Hair: What do I use between the silver shampoos?

What do I use between the silver?

To maintain my silver hair, I have to take good care of it by making sure it stays nourished and conditioned.  This article is about how I do that.

silver hair care

I’ve got a range of products that I use, some expensive, some cheap, for the “rest days” when I am not using a silver shampoo to avoid build-up and maintain healthy hair:

Claudia Schiffer Omega Complex: It’s drugstore available, the shampoo has got sulphates and yet somehow, this Omega Repair Mask makes my hair feel softer, smoother and fresher than anything else. It goes against modern hair advice, due to being less than $10 a bottle and the shampoo being all sulphatey, but maybe my hair needs that sometimes. This is my most frequently used pair of non-silver products.

Pure:Ology Shampoo: I was put onto this by this Grazia article I read, where 3 fashion editors explained how they cared for their long blonde hair. It was really informative and full of product recommendations, although not all of the products are as readily available as of 2015 as I would like. The shampoo is gentle, and smells nice and doesn’t leave deposits or take weeks to wash out.

Article here

Gliss Liquid Silk Conditioner: Another cheapo fave, this one is something I’ve been occasionally using since 2005, when my older cousin told me about it when I was in high school. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, moisturised and each strand really sparkles almost like I’ve used one of those shine sprays on it. It’s called Gliss Kur in the US.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor: Does what it says on the bottle. Bung it on your hair, leave for a few minutes, and your hair will be softer than a Sheila’s jumper. This stuff really makes my hair look and feel great, I use it once a week and it vastly improves my detangling as well.

Moroccan Oil Shampoo: I was using this for a very long time (the Moroccan Oil brand), it actually used to be my favourite before I transitioned to extra-super light blonde. Now I can’t use it, which is a shame because I generally found that when I used this, I needed no conditioner. Like, literally, I had the whole set, but the shampoo would always run out three times before I’d need another conditioner, which I only put on my ends. If you’re a warmer blonde, or any other hair colour apart from platinum, silver or white, this stuff is the best shampoo you can get. Sadly, it orangeifies your hair as it’s infused with argan oil and through experience (over time it actually made my hair 2 shades darker!) it’s just not compatible for me if I want to have icy light hair. Also it’s like serious cash per bottle.

So that’s a run through of the products I use to wash my hair between silver shampoo sessions. There’s also the stuff like coconut oil that I use between washes, but the other stuff I use between washes is highly variable and I don’t feel like I’ve got a regular, dependable and results-focussed set of products going on in that category yet, so it’d basically just be an article on coconut oil, only I don’t use it as often as I might, so it’d be a really short article on coconut oil. My main point, however, is you don’t need to spend serious cash to maintain your silver hair, if you choose your products wisely.

Bleach London Rose Pink and Blullini Blue Hair Streaks

So over Christmas I did this to my hair:

I took some Bleach London semi-permanent hair colours, in Blullini and Rose:

bleach london rose and blullini hair colors

I splortched the blullini on one of the front strands of my hair and wrapped it in some tissue and put a clip over the tissue to keep it in place, so I didn’t get blue dye all over me.  Then I separated another strand for the other side:

bleach london6

Next I poured out some pink:

bleach london rose on hand

I put it on my hair:

bleach london rose semi permanent tutorial review

And I rubbed it in:

bleach london9

I wrapped that side in tissue and clipped it down as well.  Then I waited about 10-15 minutes.

When I washed it out, it looked like this:

bleach london semi-permanent hair colour

After a couple of weeks of trying to wash it out, the pink had totally vanished, without even a reddish tinge or anything, but the blue still looked like this:

bleach london blue doesn't wash out

bleach london bleach london blue doesn't wash out

Annoyingly, the blue remained for another seven weeks!  It’s a shame because it was a beautiful electric blue colour.  I was very pleased with the pink result, it was a delightful shade of pastel pink and was really pleasing to see in the mirror, and I used it again before half term to colour the entire bottom half of my hair, tutorial was done on Youtube and can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAfS6MVLVpw

Have you used any semi permanent Bleach London colours?  Let me know in the comments.

