Saturday, 11 January 2020

January Glossy Box Unboxing!

This is my third month receiving Glossy Box and I love it! It's like receiving a little birthday present every month that's just for me! If you haven't heard of Glossy Box, it's a monthly subscription where you receive a selection of five items that are skin care, hair or makeup related. You can earn Glossy Credits by completing surveys about the items you've received and by also referring friends. You can then redeem these credits on Look Fantastic. 

So onto Januarys box!

The theme for this month is Sleep & Refresh. I think after the Christmas and New Year festivities we could all use a little refresh! I love how beautifully packaged my box always arrives, complete with a leaflet explaining what each product is and how best you use it. It always advises you of the RRP and where to re-purchase.

Strawberry Booster - Before my box arrives I try not to go on Glossy Box's social media so I get to keep some of the surprise for when mine arrives. I had already accidently seen a sneak peek that they posted and it was for this Strawberry Booster. This is the item I'm most excited to try. It's 100% cold pressed strawberry seed oil and it's said to give a softer and brighter complexion. Filled with antioxidants and omega 3 and 6. You can either apply directly to your skin or mix with your moisturiser, bb cream or foundation.

Tweezers - I cannot tell you how many pairs of tweezers I've lost. I'm sure they are like hair ties, bobby pins and socks. They grow legs and walk away on their own. So another pair is always welcomed!

Clear Brow Gel - I have never used a brow gel in my life. I know, have I been living under a rock? Truthfully, until about six months ago I didn't do anything with my eyebrows apart from waxing/plucking. Then I discovered an eyebrow pencil and the rest is history. This gel is vegan and can be used alone to keep the hairs in place or over your eyebrow pencil/powder to set the colour.

CBD Oil Infused Mask - Who doesn't love a sheet mask? This mask is made from biodegradable bamboo and is infused with anti-inflammatory cannabidiol, helping to restore, calm and sooth your complexion. If you need me tonight you will find me with a book and this face mask.

Detox Illuminating Micellar Water - Formulated with green tea, raspberry, lemon and sage with aloe vera this is said to remove makeup and also ensure fresh and youthful looking skin. I do love Micellar waters and have tried out so many. I'm currently trying out a range of skin care from Green Keratin but this is going on my dressing table for the nights where I'm too tired to do my whole wash routine but still want to get rid of the days makeup and dirt!

Have you tried Glossy Box or another subscription box? Let me know your thoughts! If you want to look further into Glossy Box you can find them here. *Not sponsored. I just love them!*

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

All Inahsi Wash Day!

This wash day happened a few weeks ago but it was without a doubt my best wash day since starting the Curly Girl Method so it had to be documented here. I've loved Inahsi Naturals for a while but had never washed and styled using just their products alone. I was expecting it to be good I just wasn't prepared for how much I loved it!

I adore the story behind the brand. Started by Rhonda in her kitchen! Rhonda is a chemist and was also a high school chemistry teacher. When she left teaching, her family persuaded her to try and formulate her own hair products and Inahsi was born. Her dedication is one of a kind. Every Sunday night she goes live on their Instagram page trying to help others love their waves, curl, kinks and coils. On every bottle the slogan, "Loving the you that you were born into" is printed. I love that.

I started with the Tropical Escape Cleansing Cowash. My hair doesn't tolerate cowashing very often but it loved this! The smell is beautiful and reminds me of a spa. I felt like I had to use more of the cowash than I would typically use but it was so moisturising that I didn't mind.

I followed up with the Soothing Mint Moisturising Conditioner. I've used this before but not for a few months. It's lightweight which is a must for my low porosity hair. It makes detangling a breeze and has great slip. I'm also a sucker for anything that has a minty scent.

To style I used my favourite Coconut Avocado Curl Defining Custard. I pretty much use this every wash day now. You only need a little and it goes a long way! When I first started using this I was applying way too much and it was weighing my hair down but since I've figured out the perfect amount for my hair I haven't had a problem. It is strong hold and gives a rock solid cast. I can get multiple days from just that one application on wash day.

To scrunch out the crunch I used the Aloe Hibiscus Leave In. My hair hates using a leave in the traditional way. It's too much for my fine hair. I had never used it to SOTC before but on this day I did and I was amazed! I only used a tiny bit but it was just enough to lock in some extra moisture.

You can purchase direct from Inahsi or if you're in England like me then Naturalistic Products carry the whole range! Have you tried Inashi? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Sunday, 5 January 2020

Living With Anxiety.

Anxiety. It's like an unwelcomed visitor who pitches up in your home. They unpack their suitcase in your spare room. Pop their toothbrush in your bathroom and demand seconds at the dinner table. All the while you're screaming that you don't want them there. Anxiety doesn't care though. He laughs and carries on. He doesn't discriminate. He may fool you once in a while into thinking that he's leaving. You watch him pack his case and think finally! Just for him to say "Ha! Fooled you!" as he flings his clothes across the bed.

