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Showing posts with label Hair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hair. Show all posts

9 Sep 2014

How To Highlight Your Own Hair


I did a post about home highlighting a couple of years ago but it was pretty minimal and didn't give too much advice.  The main reason for this was that I didn't want to encourage people to try it unless they felt confident.  I have since realised that people will always give home hair styling a go if they are that sort of person anyway, and it may be helpful to share what I have learnt in the 3-4 years I have been doing this.

It isn't perfect, there is some colour bleeding but I often get that in salons too.
This should take around an hour and half.

Warning.  I am not a trained hairstylist and this is just what works for me and my hair.  Please research thoroughly before attempting.

Products & Tools

This is very important - you must buy professional tools. You can't expect a semi professional job with dye bought from Boots.  The first time you buy all this kit it will be about £40.  But then it will do at least 10 half head highlights so it works out as a complete bargain.  This is what I use, but you could use different bleaches and developers and still get decent results, this is just what I have tried.

Wella Blondor Lightening Powder- around £15
Wella Welloxon Developer 12% 40vol- around £13 - I use 12% 40 vol
Ultrameche Long Box of 250 Sheets- around £12 (I use the generic brand as they are identical, I use around 10-16 a go)
Mixing Bowl and Brush - around £2 (though mine was £1 in Poundland, not always in stock though) any old plastic bowl will work though
Tail Comb - around £2 - try Wilkies, Superdrug or Poundland if you don't have one hanging around at home.

Bleaching Basics.  

You need both bleach and developer which activates the bleach and causes the chemical reaction that lightens your hair.  

Developer comes in 3 strengths
6% or 20 vol - good for toning 
9% or 30 vol - good for beginners or those whose hair is not naturally very dark
12% or 40 vol - for lightening very dark hair, works very fast

You can reduce the strength of developer by adding water, so if it is 40% and you mix equal parts of water to developer you end up with 20.  This is worth remembering if you want to tone later and not have to buy 2 bottles.

12% 40 vol is the strongest bleach available, don't get it on your scalp or it will burn it, ditto your hairline, hands etc..It can lighten hair from dark brown to medium blonde which is a lot of shades to pass through, my hair comes out pretty light with a minimal red tone when I use this, you can see the before colour in the pictures.

Before You Begin

Practise the winding technique to produce even thin strands before you start, there are good videos on youtube for this.  Basically you just weave the tail end of the comb in and out of your hair until you have and even amount of hair on each side.
Get your Easimeche opened before you start to section and weave your hair, just trust me n this, I usually use around 15 or so.
Wear a top that is easy to get off, so a shirt, vest top etc…

To mix your bleach and developer you will need a plastic bowl
The ratio of Blondor to Welloxon is part Blondor to 1 or 1.5 parts Welloxon
So if you use 20mls of Blondor you need either 20 or 30 mlx of Welloxon.  The more Welloxon you add, the slower the reaction time and less strong the mixture. I have always done this by sight without any issues, but I recommend using the measurements on the bowl.

Weaving and Colouring

This is where you need to be pretty dextrous.  You will need to work fast, this is very important as 40% developer works quickly and you don't want the back and front of your hair different colours.

Start by sectioning off the parts you wish to colour.  I am just doing my parting and so I have sectioned it off and tied the rest back, this allows me to see what I have still to do.

Now take a horizontal strip of your hair and weave the comb through. I use sections about 6-7cms wide and around 1cm deep, if I want a super natural results I use only 5mm deep sections. Make sure that the back part of the section gets put behind and then push the Easimeche as close to the scalp as possible. Press the hair onto the adhesive strip to hold it into place.  You can now paint on the bleach.  I use one hand to hold the hair on the strip, so it doesn't budge and the other to paint. Don't let the bleach go in front of the strip near the scalp, if it does wipe it away with a tissue or baby wipe.  This will stop the colour bleeding onto hair that you don't want lightening.

Now just keep repeating all the way to the front.  I start at the back so I can see what I am doing.  When you have completed it, just clip it all back and now it's time to wait.  One of the reasons I like to do my own hair is so that I can look ridiculous in the comfort of my own home.