Wrecked your hair with bleach? Fix it!

Hair: How to fix hair that’s turned to chewing gum

Your hair was this colour, now it's stretchy and ruined?  I have the answer.
Your hair was this colour, now it’s stretchy and ruined? I have the answer.

You’ve washed the bleach off, you’ve conditioned, you’ve looked in the mirror. It might not even be a particularly light shade of blonde. Somehow, your hair has become super-stretchy and doesn’t flex back into shape again very well when you run your fingers through it.

This is NOT going to help if your hair is coming out in clumps. The only thing that’ll help there is a pair of scissors. Sorry, but you need to be honest with yourself about the current state of your hair before you do this.

If your hair is worrying you with its poor condition, but isn’t actually breaking apart yet, this tutorial is for you.

Firstly, I’ve got some bad news for you: You are probably not going to be able to stay completely blonde. At this stage, you have almost completely bleached the core out of your hair. It’s unstable, and isn’t going to withstand staying in this state for long. Think long and hard (but not for too long) about whether you need to follow this tutorial or whether a deep conditioning treatment will help.

Is this method for you?

1. When you last washed your hair, how many hours did it take to dry?

2. When your hair is wet, does it stretch then stay stretched after you let go of it, only returning to its shape gradually, if at all?

3. Have you bleached your hair in any of the following ways (or more than one of these):

a) Left the dye on for far too long?

b) Used a 40 vol peroxide with a bleach on light blonde hair?

c) Didn’t wash the bleach out properly before drying or straightening (flatironing)?

d) Bleached it too many times in a relatively short time period (more than 3 over 2 weeks, depending which products you used)?

e) Bleached it too many times over a longer time period (three times or more per month for more than three months)?

f) Used a product not intended for hair e.g. bleached with kitchen bleach, toilet bleach, household bleach etc even just once?

g) Used blonding/lightening spray on light blonde bleached hair?

If you answered yes to any of the statements in question 3, and your hair is taking more than 3 hours to dry after washing, and it’s stretching as described in question 2, you need this tutorial.

Disclaimer: I am not at your house assessing the state of your hair, nor do I know the state of your scalp. This is your judgement call, but if your hair is wrecked anyway, and your only other option is to cut it off, this might be a helpful last resort. Obviously, like with any dying process, this could make your hair worse, and you may have to do this several times over a period of months to get a colour to stick.

1. Get your hair dry, carefully.
If your hair isn’t dry right now, get your hairdryer and blow dry it on a low setting. Once your hair is dry it’s in a more stable condition. For now.

2. Put longer hair in a gentle plait, until you’re ready to work with it.

This method is used to protect hair extensions at night time, and is equally useful for your own hair when it’s damaged like this. It will help avoid that pesky tangling that constantly happens to over-bleached hair.

3. Decide how dark you can stand to go.

Look through the shades of hair dye that are available (don’t buy any yet), and decide on a level of darkness. The darker you go, the stronger your hair will be, but it will take longer to get it there.

4. Buy the reddest permanent dye you can find, that is not darker than the shade of brown you picked in step 3. If you are choosing between two shades of red, ignore the box and choose the darkest. This is because most of this red will wash out in a couple of weeks, tops. Don’t choose anything weird or unusual, this is not a good time to experiment. I used the auburn shades of Nice ‘N’ Easy when I did this. Don’t expect the colour to come out as strong as it does on the box, you will probably have to repeat this a few times.

5. Make sure you’ve waited at least a week since you last bleached/toned/coloured your blonde hair, and follow the instructions to apply your darker shade.  While you’re waiting to colour, treat your damaged hair like antique silk.

