I've got a few compliments about my hair and a few requests to do a hair-care blog post so I figured to blend the both together!
So obviously, as you can see, my hair is dip-dyed at the moment. It may come as a surprise to tell you I did it myself! I was really bored of my natural black hair colour and needed a change, and as it was coming up to my birthday in September I decided to go for it. I have had bad experiences with dye at a hairdresser before (didn't last too long considering the amount of money I spent) and hadn't really the funds to get it done so I decided to do it myself. So I bought a box of L'Oréal Wild Ombrés Préférence brush on dip-dye in Ombré No.1 from a local chemist for €7 and tried it out. There's three different kinds of this dip dye, each formulated differently for different coloured hair. I got No.1 because my natural hair (as you can see from my roots) is extremely black. No.2 would be for someone with light brown hair and No.3 is for someone with dark blonde hair. Because my hair was so dark, just two weeks after the initial application the dye turned slightly ashy coloured. By the time it came to my graduation in October the dye had well and truly caused my hair to go really ashy coloured. I re-done it again just before Christmas. It stayed good for about another 5 weeks, and looked really well. But I wanted a really platinum edge to the ends, and as my hair was already dark blonde at that stage, I said I'd give the No.3 a go.
If you're considering doing something like this to your own hair, I'd really recommend these DIY dye kits by L'Oréal. The kit comes with all the ingredients needed to dye your hair and also comes with a conditioning shampoo that makes your hair unbelievably soft and smooth after appplication. The brush that comes with it to essentially brush on the dye onto your hair is created by experts to make the job of DIY dip-dye a doddle. I will warn you though that this dye is really really strong so try not to go near your eye area or you will know about it! But like I've mentioned, it has taken me from September until April to get to that shade I have in the photos of me above, so please try to be patient if your hair is as naturally as dark as mine - you will get there eventually!
I haven't got my hair re-done in eight weeks. I bought a box of dye two weeks ago but haven't felt like it really needs to be re-done again at the moment, I kind of like the undone 'growing-out' feel to it.
Because the bleach really damages my hair, I'm conscious of keeping it in shape as best I can, so every 6 weeks, whether I dye it or not, it's to the hairdresser to get the split ends cut off. I have a severe addiction to using my GHD straightener which obviously ain't hair-friendly, but I've tried to limit myself to using it only on nights out and trying to embrace my natural curly hair a bit more. It's easier said than done though, as I like the sleek look that comes with straightened hair.
I'm more observant of caring for my hair way more now than I ever did when I had darker hair.
I make sure I use a conditioner frequently. I use a leave-in conditioner to save me the hassle.
Even though I obviously don't have long hair (wish I did!), I use Aussie Miracle Recharge Luscious Long lightweight conditioning spray (€4.49 in Boots) all through my hair. It smells so nice (like all Aussie haircare products do!), and as it's lightweight, won't make my hair super greasy. If I leave it to dry naturally, I'm left with these beautiful natural waves. I usually do end up straightening it the next morning though - the addition to the GHD is super super strong!
If I'm rushing and need to blowdry and straighten it straight away, I use a heat protectant. The one I've been using for the past three years is VO5 Heat Protect Styling Spray. It smells absolutely gorgeous and the price is right (€5 in Boots), so I've just kept re-buying it! It not only protects your hair against further styling damage up to 230 degrees but it also contains a heat activated complex which makes styling easier - your straightener will just glide through it - great when you're in a hurry!
If I'm going to straighten my hair before a night out, I like to use something that will give it some shine as with the ombré I find that my hair often lacks shine. YouTubers and hair-care experts on Instagram often rave about their love of Argan oil, so I had to try it out. Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the Argan tree which is native to Morocco. I got a small 30ml Intensive Hydrating Treatment. It's a leave-in treatment, so you don't have to wash it out. It smells so nice. Obviously, because it's an oil, within a few days, or if you use too much of it on the day/night of using, it will make most hair types look horrifically greasy so try to just use only one tiny pea size amount and just concentrate it on the ends of your hair. (Your scalp usually makes enough oil naturally). I find it works best for me when I apply it to damp hair, let it naturally dry about half-way, and then blow dry it. It does leave your hair with lots of shine and feeling super soft. You can get this Argan oil intensive hydrating treatment in pretty much every chemist nowadays or in Penneys - they're so widely available and they only cost €2-3 - bargain! Argan oil extract is also so widely available and comes in masks and shampoos and conditioners, most at reasonable prices too, so you can find something that suits you.
Regarding hair-masks, I have reviewed the one I use most frequently in a previous blog post (The Lovea Nature Mask), but I like to try out others an odd time. One other hair mask I have a strong love for is the Macadamia Oil Extract hair mask. This stuff smells absolutely gorgeous! It has been specially formulated to improve texture and manageability. It's enriched with keratin which is actually the very substance your hair (and nails!) is made up of. Macadamia nut oil is the oil from a nut that originated and is still found in rain forests in southeastern and northeastern Australia as well as other places like Hawaii. Macadamia nut oil is non greasy so it's easily absorbed into the hair shaft. The oil mimics the sebum, which is naturally produced oil on the scalp which protect it from damage. After shampooing, I towel dry my hair and apply a generous amount of this from root to tip, particularly concentrating on the ends of my hair. The instructions say leave in for 7-10 minutes but I leave it in for an hour to reap maximum benefits, then wash it out. It makes my hair feel super soft and the gorgeous smell stays in my hair until I wash it again. It cost €2.
I realise that some people do prefer a natural alternative, without any chemicals on both their hair and skin, so I will be doing a blogpost in a few weeks reviewing some natural haircare and skin care alternatives, using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard!