Thursday, 14 December 2017

Seriously cool Christmas hair

Rainbow hair colour

This was created to show off the hair colour, but as cool as it is, my fascination is with the crown braid and decorations.

This seems to be a milkmaid-type crown braid, but how do you "thread" the silvery string through the hair without getting the little stars tangled in it?
And is the string what is holding the braid in place?

No matter what, it seems such a simple, yet stunning idea. The decorations attached are so nice!
I will have to play around with this for sure.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Product showdown

Continuing my product showdown:
I usually buy my conditioners following the rule "Whatever is on sale", and then just grab one of each line out of the brand. So now I have a lot of conditioners from the same brands, but different lines. So I was thinking that maybe I should do a comparison for all of those "doubles" so in the future, I will only get the best one at the next sale.

Up today are:
L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage
L'Oreal Elvital color-vive

I'm going to compare them on a few different factors:
  • First impressions 
  • Effect: Shine and manageability 
  • Ingredient analysis and interesting ingredients such as "actives": Oils, fruits, keratin, sunscreen

First impressions
L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage
Has that sort of clean and "soapy" scent. Good, thick formulation. 

L'Oreal Elvital color-vive
Has that sort of clean and "soapy" scent. Really thick formulation, almost deep conditioner texture which makes it almost drip free. I like!

L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage
This left my hair incredibly soft and slippery, so much that it was actually rather hard to handle for me!

L'Oreal Elvital color-vive
Soft and slippery, but not as hard to handle as the anti-breakage.

Ingredient analysis
L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage
Aqua / Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Limonene, Isopropyl Alcohol, 2-Oleamido -1, 3-Octadecanediol, Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Myristyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Linolenate, Parfum / Fragrance. (F.I.L. C42783/1).

Applying the Beauty Brains "First five ingredients rule"
Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose
When only looking at the top five ingredients, this is a emollient and moisturizing product.
Which means I would want to use this as a CO cleanser for the surfactant to dissolve scalp oils. I would also use this as a deep conditioner for a moisture booster.

Interesting ingredients
Cetearyl Alcohol is an emulsifier which means it can dissolve oils and be used for cleansing.
Glycerin is a really good moisturizer.
Amodimethicone is a cone particularly prone to build up.
Myristyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Oleate and Glyceryl Linolenate are emollients.

I would expect this conditioner to result in some very soft hair from the ingredient list.

26 ingredients in total
3 marked as a "2" for acne-trigger.  12%

3 marked as a "2" for irritation-trigger. 12%
1 marked as a "4" for irritation-trigger. 4%

13 marked as "green" for safety. 50%
8 marked as "yellow" for safety. 31%
1 marked as "red" for safety. 4%
And two marked as "green-yellow" for safety.  8%

L'Oreal Elvital color-vive
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol, cocos nucifera oil/coconut oil, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, poly (linseed oil), benzyl alcohol, benzyl salicylate, linalool, Benzophenone 4, Amodimethicone, isoprpyl alcohol, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol, citric acid, potassium hydroxide, butylphenyl methylpropional,citronellol, cetrinonium chloride, BHT, hexyl cinnamal, parfum/fragrance.

Applying the Beauty Brains "First five ingredients rule"
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol
When only looking at the top five ingredients, this is a emollient and surfactant product.
Which means I would want to use this as a CO cleanser for the surfactant to dissolve scalp oils. I would also use this as a conditioner for a moisture booster.

Interesting ingredients
Cetearyl Alcohol is an emulsifier which means it can dissolve oils and be used for cleansing.
Cetyl Esters is an emolient and should result in soft hair.
Tocopherol is an antioxidant. Questions is if it will rinse out or leave on.
Cocos nucifera oil. Coconut oil. Love it or hate it. For me, it results in closed comedones and irritation. This means I would avoid using this as a cleansing conditioner and getting it on my scalp!
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is a sunscreen ingredient. Nice!
Linseed oil. Does this penetrate?
Benzyl Alcohol. Another sunscreen ingredient. Very nice indeed!
Benzophenone 4. Three sunscreen ingredients in one conditioner. Very nice!

Since this conditioner contains coconut oil, I would not want it on my scalp. This is a protein-free moisturizer and I would use it as such.