Is It Ready Yet?

Patience, wait till the right colour is reached, don't be in a rush to see the results, you want pale caramel not burnt toffee.
Is it the same colour as the rest of your hair and not orangey?

  • Hell yes - then get yourself in the shower
  • Not Really - then sit tight for a few more minutes and watch some Youtube videos

Rinsing Out

  • I just get in the shower and pull the Easimeche out in there, once wet they just slide out.  
  • Wash very thoroughly twice with a good strong shampoo (I use Aussie Aussome Shampoo), taking care not to rub too much and tangle my hair up (wish the hairdressers were so gentle!) 
  • Put on an intensive conditioner and brush through with a paddle brush. 
  • Wait a couple of minutes then I rinse and dry as usual.  
  • I always add oil to my hair after washing, so use something very nourishing like Organix Oil or any of the silicone/argan oil mixes (see post on this here)

It Looks Kind Of Orange

Hopefully this hasn't happened to you if you have left the bleach on long enough and your hair isn't too dark to begin with. If it has though, it is because this is what happens when the colour is stripped from brown hair, the dark tones are removed easily but the red tones remain.  This is the number one problem when people lighten hair, whether in a salon or at home.  I have had orange results whether I have paid £200 or £5 so throwing money at it is no guarantee of success.  

How Orangey is it?

It is just a bit yellower that I would like - Get busy with the purple shampoo ASAP. My favourite colour corrective shampoo is Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, just apply, leave on for a few minutes and rinse.  It usually takes a few rounds to achieve and major difference.

If it’s right up there with Wotsits and Cheetos - You will need to tone it.  Wella Color Charm T18 White Lady is supposed to be very good, you use this in conjunction with a very low strength (20%vol) developer to remove the last remnants of brassiness.  As you are using a bleach this will damage your hair and so follow instructions carefully.  I have not yet had to use this, but I am reliably informed that this will give you the cool tones you are looking for.

My Colouring Routine

I colour the central section of my hair (the pink) and then 4 weeks later, the sides (in blue) this hopefully helps negate damage, and helps keep body in the top (as the highlighting roughens the cuticle which makes the hair appear fuller.)

I don't tone my hair, as I feel it rarely needs it. I do have a full head twice a year at the hairdressers, where I get a 2:1 of blonde:cool brown put through my hair.  This brings the blonde back down and stops me having block blonde hair, it also sorts out the back.  I don't feel the need to have perfect blonde hair underneath as true blondes don't and it would be too damaging (plus expensive)


As you are almost certainly aware you have damaged your hair pretty severely by bleaching it.  You will now need to look after your hair to keep it looking good.  I use Intensive Conditioner all the time (at least twice a week.)  My favourite for price, efficacy and smell is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, as I have mentioned numerous times on the blog.
It is also unlikely that you will be able to grow your hair super long, mine is usually around armpit length, and it can rarely get longer than this without requiring trimming due to split ends.

Hopefully this is of help to some people.  As I mentioned I am not a hairdresser, but I have done this around 30 times and so I thought it would be fair to share what exact products and method I use.  In the last few years I must have saved over £2000. Please feel free to comment with any recommendations about better products or what works for you.  I am still learning all the time.

7 Aug 2014

Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Review

I had to say goodbye to one of my favourite hair products this week when my Tres Semme Liquid Gold ran out.  I have really loved this and it has lasted me for an entire year. I apply 2 pumps after I have washed my hair, to help comb it through and it has done a great job at keeping my frizzy damaged ends under control.  You can also use a small amount to smooth ends once your hair it styled..


I popped into Superdrug to get a replacement and it was £7, I then saw this little beauty for £3.50 and so thought it was worth a try.

I need to mention the obvious here, which is why do I not use Moroccan Oil?  It is very simple, the price is ridiculous and the main ingredients in it are just silicones, the same as the main ingredient in Frizz Ease and these 2 little dupes.  I imagine the Argan oil helps, but I doubt it can be that effective at such small concentrations.  I may be wrong but I doubt it.  See this post on the hype around Moroccan Oil by a beauty product developer.  Also see ingredient list at the bottom for proof.

