Friday, 28 September 2012

Simple crown wrap tutorial

Start with your hair in dual Dutch braids. French braids might work too, but I find Dutch braids with the distinct braid-part showing works well for this.
Braid a long, thin scarf into the thinnest braid.

Cross the braids in the neck and wrap the braid without the scarf around your head. If you can tuck it under well enough, you don’t need any pins to secure it.

Wrap the braid with the scarf around your head and make sure you have the second braid over the first braid to pin it in.

Wrap the scarf around the tassel (Not necessary I guess, but I think the end result is sleeker and prettier)

If the scarf is very long, wrap it around your head with the braids. If not, pull the scarf under your braids.

I like taking the scarf around in the shape of an infinity sign. And done!

Just because I felt like it, I matched my toenails to the scarf! (Metallic tone in the polish made it hard to capture) 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Hairy thought of the day: Hair oil hype

I find myself being vaguely mystified by the attitude towards oil in beauty products. Suddenly “hair oils” is the big fat hype, but oil on the scalp is something bad that will clog the pores and keep hair from growing. Hm, come to think about it, isn’t that what they said about conditioners? You can find (Expensive!) facial oils and products like foundations and creams that boast of being oil free because oil in foundations and creams will block the pores but the oil in facial oils are really, really good for your skin. M-hm.
Meh. Maybe my little fit of sarcastic detachment and mocking current trends is just old and tired already. Bizarre double standards like this have been around for long and will keep around for just as long to come…
The recent hair-oil-hype just tends to annoy me. Just like I’m tired of hearing of BB creams in skincare. They have been around for ages (In Asia) but have recently become the “It” thing in skincare in the West too. And just like the original BB creams were packed with functions and benefits, the “new” ones are bastardized tinted moisturizers. The “Hair oils” we see hyped today are bastardized low oil, high everything-else versions of what longhairs have used for years without “anyone” paying attention…

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Leave in conditioner reviews

All quotes in the ingredient-analysis from Cosmeticsinfo

Scandinavia Formula glansdroppar (“Shine drops”) bought at Åhlens for 40 kronor (50 ml)
Looks and image
This one felt annoyingly cheap. Cheap, shiny plastic and cheap print in only two colours, the product in all feels almost “pharmacy product”-like. Yet it came in a tiny little bottle that usually signals something a little more exclusive. Hm? Text is quite non-nonsense and aware of just being for silicone drops.
Completely neutral. But I don’t see any perfume listed either so I guess that explains it.
The product is a very runny and slippery liquid.
Rinse ability
Difficult! Even with soap I felt I had leftover product on my hands. This is a serious cone-product.
This thing has the Worst. Pump. Ever! With wet and slippery fingers it was plain impossible to use. The top of the pump is curved so your fingers simply slip off it when you try to press it.Doesn’t offer any hold but adds a lot of shine. 
Price and value
0,8 kronor per ml.
Dimethicone: Cyclomethicone (Cyclopentasiloxane), Dimethiconeol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Dimethyl PAB.
Whatever your attitude towards cones is, there is nothing dangerous or potentially irritating in this product. Some of the cones may require SLS to effectively wash off though. I guess it comes down to what you value in your hair products. Me, I like cones and worry about potential scalp irritants.
It’s a serious shine and cone-product but I think I would like it better if I would add some of this to my regular old Sunsilk.