6. When you rinse, expect most of it to go down the drain. Your hair will come out a mousey colour, probably with patches that are redder than other bits. If this bothers you, now would be a good time to bring back the bandanna or crack out a hat or headscarf.

7. Use that conditioner that came with the dye. Leave it on for twice as long as it says, and at least 10 minutes.

8. Dry very carefully, don’t rub when you towel dry and don’t use the full heat from the hairdryer.

9. Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks (don’t do it any more regularly than this) until the colour sticks inside your hair.

10. Congratulations, you have just artificially re-created the core of your hair, using artificial pigment molecules. Your hair will be stronger now, although it won’t be the way it was before you dyed it. I found when I did this several years ago, that when I tried to bleach it a year later, it was still not in a suitable condition (luckily I did a test strand because I was NOT ready for that jelly that my strand test turned into), however, it did buy enough time for roots to grow through so I could at least sport a lovely bob 18 months after I wrecked my hair, without having to cut it all off before that time. Try to take better care of it, it’s still very fragile underneath.

When I wrecked my hair, it took about 6 months to get it to hold this colour.
When I wrecked my hair, it took about 6 months to get it to hold this colour.

[beauty] Ten Vegan Beauty Ingredients

1. Aloe Vera Gel – Put it on burns, sunburn, dry skin, greasy skin, dehydrated skin, untoned skin – aloe vera’s soothing and skin-enhancing properties are near-legendary, don’t underestimate this gentle giant.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Courtesy of Wikipedia.

2. Coconut oil – Melt a little between your hands then rub your hands through the lengths and ends of your hair (stay away from roots). Use all-over before blonding to protect hair from the damaging effects of bleach. Use on your face as a moisturiser and on a cotton wool pad as a make-up remover. To get the oil out of the jar more quickly, turn your hairdryer on and aim it inside the jar (but don’t put the nozzle inside the jar – the glass might shatter or the hairdryer could overheat due to lack of ventilation). Put some on before sunbathing to ensure you tan more quickly (but obviously use a sunscreen as well – despite what many people say, there are NO sunscreen properties in coconut oil, otherwise it wouldn’t have taken us until the 1950s to invent a sunscreen that goes on colourless).

courtesy of www.Peta.org
courtesy of http://www.Peta.org

3. Water – Drinking enough water keeps your skin plump, healthy and looking hydrated (and therefore younger). Using frozen water (ice cubes) on sunburn will help calm the sunburn before it sets in too deeply. Lastly, washing face and hair in pure water will make you look and feel fresher.

courtesy of wikipedia
courtesy of wikipedia

4. Rosemary – an excellent astringent to get your skin clean and oil-free, rosemary also works to wash your hair and give it a natural healthy shine – although it will make blonder hair turn brown, and dulls your highlights, due to its strong antioxidant properties, so this one’s only for the brunettes.

rosemary plants, source: wikipedia
rosemary plants, source: wikipedia

5. Cinnamon – The main active ingredient in Lip Venom, the original lip plumper, cinnamon can cause your lips to tingle and swell. Of course, the effects are fairly short-lived and depend on how you react to the cinnamon.

source: wikipedia
source: wikipedia

6. Tea tree oil – Got some spots you’d like to get rid of? Worried about how to avoid getting nits whilst volunteering in an orphanage? Want to keep the mosquitos away? Tea tree oil works a treat.

source: wikipedia
source: wikipedia

7. Bicarbonate of soda – cleans teeth, gets the stains right out. Also gets the foundation-stains out of clothing. Just in case you accidentally caught your face on your favourite top.

8. Salt – Natural rock salt is a good all-rounder – it can be used with a teeny bit of water to act as a scrub for elbows, knees, feet etc. It also has the property of making an oil layer where it’s been used, which helps keep moisture in and solve longer-term problems. Lastly (don’t over do this one) you can use it to whiten your teeth, although be careful with that, it’s highly abrasive. It will help remove highly resistant dirt and sterilise gums, but it can also cause its own problems too, like wearing away tooth enamel.

rock salt, courtesy of wikipedia.
rock salt, courtesy of wikipedia.

