Showing posts with label Oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oil. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Event | Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection

Award-winning hairdresser  unveiled her new haircare collection at her salon (Hair Lounge) on Thursday evening and it's stunning. On the night Charlotte talked us through her high-end collection which has been 6 years in the making.

Manketti Oil Shampoo (£18/250ml) | Manketti Oil Conditioner (£18/250ml) | Manketti Oil (£36/100ml)

The Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection contains 3 products at present, a shampoo, conditioner and hair oil - all containing sustainably sourced Manketti Nut and Ximenia Oil. I've tried a whole host of oils on my hair and skin but Manketti, which has been used in Africa for centuries, is entirely new to me. At the event vials of the Manketti Hair Oil were available and it melts beautifully into the skin. I can only imagine what this will do for my hair so I can't wait to try it properly.

Decorated with beautiful gold detailing, Charlotte (left below) assured us that what's inside is every bit as luxury as the packaging. She's created her line by testing it on her clients throughout development and it aims to deliver hydration, superior softness and shine to undernourished hair.

At the event she demonstrated using the Manketti Hair Oil and the Manketti Conditioner on a variety of curly hair types (see above) and explained that her products have multiple uses. I'll definitely be trying the Manketti Oil as a pre shampoo treatment and to seal in my moisturiser. Charlotte suggested applying the Manketti Conditioner as a leave-in too by mixing a 50p sized amount of the conditioner with water in a spray bottle. I'm excited to see how well these will work for me so I'll keep you posted on the results.

The Charlotte Mensah Haircare Collection is available online at 
Images of the event were provided courtesy of Charlotte Mensah Press Office.

What haircare products do you use?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

ORS Hair & Scalp Wellness Oils - Coconut Oil

I've always relied heavily on natural oils for injecting life into my thirsty strands and the range of Hair & Scalp Wellness Oils by have been created to target a variety of tress woes. There's 10 different oils in the range - Tea Tree, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Black Seed Oil, Shea Butter Oil, Saw Palmetto Oil, Indian Amla Oil, Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.

I was sent Coconut Oil (£4.99)* to try and as much as I love using straight out of a jar I've been relying on the ORS Coconut Oil most recently as it's so convenient. The applicator tip means I can squeeze a little onto my fingers and apply or just dab it straight onto my scalp.

The product itself is actually a blend of natural oils, including Coconut (of course), Sweet Almond, Corn and Hibiscus. It also has Neem and Rosemary Leaf extract included. Together these ingredients are supposed to soothe breaking, dull hair, providing strength and shine.

You can use this product in a few different ways but my favourite is as a pre shampoo treatment. I warm the oil a little before applying, leave on for 10 minutes and then shampoo (see ). No matter how harsh the shampoo I use is my hair always feels so soft and moisturised I almost don't need to deep condition. If your hair is dry definitely give a hot oil treatment a try! This product can also be used as a conditioner, oil rinse and to add a little shine when hair is looking a little lacklustre.

As this is fairly cheap I'd definitely buy this and I'm interested to try a few of the other oils in this range. Currently I've only seen this available in selected stores or online .

*sample - read my disclaimer .

Do you use hair oils?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Review | Kérastase Elixir Ultime for Damaged Hair

The product I was most excited about in the goodie bag from last week's Hair Rehab Manchester event was this Kérastase Elixir Ultime For Damaged Hair (£14.20/50ml)*

It's a non-greasy multi-use oil which can be applied prior to shampooing or as a finishing touch after blowdrying. I've got a lot of similar products to this oil amongst my hair stash, though I've never actually purchased anything by this brand before. I have a vague memory of being left with very soft hair after a stylist at Headmasters applied a few drops of the original Kérastase Elixir Ultime when I road tested the Steampod for Black Beauty & Hair magazine way back in 2012. Fortunately this version for dry hair has been having the same effect. I've recently been wearing my hair straight and this oil gives my naturally dull hair a beautiful shine whilst taming those pesky flyaways. My hair feels so smooth after applying this oil that I have to resist the urge to run my fingers through it. 

There are some great oils included in this product, namely Argan and Camellia Oil, in the concentration you'd expect from a quality salon brand like Kérastase. It's worth stating though I have products which match this oil in terms of quality which are half of the cost of this product. The first two (and main) ingredients in this product are silicones, which will be a disappointment to some. I'm pretty sure it's these ingredients which allow my hair to feel so soft and shiny after applying just a small amount though. This product has also helped keep my hair fairly tamed after such a wet and miserable week too!

I usually like quite heavily scented products, though the smell of this product is reminiscent of baby wipes, which I'm not a fan of. Thankfully the smell is quite faint and I don't notice the scent once it's on my hair.

A final note is this particular size (50ml) is so handy for carrying around in my handbag, should I need to add a bit of shine or softness to my hair on-the-go. It's cabin-friendly too as its small enough to be allowed through airport security which is always a plus. Overall, it's a lovely little product though the cost is perhaps a little too high for me.

*sample. You can read my disclaimer . 

Have you tried any Kérastase products before?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Review | The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum-In-Oil

I've had quite a few dry patches on my face recently so picked up (£13/28ml). This product is a blend of natural oils, including jojoba, wheat germ and sweet almond oil, with a serum. It's a light and silky texture which aims to recharge and moisturise the skin.

When you have oily skin there's often the temptation to only use products devoid of oil, but when I've relied heavily on such products previously they've only served to make my face oilier, irritated and extremely dry in places. I now work on balancing the natural oils on my face (rather than stripping them away completely) and this product is quickly proving to be great for my skin.

I've been using the serum-in-oil every couple of days before bed after cleansing for the past few weeks and it's been keeping my skin really soft and moisturised. The dry areas of my face in particular feel much smoother and even. It's easy to apply, absorbs quickly and doesn't leave my skin greasy.

As Vitamin E is usually great for fading scars I really hoped this serum-in-oil would provide relief from some scarring on my face. So far I've not noticed any improvement but my skin has seemed brighter in general.

I'll definitely continue to use this product nightly to keep it soft and hydrated. I imagine I'll be reaching for this more often as the temperature drops and my skin gets drier.

Have you tried any products from The Body Shop?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Skincare | DIY Citrus Body Scrub

I usually rely on scrubs to lighten up dark marks or uneven areas on my skin - particularly my knees, underarms and elbows. For me, exfoliation is a key part of brightening up the skin tone and it doesn't require any fancy gadgets or expensive beauty potions. All you need for a great exfoliating scrub is oil and some sugar.

I love using natural DIY recipes for my skin where possible and often I mix up whatever I have laying around. Lately I've been using a combination of citrus essential oils and dark brown sugar which only takes a minute to prepare. I like to use lemon and orange oil which are both great for lightening the skintone. They're both highly concentrated so I mix only a few drops with a carrier oil like Sweet Almond Oil.

The standard recipe I've been using is:
1 tablespoon of Sweet Almond Oil
1 tablespoon of Avocado Oil
5 drops of Orange Essential Oil
5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
6 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

I mix this altogether in a bowl looking for a consistency that's not too oily or too dry. I prefer to use dark brown or brown sugar as it's a softer, moist sugar with fine grains which aren't too abrasive on the skin. If you choose to use white sugar, or even sea salt, just add more oil so it's not so rough. After it's all mixed together I store it in a container which I just keep in my bathroom to use when I shower until it runs out.

By using this scrub at 1-3 times a week, I've noticed a dramatic improvement in dark areas on my skin, especially my knees which have always been several shades darker than the rest of my skin.

Have you tried making your own body scrub?

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

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Coconut Oil

I started using Coconut Oil at the beginning of my hair journey back in August 2010. I barely used it and I knew so little about oils then that when winter rolled around and the Coconut Oil solidified, I threw it out because I thought something was wrong with it (FYI Coconut Oil is solid when kept at temperatures less than 75°F/24ºC)

Fast forward 3 years and I finally decided to buy it again. I now I can't imagine my hair regimen without Coconut Oil and feel so stupid for ever throwing this precious stuff in the bin. It has so many uses, for the hair, skin and body, but this post concentrates entirely on it's benefits on those tresses.

The Good Stuff
Coconut Oil is packed with vitamins which help keep the scalp and hair nourished. Coconut oil is one of the few oils which can actually penetrate the outer layer of the hair strand. It effectively holds in moisture and prevents protein loss. Coconut oil greatly benefits damaged or high porosity high, as these types absorb the oil when wet more readily than healthy hair. It is also claimed to help with hair growth and slow hair loss. I especially love that this oil provides all these benefits whilst being very lightweight and leaves the hair with a gorgeous shine.

Cold Pressed, Virgin, Unrefined?
You'll often see these terms to describe oils. The Coconut Oil I use is Virgin Coconut Oil which is unrefined and has been extracted using a cold pressing technique. Essentially what this means is nothing has been added to the oil - it's pure and totally natural. Cold pressing allows the oil to be extracted without any of the goodness being lost. Generally, if you want to get the most from your oil, I'd say go for something that is as close to it's natural form as possible by having the above qualities.

How I use it
I like to apply Coconut oil to damp hair before shampooing to protect my hair from the process. I love to scoop about a teaspoons worth into the palm of my hands and rub it together to warm it up. After it's melted, which usually takes a few seconds, I apply it to my hair. I start by generously saturating my ends with it and then move up to rest of my hair before giving my scalp a quick massage. I leave this on for 10 minutes or so, often with a plastic cap on to warm up the oil with the heat from my head.  

I love to use Coconut Oil pre shampoo as it prevents the hair strand from taking up too much moisture. When the hair is washed it swells to take in water and it contracts as it dries. I always emphasise the need for moisture in the hair but this repeated swelling and contracting of the hair strand during the washing process can cause damage over time. Coconut Oil therefore protects the hair from overswelling making it an effective pre shampoo treatment.

Where to buy?
Coconut Oil can be found in supermarkets or health food stores. I'm currently using The Groovy Food Company Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (£6/260ml) which I purchased from

Do you use Coconut Oil?
Christine Stewart x