For great hair…say Wen?

Something a little different today, readers.

After having coloured hair since I was about 11 years old and having countless issues with my hair including alopecia I decided to try something different, something new.

But this is a skincare blog…so why are you doing hair?!

Hair and skin both contain the same protein, keratin; they both contain pigment, melanin; and hair is a component of the skin itself in terms of beauty therapy studies.

So why not I say! Let’s begin!

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So, about the product. I don’t want to delve too deeply into this because it can be researched here: http://www.wen.com/ but basically…

Wen was created by Chaz Dean, a well known haircare professional and stylist to the stars. Originally starting out in photography, Chaz’s passion turned towards the hair industry and he soon made a name working with another haircare brand developing their products. This was, until, he started developing his own brand in 1996, which we now know as Wen haircare.
He currently resides in Hollywood at Chaz Dean studios continuing to offer top quality services to whole host of celebrity clientele.

Chaz’s new product, the cleaning conditioner is a 5 in 1 system, which replaces the need for a separate conditioner. You can also purchase masks and styling products to accompany the cleansing conditioner but it’s nice to know you don’t have to if you don’t want.

How to use: this depends on the length of your hair as you do end up using quite a lot. I have long hair so it didn’t last me very long, but my mum has much shorter hair and she’s still on her first bottle over 2 months later.

Rinse hair thoroughly, this step is a must.
You need 10-16 pumps for short hair, 16-24 for medium length hair and 24-32 pumps for long hair. If your hair is longer/thicker you may need to increase the amount of pumps used.
Rub the product in the palms of your hands and apply to the scalp and lengths making sure it’s evenly distributed. This can be achieved by adding more water. Make sure to massage well so that the product can work properly. You can leave it in for a minute or two if you have any stubborn dirt build up, then rinse very very thoroughly with tepid water so no product is left.
You can usually tell if it’s all out by running your hands through your hair and feeling if there’s a slimy texture in your fingers. If so, rinse more.

If you need to repeat you can, but it’s not always necessary. It is also claimed that you may not need to wash your hair as often.
One last thing, this product contains no sodium lauryl sulfate so it will not lather.

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The following images are from a session dedicated to the use of Wen that I did with 10 level 1 hairdressing students at work. The images are before and afters of those who had their hair cleansed with Wen and were taken with flash on my smartphone. They all used the cleansing conditioner in Pomegranate.

Before using Wen, this student had greasy, knotty hair and has it coloured regularly.
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After using Wen and having her hair blow dried and straightened. No styling products were used.

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Before, this student had greasy hair that was full of styling product. She colours her hair pink, which has faded drastically and looks dull.

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After, student had 2 cleanses and the mask to accompany the conditioner. She had it straightened first then curled with irons. No styling products were used.

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Before, a male student. Student has the sides shaven with the top left thicker. He colours his hair and has naturally greasy hair.

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After, the student’s hair felt thicker and had more life to it. His blond also looks more vibrant and shiny. Blowdried and straightened, with no styling products.

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So what did my 10 students think?

I asked them 4 questions after using the product and here’s an overview.

When asked, how would you rate the use of Wen haircare?
8/10 stated that is was very easy to use compared to traditional methods of cleansing.

When asked, how would you rate the results when styling after using Wen haircare?
7/10 students said it was very easy to style but mentioned that the hair was too smooth to create a curly style.

When asked, the product costs around £20 to purchase, how would you rate the value for money?
10/10 students stated they would not pay that much, despite the good results.
Though bear in mind, these students are 16/17 years so may not be able to afford a product such as this.

When asked, would you recommend this product to a friend or client?
9/10 students said YES!

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So what do you think? These results are from ONE use of Wen cleansing conditioner so it would be interesting to hear what you all think when using it for a prolonged period of time, if you decide to of course!

I concluded by asking the students one final question, for great hair…can we really say Wen?
In this instance, they said yes we can!

My top 3 product picks for sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is the most common self-diagnosed skin type with combination being a very close second, but what products are out there that can help mask the visual signs but also treat the symptoms of those suffering with sensitivity?

Here are my top 3.

Number 1: Dermalogica’s redness relief SPF20

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http://www.dermalogica.co.uk/uk/html/products/redness-relief-spf20-137.html?type=function&cat=moisturizers

Number 2: Decleor’s harmonie calm duo concept

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http://www.decleor.co.uk/harmonie-calm-soothing-milky-cream.html
http://www.decleor.co.uk/aromessence-rose-d-orient-super-serum.html

Number 3: Elemis’ daily redness solution

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http://www.elemis.com/SkinCare/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=22

If you wish to read more into each of my top picks, click the links provided where you can also purchase too.

Happy reading!

Leah x

Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 5.

Time for another instalment, it’s been too long but it won’t be a long instalment…something quite short and snappy this time!

If this series has depressed you somewhat so far then perhaps this one will pick you up a little.

