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My Hair Care Strategy 2.0

2015 will be the year that I achieve long, luscious locks! Haha On a more realistic note, it would be great to grow my hair past my shoulders, while keeping it looking great, healthy and strong. For fine hair (yet alone blonde hair along with it), this is really, really difficult.  I remember reading an interview where Naomi Watts also stated she experienced this problem (as in, growing her hair past her shoulders and hence usually settles for a bob slash lob) and I automatically felt like the two of us became instant bosom buddies (she understands me!).

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Naomi Watts at this years Golden Globes. Didn’t she look fabulous? And her hair is beautifully styled!

Fine hair weakens due to everyday stressors (like environmental factors), diet, heat styling and chemical colouring, and hence becomes prone to snapping and split ends, so regular hair cuts are a must. However, did you know that hair elasticity, strength and vibrancy decreases with age? We often talk about ageing skin but ageing hair? Not so much. Even if you don’t have fine hair, you may notice that with age your hair falls out more easily and may grow more slowly.

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My dream hair! *Le sigh*

One of the most crucial improvements you can make is making sure you are getting enough fatty acids, minerals and ‘hair specific’ vitamins in your diet. Fatty acids make up about 3% of the hair shaft and are also found in the cell membranes in the skin of your scalp (a happy scalp means stronger hair!). Our body doesn’t make fatty acids by itself, so they have to be supplemented in our diet. If you don’t eat enough oily fish (a couple times a week) then taking fish oil capsules is a must. I love my salmon sashimi, but I can’t say that I eat it weekly (let alone a few times a week) so I’ve always taken fish oil capsules (more so ‘when I remember’) and flaxseed oil capsules. Fish oil is full of omega 3 (anti-inflammatory and great for your skin as well) while flaxseed is full of omega 3, 6 and 9. You can ingest as much omega 3 and 6 as you want to, as it doesn’t build up in our bodies over time (doing harm), but you should however, be more careful with omega 9 as this fatty acid can build up in your body. So the plan for 2015? Taking 2 x fish oil and 2 x flaxseed capsules daily. 

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If your hair has been falling out more than normal over the last couple of weeks, it may be beneficial to ask your doctor to test your vitamin D3 and iron levels. If we are low in vitamin D3 and iron, hair can become weaker at the hair follicle level, easily falling out. Zinc on the other hand, regulates cell renewal and supports healthy skin tissue. Dull, matte hair can be a sign that one is low in zinc. Zinc and magnesium are also needed for the production of hair pigments, so diet could help with keeping those greys away in some part! Seeing as my diet can be really all over the place (I know, I know) hair supplements can go a long way when it comes to strengthening your hair. The catch is, that you may not notice a difference in your hair strength and growth cycles until 3-6 months in after starting your supplements. Taking hair supplements has to be a long term project, so don’t expect transformed locks after 2 months. My pick when it comes to hair supplements is the Blackmores’ Nails, Hair and Skin supplement. I always look out for ingredients like zinc, iron, vitamin c (which helps the iron be absorbed), biotin and silica (minerals). I stopped taking the Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin supplement a few months back and started taking a French brand of supplements, but the ingredient list was quite similar and it just became a hassle trying to source them.

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I can usually find the Blackmores supplements on sale either at Woolworths, Priceline or chemists. You need to take two of these a day and I usually take them after eating my lunch.  Here is what they contain specifically if you want to compare these hair supplements with others.

Silicon dioxide (Silica) 25 mg
Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) extract equiv. to dry stem 466 mg
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) 30 mg
Folic acid 150 µg
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) from calcium
pantothenate 21.8 mg, 20 mg
Iron (as ferrous fumarate 9.5mg) 3 mg
Zinc (as zinc amino acid chelate 37.5mg) 7.5 mg
Manganese (as manganese amino acid chelate 10mg) 1 mg
Biotin 1.3 mg
Betacarotene 1 mg

As we get older, the circulation in our scalp slows down, which not only means slowed hair growth, but hair can be weaker, dullers and brittle because it isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs to be strong. The other tactic I plan to employ is using products which strengthen the hair from the outside in. There’s nothing worse than using a shampoo which leaves your hair feeling tangled and dry like hay (I’m looking at you Moroccan Oil Volume shampoo!). Even brushing dry hair can make it snap and break, so it’s all about being super gentle with your hair. What ingredients should you look out for when looking for gentle shampoos and conditioners? Moisturising ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, ceramides, keratin, amino acids, zinc, fatty acids (yep – even in your shampoo and conditioner!) and oils like argan and coconut oil. Don’t forget to use UV filters when out in the sun for extended periods of time.

My products of choice at the moment?

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My everyday shampoo and conditioner are from Theorie. Their Argan Oil shampoo and conditioners are excellent! The first time I used the shampoo, I thought it was conditioner – that’s how rich and moisturising it is! They are designed for severely damaged and ‘unresponsive’ hair – but neither shampoo or conditioner weighs down my hair despite the rich ingredients (that’s a worry of mine, as my hair is so fine – and flatness is the enemy!). Argan oil is of course the main ingrendient in this duo (and it’s listed as ingredients number two only after water in the conditioner, so you know the conditioner is packed full of argan oil!) which is perfect as argan oil is full of fatty acids (omega 6 and 9 specifically), antioxidants (providing some protection from UVA and UVB rays) and vitamin E. Both products also contain silk proteins and grapeseed oil. They are formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phosphate which is good news. I love that they come in bottles fitted with pumps and they both contain 400ml of product. For the amount of product you receive, I think the price of $24.95 is very reasonable. I bought my shampoo and conditioner from RY. 

I recently bought a set of Kevin Murphy products (also shampoo and conditioner) which I plan to use interchangeable with the Theorie Argan shampoo and conditioner. They are from the Young Again range of products, designed for ‘mature hair’, but also for brittle hair. What drew me to them is that they contain 20 different amino acids PLUS lotus and orchid extract, bamboo extract (anti-irritant), kakadu plum (vitamin C and elastin) baobab oil (which contains vitamins A, D, and E) and mango seed butter (in the conditioner).

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I bought my Kevin Murphy products from Adore Beauty. They are more expensive and more of a splurge, with the shampoo costing $37 and the conditioner $38. I was lucky enough to buy them in a gift pack which always makes them a tad cheaper. Luckily Adore Beauty also don’t charge for shipping!

Treatment products like hair masks are just as important as picking a good shampoo and conditioner as the ingredients are more concentrated. If you colour your hair, they are even more important as the ingredients are usually chosen on their ability to help repair the hair structure – not just protect it. If you have the chance, also ask for an in salon hair treatment after a colour as any colouring will weaken the hair structure. The salon I visit doesn’t offer to many treatments, but they have one particular heated protein treatment which works like a bomb! It’s worth the extra pennies me thinks. For at home treatments, I’m loving these ‘three’ at the moment!

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Theorie Argan Oil Ultimate Repair Hair Mask is just as good as their shampoo and conditioner. Argan oil is the star ingredient of course and it works brilliantly at smoothing the hair and making it shiny. Grapeseed oil and shea butter also help 😉 This hair mask smells sooo good. I’m not sure what the scent is, but it’s delicious! The mask contains these little beads, which I think may be the argan oil (or the shea butter) but I’m not 100% sure. They melt into your hair without a problem. This mask only needs to be left on your hair for 5-10 minutes. You get 300ml of product for $25, which again, is great value!

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If you are often time poor, then the Evo The Great Hydrator Moisture Mask should be your jam! The glycerin and argan oil contained in this mask, only take about 5 minutes to work their magic. It leaves hair soooo soft and manageable, that really – you can’t go past it!

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You receive 150ml of product for $30, which isn’t the cheapest. It is quick and easy however, and the tube would be perfect (and light) for travelling! Plus, everyone needs a good fro for the bus!