You leave the house to escape but he comes with you for the journey. You go to bed early, in the hopes that he won't bother you whilst you're sleeping. No, he's lying in bed with you. Randomly waking you up just to remind you that he's still there. You wake up in the morning after a restless night and he's still there. He follows you downstairs whilst you make breakfast. He's staring at you whilst you eat so you abandon your meal. You watch your children playing. They're just being kids. Loud and messy. You snap at them and then feel guilty. It's actually anxiety that you're angry with but he's not listening so you take it out on someone that can actually hear you.

You do the school run. No one can see anxiety stood next to you. So you smile and chat pretending he's not there but you can feel him right next to you. Breathing down your neck. You try to have a conversation but you just want to scream. You want to ask for help. You want to know if they also have an unwelcomed guest stood next to them.

You head to the shops. You go and pay some bills. You come home and vacuum. Pop the dinner into the slow cooker. You try to forget that he is still following you around the house. You have the radio on just to drown out his voice telling you that you're not good enough. That you're a failure. That you might as well not even try.

You're exhausted. Anxiety is right there. You can feel him crushing your chest. As you pick the kids up, as you listen to stories about their day and go through homework and run baths. As you put little PJ's on toddlers and read stories. As you tuck them into bed. They are worried about their spelling test the next day and you hope with all your being that a spelling test is the worst thing they have to worry about for a very long time

You just think about getting to the end of the day. You want to climb into bed and pull the duvet over your head. Like a child who believes during a game of hide and seek that if they cover their eyes and can't see you then you can't see them. Maybe it would work with anxiety you wonder.

Maybe tonight anxiety will be kind and let you rest. Even if just for one night.


What In The World is Porosity?

You will hear terms like porosity and density a lot in the Curly community. What does porosity actually mean though?

Simply put porosity is your hairs ability to take on and retain moisture.

Imagine a pine cone. If the edges of it are raised then lots of moisture can penetrate it but if the edges are tightly bound then moisture will find it a lot harder to get through.

Each hair strand has cuticles. When these are lying flat then your hair is low porosity however if they are raised then you have high porosity. You can have different porosities all over you head and even individual strands can have mixed. For example a hair strand could be low porosity nearer the roots but higher porosity towards the ends. There are several "home made" tests that you can do to try and figure out your porosity but I personally believe that the only way you will know for sure is if you were to put strands of your hair underneath a microscope. My Main Bio is a group of female scientists that actually offer this service. You send them some hair and they send you a complete analyst of you hair and it's health.

Knowing your porosity can be helpful when choosing what products would be better suited for your hair. I have low porosity so heavy creams and products containing Shea butter weigh my hair down. I also cannot use a lot of product so the 123 Gel method doesn't work for me.

So without putting your hair under a microscope, how can you get an idea of your porosity. There are several characteristics for each type.

Low porosity -
  • Your hair take a long time to get fully wet.
  • Product can sometimes feel like it is sitting on your hair rather than being absorbed into it.
  • Hair is prone to build up and needs clarifying regularly?

High porosity -
  • Hair gets wet easily and dries very quickly.
  • Moisture and products are absorbed very quickly. You can normally use a lot more product that someone with lower porosity. 
  • Hair tangles very easily as the cuticles catch on each other. 
  • Bleached hair tends to be higher porosity than natural coloured hair. 

Some people like to use the glass test to help determine their own porosity. Although this test can be flawed and I wouldn't rely on it 100%. The glass test is taking a glass of water and several strands of clean dry hair and placing them into the glass. The theory goes that if the hair floats on top then it is low porosity. If it sinks to the bottom it is high porosity. 

There is also the strand test. Take a strand of hair and rub your fingers up and down it. Does it feel bumpy? It may be high porosity. If it feels smooth then it may be low porosity. 

Which porosity is the best? Truthfully there are pros and cons to both. Sometimes I wish I had higher porosity hair so I could use more product! Higher porosity hair may be able to take on more moisture but it also looses it a lot quicker as the cuticles are more raised. So it really is swings and roundabouts! 

Tips for each porosity. 

Low porosity - 
  • Use heat when deep conditioning. The heat helps to raise the cuticles and allows the conditioner to penetrate the hair. You can use a heat cap which are widely available. 
  • Use lighter products. I tend to use a mousse and a gel. Avoid heavy creams and butters. 
  • Clarify regularly. I always clarify on the first wash day of the month. I can always tell when it's coming up to that time as my hair starts to become more frizzy and weighed down. It also looses some shine. Remember to always follow up clarifying with a deep conditioner. 

High Porosity - 
  • Finish your wash with cold water. This will help the cuticle to close. 
  • Use heavier products. Higher porosity hair can better handle these products and they don't weigh the hair down as easily.
  • Regular protein treatments can help to strengthen the hair. 

So there is a little bit of an introduction to porosity. Can you follow the Curly Girl Method without knowing your porosity? Sure! I know quite a few curly girls that have no idea what there's is and they have beautiful curls! It might just take a bit of trial and error figuring out which products and methods are better suited for you.


Saturday, 4 January 2020

Favourite Products of 2019

Although I started the Curly Girl Method in May 2018 it wasn't until 2019 that I really started to understand my hair and learn what it liked and needed. I've tested out so many products in 2019 and loved so many that this list could have gone on and on but I've narrowed it down to five products. A cowash, conditioner, deep conditioner, a mousse and a gel. These are the products that I reach for time and time again.