26 ingredients in total
2 marked as a "2" for acne-trigger. 8%
1 marked as a "4" for acne-trigger.  4%

1 marked as a "1" for irritation-trigger.  4%
2 marked as a "2" for irritation-trigger.  8%
1 marked as a "4" for irritation-trigger. 4%
And one marked as a "0-2" for irritation-trigger.  4%

10 marked as "green" for safety. 38%
12 marked as "yellow" for safety.  46%
3 marked as "red" for safety.  12%
And one marked as "green-yellow" for safety. 4 %

Lady Igor says
I actually like both in each their own way, but... The L'Oreal Elvital color-vive is awesome for the SPF, but since it contains coconut oil I would limit using it to the ends. The L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage is a good deep conditioner all around and I would use this on my scalp to CO too. 
So I guess L'Oreal Elvital anti-breakage wins. But reluctantly, since I really do love SPF in my hair products. The risk of irritating my skin isn't worth it though.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas hair accessories

Hmm. So yesterdays Throwback Thursday made me a little sad I don't have any more cool Christmas hair accessories. So I went out to look for some, but have to admit it was a little hard to find some that were adult enough for me, while still being fun and playful.
And I guess by being "adult" I mean something that looks like decent quality and doesn't just look like cheap plastic...?

Can't really say these were adult though?
Still kind of fun!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Throwback Thursday

Old pictures of Christmas themed hairstyles.


My old collection of Christmas-related hair stuff. Wrapping some tinsel around a braid tassel is always quick and easy!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Today's hair

The mane is slightly irritated but soft after yesterdays (totally not penis-shaped) deep conditioning, so it's in a simple, single braid.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Today's hair

Doing a deep conditioning over night.
Going to do a single braid tomorrow to let it rest and calm down again, since I'm not planning to leave the house all day.

Mr. Igor says it looks like a penis.
Is he right?

Is Mr. Igor right? free polls

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Today's hair

Yep, even with slightly messy braid bases, this worked pretty well.
It got nice and flat.
Too bad I couldn't hide the bottom braid a little better.
Also, I definitely need some smaller U-pins...

Friday, 1 December 2017

Today's hair

Today's hair is four slightly messy braids that I'm going to try for double Royal buns with tomorrow.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Life in general

My seasonal dandruff really went crazy this year. Maybe because we returned home from Madeira and 31 C (The guides did say it was unusually hot) to about 5 C and a quick transition into winter.
Last year it was just a mild inconvenience, but this year I feel I actually have to put some effort into keeping it at bay. So far, the best solution has been to do a scritching and massage every time I WO.

It's perfect weather to stay indoors and game though!

The wild animals are getting braver when it's this cold: A rabbit now practically lives on our lawn. I guess the short and juicy grass is better than the unmaintained grass in the nearby forest.

The wild birds quickly got back in the habit of calling for food when they see us in the kitchen. Especially the blue tits are fearless and seems to look you directly in the eye and than scream for a peanut. Cute little jerks!

I'm trying to extend a little bit of that holiday-feeling by using the products I brought home from Madeira. Every time I reach for them, I'm reminded of warm weather, a dramatic landscape and seriously good seafood.
Too bad the feeling won't last. But soon it will be Christmas and that has its own charm too.

In other news, I switched jobs. It's a quite unusual niche, and highly specialized. I was immediately intrigued when I saw the opening, and really happy I got it.
It does have a very unusual work hour distribution though. Way longer, but fewer days. You're not even allowed to work past a certain number of days a month when the hours are this long. I don't mind though. My work days generally goes to sleeping, grabbing a cup of coffee and kissing Hubby goodbye, then coming back home and doing basically nothing before going back to bed again. So, now I just have to skip some of the "doing basically nothing" and go right to sleep instead.
I think this will actually allow me to put more hours into work #2, since I get a lot more free days.

This year, Hubby and I got really into stocks. That's seriously addictive! Like a (Now former) co-worker who is very much into stocks warned me: "The day you get hooked on stocks is the moment you will forever be on the hunt for more money to put on your stock account".
She wasn't exaggerating.
One of the things I'm most excited about with the new Job #1 is the possibility of having more time for, and thus making more money out of Job #2.

I have a few days off before I start on the new job, so I try to spend some time on my time wisely and get some Nice To Do items off my mental list.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hairstyle planner

I continue to be short on time in my life. 
Maybe I'll go into a bit more details on this in my next post...
Anyways. Something I find really nice is to make solid braid-base in the evenings that I can "re-use" for two different styles the next two days.
It saves me some time and effort in the morning.
The crazy thing about this? No one has ever been able to tell. Even when I press my colleagues for their opinion, no one has spotted anything "off" about my hair.
It's like a dirty little, totally awesome secret.
As long as I cycle my styles into obviously different styles, I guess no one can tell and everyone thinks I look well put together and professional.

Base: Horizontally split double braids
This one causes me a little trouble because it's hard to find the exact place to split it to make both braids equally thick. It's always higher up than I think. This one also works well with five-stranded braids.

Option 1: Double vertically stacked buns.
I always thought this style would be considered "childish", but so far I only got comments on how crazy it is I have two, "normal sized" buns.

Option 2: The Royal Bun.
This is a seriously good option for day two. The style "lifts" some of the short, face framing hairs up so they fall out. So it makes for a good "messy on purpose" style. A little leave in-conditioner to tame the short hairs and it looks great.

Alternative option: Bottom braid turned into a braided Nautilus bun, and top braid wrapped down and around. I just don't think this one is particularly cute though!

Alternative option: Top braid turned into a braided Nautilus bun, and bottom braid wrapped up and around. It gets a bit of a "lump" instead of the nice, flatness of the royal bun.

Base: Vertically split double braids
I really like this one. It's very comfortable on its own and something that looks more complicated than it is.

Option 1: Braided Chinese bun. 
This is a really good style for day one, because it benefits from being smooth and flyaway-free, so the details show well.

Option 2: Horizontal double buns.

Option 3: Partially or completely tucked under braids.
This is a really good style for day one, because it benefits from being smooth and flyaway-free, so the details show well.

Option 4: Crown wrap.
At times where "messy on purpose" is in style, this is a good option for day two. 

So maybe the perfectly planned updo cycle for a week of work would be:
  • Sunday evening: Wash followed with making vertically split double braids
  • Monday morning: Braided Chinese bun
  • Tuesday morning: Horizontal double buns
  • Tuesday evening: Wash followed with making horizontally split double braids
  • Wednesday morning: Double vertically stacked buns. 
  • Thursday morning: The Royal Bun
  • Thursday evening: Wash followed with making vertically split double braids
  • Friday morning: Partially or completely tucked under braids
  • Saturday morning: Crown wrap if needed

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Troubleshooting your hair

Some times hair can just have that... feeling.

Like there is something wrong. It doesn't appreciate what it usually likes, the texture feels off or it just tangles more than usual. You have more bad hairdays than usual.
Does it needs to be cleansed deeper? Or does it need a deep conditioning? Was it cone overload? Oil buildup? Maybe it needs more moisture? Protein? Hard water build up? Chlorine?
It can be really hard to tell, since hair products are literally made to mask problems and make your hair look and  feel good.

You can get some answers by washing with a clarifying shampoo.
These might also be found under titles such as "purifying", "detox" and deep-cleansing".
Clarifying shampoos will remove all the potential problems and leave your hair squeaky clean, ready to be diagnosed.

The difference between regular shampoos and clarifying shampoos is that clarifying shampoo contains none of those nice ingredients that will make your hair and scalp feel better after use. A clarifying shampoo is a cleanser, nothing more. It doesn't deposit anything back on your hair. It will remove the leftovers of whatever it was you were using to tame it.

But it also means that they strip away the natural oils and product leftovers that keep your hair shiny and your scalp well-moisturized. Your hair might feel really awful afterwards, but that can be fixed after the diagnosis.

As awful as this sounds, this is actually the effect you want if you reach for a clarifying shampoo!

Since there are no laws about printing "clarifying", "purifying", "detox" and deep-cleansing" on a shampoo bottle, take a look at the ingredient list to make sure you actually have a clarifying shampoo on your hands.
  • It should contain no silicones. Those help "coat" hair. Silicones can be identified by the ending "one" or "xane". Especially amodimethicone is prone to build up.
  • It should contain no quaterniums. Those help binding to damaged areas of the hair. Quaterniums can be identified by the ending "ium". Especially polyquaternium 10 and 11 are prone to build up.
  • Avoid guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride and anything that ends with "methosulfate”
The ingredient list should generally be as short and simple as possible. You just want cleansing agents in this. No occlusives like oils or cones. No humectants like glycerin or sorbitol.

