Should We Care About Hair Care Product Ingredients ?

Nowadays hardly a week goes by without reading or hearing about a new health scare associated with the food we eat, resulting from the chemicals or other additives being used in the production process. As a result, many of us have become quite fussy about the food we buy, examining ingredients carefully to avoid harmful preservatives and artificial flavourings etc. However, how many of us know that chemicals can also enter the body through our skin and hair and consequently examine hair and beauty product ingredients with the same level of challenge as with food ingredients???

 

We all know that there is a list of Curly Girl approved ingredients to use on your hair, which will leave your precious curls looking great and in fabulous condition. Also listed are those ingredients such as sulphates and silicones which can compromise the condition of your hair, often by coating the hair with ‘plastic’, preventing moisture and other nutrients getting into the hair follicle, or simply stripping the hair of goodness. But, there are other ingredients (chemicals) you should be aware of which, whilst not affecting the condition or appearance of your hair, could have a wider impact on your health.

As you know I am extremely passionate (some might even say obsessed!!!) with using only natural and organic products, as I consider there is potentially an unknown quantity of damage we are doing to ourselves unwittingly. So I would like to help make you aware of these potentially harmful chemicals. These thoughts are only my personal opinion, as someone who has looked quite deeply into doing my bit for keeping the nasties off of our skin and out of our bodies !! So I’m not here to scare you, just raising your awareness and hopefully helping you to be a little more careful or selective the next time you go shopping for hair care products.
There are many potentially harmful ingredients out there, so here is a short list of a few of them that I think you should be aware of and why –
Alcohol, Isopropyl this is found in many hair products and interestingly is also used in antifreeze. It has been reported that it can act as a carrier potentially accelerating the penetration of harmful chemicals into your skin.

DEA( Diethanolamine) This is a hormone disrupting chemical that has been linked with the formation of cancer causing nitrates. Detergents of DEA based ingredients may result in major liver and kidney cancer.

Parabens are preservatives and have been found in breast cancer tumours; for this reason their use in a number of products has been reduced and quite often replaced with the following chemical !!!

Propylene Glycol This is a preservative that helps the product easily penetrate the skin, but, has also been linked as a potential cancer causing chemical.

So, having said all of that (and hopefully not alarming you too much !!) the good news (phew!!) is that there are plenty of products out there which have been carefully developed to use only natural, non-harmful ingredients. I try to use only these products and my clients can relax, knowing that I have done the worry on their behalf. I take time to source and use only those products which will not only leave your curls looking gorgeous and in great condition, but are not linked with having known potential long term health risks.

For me, however important our beauty and appearance is to us, it should never be to the detriment of our long term health and wellbeing. If you have anymore questions that you would like to ask me about unleashing your inner curls, please email me on  lindseyhair14@yahoo.com

What is Hair Porosity, Protein and Moisture…and what does it mean for me?

This question has come up so many times in consultation with my clients, either directly or indirectly i.e. “why is my curly hair always so dry and frizzy !!!”….if this sounds like you, read on. Oh, and by the way, I am not a scientist so I have explained it as best I can in my own way.

Porosity basically means the hair’s ability to absorb water. Each hair strand has a layer called the cuticle,  covering the hair like tiles on a roof. When hair is high porosity it means the cuticle layer is ‘lifted’ and water is absorbed into the cortex – inside the hair shaft……but this isn’t always a good thing, as too much porosity reduces the hair’s ability to keep the moisture in and can lead to breakage. When the cuticle is lifted the water is not held in the hair, leaving it to feel dry….the hair lacks shine and is rough to the touch. Hair can become more porous with chemical treatments such as colouring the hair lighter. It causes the hair to become weak and removes the protein or strength of the hair.

Your hair is made of protein and moisture and can be tested by your hairdresser when your hair is wet, stretching about 10 to 20 hairs in between their fingers. Normal conditioned hair should stretch and return like an elastic band. So, if your hair doesn’t stretch at all with this test, it means your hair needs moisture – the treatment I would recommend for this is Camile Rose Coconut Water Treatment, which can be purchased from Amazon for around £22.20151122_231019

If the hair stretches too much on the other hand, it needs protein – the  treatment in this instance is called Revamp by OCS, BUT, it should only be applied by your stylist as you need to be careful not to give your hair too much protein, as this can make the hair brittle and lead to breakage. Protein treatments (such as Revamp) are often made with a wheat protein which helps to bind the hair together and fill the gaps, leaving the hair shiny, strong and healthy.20151122_231036

So, as you can see although people can get hung up about the porosity of their hair, it is more important to consider the balance of protein and moisture, which gives your hair its shine and strength. And don’t be tempted to over moisturise your hair because you think it’s dry; protein is your friend too as it helps to give your curly hair strength and more definition……definitely a good thing !!!