The next two hair masks are from Hello Hair. – their original Hydrating Mask and their summer version, Hydrating Mask Island Escape Edition. Both masks are very similar in how they work and how they leave your hair feeling. They both contain coconut and argan oil, olive oil (smoothing), olive leaf extract (antioxidant and anti-fungal) and castor oil (omega 9 fatty acid). Coconut oil can actually penetrate into the hair shaft unlike many other oils out there and I would say that it’s definitely the coconut oil which shines in these masks! The Hydrating Mask also contains sweet almond oil (which is abundant in protein and vitamin E) while the Island Escape edition leaves this oil out so that those with nut allergies have an alternative they can use. I actually reviewed the original Hydrating Mask, so if you would like more info check out that post here!

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The Island Edition also contains pomegranate see oil (great for boosting circulation on the scalp!) and grapeseed oil (light, yet moisturising and smoothing). It has a sweet scent, while the original mask doesn’t smell much (maybe lightly of coconut oil). These masks are more time consuming as you apply them before washing your hair (as a pre-treatment) and you should ideally leave them on to penetrate into the hair for about an hour. I do prefer these masks to straight coconut oil as they are lighter thanks to the carefully selected blend of oils. I do also apply a little conditioner to the ends of my hair after shampooing these masks out of my hair (twice) and if it works for my fine hair, then it should work for you also! These masks are a little heavier than the previous ones mentioned, but this isn’t a huge problem as they don’t leave your hair totally flat, especially if you shampoo them out and lightly blowdry your hair just to give the hair a little lift! The original Hydrating Mask is $15 for 100g while the Island Escape Edition is $18.

In my quest to achieve luscious locks – I will be trying to use as little heat styling as possible. As my hair is so fine, it usually air dries very quickly and once it is about 75% dry I quickly blast it with a hair dryer just to give it a little lift. I do like to curl my hair using hot rollers, but I don’t do that very often and I will try and steer clear of all heating tools as much as possible (velcro type rollers will be my jam for air drying my hair in the summer heat!). The two styling products I love (and don’t recquire heat) are the Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine Spray and the Evo Salty Dog Salt Spray.

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I wasn’t sure the Salty Dog Salt Spray would work as it’s hold factor is rated as a 1 out of 5, BUT it does! It gives my hair a light wave, a *little bit* of grit and it smells amazing! I love to spray this into my hair (damp or dry), give it a good scrunch and then pin it up in a bun. When I un-do the bun, I’m left with gorgeous waves thanks to minimal effort 😉 I’m not sure that this would work on thick hair, but Evo do a texturising spray (with added heat protection) called the Mister Fantastic Texture Spray which can be used like a sea salt spray. It has more hold factor (3 out of 5) and so should be more suitable for thicker hair. The Salty Dog Salt Spray costs $27 from Adore Beauty.

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Kevin Murphy’s Shimmer Shine spray looks amazing in the bottle! It contains little gold flecks, which of course, shimmer and shine! I picked this shine spray over others as it contains repairing oils within it’s formula – Immortelle, Baobab and Bamboo. It’s very light on the hair and yet imparts a healthy looking sheen (no chunky bits of shimmer to be seen – the effect it leaves on the hair is actually quite subtle). It’s very princess like if I say so myself 😛 It has an interesting scent – I would say it’s kind of spicy? Like cardamon or even pepper? I don’t mind it and it does fade away after a while. This shiny goodness costs $40 from Adore Beauty. 

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On days when I am at home and want to use a ‘leave in conditioner’ in my hair, I use this Potion Organic Argan Oil. What I love about argan oil is that it isn’t very heavy or greasy – I would even say that it is slightly dry to the touch.

That’s it beauties! It’s a rather large roundup of hair care products I suppose, but I did have to get serious if I wanna knock my locks into shape this year! I also probably should get a hair sunscreen type product as my current one is a little old and past it’s used by date. If you have any recommendations let me know (but don’t worry, I won’t be buying any until my $100 beauty challenge is over!). If you have any tried and tested recommendations for products which repair and protect the hair, do let me know! I will let you know how I am going with my hair care routine soon and update you with any new additions of products should they arise. I do also use a purple toning treatment on my blonde hair, but I want to write up a thorough review for you in a separate post.

That’s it from me beauties – don’t forget to check out my Facebook page here and join in on more beauty bee action!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Published inHair care

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