In this case, where you need an absolutely stripping product, the best-avoided sodium laurel sulfate is an okay choice on your ingredient list. (Yes, even though it's so potentially irritating it can be used to trigger a positive reaction in patch testing because it will cause irritation in half an hour when applied undiluted) Think about it like this: You would rather only have to use a clarifying shampoo once and get the answers you need, than having to repeat the process.

Make sure to ingredient-check so you only have to clarify once and can return to your usual haircare routine again!

The process for troubleshooting your hair is simple
  1. Wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo. Be thorough, but don't let it sit for longer than normal. If you have picked an actual, clarifying shampoo, it shouldn't be necessary to repeat it either.
  2. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Wrap your hair gently in a towel and let it air dry naturally. 
  4. Observe how your hair looks and feels

Important notices
  • Do not condition after using the clarifying shampoo! No matter how awful your hair feels like after the shampoo, don't add anything else to it.
  • Do not blow dry to speed up the drying process! Not with cool air either, as the air stream can help make the hair scales lie flat and keep hiding what your hair needs.
  • Do not comb your hair during the drying process, as this can also help smoothing down the hair scales.

It can be difficult to accurately describe how hair feels, but if your hair feels...
Brittle: You probably overloaded on protein. Give your hair some regular moisture.
Crunchy and dry: You probably overloaded on protein. Give your hair some regular moisture.
Fragile: Your hair could probably use some protein to rebuild it's strength.
Halo of flyaways: Your hair could probably use some moisture.
Lost all body: Your hair could probably use some moisture.
Tangly: You probably overloaded on protein. Give your hair some regular moisture.
Wirey and rough: Your hair could probably use some protein to rebuild it's strength.

If your hair now seems happier than it was before, it was probably just too many good things at once in your haircare routine. It happens to everyone sooner or later. You get carried away with wanting all the best for your hair, and it has resulted in build up.

If none of these descriptions helped, or your hair feels like a combination of all, your best guess is the best treatment. Maybe you should reach for a beloved old favorite now that you have removed the problem-causing build up.

  • Recognizing a conditioner with protein in it: It sometimes says on the front, but is written out on the ingredient list and not hidden under numbers or Latin names. 
  • Recognizing a conditioner with moisturizing ingredients in it: Look in the ingredient list for cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, propylene glycol, sodium PCA, sodium lactate and sorbitol. There are many more moisturizing ingredients though!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Today's hair

Ah, my trusty Double Dutch braids to braided Chinese bun.

I really like that one. It has a good "lift"effect to get my hair away from my face.

It makes me feel cute!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Christmas calendars

The Christmas calendar/advent calendar market really exploded this year, didn't it? Seems like every single brand or store made their own ones this year.

For once I actually felt like I had to limit myself, instead of just buying the ones I found interesting.
I had to pick them myself, since Hubby didn't provide me with a Christmas calendar this year. Pout. 

Christmas calendars are an important Christmas tradition for me, since this is what I grew up with. Hubby and I have had to do some work on incorporating our sets of Christmas traditions. Traditional foods and celebrations are definitely not the same. Neither the things you just "do" up to Christmas.
It's actually a little funny how many different traditions you find in Denmark, compared to Sweden. Maybe it's because of the many islands, which would naturally limit how things spread back in old times. Sweden is more of one, uniform landmass, so maybe that's why their traditions are more the same?

Of course hubby went with the "All I want for Christmas is you"-approach, which earns him lots of credit, but no Christmas calendar.

But when he saw what I had ordered for myself, he suddenly felt left out.

So, a few hours of work later, and Hubby was very pleased. Even a few harsh words about being a dumbass who won't just admit that why yes, I would like a calendar, thank you, how considerate of you couldn't wipe the smug look off his face. Jerk.

A nice luxury liquorice calendar for Hubby. I never encountered the brand before, but it was quite pricey, so I hope it's good!

Kinder chocolate barely counts as real chocolate, but yea, this is a guilty pleasure for both of us. I know Hubby will share!

I randomly found another liquorice calendar for Hubby. They had in the the Danish Netto-stores. It's a soft, not-really-salty, not-really-sweet-either liquorice that both Hubby and I love. Hubby was the smuggest about this one. Luckily, it has both the original and the seasalt ones and Hubby doesn't like the seasalt ones, so those are mine. Muahahah! 

Finally, Hubby also got an advent calendar with a few grooming products.
His last set turned out to contain so much aloe vera that I can't kiss or snuggle him after using them, without me breaking out and my skin feeling like it was burned. Ouch!

It amuses me how "advent calendar" and "Christmas calendar" seems to be used at random. 
In Danish, an "advent calendar" is exclusively for being given on the last 4 Sundays (Which are the four advents) until Christmas, and "Christmas calendar" is for the first 24 days of December. No exceptions allowed.

My first calendar is the Lookfantastic Advent Calendar that just looked so beautiful I had to have it. This was also the most expensive one.

It did not disappoint in real life!

This Christmas calendar is for 25 days since it's UK-based. 

However, I do not recommend Lookfantastic. It took them well over 14 days from me ordering and paying, to receiving the first part of the order. And that was all items that supposedly were in stock! WTF.

Here's an unboxing video of it.With so many unboxing videos out there already, so I guess there isn't much of a point to make any unboxing-posts, is there?

The second calendar is the one I'm the most excited about!

Lumene is one of those few brands where I can honestly say "I like that brand" and not just "I like a lot of their products". Even my beloved COSRX has a heavily aloe vera'ed line that I wouldn't even want to touch the packaging of.

Lumene is skincare for Scandinavians by Scandinavians, so it works well with my sensitive skin. (Did you know that 10% of native Scandinavians have allergies to fragrance?) I started using it some years back with good results, but it was right before I found Korean skincare (Back in... 2013? 2014?) and transitioned exclusively to that. I guess there isn't any reason to not incorporate some Western products as long as I still use the Eastern methods and techniques, right? 

So when I randomly found in the bloggosphere that they had made a calendar this year for the first time, I had to have it! It's sold online and exclusively at Åhlens, so it might not be so easy for non-Scandinavians to get.

Look at it: So pretty! Clean and stylish. It looks so very grownup.

The unboxing video is in Swedish. Sorry. Can't find one in English!

The next one is Skinstores 12 miracles of beauty. They sold me on a spoiler: That the calendar would contain a Foreo-product. I have wanted a Foreo (Any model really) for some years now, but never really got around to buying one. 

Well, here it is! Somewhere in one of the little drawers...

However I am quite pissed off at Skinstore: I bought my calendar at 149 USD and the week after, they dumped the price to 99.
Not. Cool.

Between Skinstores endless spam-mails and now this, Skinstore have earned themselves an unsubscribe from their maillist and a removal from my bookmarks.

At least the calendar is really pretty.

Again: So many unboxing videos out there already! Here's one.

Hubby and I got into a pretty interesting discussion about this.

He asked me when I had intended to open it, since it doesn't add up to the 24 days of Christmas of traditional Danish and Swedish Christmas calendars. I shrugged and said I had assumed I would just open it on the last 12 days. Hubby then pointed out that it probably refers to the 12 days of Christmas, beginning the day where most people celebrate Christmas (December 25th) and ending on January 5th. Hubby explained there is a old Swedish tradition of counting the 13 days of Christmas (Since Sweden celebrates on December 24th like a lot of other countries) so the span of celebration becomes the same. This is traditionally the day to remove all your Christmas decorations in Sweden.

I thought this was pretty cool, and decided to start opening this calendar on the 25th.

Then I felt a little sorry for Hubby for not having a 12 days calendar of his own (Even though he has been super annoying and smug about his own Christmas and Advent calendars!), so I secretly slipped little fun-sized chocolate bars into the drawers. Now Hubby is part of this too, and maybe we have established a new family tradition.

The last Christmas calendar I fell for, is Rituals.

Their products always smell really good. Just passing by their stores makes me sniff the air furiously. Of course I mostly stay clear of (Heavily) scented products, but rinse-off products seems to be okay. Some bath and shower products would be great! 

It came in a really pretty, classy box. Dark green and red with gold print.
It smells really good too. Usually mixing so many different scents together result in a weird mix, but this smells really nice!

It had some silly cardboard decoration-parts though.

You're supposed to put it together into a Christmas-tree shape, with the sides and toppers. I did not care for it.

I prefer the box just like it is. It's pretty enough as it is, without the silly extra pieces sticking out.

Here's an unboxing video.

Rituals also have a seriously pretty deluxe-version in a "real" Christmas tree shape. I couldn't find one in a physical store and didn't feel like ordering it online, so I picked the "regular" version.