First Impressions

Packaging- I like the size and the design but not the lack of pump.  I must say that it actually comes out without getting all over the cap, but still I would prefer a pump.

Smell - gorgeous, really fresh and pretty.

Amount - 100ml compared to Tres Semme 75ml, bonus!  Considering Moroccan Oil cost 10 times the price for the same amount this is a serious bargain.

Sucky stupid lid...should have had a pump


Does it work?

Yes, yes and more yes!  This is even better than the Tres Semme, I thinks the 20 or so, Boots reviews giving it 5 stars speak for themselves.  I applied this as usual after washing and brushed it through with a paddle brush before bed.  I don't use a dryer on my hair unless it is a special occasion so I just let it dry over night.  When I woke up my hair felt really soft and healthy, it even seemed to dry quicker whilst I watched Hannibal in bed.

My hair after sleeping on it and without adding any product or styling

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely, hopefully at the same price though ;)

Word of caution regarding silicone use - You have to be careful using silicones in your hair to avoid build up, which is why I use Tres Semme Deep Cleansing shampoo once a month or so to strip (I use that word, as it is exactly what this does) my hair of all products build up.  Don't expect beautifully silky hair after using this, but expect very light flyaway hair with no build up on it.

Ingredients List for Morroccan Oil

INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Argania Spinoza Kernel Oil (Argan Oil), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed ) Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

Ingredients List for Organix

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Argania Spinoza
(Argan) Kernel Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Parfum, CI 47000 (Yellow 11), CI 21600 (Red 17), Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool

Ingredients List for Tres Semme

Cyclopentasiloxane ,Isododecane,Dimethicone,Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil,Zea Mays Oil,Tocopherol,Dimethicone Crosspolymer,Lycopene,Parfum,Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone,Benzyl Alcohol,Benzyl Salicylate,Butylphenyl Methylpropional,Citronellol,Geraniol,Hexyl Cinnamal,Limonene,Linalool

24 Jun 2014

New Home Haircut

I have been hacking at my hair again.  After last times much needed 3 inch trim, my hair has been steadily returning to it's original length.  I liked the volume that the shorter style gave me but I like a longer length of hair, and I am also loath to cut my hair off as all women of around 30 do when they have kids.  Why is this?? It isn't any easier having shorter hair.

So I had a good look around Youtube and watched some good home haircutting videos and settled on a heavily layered look.    I have super fine hair and so layers have to be done carefully, or it just makes my hair even lanker.  I choose to put in 2 layers, one at a bob length, and one further down towards the ends.  I like that I get the volume from the top layer and the length from the ones underneath.

You can see the "faux bob" look in the picture below. 

I did this in my usual cack-handed manner, by just damping my hair (slightly) and then using a comb and some hairdressing scissors I try and get a decent line wherever I want it to be.  I did some softening of the bob by angling the line downwards (only marginally, maybe my 10 degrees further) and by doing a bit of point cutting.  

7 May 2014

Batiste XXL Plumping Powder Review

I have had this for about 2 months since I got my hair cut shorter. I was suffering from severely flat hair seen as all the damaged hair had been cut out which left me with super soft but very flat hair. A fellow blogger (Sarah at Seriously Shallow) recommended this to me, so I thought I would give it a go.


This product comes in a small shaker which is an ideal size for chucking in your handbag. I shook a little bit out onto my finger tips to see how it felt and the first thing I noticed was it's bizarre texture. It comes out like a powder then when you rub it between your fingers it feels sticky, it is really weird. I thought I would give it a go so I sectioned off my hair and sprinkled it onto the roots massaging it in with fingertips. I was pretty disgusted at this once I had done it as it felt like someone had rubbed my roots with Pritt Stick. It really does feel gross and I feel sorry for any man who wants to run his fingers through your hair.


It works! It is by far the best volume giving product I own and so quick to apply. It lasts really well as to reactivate it you just rub your fingers through your roots again. I guess it works by creating a textured coating on the hair which when rubbed makes the individual hairs stand out again each other. The other things I like about this is that it doesn't smell of anything, and even on my dark roots it is undetectable.