9. Parsley – You know those times when you’re out and everyone’s standing five feet away from you, holding their noses? When, every time you try to talk, everyone turns away? If you have halitosis-related networking issues, get some parsley, put it in your mouth and chew it. It freshens breath. It’s also packed full of healthy minerals, so swallow it once your done.

parsley, courtesy of wikimedia commons.
parsley, courtesy of wikimedia commons.

10. Lemon – Lemon’s a useful fruit in the beauty war – it fades sunspots (apply lemon juice directly to sunspots, using a q-tip), lemon can add golden highlights to blonde and light brown hair too – just put some on your hair, then go out in the sun, where the lemon juice reacts to the sun causing a blonding effect.

lemon, courtesy of wikipedia.
lemon, courtesy of wikipedia.

Which beauty ingredients do you use that are vegan?  I love discovering new ones so let me know in the comments or via Twitter: @InvokeDelight

[hair] Dry Shampoo is a Lie!

The Myth About Dry Shampoo:

picture from www.superdrug.com
picture from www.superdrug.com

About ten years ago, I was walking down the road with my mum and sister, when we came across two people struggling with their shopping. I went over and offered to help. They invited us in for tea. Their names were Ann and Julian, and I hope they’re still alive and well and cosy somewhere in the world.

Ann had the most beautiful plaits, one either side of her hair. When I asked her how she got them so neat, she replied “my home carer does them for me when she comes round, once a week.”

Obviously, my next question was “doesn’t it get greasy, being in the same style for a week?”

Her answer wouldn’t change my life for several years. She said, “I use dry shampoo after day two.”

When I was training as a teacher, I was grateful to Ann on a near-daily basis for her advice so many years ago, as dry shampoo kept me able to go into school and hold my head high.

I love dry shampoo, it’s the absolute best thing for sprucing up your hair on days when you didn’t have time to shower – it makes sure (as long as you don’t run out) that you can look and smell fresh and clean every day; it’s like deodorant, but for hair.

Around that same time, I discovered that dry shampoo was really taking off around the haircare set. Now everyone seems to use it for everything. Hair limp? Dry shampoo it. Lacking volume? Dry shampoo. Need a ‘fro for a stage show? Backcomb with dry shampoo. Hair roots on a photoshoot? Dry shampoo. It’s everywhere, doing everything that gel, spray and mousse have done in the past when there were fads for those. Yep, I said it. Dry shampoo is great, but it’s become a hair fad.

Given some of the inappropriate uses for a can of Batiste I would hardly be surprised to see somebody, somewhere on the internet declare “need to carve a turkey? Use dry shampoo!”

The myth that I want to tell you about is really a labelling falsification – dry shampoo, is not, in fact, shampoo. It doesn’t make your hair clean. It doesn’t get rid of the dirt. It just hides it. It would be like calling a plaster “cut finger healer.”

In fact, because dry shampoo is a spray-on powder, that absorbs grease, it actually makes your hair MORE DIRTY. Have you ever mixed flour and olive oil? You get a sticky mess that takes far more time to wash off a spoon or out of a mixing bowl than if you tried to get rid of either of the two individual components. Dry shampoo is your flour, hair grease is your olive oil.

On top of that, the grease is now unable to do its job at all, it can’t get to the ends to coat them, and so it can’t protect the hair shaft because it’s been absorbed by the powder, so your hair is more vulnerable and you’re more prone to split ends. When you dry shampoo, you’re not even protecting your hair from washing, because you have to actually wash it more to get the hair to be clean.