If you have anymore questions that you would like to ask me about unleashing your inner curls, please email me on  lindseyhair14@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

My adventure to America for the Deva Curl training…

Many of my amazing clients will have followed my story from the beginning – or have been with me over these last few weeks – to hear about my adventure to America recently to train with some of the world’s top curly hair specialists at the Deva Academy in New York and LA.

20150924_092021 The Deva Salon in LA

This has been a complete dream for me and something I have wanted to do, and aimed for, since I started my own curl journey around three years ago – and heard about the Deva Curl salons unique and innovative cutting and colouring techniques.

With a lot of support from friends, clients and family to achieve this, I am so proud that my goal has finally been reached in becoming a Senior Deva Curly Haired Specialist – one of the only ones in the country!

20150927_122756Me at the LA salon

As many of you know, I have been a hairdresser for 25 years, and have always made sure I have got the latest training in both cuts and colour, from Vidal Sassoon in the heart of London, to the Mahogany Salons in Oxford.

But just a few years ago I realised I needed to embrace my own curls, and encourage all other ‘curly girls’ to as well, and so this special journey began, and I haven’t looked back since!

I must admit I was pretty nervous to fly on my own from Birmingham to JFK airport in New York earlier this year and be launched into the world of the Deva Curl Salon on my first morning in the country. But from the moment I stepped through the doors, it was an incredible experience and I was anxious to absorb every bit of training I was given into the newest techniques in cutting, and colouring, curly hair.

I was training in the New York Salon for three days, where I was first introduced to the Waterfall Deva Cut (cutting the hair curl by curl but structuring the shape) and the incredible Pintura Colouring Technique (hand painting the colour onto the curl, rather than using foils). To be able to learn from the best in the USA, inspired me to want to be the very best in the UK when it comes to curly hair!

20150922_175739-1The Deva Waterfall Cut

From New York, I then flew five-and-a-half hours to LAX in LA where I was greeted by beautiful sunshine, and another group of incredible curly hair instructors, who just had a huge passion for their art – which was so infectious! I not only trained with them, but also got to shadow them in the salon for a few days to see what really goes on behind the scenes. They told me I was the only hairdresser from the UK to have shown such commitment and drive to do this, and their warmth and welcoming to the Deva Curl world was amazing. So much so, I would have loved to have stayed longer and done more, and so will be planning a return trip soon to keep up-to-date with their latest techniques.

20150927_122659These are some of the amazing Deva instructors from LA.

Not only did I learn so much, but I met some incredible hairdressers, trainers, and now friends, who I am so so proud to have had the fortune to help me along my curly hair journey!

20150928_165048My first ever Waterfall Deva haircut on Cameron Stark in LA!

The 10 days in the USA was life changing for me, and I know all this wealth of experience I picked up there can now be used on all my gorgeous and supportive clients who have followed me on this journey.

Thank you to everyone who has believed in me, supported me and encouraged me to follow this path. Without you I know I wouldn’t be where I am today and I can’t even express how grateful I am to each and every one of you!

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Curly!

Transitioning from straight to curly hair…the journey!

lindsey hughes natural curls blonde
 
So everyone. I have got a confession….Despite being someone who champions curly, natural locks, I have only truly been a Curly Girl for the past year-and-a-half. 
 
Before this I regularly had my hair chemically straightened (oh the horror!!) and religiously used my straightners, because I thought it was easier and didn’t want to admit to even myself that I had naturally curly hair. There, I’ve said it. In fact, even in the 80s I had my hair spiral permed, to think my hair was already curly, what on earth was I thinking? 
Thank goodness really straight hair is becoming too much like hard work for most of us with naturally wavy locks! I think we are all realising it is an impossible feat to keep up this level of perfection, especially in this country with all the rain – which is enough to frizz even the straightest hair!
I think we are becoming aware of what’s natural and how to care for our hair a lot better. With colouring moving away from highlights using foils, to hand painting colour onto the hair and avoiding the roots, to using more natural shampoo and conditioners, we are all becoming a lot more mindful about looking after ourselves.
But suddenly going curly isn’t easy and is something we have to get used to, along with our loved ones!
The transition period takes a while to adjust to, along with what you see when you look in the mirror. If you are used to seeing a nice tidy sleeker style going from this to wild and curly, it will take a little time to adjust. You just need to not beat yourself up if you have an off-day – and believe me, I have had many. 
In fact, I used to tie my hair up by twisting it so I didn’t feel so exposed and ‘big’. Then slowly as it started to grow and I learnt a whole new way of styling my hair, and I began to like it! 
In one of the salons  I worked in for three years (before I became the Curl whisperer), I only wore my hair naturally curly for one day the whole time I worked there. Going to work that day I was so apprehensive of what my colleagues and clients would say. Their reaction was, as you would expect, that some loved it, some pretended to like it, and others said nothing! 
 
When I first started wearing my hair curly, my husband said I looked like Kevin Keegan, and he would still prefer my hair straight! But this is about me and you excepting who we truly are – natural and free from straighteners! But soon he too began to love it too.
So taking into account that I’m a 41-year-old hairdresser and only myself recently introduced to the curly world, I think it is important to know that to allow yourself to be curly is all about accepting what is the natural ‘you’, and learning to love and embrace it.
So the great news is, I no longer have to plan outings around the weather!
Having curly hair – once you get through the transition and learn your curly routine –  will save you valuable time, as I have found out! The more natural the products you use and less blow drying will equal beautiful conditioned hair. My hair is in the best condition it’s ever been. I diffuse dry, very lightly, then leave it to dry naturally then ‘scrunch the crunch’. People have got used to my slightly unkempt hair, but most of all, so have I! Helping other curlies embrace their natural self is so rewarding and I am so proud to be a part of this incredible movement.
If you have anymore questions that you would like me to ask about becoming curly yourself, please email me on  lindseyhair14@yahoo.com
The future is bright, the future is curly!

Questions answered!

I decided this week to answer some of the questions I’m asked on a daily basis to help you with your curly routine – so I hope you find it helpful!
Q: Are there any cheaper natural products? 
A: I find that the product Faith in Nature is great, both the coconut shampoo and conditioner. While there are sulphates in the product, they are naturally derived from vegetables. The shampoo and conditioner each cost around £5 and I sell them in my salon. While it is not specifically designed for curly hair, it works great. The coconut conditioner is very moisturising too. Another good product is Cantu Co Wash which also costs about £5. The product is very moisturising with no nasties!

Q: Should I use a wide tooth comb or my fingers to remove tangled hair? 
A: Everyone has a personal preference. I find my hair works better by being combed through with a wide tooth comb when my hair is wet with conditioner in. But some people find they don’t need to use a comb and especially when your hair is very curly it will disrupt your curl, so using your fingers is better for finer curlier hair.

Q: How can I get second and third day hair?
A: You could try mixing a gel and kettle water mix in a spray, or even a conditioner and kettle water spray together. Lightly spray the mist over fluffy sections, and stroke down the hair. 
Also if you ‘plop’ your hair with a T-shirt or satin bonnet at night, this will help to keep your curls defined. I prefer to pineapple my hair with a scrunchy as I’m not so worried all night the T-shirt or Bonnet will fall off.

Q:can you make your own hair treatments?
A: There are so many natural hair treatments out there that you can make in your own home.
 Here are a few I would recommend:
 – Good protien treatments.
1/2 cup boiling water
1tbsp non flavoured gelitin
1tbsp cider vinegar
2tbsp plain yoghurt
Leave on for 20 mins 
This treatment shouldn’t be done too frequently as too much protein can make the hair to brittle and break off. So I would recommend once a month. You should follow this treatment with a moisture treatment or at least a moisture conditioner.

– A good moisture treatment which is excellent for very curly hair
Cherry lola treatment
Nat organic yoghurt 
Omino acid 
Baking soda
Leave on for 20 to 40 mins. This will soften and define curly hair. I would put a hat on your head to keep the heat in and push product into the hair. This treatment goes on dry hair

Q: What styling products should I use? 
A: With styling products I like to layer them, 
If your hair is extra curly you probably need to put oil on your hair when its soaking wet, then a leave in conditioner then a butter.It your hair is thick curly and wavy hair you might want to use a leave in conditioner then a gel.If you have is very fine you probably just need to scrunch the water out of your hair first then use a gel.

Q: When should I ‘no poo’? 
A: Lots of clients ask me this. The simple answer is, if your hair is fine or medium texture and oily like mine you need to use a non sulphate shampoo. Using no poo will only make your hair greasier. But if your hair is thicker and needs moisture, then you need to no poo your hair.You might find that you want to no poo on one wash then the next you use a non sulphate shampoo.

Q: Should i diffuse use the hood dryer?
A: Air drying your hair is great in this warm weather and saves us curlies a lot of time but it creates a softer look. My advice would be to start your hair off with the diffuser by holding your head upside down to create volume then leave the rest to air dry, this is for hair that needs volume. Hair that has too much volume needs to be air dried or dried under a clymazone or hood dryer  

Q: What do different oils do?
A: Caster oil strengthens and promotes hair growth
Coconut oil seals in moisture and is good for protein loss.Olive oil is anti bacterial and Avocado oil gives sheen and gives softness to your hair.

Q: When do I use an oil?
A: You only need to use oils in your hair if your hair is lacking moisture.You can use oils as treatments, lots of clients put them in when their hair is dry leave over night then co wash out. I use oil best when the hair is soaking wet and needs moisture coconut oil especially is know to seal the moisture into the hair.


Q: What other household natural products could I use on my hair? 
A: You can use egg white as gel! I did this a while ago and it actually works. You need to keep it in the fridge though but it does work really well. Another gel substitute is Aloe Vera mixed with a few drops of your favourite essential oil. This is recommended by the Curly Girl book written by Lorraine Massey. Lorraine also recommends using olive oil and a few drops again of your favourite essential oil to seal your hair before going for a swim.
 
If you have anymore questions, please do let me know!