The wall in my bedroom seems to have changed from Cream to Green in the photo???

Do I like it?

Yes, I will definitely be repurchasing it.

Would I use it everyday day?

No. The feeling is too weird, but it is great for going out. It also needs a double shampoo to get it out, I am sat here now with freshly washed hair after using it last night and I think there is still some lurking about up top.


  • Size - a third of the size of a bottle of dry shampoo plus no aerosol so better for the enviroment
  • Gives Your hair serious volume
  • Invisible on the hair
  • Complete Bargain


  • The feel, it’s revolting

£3.99 at Superdrug or Boots

Overall Rating - 4 stars (would be 5 if it didn’t feel like glue)

10 Nov 2012

How to Highlight Your Own Hair

Note: I have now updated this post with a much more detailed version here.

I think I look better with Blonde hair but I hate the cost, £100+ every 6 weeks, that's over £800 a year! So I now do the half head fill-ins myself. I still have my full head highlights every 6 months but other than that I do my own.  Not only does it save me £600 a year it also saves me a whole 24 hours per year sat in a hairdressers.  I hate hairdressers they are always giving you poop hair advice, selling you dud products and leaving your hair a slightly gingery colour.


Now this is only for the brave or stupid, (I'm both) If you don't get your hair highlighted regularly, don't try this, you need to have a good idea of the process before you have a go yourself.

I use the Wella products for this, but any Salon grade ones would do, if it can't be bought in Boots etc.. then your on the right track. It is essential that use professional products if you don't want orange hair. You can buy all these items on e-bay or through websites.

Here's what I use, it is all available from Amazon;


I mix the granules; 1 part Blondor to 2 parts Welloxon in a non-metallic bowl.  Then I get going, there are loads of youtube videos showing the technique for highlighting, so I will spare you an awkward on-camera presentation.  I really recommend that you use easimeche instead of foils on yourself, as the sticky top part helps the section stay in place whilst you are applying the bleach.

My main tips are;

  • When applying the bleach to the hair on the Easi Meche don't let the bleach go off the end of the packet near your roots or you'll end up with stripes.
  • Work fast! this is important you only have enough time to do the central stripe and maybe 3 or 4 rows either side of your hair line.  Unless you are massively quick at this, the first packets of highlights you created at your crown will already be developed and the front of your hair will not have had chance to go pale enough (again you get orange hair)

This usually takes me about 1hr15 including washing it out and drying, but I spend about 20 mins of that faffing, waiting for the bleach to do it's stuff.

Has anyone else had tried this and had success.

30 Oct 2012

Best Products for Fine Hair


If, like me, you have fine lank hair, you will know how frustrating it is to try and get some volume going on. Endless articles advising you to backcomb (the backcombing just shows through), apply mousse (goes crispy) and other stupid ideas just serve to frustrate me further.

This is my hair at it's most volumicious, rubbish, I know! but still better than it would be otherwise.

I also have hair that looks greasy if not washed everyday, and again, advice just to wash it less and it will adjust, must be written by those with dry hair!

Here are my life savers-

1. Big Hair Styler

I love this product, makes getting the blowdryed hair look effortless. Even for someone as impatient as me, this works a treat. Tip - hair must be almost dry before using.

2. Samy Icing

This is a great pick me up half way through the day when your hair has lost whatever oomph it had somehow managed to garner. You just spray it onto your fingertips and rub into the roots where you need volume. Feels a little crunchy, but brushes out and you can still run your fingers through most of your hair without them getting stuck.

3. Getting your hair highlighted

This sounds like overkill, but the roughed up hair cuticle that is produced from bleaching your hair means that your hair will look thicker. This obviously only works on those who like their hair to be lighter than their natural colour.

4. Dry Shampoo
I think most everyone in the world knows about this by now, but for those who don't this is a godsend for those of us who need to wash our hair everyday, the powder absorbs grease and also bulks up roots. I have taken to using loose face powder on my hair, i buy it in a translucent colour from a cheap brand then rub a small amount through my roots. I find the aerosol cans leave a white residue and also cost a lot for minimal product.

What are your favourite products?

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