Test what I’m saying: Spray a coloured dry shampoo on your hair (brown shows this best) and see how many wet shampoos it takes to get the water to run clear.
When I had brown hair, every time I used the brown dry shampoo, it took at least two shampoos to get my hair clean, otherwise it was left dull and greasy after every hair wash, which of course would prompt a lot of people to use more dry shampoo. Add to that an avoidance of sulphate shampoos (another fad) and it could take up to three washes to get rid of a day’s worth of dry shampoo (see my article on sulphates to find out why). So, instead of saving your hair, you’re putting it under more stress, because it takes more harsh cleaning agents to get the hair clean in the places you’ve used dry shampoo – and those cleaning agents will obviously affect your lengths and ends when it’s being lathered and rinsed out, and dry shampoo is predominantly used on the roots, where the grease is. This will also make your hair more vulnerable and more prone to split ends.

It’s a great invention, and I am so glad it exists, but like chocolate, cake and alcohol, dry shampoo is not as healthy for you as some people believe, and should be used in moderation.

Take care, and go easy on the dry shampoo!

Caring for long hair

Caring for long hair:

The best advice I have ever been given about caring for long hair is this:

“Treat your hair like your grandmother’s best antique lace.”

Obviously we don’t want to put it in a drawer and dry it flat, or only use it at Christmas, but there is a lot of wisdom and insight in this quote.

Your hair is, really truly, as delicate as antique lace. It is dead from the moment it leaves your head. Not only that, but it is barely anchored to your scalp, and it’s relatively easy to pull out any individual hairs.

I was told by a friend that (biological) male hair roots are deeper than roots of (biological) female hair. Perhaps that explains why there are so many rock gods still sporting trouser-length hair thirty years after their prime! Women’s hair tends to be finer, too – the individual hair shafts are slightly thinner than in men’s hair.

Ways to care for long hair and help it grow faster:

Massage, gently: I have been told by a hairdressing guru that the reason that men get receding and thinning hair (apart from genetics) is because they stimulate their hair follicles less. Since this guru is now retired, still sporting an amazing mop of hair, I would be inclined to believe him. Women, who statistically are more likely to choose to have longer hair than men, tend to poke and prod at their hair with brushing, straightening, massaging the shampoo and conditioner in; all this activity keeps the hair follicles stimulated. I did an experiment last year, where I massaged my hair twice a day for a month. It grew two inches in thirty days. I didn’t do anything else differently, such as changing my diet, so this really can work. One thing I’ve been warned against is over-stimulation – massaging too roughly or too often can have the opposite effect, as it causes an abrasive action that harms the hairs near the scalp, which will lead to more hair loss, so make sure to only do this in moderation.

Wash weekly (unless you eat oily fish): To keep your hair in its best condition, you should reduce the frequency of washing. Daily hair washing is reserved for owners of a number two buzz cut, and hair shampoo sales reps; it says “suitable for daily use” on your shampoo, not “use daily.” The key word is suitable – it means the product is gentle and won’t cause a product build up as quickly, it doesn’t mean you truly ought to use it daily (unlike moisturizer, which you should definitely use every day). Your hair produces natural oils, and by washing them away too much, you not only strip the hair of its protection (which means you need to use more oils you bought from the beauty store – hey, who’s really cashing in on this “wash your hair daily” rubbish? The hair product companies), but you also cause a negative feedback loop – your scalp detects that it feels too dry (un-oily, not non-wet) and ramps up oil production, which you promptly wash away, and it keeps on going. After a couple of weeks of feeling like your hair is super-greasy, it will settle down to a less aggressive oil production schedule. Also washing less frequently means that when you brush your hair, the oil gets further down the shaft to where it is needed – the ends of your hair. This will make your hair look stronger, shinier and less brittle. But if you eat an oily fish, wash your hair the same day, because that smells nasty!

