Wednesday, 10 February 2010

# 117 Hair Raising

I’m funny about my hair. I’m not one of those people who ever developed the knack of layering products and pouffing and fluffing until they end up with perfectly tousled tresses that are simultaneously sexy and chic. In fact, whenever I’ve attempted to do laissez-faire hair, I’ve felt oddly self-conscious about it – and just before heading out the door have opted for a chignon, bun, or slick side-parting instead. The thing is, whenever a ‘pro’ offers his/her take on messy, sultry hair (and they’re keen to, given that I’ve got handfuls of the thick stuff), I’ve loved it. I remember Mathew Alexander working hot rollers through my locks one evening as I trembled in anticipation and watched in awe as he brushed out big, bouncing waves and pinned to one side for perfect 1950s drama. Gawd, I loved it – and got followed down the street by two (rather drunk, it must be said) young banker-boys as I attempted to hail a cab. Mathew’s one instruction of the night: ‘BUY YOURSELF SOME HOT ROLLERS.’ Did I? Did I heck. I simply returned to my staple super-straight side-part, or messy updos with plaited bits & bobs, which is my safety zone… and, well, boring me to death now that I’m preparing to turn 30.

Now, I can’t claim an epiphany (if only), but a few new hair products have helped smooth things out of late, and I’ve found it easier to let my hair do what nature intended for it (sort of wavy, big, and thick), instead of ironing it into subservience.

First up is Aussie Aussome Volume + Conditioning Mousse. Firstly, g-reat idea. I’ve always loved mousse for amping up the roots, but this is the first one I’ve used which really sleekens and adds shine too. Once I’ve applied it to wet hair a comb glides straight through it – nice. Plus (and this is a real bonus for all busy working women), three days in and hair’s still not greasy. It leaves hair bouncy, but not very big – so those with really limp locks might want something stronger – but for me, it adds the necessary oomph with just the right amount of lustre.

So, I’ve been using the Aussie from roots to ear-lengths, and then rubbing a dollop of Ojon Restorative Leave In Treatment through the mid-lengths to ends. This has a very strong, sweet & nutty smell – like cocoa-vanilla icing – but for some reason, I’ve grown to quite like it, especially as it heats up beneath the hair-dryer. It’s like baking! What I like about it is that it’s not siliconey – and there is an incremental improvement to be gained from using it each and every time you blow-dry (my ends do look less knackered). It’s also great to use before a flat-iron as the oils bring out the sort of glitzy shine and straightness that implies health, rather than lank and flat extensions. I like it a lot – but it is expensive. On the pro-side, a little does go a long way and the tube will probably keep me going for 6 months or more.

Now, back to the sulfate-free search. Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel Shampoo and Conditioner have nailed it. It’s been 3 weeks & there’s no build-up (and I’ve been using styling products – as above), a single shampoo leaves hair lovely & clean, but never squeaky or sticky, the scents are great (clean, fresh, smile-inducing) and I’ve had no scalp irritation whatsoever since adding them into my arsenal. The conditioner treads the line between being creamy and lightweight, and just does what it needs to do with no tricky gimmicks or promises that miss the mark. It’s the most effective sulfate-free combo I’ve ever tried. But, as with all great things, there’s a catch: they’re not cheap – £18 each. Gaw! Would I buy? Oh dear… yes, I would, over and over, which I feel rather guilty about (almost £40 on shampers & conditioner?! What would Mister M say?) For the moment, and with both bottles half-full, I’ll live on in ignorant bliss.


perfectionishuman said...

I spent months and months and months trying to perfect the messy/sexy hair combo with a whole arsenal of products and tips and could never get it right.. till one day I just washed my hair and let it dry naturally with no products whatsoever...and voila! If only I had known it was so damn easy :/

Rose said...

I have hair issues too- mine is very thick and curly or wavy dependin on how I do it. What annoys me is the idea everyone has that if I straightened it it would somehow change my life- I happen to quite like me hair wavy but it's true I probably need some hot rollers too- and rain is not my friend.

I like FF stuff and am afraid I have sccumbed to Kerastase- horribly expensive but it does make a difference. I am loyal to frizz ease serum too.

Raluca said...

Hi Miss Malcontent,

Just wanted to say that I've spotted the Ojon Restorative Leave In Tratement on Ebay at around £11 + P&P...just in case you wnated to restock when you run out.