devote hours to wash days. The maximum I spend with deep conditioner on tends to be about 30 minutes.

What do you do when you deep condition?

Christine Stewart x

Monday, 31 March 2014

Review | JOICO Smooth Cure Conditioner

My love for JOICO products has recently extended to the Smooth Cure Sulfate-free Conditioner. The Smooth Cure range by JOICO aims to make frizzy, curly or coarse hair sleek and manageable.  I feel like this conditioner was made for my hair as it leaves my hair buttery soft after just 5 minutes of being left on. Seriously impressed.

I must admit I'm a little confused as to whether this conditioner counts as an intensive treatment. It's a lot runnier than my staple deep conditioner, JOICO Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm (reviewed here), but somehow seems to work just as well. I've been mostly using it by itself in place of my usual deep conditioner for 5 to 15 minutes in the last few weeks and it gets my hair so smooth.

This conditioner smells absolutely beautiful and the scent lingers ever so gently when my hair has been rinsed. The main ingredients are Keratin, Brazil Nut Oil, Tucuma Palm and a lot of stuff I don't recognise that even a Google search couldn't remedy (particularly Pentapeptide-29 Cysteinamide and Pentapeptide-30 Cysteinamide, more protein?) If your hair doesn't take well to protein you might have to avoid this product, but so far it's been great for my hair. I even used it after my last henna treatment and it sorted out the usual post-henna hardness a treat!

There's also a high concentration of Amodimethicone in this conditioner (it's 4th on the ingredients list). This ingredient seems like a strange inclusion to me given that this particular conditioner and it's shampoo counterpart are sulphate-free (cone build-up can usually only be removed by harsher shampoos). Having said that, I haven't looked at the accompanying shampoo or it's ingredients. It may well have an alternative ingredient to sulphates which is strong enough to remove cones.

Out of all the JOICO products I've tried this was by far the cheapest, simply as 1litre of this conditioner cost me just £12.99 from TK Maxx. The 300ml version of this conditioner usually retails at around £13.95 online and in salons. I usually pay around £15-£20, for the 500ml of my beloved Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm which unfortunately I couldn't find in TK Maxx too.

I'd love to try more of the Sooth Cure range but for now I'm trying to change my product junkie ways and only buy hair products I need.

Have you tried anything by JOICO? 

Christine Stewart x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm

Something that went on my product wish list long ago was this Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm. I've read good reviews and at £14.95 for 500ml it's proving to be the perfect partner for my dry hair.

Specially designed for thick or coarse dry hair this conditioner promises to both attract and retain moisture. The formula, is enriched with Hydramine Sea Complex, Olive oil, Murumuru and Shea butter which also softens the hair. So far I agree with the claims. I've been leaving this conditioner on for less than my usual 30 minute deep condition and it's still left my hair super moisturised. There was a complete difference in my hair condition after a single use! The conditioner has worked so well for my hair that I don't have to moisturise & seal as often between washes which is a plus. It's very thick and creamy too so you don't need to use too much at a time. Despite it's thickness, I've not found the conditioner heavy or greasy but those with fine hair might have to use this sparingly. 

This conditioner contains keratin, which seems to be a buzz word in the beauty industry at the moment. I don't usually like using conditioners that contain a lot of protein on a regular basis as my hair seems to be sensitive to it. The Moisture Recovery however has worked well so I'm assuming the balance of protein and moisture is spot on. 

Overall this was a great buy for me and I'm happy I finally tried it!

Have you tried JOICO products? 

Christine Stewart x
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Post updated & reposted 09/02/14

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Henna FAQ

Before using henna please read up on it first! Henna gets a bad rep a lot of the time because people slap it on without finding out what it actually does to your hair. It binds to the keratin within the strand so it has a strengthening/hardening effect as well as depositing colour. Natural-haired beauties may also see a loosening of their texture. Here's the most FAQ I get...

Q. Where do you buy your henna? 
A. I first used henna from Lush. I used the red version first () but you can also get it in brown and black, which are premixed with Indigo. All you have to do is break it up and add water so it's an easier option. Though I found that, even though the ingredients are natural, this didn't deposit much colour for me.
I then started using Yemeni henna which I purchase from  and I'd recommend this company to anyone buying in the UK. If you're from the US try . A lot of ladies opt for Jamila henna which is a finer sift (and easier to wash out). I prefer Yemeni henna as the colour result is a deeper burgundy red as opposed to orange/red. I've also tried Indian and Rajasthani henna.

Q. I want to dye my hair blonde, can I do this with henna?
A. Henna is a plant and the powder is always green. It will only dye hair red/orange in colour so it won't ever dye your hair blonde. Henna will never lighten or bleach hair. You can try lemon or chamomile tea for natural hair lightening, but if your hair is dark there isn't a natural way I know of to achieve blonde hair.