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Number 5: over exercising

Now, as a disclaimer I’m not suggesting that we all become couch potatoes and become completely inactive, that would be unwise as we still need a small amount of exercise each day.

Children need an hour of exercise everyday and adults, just 30 minutes.
It must be something of moderate exertion, something that makes the heart rate and breathing increase a little. Activities such as brisk walking, jogging and swimming would be ideal but small daily inclusions such as taking the stairs instead of the lift will suffice too.

So what happens if we exercise too much?
Factors linking to ageing include loss of muscle mass, eating disorders such as anorexia, weakened immune system and lack of sleep.
We also loose vital salts through excessive sweating and this sweat can also contribute to clogged pores and spots if we wear makeup when working out.
On the flip side, gentle exercise can be beneficial to our skin. It can promote blood flow to the skin creating a rosy complexion, stimulate hormones and endorphins to make us feel good but also improve muscle tone leading to a smoother appearance on the skin’s surface.

So skincare wise, we need to ensure we’re replacing anything vital lost through exercise and if we’re more active outside, ensure we’re protecting our skin from the sun’s rays with an effective SPF product.

A wonder product that is great for tired and ageing skin but also a great all-rounder product that has more than one use is Decleor’s gel prolagene.

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A true wonder product, or did I already say that?
This is multi-functional and can be used for face and body as a treatment serum, mask and even over the eyes. It’s fantastic for after weight loss and perfect for use in pregnancy to help prevent and improve the appearance of stretch marks. It works most effectively with a full Decleor skincare regime but can be inserted into any regime for an extra kick.
Click on the following link to purchase and read a full description and see what others have to say!
http://www.decleor.co.uk/body/prolagene-gel.html

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A quick episode this time but perhaps something we’re not so familiar with when it comes to ageing and that we can do and have whatever we like so long as it’s in moderation.

Wondering what’s next in the series? Stay tuned, there may be some more surprises coming your way!

Beauty UK purchase review, NEC Birmingham Sunday 18th May 2014.

So yesterday I was fortunate enough to head on down to Birmingham to check out what the NEC beauty UK show had to offer that was different from the other shows I’d attended in the past.
This was a new one for me, despite it being the closest as I’ve always gone further afield and stayed over at the other shows I’d attended.

I found it quite informative! I managed to get loads of advice and information regarding new treatments from brands such as Elemis and Crystal Clear and also managed to get my hands on some products whilst I was at it!

So what did I buy? Here’s an overview of 2 of my favourites!

Elemis’ stand had lots on offer, on one side they had demonstrations of their new machine-based treatments and on the other, the retail stand.
I only bought one item, as my main focus for going was to obtain information to take back to the college but what I did buy I was more than happy with :).

Elemis’ hand wash and hand cream duo in lavender was a sure purchase. The RRP was £17.50 but I was lucky to get it at £14 only for the set of 2 at 195ml size, which was a complete bargain!
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The duo is a luxurious collection for your hands and is perfect to show off to your friends in the bathroom when they come to visit!
The main ingredient is lavender and is apparent by the strong but not overpowering aroma, which is great for relaxing the senses. Perfect to use at night just before bedtime!
The hand wash alone does not leave your skin dry and flaky. It contains skin softening ingredients such as soy, wheat and milk proteins and when combined with the hydrating ingredients of jojoba and gold of pleasure oil in the hand cream you’re sure to achieve great hands for get summer and beyond!
I’m not sure if I really want to put it out for my friends to use though…it’s far to nice for them so I will most likely end up saving it all for myself!

So I also managed to find these little treasures after many many times searching my local stores but finally we got some! The sleep-in rollers usually RRP at around £30-35 in most highstreet shops, but here I managed to snap them up for a mere £10, and with extras included in the package!

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The sleep-in rollers seem to have taken the market by storm! Almost everybody I saw at the show was carrying a bag of them and I wanted in on the action. You get 20 rollers in the kit plus a large carry bag, small carry bag, instructions on a DVD, hair grips and a small bag to keep the grips safe.

I’ve slept in rollers before when I used to compete with my dancing and can say that in previous years they kept me awake most of night just because they’re so uncomfortable!
These, however are perfectly named…you do indeed sleep! The soft foam cushion inside the rollers provide a layer of comfort and with that fabulous sparkle you’re sure to look (almost) like a movie star on awakening!
The results are great too, you get great root lift for longer hair and natural curls if your hair is shorter, like my mother’s.
I’d definitely pay the full price if I couldn’t get them any cheaper and they come in a choice of 2 colours, pink with silver sparkle and black with gold sparkle.

Grab them and more by checking out the websites:
http://www.elemis.co.uk
http://www.sleepinrollers.com

Beauty snips and money saving tips: Sandwiching Vs Mixing.

All of us skincare savvy folk will use several products in our skincare arsenal to help get the best results possible for our skin. These components may include:
– cleanser
– toner
– moisturiser
– exfoliator
– serum or elixir
– eye cream
– lip cream
– mask
Certain products can be either mixed together or sandwiched, depending on preference and tends to be the serum/elixir and moisturiser.

