D.I.Y Disaster

beauty, celebrity, hair, lifestyle, look, lookback, review, Uncategorized
Excuse the hair!

The long black days – when I look at these photos now I don’t even recognise myself. It looks like a wig!

How many times have we heard the stories. Girl decides to dye her hair at home to save some money. Hair does not come out looking like the picture on the box. Girl ends up paying far more than she would have in the first place to fix self dyed hair…

Believe me, I’ve been there. Not just once, but several times throughout the past 10 years. I just never seemed to learn my lesson. I have now. In fact the events of August 2016 have put me off hair dye forever!!

Since the first box of  semi-permanent auburn hair dye, I have had every hair colour going. At University I decided to go black and at the time I loved it. However, I was the worst kind of hair offender because as the summer approached I would want to go lighter and so every few months an expensive trip to the hairdressers to desperately strip and bleach my hair would take place.

Eventually I got sick of this, cut my hair short and settled on brown. This meant I could

I loved my hair when I first went short. It was a healthy, warm brown. It would even look good when I woke up!

use semi-permanent brown dyes on my hair at home and with regular hair cuts it would look pretty good. In August, for whatever reason I decided to pick up a ‘dark brown’ shade. Well, as I dried my hair I soon realised I was back to black. In twenty minutes, my hair had transformed into the old me. And I did not appreciate it!!

In a panic, I drove straight to my local Superdrug and purchased a box of Colour B4. If you ever find yourself reaching for this on the shelf. DON’T! It is the most horrific product I have ever used! At the time though, I had seen their ambassador Katie Price swear by Colour b4 saying it was the easiest way to remove the black dye from her hair. I’m ashamed to admit that I was totally suckered in by the celebrity endorsement!

I followed the instructions on the box fully. I did everything I was supposed to do. Let me just say that I have never smelt anything like this in my life! Colour b4 honestly smells like chemicals, garbage and donkey piss all combined and set on fire. Awful. At the time I thought that this was temporary and obviously accepted that as it was stripping my hair it would have to be somewhat invasive. However, this smell lingered for over two weeks and no amount of washing could remove it!!!! The first box removed a fair amount of the black but there was still some in the ends of my hair so I went and bought another one. God only knows why! I applied this mainly to the ends and the final result was a fairly boring brown with just a hint of warmth. Perfectly acceptable.

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Frazzled and kinky despite being my natural colour – the result of too much heat!

After the first wash though, I noticed my hair get darker and after the second wash it was pretty much back to the original black. After one more box of Colour b4 (I honestly don’t know what was going through my brain) I threw in the towel and went to the hairdressers. The consultation didn’t take long. They wouldn’t touch my hair with a barge pole given the damage the product had done. The ends were frazzled, the hair felt weak and there was no way they would do anything but cut it for me. So I was left with one option…leave it alone!

Since then, I have not dyed my hair again. I have decided my colour days are behind me and it’s finally time to embrace nature. But one impact I’m still dealing with is breakage. A large amount of hair to the right of my crown and along the parting has broken off. By large I mean it is 100% noticeable and not just a few loose hairs.

To put this story into perspective, it’s now been a year and a half since I dyed my hair.

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This photo was taken 2 months after the previous one. The difference in length and condition is vast but I still have a way to go.

Yes, the dye has all grown out. No, I have not dyed it at all since. But let me be clear, the damage is still so bad that people often comment on it. It was one thing to stop dying it, but I was still mistreating my hair with heat and hair ties. So, at the start of this year, I made the decision to stop blow drying and learn how to french braid. It’s the best thing I’ve done throughout this whole ordeal! My hair has grown so much in just a month and feels so much better. There’s still a way to go, but I can now see an end in sight.

I won’t lie, I’m planning on begging my lovely hairdresser Amy to let me put a few blonde highlights in. But that’s where it stops. 2018 is the year of healthy hair!

So ladies and fellas, if you’re thinking of using Colour b4 or any other at home stripper, spare 2 years of stress and call a professional. In the end, what seems like the cheap option tends to end up costing a lot more in the long run!

xoxo

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Boomtown Festival – Faves & Fails

beauty, essentials, festival, hair, makeup

Time for the usual excuses, life got busy and the blog took a backseat for a while, but I’m back in the real world and ready to tell you all about my trip to Boomtown.

Last week I went to Boomtown festival in Winchester with my friends from uni, its a 4 day festival and it’s insaneeee. I’ve been before so thought my packing game would be on point…it wasn’t!

The Fails

  • There were two nights when I would have sold my soul for a warm jumper, I was colder than Queen Elsa herself!!
  • Lipbalm, something that I carry in every bag and pocket in my daily life. This was by far my biggest fail, lipstick did me no favours, in the end my lips were so dry and sore I had to leave them alone completely. Big mistake, will NEVER happen again!!!
  • I think I packed a little too minimally when it came to makeup, I could have really done with a dark brown eyeshadow or crease colour just to add a little dimension. I ended up keeping it pretty boring and that wasn’t the intention.
  • A festival essential is glitter, I had bought a couple of pots from eBay with this in mind but couldn’t find them anywhere when it came time to pack. As a result I had to rely on others, luckily the girls didn’t let me down and there was plenty to choose from but it’s always nice to have your own.

The Favourites

  • I absolutely loved using my Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner in Purple Light, it’s a beautiful vibrant, slightly metallic bright purple colour that applies evenly and gently on the waterline. I loved this buttery eyeliner and can’t wait to get more use out of it!
  • I took a travel size Batiste Clean and Classic Dry Shampoo with me and it was a total life saver! After a couple of rainy days my hair was looking less than fresh and ended up in a ponytail but this was perfect for refreshing the roots and fringe. A must have at any festival!
  • Travel size packs of wipes are everything when the toilet roll is gone. Festival toilets are notoriously vile so the quicker you can get in and out the better. Having a small pack of wipes in your bag is a real comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer needs no explanation. I took the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel which has a lovely strong scent and leaves your hands feeling clean without the sting you can get from other brands.

What are your festival fails and must haves? What do I need to make sure I have with me next time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @sophieaiken

Sophie xoxo

The Dry Hair Dilemma

hair, masks, repair

A couple of months ago I lightened my hair, going from black to a warm brown with a few highlights. This is something I’ve done before and yet I never seem to learn my lesson. Not only did I have to spend a good six hours in the hairdressers, it also cost me a small fortune! I am a self confessed dye addict. When I get the urge to dye my hair, there is no time for booking appointments I simply have to run out and buy a box from my local Boots. This is a bad idea, trust me! If you are thinking of dying your hair black then you seriously need to understand how hard it is to change it back. Don’t get me wrong I loved having black hair but it came with challenges.

So why I am I telling you all this? Well, in order to get my hair lighter I had it cleansed. This sounds lovely and nourishing but it’s not, essentially it strips the old dye out and you’re left with a bit of a patchy mess. On top of this I then had an all over colour and highlights, so as you can imagine my hair has suffered some serious damage. It wasn’t exactly in the best condition to begin with but now it’s beyond dry. With this in mind I’ve been reaching for anything that can put a bit of moisture back into my locks. I’ve been using two Kerastase products in particular for this.

Kerastase Nutritive Irisome Masqueintense (£24.20)- I apply this after shampooing focusing mostly on the ends and leave it on for around 3 minutes. This product is designed for thick hair and claims to improve manageability whilst also protecting hair from the damaging effects of heat styling. It definitely does this, I tend to blowdry my hair straight and this conditioner makes it feel smoother. I have to use this every wash not only because my hair is damaged but the water where I live (Greater London) is less than kind to hair! However, if you have more manageable hair I’d say use it once or twice a week.

Kerastase Ciment Thermique £16.47 – This is basically a leave-in milk that you apply to damp hair before styling. It claims to repair split ends and whilst I do think it helps to prevent them, I’m not convinced anything other than a pair of hairdressing scissors can truly solve that problem! I apply this to the ends of my hair and then proceed to blowdry and it definitely makes the process a whole lot easier. I’m not sold on the smell but it’s not bad enough to put me off using the product. This isn’t a cheap option but you only need a small amount and it lasts for ages.

Whilst I do love these two products they aren’t exactly cheap. I would love to know if any of you have any suggestions of deep conditioning hair masks or conditioners that are available in the UK?! Please let me know!

Sophie xoxo