Q. I've seen henna that comes in colours? 
A. Any boxed dye that claims to be natural henna and comes in colours other than red is being falsely marketed as natural. The problem with these dyes is they can be quite damaging, especially if you have relaxed hair, because they contain metallic compounds - and some don't even say that on the box. To avoid any hair 'mares stick to Body Art Quality (BAQ) henna as this is safe to use. Natural henna is a green powder that turns red/orange when mixed with liquid.

Q. How do I dye my hair black with henna?
A. To do this you have to use henna and Indigo (sometimes confusingly known as "black henna"). The ratio is up to you but the more indigo you use the more blue/black the result will be. Indigo itself will never actually be black in colour, it's a greenish powder which turns blue when mixed with water. When used with natural henna you can get brown and black colours but this all depends on your natural colour. Blonde or grey haired beauties have more options when experimenting with henna as it's almost like you're starting with a blank canvas. It's strongly suggested you do a skin/strand test when using Indigo due to the confusing name. Some products labelled "black henna" may be indigo mixed with black dyes which can cause allergic reactions.

Q. I like your hair colour, if I use henna will mine look the same?
A. The result depends on your natural hair colour. Mine is naturally very dark, almost black, but it used to look dark brown in certain lighting. The only way you'll know how henna will work for you is if you do a strand test. Take some shed hairs from your comb, apply henna, wait a couple of hours, rinse and see if you like the result - that's exactly what I did before putting any henna near the hair on my head.

Q. I've heard that henna is hard to lift, is this true?
A. Once you choose to henna your hair there's no going back. It fades over time but the only way to completely get rid of it is to grow it out or strip it, which can be really damaging. If you don't think you'll like the colour after a few months don't use henna.

Q. I'm scared to use henna as I've heard it's really drying, how do you avoid dry hair?
A. I use lemon oil instead of juice mixed with camomile tea. I also like to add a few tablespoons of carrier oils like Sweet Almond, Olive and Grapeseed. This way the mixture is still acidic enough to get the dye release without being too drying. I also recommend doing a moisturising deep condition treatment after using henna to prevent dryness.

Q. I've heard henna is really bad for your hair, why do you use it?
A. It's not at all, it's totally natural and can even help with scalp problems such as dandruff. I use it mostly as a way to warm up my natural colour as I've always wanted red/brown hair. I never wanted to put chemical dye on my hair so henna has been a great alternative for me. I love the shine you get with henna too!

Q. Is it really messy?
A. It's so so messy. Henna will end up everywhere! In your ears, down your back, floors, walls... The best way to avoid the mess is to put plastic bags/newpaper/towels down and put the henna in an applicator bottle. If you keep the henna warm during application it's less likely to crumble and flake off everywhere. Remember to base your scalp with vaseline too, wear gloves and don't wear any nice clothes!

Q. How long do you have to leave henna on for? 
A. As with a lot of aspects of using henna it's totally up to you. If you want a strong colour leave it on for as long as possible - the most I've left it on is overnight and the results were amazing. Henna deepens with each application though so you can also leave it on for a short amount of time and do regular treatments.

Q. When do you use henna, before or after your relaxer?
A. Both depending on how I feel. I usually leave a couple of weeks clear before or after using a relaxer just to ensure that my henna doesn't affect my relaxer treatments and vice versa. I've never had any problems using henna on my relaxed hair.

Q. I like my hair colour and don't want to change it, can I still use henna?
A. Yes you can! Try Cassia powder, known as "neutral henna", for shiny smooth hair with no colour change.

Q. What happens if I have left overs after mixing? 
A. Freeze it and use it for a root touch ups whenever you fancy. I now mix mine all up in one go and separate into several bags to freeze. To thaw just leave the henna in a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water and it'll be ready to go in 10-15 minutes. It's a real time-saver!

Have a question about henna? Feel free to comment and I'll be happy to answer :)

UPDATED & reposted 01/02/14

Christine Stewart x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

DIY Hot Oil Treatment

There's now well and truly a chill in the air and the cold can be so harsh on our bodies, especially our hair. Each time the winter rolls around I rely on hot oil treatments more and more to inject some life back into my winter-beaten tresses. They're inexpensive and you can use as many oils as you like. I like to do hot oil treatments before shampooing on wash days - though you can use them as a deep conditioner too.

All you need is an oil of course, some bowls and a shower cap - oh and some time to spare too!

1 Grab your oil(s) of choice and measure out about 1-2 tablespoons into a bowl. My favourite oils to use are a mix of Coconut, Avocado and Sweet Almond oil

2 Warm the oil by placing the bowl it into another bowl filled with boiling water or you can just stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds

3 When it's cooled slightly so it's not too hot pour the oil a little at a time into your palms. Apply the oil generously to your ends and then start spreading to the rest of your strands. I tend to keep the oil off of my scalp as mine gets quite oily naturally. If your scalp is dry using oil can help nourish it and protect it from over stripping shampoos. 

4 Once applied clip your hair up and put on a shower cap to keep the heat in - or sit under a steamer if you have one

5 After 10-15 minutes rinse off and follow with shampoo and your usual wash routine

Have you tried a hot oil treatment? 

Christine Stewart x

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Post updated & reposted 23/01/14