Brush carefully: Remember the antique lace? Be very gentle, like you’re trying to brush the tail of a baby squirrel. Or something else super-delicate. Start at the ends of your hair; grasp your hair part-way down to support the strands, so all the pull of the brush doesn’t rip any hair out, and gently brush the ends. When the ends are totally tangle free, move up inch by inch, until your hair is detangled carefully. This minimizes hair breakage and loss (think about how a lever works – this is the same, if you put force on a long hair it’s got more chances to break than if you put the same force on a shorter hair) because there is less force being put upon your hair’s shafts.

Choose your brush carefully: I didn’t believe the first ten people who told me this, but the eleventh? I listened. Get thee a Tangle Teezer! Don’t get a cheap knock off, don’t get something with a similar sounding name that looks totally different, the brand is Tangle Teezer and it’s an investment in your hair. Even with a Tangle Teezer, I would still brush as outlined above. I know some people just drag them through from root to tip but obviously if you care about your hair, you need to use brushing techniques and good brushes that will minimize damage – a brush on its own won’t fix your hair, but when you use it properly, it gives less breakage than a plastic vent brush (my previous preferred type). I keep hearing amongst older hair growers that boar bristles are good, but I can’t really recommend them because a) I’ve never tried them and b) they come from a dead animal, and you’re rubbing that through your hair! Ewww! Before I get a plethora of snarky emails about hair products, they have this list on the side of the packet called “ingredients,” and because I used to be a chemistry teacher, I actually know what those long words mean and where they come from, most of them are synthetic by-products of the petroleum fractional distillation process (think Vaseline, mineral oil, and anything ending in “-ane” or “-ene”) if they’re really long words, and the industry is leaning more towards animal-free products these days anyway, so no, I don’t inadvertently put dead animal crap on my hair. If you want to know the real meaning of “all-natural” I’ve got an article here: What Is All Natural?

Take supplements: Obviously before changing your diet and exercise routine, consult a doctor blah blah blah, but seriously, I saw loads of people recommending omega 3 fish oil, so I was all like “can’t I use omega 3 non-fish oil?” The internet didn’t know, so I bought some omega complex linseed oil from the supermarket, nothing fancy, and tried it for 2 months. It accelerated my hair growth by about 50%, so I’m going to be possibly the first person on the internet to say through anecdotal evidence that the vegan sources of omega complex are good for your hair. If I’d bought a more expensive, cold pressed refined whatnot, it probably would have worked better because it would have been more concentrated in the amino acids which are a large part of why this works (amino acids are building blocks of protein, which is what hair is made of – that’s exactly what keratin is, it’s a protein). You need very specific amino acids to achieve faster hair growth, hence my uncertainty as to whether the flaxseed would work or not, but it did so yay.

Exercise: See above about doctors. Exercise increases your metabolism, meaning that if you eat right and exercise, those building blocks will get to where they need to be faster, which will mean you’re ready for more of them sooner. Don’t overdo it though – over-exercise, particularly coupled with under-eating (or INAPPROPRIATE eating) can cause hair loss, eek!

Minimise stress: So easy to say, so hard to do. Most of us wouldn’t ever be stressed if we had a choice about it; don’t get me wrong, I know it’s unrealistic to say “remove all stressors from your life.” What you can do, though, is change the way you manage that stress. For example, meditation, kundalini yoga, mindfulness, exercise, inspiring and calming music, and of course, making time for things you enjoy. I have a big list of planned articles, and stress management is on the list.

Consider whether your contra^ptive pill is causing hair loss: I won’t start on all the things that the pill can cause that most people aren’t warned about, because obviously it has some amazing benefits – regulating your cycle, clearing up acne, boob growth, oh and I guess stopping you from getting pregnant! If you’ve got one that works for you for mood swings, PMS, PMDD or any other life improving reason, keep it, it can take forever to end up on the right pill, and that process can be stressful. I do not advocate stopping medication if it’s doing the job and helping you in some way. However, if you’re just using it for pregnancy worries, and you haven’t really looked around, it might be worth considering an alternative method because the pill sometimes causes hair loss which stops long hair from looking as long as it really is, and thinner hair is more prone to breakage because there are less individual strands to disperse the forces from everyday life.

Use coconut oil: I’ve seen a lot of different sites touting a plethora of different oils, but if you like your hair to stay icy-pale, use coconut oil; I have tried two brands of argan oil (one courtesy of a gift, the other a freebie) and I’ve used extra virgin olive oil (it was The Last Big Thing, based on the anecdotes of a woman who lived to be 117 years old, who attributed this to lack of stress and lots of olives and olive oil, so it obviously became a health fad but it’s gone out of fashion now, probably because they can make more money selling you some other oil that isn’t as readily available in the supermarket); while they both do the job well enough, the problem is that they are coloured oils, and while the inherent colour might not be the thing doing it, something in these oils definitely makes my hair yellow/orange after I use them. I have tracked this over time and it’s definitely the oils that do it – argan oil is the worst for this. I think it’s something to do with the antioxidant properties, which, if you are a bleach blonde, you will probably know are what makes hair orange, e.g. if it’s gone green (from being oxidised in the sun by UV light) you use tomatoes or tomato ketchup to fix it (antioxidants), but if it’s not green, the antioxidants in tomatoes/ketchup make hair orange. So instead of them, use coconut oil, it’s colourless and doesn’t react with the hair colour molecules, which is my kind of protective oil. I buy mine from Sainsbury’s, the Lucy Bee brand, I’ve had it for a year and I’m only halfway through a jar. You can also get it from Amazon or Holland and Barrett. Make sure it’s got all the right labels that float your boat – pure, cold pressed, extra-virgin, and whatnot, so you’re satisfied with it. Someone recently raised a concern about whether it was watered down if it doesn’t specifically say “pure” on it. Nope, it’ll all be coconut if that’s what the ingredients say (do check them). Also, look up the coconut oil bleaching method (just type that into youtube) if you want to try it – I can’t recommend because I haven’t done it myself, but it certainly looks interesting.

Plaiting your hair/using protective styles: I got this from Afro-Caribbean hairstyling sites, basically a protective style is one you can put your hair into that protects it from traction and friction in everyday life, so a plait (or a set of plaits) would be a protective style, a ponytail would not because it leaves the individual strands vulnerable to the entire world. This is particularly sound advice at bedtime. Do be careful with how you tie off your plait though – a very tight hairband can cause traction alopecia, which nobody wants!

Silk Pillow/night cap: I bought a couple of scarves for outside, a silk pillow for at home, and a night cap for if I am away. I found silk to be helpful; it reduces friction compared to cotton so your hair doesn’t get stuck on the pillow, and it’s also got bizarre chemical properties (chemical as in, the fundamental chemistry of silk, I’m not saying it’s got “bad chemicals” in it) that cause it to interact with anything that touches it, mean it can help with healing your skin and protecting your hair.

Snag Free Bobbles: Hairbands that don’t have metal clasps have reduced hair damage and split ends when I tie off a plait. They’re more expensive than regular ones; get a good feel of the connecting glue before you buy, as some of the cheaper ones have thick, sharp glue splodges where they connect, which is almost as bad as the metal bits on regular bobbles. I like Scunci brand.

And finally, the things that didn’t work:

1. Biotin: This was my biggest disappointment, and an expensive mistake. I found it to be not only useless for my hair, but also caused my skin to break out, left me irritable and moody, and basically had a caffeine effect on me – super energized an hour afterwards, then in tears twelve hours later from exhaustion and over-blowing some silly problem. This one was definitely not for me, which I was really disappointed about because I heard such good things. My biotin was only 500 micrograms per tablet, I tried various different doses (800 should be optimal according to one study, 5000 according to another study) and just had to write it off as a bad job. I decided any hair growth effects from the supplements were probably being reversed by the stress they were causing me by unseating my emotions, resulting in a net gain of zero. I even tried them alongside other B vitamins, as suggested by a handful of reviewers on Amazon, and that didn’t make any difference either. I guess my biotin levels are naturally as high as they’re going to get.

2. Nope, it was actually just the biotin. Every other piece of info I’ve ever read on hair growth and caring for long hair has been pretty helpful.

Introductions and Rules

Welcome to invokedelight.  It’s a place dedicated to wellness, hair, beauty, travel, health and rabbits.  Basically, I had the idea of starting a beauty blog back in February, after becoming inspired by some of the amazing and creative vloggers on Youtube.  The problem was that the market was oversaturated.

It gets worse each day, especially since so many vloggers have come out as having no other source of income other than the advertisements on their videos.  Everyone’s trying to get their hands on that cash cow, and over about the last two months there’s become an inverse correlation between the number of new vlog channels appearing and the quality of those vlog channels:  For the layman, as the number of new channels increases, quality of videos decreases.

I wanted to share creative, fun and interesting beauty ideas, make up designs etc with people, so other people could benefit from my skills.  What I couldn’t work out was a) what makes me different from all the other beauty bloggers/vloggers out there?  and b) was this going to be a 9 day wonder that I got bored of?

Life went on, I got distracted and moved on.  Recently, I had an epiphany.  I was reading an article by the great Steve Pavlina and I suddenly realised what I wanted to do.  I wanted a complete website that didn’t just cover make up tutorials and reviews, but also covered all the other aspects of my life that might be of benefit to someone else.

After some brainstorming, I grouped these into four broad categories: hair and beauty; travel; rabbits; health and wellness.  Health and wellness was actually founded from my milk allergy, but I decided to expand it to include articles that would be suitable for a general audience, including nutrition, exercise, meditation, and other things that can make you feel healthy and well.  Interspersed in all these are going to be tutorials, discussion articles, advice, lists (love ’em), product reviews and photos.

Some examples of things I am going to write about: how to bleach your hair to white blonde, a review of Rapid Lash (when I’ve finished the 8 week period of time before I’m supposed to see results), how to plan your rabbit’s new housing, how to turn a people carrier into a campervan, the role of Vitamin K in the body, an overview of the different milk allergies and intolerances, travel writing about actual destinations (as well as practicalities of driving to your place of holiday), and much more.

My site is aimed at anyone who wants to know more about those four categories.  Each post will start with “Hair” or “Beauty” if it’s hair and beauty related, “rabbits” if it’s rabbit related, “wellness” if it’s health and wellness related, or “travel” if it’s travel related.

Rules on commenting:

Keep it polite.  Don’t feed back with “hearsay” arguments – if I’ve explained something scientific, and you have opposing beliefs, I want to see evidence backed up by an independent study, not some sciency sounding words put about by a cosmetics company.  You may get lambasted or mocked if I’m feeling pissy when I read any unfounded unscientific crap.

If my work offends you, ask yourself why.  Is it challenging something you thought to be true?  Where did you come by that information?  How secure in that knowledge are you?  Am I invoking a paradigm shift in your thinking?  Or do you have a rational opposing point of view supported by an independent study?  Are you going to remain in the dark or embrace the learning?

Please also be aware that I am writing this for a general audience.  That means that I don’t want to scare people off by talking about the hydrolysis of 2,4,diethyl-whatevers, so I will try to explain my science in ways that are understandable to the average person with a high school diploma.  Usually I’ll link to studies which explain things in more complicated terminology so my science-loving amigos can check my sources and read science to their heart’s content.

Lastly, I’m a busy person.  I don’t always have time to read and respond to comments, but I would like to.  Sometimes I don’t catch them, and will reply when I do, other times I just don’t know what to say or think a short comment such as “nice article” or “interesting” doesn’t really need a reply – just assume I’ve said “thanks!” with a happy smile on my face.  Additionally, I make it a rule not to feed the trolls.  I don’t know what they eat, for starters.