As I Am Coconut Cowash - This cowash is the best I've tried. My hair doesn't like cowashing regulary, preferring a low poo but when I do cowash this is the one I reach for. It's lightweight and so moisturising. It makes my scalp feel amazing and the size of the tub is brilliant for the price point. It is available in Superdrug stores. I normally purchase it from Amazon.

Giovanni Cosmetics Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner - Firstly this conditioner smells amazing! I am a sucker for anything with tea tree. Beyond that though it is light weight and gives great slip. I don't have to use a lot and detangling with this is a breeze. I purchase it from Look Fantastic and it is regularly on offer.

Inashi Naturals Mango Hemp Restorative Hair Masque - Inashi has been the stand out brand for me during 2019. Every product I've tried I've loved. This deep conditioner is by far the best I've tried this year. My hair has been craving protein and the moisture/protein balance with this is spot on. It's also light weight which is great as a lot of deep conditioners tend to weigh down my low porosity hair. It is an American brand but is available in England through Naturalistic Products.

Inashi Naturals Coconut Avocado Curl Defining Custard - Another stand out product from Inashi. This custard is fast becoming my holy grail styling product. Less is more with this. If I use too much it weighs my hair down but as soon as I learnt how much to use I've not had a single complaint. My curls last for days from just one application on wash day. Can be purchased from Naturalistic Products. 

Giovanni Cosmetics Turbo Charged Hair Foam - I love this foam! It's lighter hold than a typical mousse but the volume it creates is unmatched. It pairs well with every gel I've tried it with. It's become a staple in my styling routine. I purchase it through Look Fantastic.

What's been your favourite product of 2019? I'm excited to try even more in 2020!

Curly Girl Method 101

So you've stumbled across the Curly Girl Method and now you are wondering what it is? It can be overwhelming to begin with and twenty months ago when I first discovered this method I felt lost in a sea of information. I spent days scouring the internet, watching You Tube videos and stalking other curly girls Instagram accounts. It's a lot simpler when you break it down into smaller steps.

  • No sulphates.
  • No silicones. 
  • No drying alcohols. 
  • No heat tools. 

The Curly Girl Method was created by the curl Queen Lorraine Massey. She also created the Deva Cut after she went for a haircut one day and the hairdresser cut her hair wet, as is standard practice for most hairdressers. When her hair dried it was uneven. She stated this to the hair dresser who replied, "When it's wet it's even," she replied that she didn't wear her hair wet, and so the Deva Cut, the art of having your hair cut dry, curl by curl, was born. We all know that curly hair springs up when it is dry so by cutting it in it's natural state you can see where it sits and avoid an uneven finish! 

So back to the steps. 

Sulphates - Think of these as harsh detergents. You normally find them in shampoos and although they will get your scalp squeaky clean, they will also strip all of the oils in your hair therefore making it very dry. Most curly girls already deal with dry hair so the act of using a normal shampoo only adds to the dryness. You can either use a "low poo," a shampoo that doesn't contain any sulphates or co-wash. 

What is co-washing? It is short for conditioner washing. When you co wash you use a conditioner to clean your scalp. Because you don't have the sulphates to remove all the dirt and sweat you have to use your finger tips and a bit of elbow grease but it gets the job done. You would then follow up with a conditioner to detangle. More and more brands are adding a co-wash to their ranges. 

Silicones - These are normally found in conditioners and some styling products, although I've also seen them in some shampoos. Imagine silicone as a plastic that coats your hair. It appears to make it smooth and you may even find you have less frizz but whilst it is coating your hair no moisture can penetrate your hair shaft, leading to dryness. So even though your hair may look healthy, it's the silicones! The only way to remove silicones from your hair is to use a shampoo with sulphates so it ends up as a vicious cycle! There are lots of silicone free conditioners on the market and they don't have to be expensive. My favourite conditioner cost just 95p! They've recently discontinued it and I'm down to my last two bottles! 

Alcohols - There are good alcohols which can add moisture to you hair and bad alcohols. The bad ones are drying and therefore not good for curls! Some example of these are Ethanol, Isopropyl & Propanol. Look for ones like Cetyl alcohol, Lauryl alcohol & Stearyl alcohol. 

Heat tools - I spent well over a decade straightening my hair. It was at the stage where people that had known me my entire adult life didn't know I had curly hair. As a kid I had the tightest curls and it wasn't until I stopped straightening nearly two years ago that I realised I was left with barely a wave. I was distraught. As much as I hated my hair growing up, I didn't realise the damage I was doing with heat tools until it was too late. It took nearly 15 months of doing the Curly Girl Method before my curls bounced back and looked healthy again. Even now my hair is nowhere near as curly as it was. I don't know if I will ever get those curls back again but now my hair is healthy and that's what the aim of this method is. It doesn't matter if your hair is wavy, curly or the tightest of coils, they're all beautiful and if you look after them correctly, they will thank you!  

And that's it! The basic "rules" of the Curly Girl Method. It can take a lot of trail and error trying different products but if you keep it simple it doesn't have to be overwhelming. I wish I had told myself that many months ago!

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