L’Oreal Everpure lasting moisture leave in-crème bought at H&M for 109 kronor (150 ml)
Looks and image
I quite liked the bottle. It is obviously plastic once you touch it, but it looks vaguely metallic from a distance. In some lights it seems greyer overall and in some lights purple or pinker. I quite liked it. Promises nourishment, shine and non-greasiness. Says “No sulphates!” on the label so that in combination with the “Pure” appeals to people wanting a “clean” product.
Soapy, “laundry” kind of scent.
The product is rather gel-like. Feels a little thick but works fine.
Rinse ability
Easy to rinse. I felt no residue even without using soap.
It felt pretty thick when I tested it first but extremely thick when I used it on my hair. Maybe the scent changed once it got in contact with water and hair too, since the scent changed to weird and unpleasant. It didn’t stay dominant though. The thick gel-formula also made my hands and combs extremely “greasy” and slippery so I managed to drop the comb twice. It made me quite annoyed with it. It didn’t do anything for shine or glossiness. Hubby sniffed my braid and promptly complained about the scent: “It smells like furniture polish!” he said. The next day when I combed my hair out for my morning shower, it felt distinctly “glue-ish”. Ew and ick. My hair definitely wasn’t happy with this stuff.
Price and value
0,72 kronor per ml.
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 10, PEG 12 Dimethicone,
Oleth 20 tocopherol: "Data on the Oleth ingredients indicated evidence of mild to moderate eye and skin irritation”
Ethylexyl Methoxycinnamate: “There are studies that suggest that some sunscreen ingredients, including Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate may have activity like the hormone, estrogen”
Polyquaternium 4,
Limonene: “In Europe, Limonene is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.”
Benzophenone 4: “When undiluted, some Benzophenones, were slightly irritating to the skin and eyes. At concentrations used in cosmetics and personal care products, Benzophenoens were not irritating. There are studies that suggest that some sunscreen ingredients, including Oxybenzone may have activity like the hormone, estrogen.”
Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract Peppermint: ”Isolated clinical cases of irritation and/or sensitization to Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil and/or its components have been reported”
Linalool: “In Europe, Linalool is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.”
Sorbitol: I had to read this one twice, lol. Yes, the sugar substitute I know from food is used as a humectant and skin conditioning agent as well.
Geraniol: “In Europe, Geraniol is included on the list of "allergenic" substances.”
Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Leaf Oil) ,
Methylparaben: Ah, parabens. Just speaking the word can send some people into a frenzy. I’m not so convinced but none the less: “The CIR Expert Panel discussed “paraben paradox” in which paraben-sensitive patients can tolerate paraben-containing cosmetics applied to normal, unbroken skin but not when applied to eczematous or ulcerated skin.”
Butylphenyl Methlyproprional: “In Europe, Butylphenyl Methylpropional is included on the list of "allergenic" substances.”
Citronellol: I had a good laugh at this part of the description: “Citronellol is used in perfumes and insect repellents, and as a mite attractant.” Ehm. Huh?
Coumarin: “In Europe, Coumarin is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.” And a bit of history: “It occurs widely in natural products, and has been has been an important ingredient in perfumes since 1882.”
10 potential irritants out of 21 ingredients! Yikes! So much for being a “Pure” product.
It made my hair quite difficult to manage, it didn’t make my hair glossier and hubby didn’t approve of the scent. I’m annoyed at having found almost half the ingredients being potentially irritating. I think I will use this one up but not buy it again. I find it ironic that the ingredients are so potentially irritating when it appeals to the people looking to avoid “bad” ingredients.
No, thank you

L’Oreal extraordinary oil (SPF version) bought at H&M for 119 kronor (100 ml)
Looks and image
This product is all over in the media at the moment. The ads are quite difficult to avoid if you read anything remotely “girly” actually. The ads have greatly annoyed me: They seem to be the textbook example of “fluffy jargon” about the luxurious and exotic oils it contains.
I was quite pleased to see they haven’t spread that crap all over the bottle. The bottle left me mildly irritated: It’s real glass and quite slippery with dry hands alone. I can just picture it slipping out of my wet hands trying to spread some product in my hair. Smash! Evil little glass shards all over my bathroom floor.
Hmm, not sure how to describe this one? “Warm”? It reminds me of a perfume, but I can’t remember the name.
Very runny!
Rinse ability
I needed soap to wash this one off and even then I felt I had residue left.
The extreme runniness of this one made it very difficult to distribute in my hair. It took a long time to put enough product in my long hair before I felt satisfied. Of course it didn’t help that the pump dispenses very little product at the time either! Once it was in, it felt pretty good actually. Not too greasy or cone-y. To my surprise it even felt like it had a bit of hold too. Strangely, for an oil and cone-product my hair almost felt dry the next day.
Price and value
1,19 kronor per ml. The most expensive one of the 4 tested.
Cyclopentasiloxane, alcohol denat, phenyl trimethicone, dimethiconol,
c12-15 alkyl benzoate: Gosh, what a name! It sounds horrible and toxic but none the less it has no bad remarks. This is a Long-chain alkyl benzoate ester for those interested.
chamomilla recutita extract/matricaria flower extract: As the Latin name suggests, this is chamomile.
cocos nucifera oil/ coconut oil,
ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate: “There are studies that suggest that some sunscreen ingredients, including Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate may have activity like the hormone, estrogen.”
nelumbuim speciosum extract/nelumbuim speciosum flower extract: This is a lotus flower. Weird it’s only named by the Latin names?
benzyl alcohol: “Although, genotoxicity tests for these ingredients were mostly negative, there were some assays that were positive.”
Cinnamal: “In Europe, Cinnamal is included on the list of "allergenic" substances.” Hah, good to see that my belief that natural doesn’t mean safe is backed up by science. “Cinnamal is a naturally occurring fragrance compound found in the bark of cinnamon trees.” Cool.  
Linalool: “In Europe, Linalool is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.”
linum usitatissimum flower extract: Linseed flower extract. Weird it’s only named by the Latin names?
caprylic/capric triglyceride: “…is an oily liquid made from coconut oil.” and “…slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface.”
gardenia tahitensis flower extract: This is Tahitian gardenia. Hm, I wonder why they haven’t smeared that all over the package? “Contains exotic Tahitian gardenia flower extract!” Hah.
rosa canina flower extract: A wild rose species commonly known as “Dog rose”. In Denmark the fruits of this plant can be used for jams and teas.
Bisabolol: What an awful name for something that  “…is the main component of the essential oil made from the German chamomile plant”
glycine soja oil/soybean.
parfum/fragrance (F.I.LC51164/2)
I wonder why they use so many of the Latin names on the ingredient list instead of the “prettier” common English ones. Maybe they don’t expect their consumers to actually read the label?
Anyways, I only see 4 “real” oils listed and 6 “extract of…”s on the ingredients. Not entirely what the label promised me.
4 potential irritants out of 18 ingredients
I think this would be a product I would buy again and use a bit of in my regular Sunsilk conditioner. I was actually pleasantly surprised. After the hype I expected it to be crap.
Thumb up

Schwarzkopf Gliss hair repair bought at H&M for 69,50 kronor (125 ml)
Looks and image
My goodness, this looks and feels plain old cheap. Even though I quite like the colours and adore the concave shape of the bottle (Easier grip on this sucker! The Extraordinary Oil could learn a lesson from here!) the bottle feels really cheap.
The scent made me go “WTF” as first. I’m not sure how to describe it. Like soapy apples I guess? It is not unpleasant, it is just unusual and a bit of a strange combination.
Thin foam.
Rinse ability
Easy to rinse off my hands. Even without soap I felt I got rid of the residue.
Hm. The thinness of the foam made it quite difficult (And messy!) to distribute. One it was in, it felt pretty good. It added some hold and shine. I redid a Figure 8 bun into a simple braid for sleeping and found to my surprise that the product had added some volume. It felt post-cassia thick. I had spotted that it said “volume” on the bottle but didn’t actually expect it to have any effect.
Price and value
0,55 kronor per ml. The cheapest of the 4 tested.
Cetrimonium chloride: “[Is a] quaternary ammonium salt.” Yikes, that sounds drying? “…safe for use in rinse-off products and were safe for use at concentrations of up to 0.25% in leave-on products” But this is ingredient #2, so yikes?!
Hydrolyzed Collagen: “Hydrolyzed Collagen generally is adsorbed on hair, increasing tensile strength and elongation.” Cool.
Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin: I really wondered if they had forgotten a comma somewhere here.  Some mouthful of a name!
Hydrolyzed Keratin, Stereamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Phenoxyethanol,
Ceteareth-25: “Ceteareth ingredients should not be used on damaged skin.”
PEG-12 Dimethicone,
Lactic acid: A bit of history: “Lactic acid, derived primarily from milk and its origins can be traced back to Cleopatra, who purportedly used sour milk on her skin.”
Dipalmitoylethyl Dimonium Chloride,
Silicone Quaternium-22: “Enhances the appearance and feel of hair by increasing hair body, suppleness, and sheen; or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. It also prevents or inhibits the buildup of static electricity.” Not bad!
Sodium Methylparaben, VP/VA Copolymer, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether, Coco-betaine, Poly quaternium-69, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Parfum, Polyquaternium-10, Styrene/VP copolymer, Alcohol denat., Citric Acid,
Sodium Chloride: Plain old table salt.
PEG-14M, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal,
Limonene: “In Europe, Limonene is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.”
Linalool: “In Europe, Linalool is included on the list of “allergenic” substances.”
Benzyl Salicylate: “In Europe, Benzyl Salicylate is included on the list of "allergenic" substances.”
Benzyl alcohol,
Butylphenyl Methylpropional: “In Europe, Butylphenyl Methylpropional is included on the list of "allergenic" substances.”
6 potential irritants out of 34 ingredients. Although that is not a bad statistic, the Cetrimonium chloride-issue seriously freaked me out. Do not like!
Until I read up on the ingredients I actually really liked this one. Now I’m paranoid that my sudden case of the greasies may be a result of irritation from the cetrimonium chloride. I think this one will go in the trashcan.