Now, if you’re not sure what I mean, let me explain.

Mixing is a no brainer, you mix your serum with your moisturiser and apply to clean skin. Easy!

Sandwiching is where you apply one first then the other, in this case the serum first then the moisturiser to seal it down.

Contrary to popular belief, moisturiser isn’t responsible for many major skin changes. It moisturises yes, but it’s main job is to provide a 2-way shield for the skin such as, preventing trans epidermal water loss (moisture lost from the skin) and protection from external assaults such as free radicals.

The serum itself is the treatment that gets right down into the deepest layers of the skin and works on giving the promised results, the moisturiser just seals it all in.

So where am I going with this?

We spend lots of money on these products and want to get the most out of them. Now this all depends on how dramatic the results are that you want to achieve and how much cash you have to splash when your jar runs dry.

The most cost effective method is mixing the products together as this creates a richer texture meaning it can go further in one application and you’re not tempted to use too much unnecessarily.
It does however, lower the effectiveness of the treatment serum used, so results may take longer to be seen on the skin.

Sandwiching is great for those who are careful (unlike me) and who want to see results faster. To do this you should apply your serum first, wait at least 5-10 minutes for it to absorb then apply moisturiser. This way, the treatment can penetrate and do it’s job in the the skin and then be sealed in by the moisturiser so it can continue working.

Decleor’s ‘duo concept’ highlights this fantastically as they release lines of skincare with a serum or Aromessence with its partner moisturiser. Now there are so many it would take aaaaaages to put on here and would mean lots of reading for you! So here’s a link for you to look at:
Www.decleor.co.uk

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Nutridivine and Aromessence Angelique, the perfect combination for dry and dehydrated skin.

So the verdict, if you want to save money and make products last longer then go with the mixing method. If you’re not worried about saving so much and want faster results then the sandwich method is your method!

Last tip before I go…apply your serum and moisturiser between the hours of 11-3am. This time period is the optimum time for cell renewal and will make your products work more efficiently!

Enjoy your fabulous skin! Stay tuned for more…soon!

Forever young: Top 10 tips for year round health and beauty, part 4.

So, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Well I’m back so let’s get right on to another post on how to maintain a youthful you all year round!

So this post looks primarily at a certain health concern rather than the aesthetic issue of beauty, but surely a heathy individual leads to happiness and all round beauty does it not? I know so!

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Number 4: stress

Yep, that’s it. Stress! and in this world of busy busy busy lifestyles and careers it’s an increasing problem and a major cause of premature ageing.

So what stresses us out? Well it all depends on what we do and how we are able to handle certain situations.

In my job as an assessor and lecturer I put up with stressful situations on a daily basis and experience has taught me to cope with them better. However, there are some circumstances that cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety, and as a result, they can often make me feel nauseous, tired or dizzy and even give me migraines in extreme cases.

Stress can be caused from a whole host of issues and causes an imbalance in our body’s equilibrium, which suppresses our body’s immune system, leaving us more prone to illness and infection.

So how does stress age us and why is it a beauty/skincare issue?
Well, here is a list of a few symptoms of stress and a few I’ve picked out that are the most interesting…and relevant to explore a little further.

1. Indigestion
2. Lack of sleep
3. Diarrhoea
4. Eating more or eating less
5. Using drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes to relax

In part 2 we looked at how cigarettes age the skin by slowly suffocating it by replacing the oxygen in the red blood cells with carbon monoxide.
In a later episode, we can explore the effects of alcohol on our body and skin.

By not having enough sleep, the body cannot heal and repair itself properly. This includes the skin. Over time our skin will become lack lustre and sallow, bags will start to appear under the eye area and elasticity will diminish.

Food has an effect on our bodies and the look of our skin too. If we eat the wrong food or not enough of the right food our skin and bodies will become malnourished and age faster.

So what can we do about it?

RELAX!
Watch a movie, go for a run or walk have a warm bath or shower, listen to your favourite songs and sing along. Meditate, have a laugh with friends or head to your nearest spa or salon for a massage!
The solutions are simple but not always easy to do when you feel worked up about something.

Yes, it’s easier said than done but trust me it helps and there are some products that can assist with stress. So I’d like to draw your attention to my personal favourite, from Decleor.

Decleor’s aromessence de Bain is a calming, replenishing and nourishing bath oil that not only has the most gorgeous aroma that fills the whole house with fragrance but nourishes the skin leaving it silky smooth and soft.

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To use: add 20-30 pumps into a still bath of water and relax for at least 20 minutes.
It can be purchased from the Decleor website for £50, click here: http://www.decleor.co.uk

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So that’s part 4 over! Thanks again for reading!

Remember, with this episode especially we’re only scratching the surface.
So should you need any more information regarding stress management and causes please check it out online or visit your GP.

Please, stay tuned for part 5 and then we’ll be half way through the series!